Graduate Handbook

The M.A. and Master's Thesis

To proceed in the program, students without Advanced Standing status must complete the requirements for and apply for the M.A. Degree by the end of the fourth semester. The requirements for the M.A. are the completion of six courses for credit, passing one language examination, and the submission of a Master's Essay. These requirements are normally met during the first year. Students who have not fulfilled these requirements by the end of the fourth semester may be removed from the program.

Students normally use a paper written in a research seminar as the Master's Essay, although the precise nature of the work should be discussed with the student's advisor. Students must submit a copy of the Master's Essay to the Graduate Administrator. The Essay must include a title page with the student's name, the advisor's name and signature, the date, the title of the essay, and the following statement: "This essay is submitted to the Columbia University History Department in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts." Master's Essays should not exceed 50 pages.

Announcements about application deadlines for the M.A. Degree are sent to all students via e-mail several weeks prior to the deadline. The degree application must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by following this link:

The deadlines are as follows:

If you are graduating in... Then you apply by...
October August 1st
February November 1st
May December 1st

The Master's Essay must be deposited with the Graduate Administrator two weeks before the degree date.

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