Are you considering applying to Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)? If so, you may be wondering about the school’s unique video essay component. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the Columbia SIPA video essay and provide you with everything you need to know to ace this important part of the application process.
- The Columbia SIPA video essay is a mandatory component of the application process for most SIPA programs.
- Applicants have 48 hours to complete the essay, which consists of two questions related to the applicant’s interest in SIPA and professional goals.
- The video essay is intentionally vague to allow applicants to showcase their creativity and communication skills.
- Applicants should plan their video essay carefully, including considering their attire, background, and lighting, and practicing their responses in advance.
What is the Columbia SIPA Video Essay?
The Columbia SIPA video essay is a relatively new component of the application process, launched in 2017. It is mandatory for most SIPA programs, including the Master of Public Administration, Master of International Affairs, and Master of Public Policy programs. The video essay is completed after the rest of the application is submitted and requires applicants to answer two questions related to their interest in SIPA and professional goals. The video essay is completed online and applicants have 48 hours to complete it after receiving the notification.
Tips for Approaching the Columbia SIPA Video Essay
Unlike traditional written essays, the Columbia SIPA video essay is intentionally vague to allow applicants to showcase their creativity and communication skills. However, some general tips can help ensure that your video essay leaves a positive impression on the admissions committee:
- Consider the backdrop: Choose a location that is well-lit, quiet, and free from distractions. The background should be professional and tidy, preferably with something that demonstrates your interest in SIPA, such as a SIPA poster or a relevant book.
- Dress to impress: Even though the video essay isn’t conducted in person, applicants should dress professionally to leave a good impression. Avoid clothing with distracting patterns or logos.
- Time your responses: Applicants have 60 seconds to respond to each question, so it’s important to practice beforehand and time your responses to ensure that you get your point across within the allotted time.
- Be authentic: The video essay is an opportunity for applicants to showcase their personality and communication skills. It’s important to be authentic and let your personality shine through in your responses while keeping in mind the professional and serious nature of the application.
- Keep in mind the questions’ purpose: While crafting your responses, keep in mind the goal of the essay, which is to learn more about your interest in SIPA and your professional goals. Tie your responses to how SIPA can help you achieve your goals and show your passion for the program.
The Columbia SIPA video essay is an important component of the application process for most SIPA programs. It provides applicants with an opportunity to showcase their creativity and communication skills while demonstrating their interest in SIPA and professional goals. By following the tips highlighted above, applicants can ensure that they leave a positive impression on the admissions committee and increase their chances of being admitted to their desired program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do all SIPA programs require the video essay?
A: No, not all SIPA programs require the video essay. However, it is a mandatory component for most programs, including the Master of Public Administration, Master of International Affairs, and Master of Public Policy.
Q: How long do applicants have to complete the video essay?
A: Applicants have 48 hours to complete the video essay after receiving the notification.
Q: Can applicants redo their video essay if they are not happy with their first attempt?
A: No, applicants cannot redo their video essay. Once it is submitted, it is final. Therefore, applicants should take their time, practice their responses beforehand, and ensure that they are satisfied with their submissions before clicking “submit.”