Degree Programs: Full-Time: M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.
The Department of History offers a comprehensive Ph.D. program in almost every area and period of world history. Its range of intellectual opportunities enables a student to pursue studies in depth in a special field of interest and at the same time gain comparative knowledge in related areas. Those who complete the Ph.D. program teach in major universities throughout the world and work in related fields such as government service and publishing.
Fields of study include Africa, Ancient, Early Modern Europe (1350-1750), East Asia, Sociomedical Sciences, International and Global History, Jewish History, Latin America, Medieval Europe, Middle East, Modern Europe, South Asia, and United States.
Students who work in those fields involving the study of comparative politics or international relations may find it desirable to combine their work in the history department with an area studies program in one of the associated regional institutes. The department also participates in the J.D./Ph.D. program in cooperation with Columbia's School of Law.
Fellowships are awarded in recognition of academic achievement and in expectation of scholarly success. Teaching and research experience are considered an important aspect of the training of doctoral students. Thus, graduate fellowships include some teaching and research apprenticeship.
The curriculum varies considerably from one field to another. Normally, however, requirements for the Ph.D. consist of the following:
- Completing eight to ten courses for credit in the first two years, including at least four graduate colloquia and a full year of work in a research seminar or seminars
- Fulfilling a foreign language requirement
- Passing an oral examination in a major and minor field
- Presenting and defending a dissertation prospectus
- Completing and defending a doctoral dissertation
Few students complete these requirements in less than five years; we strongly encourage all students to finish their degrees in no more than seven years.
Certificate in Comparative Literature and Society
The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS) awards a certificate in Comparative Literature and Society. For more information, see the ICLS website.
In addition to the requirements listed below, all students must submit 1 transcript showing courses and grades per school attended, a Statement of Academic Purpose, a writing sample (a course paper, term paper, etc.) and 3 letters of recommendation from academic sources.
All international students whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree is from an institution in a country whose official language is not English must submit scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS.
Miscellaneous: J.D./Ph.D. available