Provide an opportunity to engage with one of several geographic areas—Africa, East or South Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Russia and the Former Soviet States, among others—via multiple academic disciplines.

Overview

Area studies have been a component of scholarship at SIPA since the School’s founding era. SIPA’s regional specializations give students an opportunity to engage with a specific geographic area via multiple academic disciplines. You’ll learn about discrete regions of the world, the policy challenges they face, and the internal and external factors that influence those challenges.

Current regional specialization options include Africa, East Asia, East Central Europe, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and the Former Soviet States, South Asia, and the United States.

Career Paths

Students in the regional specializations pursue the same wide range of careers as students in the MIA and MPA programs as a whole. Students who wish to work in or devote themselves to the challenges facing a particular geographic area may find these specializations to be particularly appealing.

Curriculum & Courses

While each specialization sets its own curriculum, most require students to take courses in more than one academic discipline. Approved courses often include offerings at SIPA,the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and sometimes other schools at Columbia University.

View the Regional Audit Form 

Concentration & Specialization Requirements

Each regional specialization requires the completion of three courses (9 points), but course and distribution requirements vary.

View full requirements

Regional Contacts

Africa

Mamadou Diouf
Director, Institute of African Studies
310 Knox Hall

212-854-4083

Jinny Prais
Advisor to the Certificate in African Studies
Assistant Director, Institute of African Studies
Room 201 Knox Hall
201 Knox Hall

212-854-3528

East Asia

Eugenia Lean
Director, Weatherhead East Asian Institute
Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Room 925 IAB

212-854-1742

Waichi Ho
Executive Director
Room 914B IAB
 
212-854-6902

East Central Europe

Alan Timberlake
Director, East Central European Center
Room 1228 IAB

212-854-8488

Rebecca Dalton
Program Manager, Harriman Institute 
Room 1211 IAB

212-854-6239

Europe

Adam Tooze 
Director, European Institute
421 Fayerweather Hall

212-854-2434

Francois Carrel-Billard 
Associate Director, European Institute
Room 1204 IAB

212-854-4727

Latin America

Gustavo S. Azenha
Director of Graduate Studies, MARSLAC
Associate Director, Center for Brazilian Studies
Room 834 IAB

212-854-9793

Eliza Kwon
Student Affairs Coordinator
Room 827 IAB

212-854-5468

Middle East

Brinkley Messick
Director, Middle East Institute
Room 756 Schermerhorn

212-854-1932

Astrid Benedek
Associate Director, Middle East Institute
Room 304 Knox Hall

212-854-2201

Russia and the Former Soviet States

Alexander Cooley
Director, Harriman Institute
Room 1214 IAB

212-854-6213

Rebecca Dalton
Program Manager, Harriman Institute 
Room 1211 IAB

212-854-6239

South Asia

Partha Chatterjee
Director, South Asia Institute
452 Schermerhorn Ext.

William Carrick
Assistant Director and Outreach Coordinator, South Asia Institute
Room 219 Knox Hall

212-854-4565

United States

Ester Fuchs
Specialization Director
Professor of International and Public Affairs and Political Science
Room 1428 IAB

212-854-3866

Kevin Gully
Specialization Coordinator
Room 1430A IAB

212-851-0624