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LSE/Columbia University (SIPA) Double Degree: Master of Public Administration

Closed for 2024 entry. Applications deadline 17 March 2024.

Students have an outstanding opportunity to study at two world-leading universities in London and New York. 

The Double Master of Public Administration (MPA) offers students the unique opportunity to study at two internationally renowned institutions, the LSE’s School of Public Policy, and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). The double degree candidates will profit from the extensive resources available in London and New York City, as well as the global reach of the combined alumni networks of both schools. Throughout the two-year programme students will develop essential skills in core disciplines of public policy and will benefit from the resources, networks and opportunities of two historic institutions in the vibrant cities of London and New York.  

In their first year of study, students will experience being a part of LSE’s international community in the heart of London. They will draw upon the unique institutional strengths of LSE’s School of Public Policy to develop key skills in political science, economics and quantitative analysis alongside an understanding of the philosophical principles underlying good public policy. Students will complete their first year equipped with the skills and practical tools to be able to confidently analyse and address real-world policy challenges.  

The second year at SIPA will build upon the methodological skills gained at LSE and provide students with the substantive knowledge of a policy concentration. Through the completion of a Capstone Project, students will have the opportunity to gain professional experience and apply their learnings to a real-world problem in policy and management. Students will work in teams of 6-8 students to provide external clients with innovative analysis and practical recommendations based on the skills learned throughout their studies at LSE and Columbia University.

As they advance in their career, graduates will benefit from the expertise, resources and international alumni networks of both prestigious institutions and will be equipped with the skills and experience to confidently engage with complex policy issues in national and global policy making.  

Key features: 

  • Study at two prestigious institutions in two international cities – Year One at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Year Two at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in New York.   
  • Academic core skills (Year 1 - LSE) - rigorous empirical training, particularly in micro- and macro-economics, political science and quantitative methods of analysis. 
  • Concentrations and specializations (Year 2 – SIPA) – Students will tailor their learning by selecting a policy concentration and specialisation focused on a skill or area of specialised knowledge from the broad curriculum.
  • Capstone Project (Year 2 - SIPA) - an opportunity to engage on a live consulting project with external clients where students practically apply their learnings and work on a real-world policy challenge.
  • With diverse, international student bodies at both institutions, students benefit from being exposed to a range of different perspectives and the opportunity to be a part of an international community with alumni in over 150 countries.

Opportunity to apply for a post-study work visa in the U.S. -  After graduation, students on F-1 visas can apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) which will permit them to remain in the U.S. and work in their field of study for up to 12 months. Students who pursue a STEM  (Science, Technology and Mathematics) designated degree (the combined curriculum of the International Finance and Economic Policy concentration and the Data Analytics and Quantitative Analysis specialization in the Econometrics and Quantitative Economics field or the combined curriculum of the Energy and Environment concentration and the Data Analytics and Quantitative Analysis specialization in the Environmental Studies field) are eligible to apply for up to three years of OPT through work experience in the U.S. after finishing their degree. 

Key Facts

Applications open: Mid-October 2023 for September 2024 intake
Start date: September 2024
Application deadline:

17 March 2024

Applicants will need to submit a complete application, including documents and complete referennces by this date. See 'The application process' section below

Offers will be made on a rolling basis and we encourage applicants to apply as early as possible before the deadline 

Duration 21 months full-time only
Applications 2022: 189
Intake 2022: 18
Tuition Fee: Year one: £30,792 (2024 entry) 
Year two:  View Columbia fee webpages for full details regarding fees and supplementary costs (provisional)
Financial support

Graduate support scheme (see fees and funding pages)

Eligibility for SIPA Assistantships in Year 2 which are awarded to selected second year students in the form of salary

Minimum entry requirement

2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline.

There is no formal requirement for previous professional work experience, but students starting the LSE MPA would normally have one year of professional experience and many would have two or more years of experience. 

GRE/GMAT Requirement: None

English Language requirement: Higher (see assessing your application)


Year one: London, UK

Year Two: New York City, USA

Who should apply

Minimum entry requirement

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in any discipline.

English language requirement: 'Higher' - see English language requirements

Information for international students

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest and refer to our Information for International students page where you can view entry requirement by country. 

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

The application process

When to apply

Application deadline: 17 March 2024

To be considered for the programme applicants will need to submit a complete application for admission to LSE by the deadline of 17 March 2024. A complete application for admission means that the programme application has been submitted, all necessary documents have been uploaded, the application assessment fee has been paid and both referees have replied to their reference requests.

Please note that submitted applications will be considered prior to the closing date, so we encourage applicants to submit their application as early as possible.  

How to apply

Applicants for this programme will need to apply for the LSE/Columbia MPA double degree programme directly via the LSE application process. Applicants cannot be considered for the double degree programme by submitting an application for the individual LSE or Columbia MPA programmes.

LSE's 'How to apply' webpages guide you through the application process and link to the application form.

You can also view the Application Top Tips information by Kathryn Ward, Graduate Admissions Premium Service Manager, on how you can make the most of your application.

Applicants do not need to apply separately for the MPA programmes at both universities to be considered for the double degree programme. However applicants may apply simultaneously for the 2-year LSE MPA and LSE/SIPA MPA double degree programme if the LSE/SIPA MPA double degree programme is selected as first choice. 

Applicants may also apply simultaneously to both the 2-year SIPA MIA/MPA programs and the LSE/SIPA MPA double degree programme. Students interested in applying to SIPA MIA/MPA degree programs, must complete a separate application found on Columbia SIPA website

How your application will be assessed

All applications are considered by an admissions panel composed of representatives from both LSE and Columbia SIPA. 

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

  • academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
  • relevant professional experience
  • statement of academic purpose
  • two references
  • CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

Data sharing

Double degrees and certain other degrees and scholarships require that LSE shares personal data with another university or partner. In our agreements we will use the School’s standard data sharing template for universities and partners in the EU and EEA and in an adequate countryStandard contract clauses will be used for any other country. If you have any questions about this or how your personal data will be treated by LSE, please contact the Data Protection Officer, Rachael Maguire, via or check our Student Privacy Notice.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees 2024/25 

Year one (LSE): £30,792 (2024/25) 
Year two (Columbia - SIPA): View Columbia fees webpages for detailed information regarding fees and additional supplementary costs (provisional)

The LSE Table of Fees shows the latest tuition amounts for all programmes offered by the School.

Funding for first year at London School of Economics & Political Science

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The year one LSE fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Fee status

For this programme, the LSE tuition fee is the same for all students regardless of their fee status. However, any financial support you are eligible for will depend on whether you are classified as a home or as an overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information about fee status classification.

Fee reductions

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Scholarships and other funding

Funding for the first year at LSE

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards, and Anniversary Scholarships. You must apply for these needs-based awards from LSE, during your first year of study. Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an offer for a place and submitting a Graduate Financial Support application, before the funding deadline. Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 25 April 2024.

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas. Find out more about financial support.

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Funding for the second year at Columbia University (SIPA)

View Columbia fees webpages for detailed information regarding fees and supplementary costs (provisional).

There is a scholarship application process, which opens in the summer prior to the year of matriculation at SIPA. Students are strongly encouraged to seek external funding as funding at SIPA is limited and not guaranteed. Information about other sources of funding is available on SIPA's Office of Financial Aid website

Students may be eligibile for SIPA Assistantships. Find out more information: or

Curriculum overview

Preparation before your arrival

Prior to your arrival at LSE you will receive details about optional readings and online learning materials which are designed to help you to prepare for the programme. 

MPA Double Degree Welcome & Introductory Teaching 

From mid-September (exact date TBC) you will need to attend MPA Double Degree welcome events and introductory teaching sessions. These will take place prior to the start of the LSE Autumn Term dates. The welcome sessions include campus enrolment, a programme introduction and compulsory introductory teaching in mathematics and statistics.

If you have not studied mathematics and statistics for some time, the introductory teaching provides a challenging but accessible introduction to some of the key skills and techniques required for the degree. For other students, it serves as a refresher course.

London School of Economics and Political Science - Year one

In the first year, you will take three compulsory courses, in micro- and macro-economics, political science and public policy and quantitative approaches and policy analysis. These provide a rigorous foundation to support you during the rest of the degree. 

MPA DD Columbia Graphic

Enlarge image to view

Micro and Macro Economics for Public Policy 
You will learn macro- and micro- economic concepts, models and methods suitable for appraising policy, applicable in a wide variety of contexts. This includes the study of demand and supply, the labour market, public goods, market failure, inflation and monetary policy, fiscal policy and debt, and exchange rates. 

Political Science and Public Policy
You will learn concepts and models for understanding the behaviour of political actors and why they lead to particular outcomes. This includes the study of voting, political parties, interest groups, legislative politics, corruption, democratisation and ethnic conflict. These tools are essential for designing policy interventions to achieve desired future outcomes. 

Quantitative Approaches and Policy Analysis
You will learn skills for the quantitative evaluation of public policies, such as causal relationships; randomised control trials; difference-in-difference estimation; instrumental variables; regression discontinuity designs and cost-benefit analysis.

You are also required to choose one unit of courses from a list of choices to further develop core skills but in a direction you choose – see below. Your choice of option courses (electives) should be based on your academic strengths and interests.

Course options/electives: Courses to the value of one unit from the following course options.

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant LSE School Calendar page  

Columbia University - School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) - Year 2 

Concentration and Specialization courses

All students have to choose one concentration, consisting of five courses and one specialization, consisting of three courses. Students can choose to concentrate in either

Economic and Political Development

Energy and Environment

Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy

International Finance and Economic Policy

International Security Policy

Urban and Social Policy.

The list of specializations can be found at the following link:

Your second year curriculum will be dependent on what you choose to concentrate and specialize in.

Capstone Workshop

All students are required to enrol in a faculty-supervised Capstone workshop which give them an opportunity to put learning into practice.

More information can be found here:


Most courses are assessed with a combination of exams, written assignments, class participation, and group projects depending on what is best suited to the subject matter.

LSE Year one- You must note that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.
You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Class profile

Our LSE SPP degree programmes attract a highly diverse range of students from all over the globe. In 2022 we welcomed an intake of 350 students representing 50+ nationalities.

The LSE SPP offers three MPA double degree programmes with partner schools, Columbia SIPA, Toronto University and Sciences Po. Our MPA double degrees are a special cohort of approx 15 students per partner school programme. They benefit from belonging to a smaller cohort whilst also learning alongside our larger MPA cohort of 90 students.  

There is no formal work experience requirement, however our students have a wide range of prior experience. Our MPA students have an average of 3.5 years' working experience.

We welcome students from wide-ranging areas of expertise including economics, law, social sciences, political science, business and international relations.   

Their combined experience encourages a reflective approach to study that draws on skills and experience gained prior to the programme. This diversity is a major strength, providing many different national, economic and societal perspectives to problems and solutions of public policy.

Student Life

School of Public Policy student groups, networks and development opportunities:

Association of Public Policy Students (APPS)

The Association of Public Policy Students (APPS) is an elected body of SPP students that serve as a resource for the student community. Throughout the academic year, the APPS’s numerous committees and initiatives provide opportunities for students to engage with other classmates in professional and social activities.

Turner MBA Investment Impact Network and Training (MIINT)

The Turner MBA Investment Impact Network and Training (MIINT) Competition gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in impact investing by sourcing and conducting due diligence on real-world, early-stage impact investment opportunities. The MIINT is supported by LSE's Marshall Institute. Find out more about the experience from our 2022 participants.  

Global Public Policy Network (GPPN)

The Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) is a partnership between 7 prestigious universities in public policy. GPPN is a platform for institutional partnership, research collaboration, and student exchange. Members of the GPPN have organised an annual international conference for the students and deans from member schools to meet and discuss pressing issues of global public policy. GPPN members have also established exchange and dual degrees programs, allowing students to benefit from this international network of the most prestigious public affairs schools in the world.

Womxn’s Network

The School of Public Policy’s (SPP) Womxn’s Network is a student-run organisation focused on the advancement and empowerment of students within the SPP and broader LSE community who are marginalised by the intersectionalities of gender and/or sexuality. The Network aims to further encourage the inclusion of marginalised voices within policymaking through various events and forums designed to promote learning and open discussion.

Public Sphere Journal (PSJ)

The Public Sphere Journal (PSJ) is a journal of international policy studies produced by SPP students which features evidence-based research in economic policy, public management, international affairs, development studies and social policy. The PSJ offers students an opportunity to combine their unique professional and personal experiences to create a journal of international policy studies, from the initial call for papers through to the print and launch.  

Policy in Practice (PiP) seminars

We run regular seminars through the year to connect you with policy practitioners in a range of fields, either to learn more about the work of particular organisations and sectors or to develop new skills. These seminars provide students with an opportunity to connect classroom learning to real world scenarios. 

SPP Professional Skills Accelerator

The SPP also offers an extensive and tailored programme of Professional Skills for Public Policy which is especially designed to complement the skills and insights that you gain as part of your programme curriculum and equip you with the necessary skills for the next step in your career.  

You will benefit from a series of training workshops with experienced practitioners and experts in key areas of professional development such as leadership, negotiation and persuasive communication.

LSE student societies and activities

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in extracurricular activities. From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from.

Life in London 

As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective. 

LSE is based on one campus in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community. 

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more. 

Want to find out more? Read why we think London is a fantastic student city, find out about key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners. Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about London on a budget

Studying at Columbia University (SIPA)  (Year 2)

SIPA Students

SIPA students and faculty come from nearly 100 countries, with approximately half of the student body from overseas. Varied student organizations like the Columbia SIPA Veterans Association, SIPA Pan-African Network, and Gender Policy Working Group provide opportunities for intellectual exploration, social activities, and more.

Find out more about SIPA students

Life in New York City

Renowned for its parks, theatres, museums, restaurants, and cultural events, New York City is an incredibly exciting and dynamic place to live. Exploring the city is one of the great joys of being part of the Columbia community.

As a student at Columbia University you'll participate in a practicum designed to meet the needs of real-world clients. You'll hear from visiting heads of state, government leaders, and business executives. You can gain experience during the semester as an intern—at the United Nations, a major private company, or a small non-profit organization. In New York City and around the world, SIPA students see the impact of public policy and apply the lessons to the next challenge. 

One of the integral functions of the Office of Student Affairs at SIPA is supporting and facilitating co-curricular activities and opportunities which will enhance your life on campus. A vibrant array of student groups organize programming on a variety of issues in international and public affairs, along with social events and community service. Learn about SIPA networking resources, publications, and campus services that will add value to your graduate school experience. Find out more here.

Career Support

Support for your career

The LSE-Columbia (SIPA) MPA double degree provides students with the opportunity to develop professional skills and experience to give them a head start over other graduates in seeking post-study employment in a relevant sector. The double degree is an excellent career decision with many global employers attracted to both the intellectual rigour and the practical applications of the course. The degree equips professionals with the skills to make an immediate impact for employers in the public sector, private companies, non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations around the world.

Students will benefit from the careers support, resources and networks of both prestigious institutions. 

London School of Economics and Political Science

LSE Careers Consultants make sure that you get the best possible support in developing your career plans during your time studying. Whether you know already the career you are aiming for, or simply the general direction you want they can help guide and develop your ideas to present your skills and experience to employers in the best possible way.

In particular students at LSE have access to:

  • careers discussions with the School of Public Policy's Careers Consultant
  • a weekly Careers newsletter, compiled by a student employee, with relevant short-term and long-term opportunities
  • Discussions to employers including through visits to offices to discuss career options and learn about different employment sectors
  • specialist careers seminars run by LSE Careers, including sessions on CVs and cover letters, career management, networking, interviews and advice specific to particular employment sectors
  • access to LSE Careerhub, with thousands of short-term and long-term opportunities including internships

SPP Professional Skills Accelerator

The SPP also offers an extensive and tailored programme of Professional Skills for Public Policy which is especially designed to complement the skills and insights that you gain as part of your programme curriculum and equip you with the necessary skills for the next step in your career.  

You will benefit from a series of training workshops with experienced practitioners and experts in key areas of professional development such as leadership, negotiation and persuasive communication.

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year. LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available.

Columbia University - School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)

Through career advising, a professional development course, career events, recruitment and employer outreach programs, and networking opportunities, the Career Advancement Center provides students and alumni with the necessary tools to successfully manage their professional development throughout their careers.

Find out more about careers support and resources at SIPA: Career Advancement Center | Columbia SIPA

Events and Contact Us

Upcoming SPP Events

Information for events in 2024 will be available soon.

Past Events

SPP Programmes Overview - 13 November 2023
View presentation slides

Information Events

SPP Programme Information Sessions

Throughout the year we will be hosting online SPP programme information sessions for prospective students. These sessions provide an opportunity for prospective students to interact with our faculty and students to find out more about a specific SPP programme.

Details of upcoming sessions can be found on our website and we also encourage you to register your interest to hear more about our upcoming sessions.

LSE information events and videos

LSE also have a number of webinars, videos, student blogs and student video diaries which will help you gain an insight into what it's like to study more broadly at LSE  Experience LSE from home

LSE representatives also travel around the world to meet with prospective students at information fairs and events Find details on LSE's upcoming visits

Visit LSE

Come on a guided campus tour, attend an undergraduate open day, drop into our office or go on a self-guided tour. Find out about opportunities to visit LSE

Contact us

Admissions queries:

LSE Graduate Admissions Knowledge Base (An online resource for quick answers)

For applicants and offer holders (please state LSE ID in message title)

Fees and Funding queries: Visit LSE Financial Support Office webpages

Visa queries: Visit LSE Student Advice and Engagement webpages

Year 1 programme (LSE) queries: Email:

Year 2 programme (Columbia SIPA) queries Email: Alleyne Waysome or Urbano Garza

Connect with us

You can find out more about SPP activities, faculty news, upcoming events and student life by connecting with us on social media:

LSE SPP Linkedin LSE School of Public Policy

LSE SPP Instagram @lsepublicpolicy

LSE SPP X/Twitter @lsepublicpolicy