Internships are an integral part of the student experience at SIPA. Students in most two-year MPA and MIA programs have a degree requirement to conduct a relevant internship along with submitting completed paperwork to the Office of Career Services. In addition, all students are encouraged to explore internships as part of their education and career development. Some students may be qualified to request a waiver of their SIPA internship requirement through submitting the proper form and supporting documents.
F-1 and J-1 students must obtain authorization from the Columbia International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) to undertake a paid or compensated U.S.-based internship that is a degree requirement. For F-1 students, this authorization is Curricular Practical Training (CPT); for J-1 students this authorization is Academic Training (AT).
Each year, SIPA provides a limited number of competitive internship grants to qualifying students to partially supplement the costs of unpaid or low-paying summer internships. Individual grants are advertised by OCS early in the spring semester and all application deadlines occur in April and early May. OCS strongly encourages students to begin both their internship search and internship funding search early and in the fall semester , as several application deadlines for other Columbia Institute and external summer internship grants occur between December and March.
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program is a matching-funds program that allows nonprofit or federal, state, municipal agency employers to provide paid internships for U.S. or permanent resident students when they might not otherwise be able to do so.