Summer/Winter School

Certification of Professional Achievement in United Nations Studies

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, delivers knowledge on the basic analytical issues, theoretical approaches, history, and policy debates in international relations and the UN.

A number of efficient program faculties will be mentoring in degree programs at SIPA in addition to holding high-level posts in agencies including the UNDP and the UN Security Council.

This program is an ideal opportunity in degree programs at SIPA in addition to holding high-level posts in agencies including the UNDP and the UN Security Council, whether they are recent college graduates who seek graduate preparation in the field or experienced professionals looking for career enhancement or personal development.


The following courses must be taken by the students wishing to complete the certification:

  1. INAF S6569. The UN and Development
  2. INAF S6554. The United Nations and the Challenges of Peace Building
  3. INAF S6559. The UN and the Maintenance of International Peace and Security
  4. INAF S6552. The United Nations and Human Rights

Please visit the official link 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.


 United States


  • A great opportunity to get mentored by efficient program faculties.
  • An ideal chance to increase understanding of the history, inner workings, and challenges associated with the UN’s role in the world today.
  • Conveys basic analytical issues, theoretical approaches, history, and policy debates in international relations and the UN.


  • Undergraduate students are eligible to apply if they are rising juniors or seniors and have well built 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 may take the individual courses for credit.
  • Students enrolled in (or on leave from) a degree program at SIPA are not eligible to receive the certificate. The SIPA students who wish to take classes associated with the certificate, must first take the consultation of their assigned academic advisor for guidance and approval. A person who earns the certificate and then later enrolls in a degree program at SIPA may not count any of the certificate courses towards the SIPA degree.
  • 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.
  • Application Accommodations: Applicants affected by special hardships (e.g. closed testing centers, closed educational institutions) may request application accommodations by emailing the Office of Admissions at [email protected]
  • Students must be efficient in spoken English. 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.
    • If you are unable to provide official scores on the TOEFL or IELTS due to the closing of testing centers, you may submit a request to use the DET Duolingo English Test in order to demonstrate English proficiency. Applicant DET Duolingo English Test scores must meet the Columbia SPS minimum requirement of 120. Applicants may also be asked to complete an interview using a video conferencing tool
  • Demonstrated ability for critical thinking and analysis
  • Strong written and oral communication skills

Eligible Regions: Open for all


Mark Griffith

Phd student. I am researching: Scholarships, Fellowships, interships, workshops, volunteers, government subsidies etc.

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  1. Hi there, every time i used to check web site posts
    here in the early hours in the daylight, because
    i love to learn more and more.

  2. Grateful for your work and support of this great program, which continues to change lives in our community every day! As always, my very best wishes to you and yours!

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