The non-degree Certification of Professional Achievement in United Nations Studies, offered by Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and School of Professional Studies, conveys the basic analytical issues, theoretical approaches, history, and policy debates in international relations and the UN.
Many program faculty teach in degree programs at SIPA in addition to holding high-level posts in agencies including the UNDP and the UN Security Council.
The certification is ideal for those who are looking to increase their understanding of the history, inner workings, and challenges associated with the UN’s role in the world today, whether they are recent college graduates who seek graduate preparation in the field or experienced professionals looking for career enhancement or personal enrichment. Advanced undergraduates with strong academic records and a foundation in political science and international studies are also eligible to apply. See eligibility requirements below.
Students wishing to complete a certification must take the following courses:
- INAF S6569. The UN and Development
- INAF S6554. The United Nations and the Challenges of Peace Building
- INAF S6559. The UN and the Maintenance of International Peace and Security
- INAF S6552. The United Nations and Human Rights
Please visit the courses page for detailed course descriptions for all International Affairs offerings.
The four required courses may be taken in one summer or divided between two. Students are required to maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 (B). Every course creditable toward the certification must be taken for a letter grade. Courses with a grade below a C will not count toward the completion of the certification.
- This certification program is offered at the graduate level. Undergraduate students are eligible to apply if they are rising juniors or seniors and have strong academic records and a foundation in political science and/or international studies.
- Current Columbia students are not eligible to earn the certification while enrolled in a degree program; however, they are eligible to take the individual courses for credit.
- B40U.S. bachelor’s degree or international equivalent. If your post-secondary credentials are from an institution outside the United States, the Office of Admissions requires you to submit all post-secondary credentials (undergraduate and graduate) to World Education Services, Inc. (WES), a third-party verification agency for a course-by-course evaluation for admission consideration. The Office of Admissions will use the credential evaluation provided by WES to determine if your undergraduate degree is the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree.
- Students must be comfortable with rapid and idiomatic spoken English. Please review the English language proficiency details for your program of interest to determine if proof of English language proficiency is required. To be considered for admission, applicants required to provide test scores must have a minimum TOEFL score of 100 (600 paper-based) or receive a 7.0 or higher on the IELTS.
- Demonstrated ability for critical thinking and analysis
- Strong written and oral communication skills
Meet with an Admissions Counselor
Are you a prospective student interested in learning additional information about this program? Schedule an on-campus or phone appointment with an Admissions Counselor online.
Appointment Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., ET, Monday - Friday
If you are near campus and would like general information about the admissions process, you may speak with an available Admissions Counselor during our office walk-in hours listed below.
Walk-In Hours: 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., ET (15-minute sessions), Monday - Thursday
If you are a current student or an admitted student starting next term, contact a member of our SPS Student Advising Team for information and guidance.
Application Document Submission and Application Processing Questions
Mailing Address and Campus Location
Office of Enrollment Management
School of Professional Studies
203 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902
Office hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.