Students

Good Standing

 

Students in Arts and Sciences programs in the Graduate School must maintain good academic standing in the degree program, good administrative standing in the Graduate School, and continued good progress toward the degree each semester.

For all students, permission to register each term is contingent, in part, on satisfactory progress and performance in the degree program and good administrative standing with the Graduate School.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences holds each student within a particular program to the same academic standards.

 

 

Good Standing in an MA Degree Program

Students in a master’s program in the Graduate School must maintain good academic standing in the degree program, good administrative standing in the Graduate School, and continued good progress toward the degree each semester.

Academic Standing

Good academic standing for MA students includes but is not limited to:

  1. Maintaining consistent contact with their advisor
  2. Maintaining a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0*
  3. Holding no more than one mark of Incomplete at any given time
  4. Meeting other criteria specified by the department 

Departments or programs should communicate explicitly to their students their additional criteria for good academic standing to their students; candidates should be familiar with them. Any questions should be directed to the DGS or program director.  

*Note: The cumulative GPA is derived from all courses in which a student has registered and received a grade, except when the student takes a course again after receiving an F. In such cases, the F received for the original iteration does not count toward the GPA.

Administrative Standing

Students are expected to remain in compliance with all applicable administrative policies and procedures of the university, including those of the Columbia Libraries, University Apartment Housing, and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, as well as the regulations described in Essential Policies for the Columbia Community

Failure to Maintain Good Standing

Consequences for failing to maintain good academic standing, good administrative standing, or good academic progress may include academic or administrative warning, probation, suspension, or dismissal.  Click here for a full description of rules and processes.

Progress and Time to the MA Degree

University Standards

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences adheres to federal regulations requiring that students receiving federal assistance make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the standards set by the university.

Graduate School Standards

The Graduate School considers progress toward the MA degree to be minimally satisfactory when progress is made at a rate that will allow a student to complete the degree within four semesters of full-time study, with the exception of the MA program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology; full-time students in that program must complete the degree within eight consecutive terms of study.  Students in all other MA programs should consult their departments with any questions about what constitutes full-time study.

Students in the master’s programs listed below must pursue the degree through full-time study only:

  • Climate and Society
  • Dental Sciences
  • East Asia: Regional Studies
  • Economics
  • Hispanic Cultural Studies
  • History and Literature
  • International and World History MA/MSc
  • Journalism
  • Political Science

Students in the master’s programs listed below may, over a period of four academic years of registration (eight semesters), pursue the degree part-time or with a combination of full-time and part-time study from semester to semester.  

  • African-American Studies
  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art History and Archaeology
  • Biomedical Informatics
  • Global Thought
  • Oral History
  • Biotechnology
  • Classical Studies
  • Classics
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
  • English and Comparative Literature
  • French and Romance Philology
  • Germanic Languages
  • Human Rights Studies
  • Islamic Studies
  • Italian
  • Jewish Studies
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: Regional Studies
  • Mathematics with a specialization in Mathematics of Finance
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies
  • Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies
  • Modern European Studies
  • Museum Anthropology
  • Philosophical Foundations of Physics
  • Philosophy
  • Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences
  • Religion
  • Russia, Eurasia, and East Europe: Regional Studies
  • Russian Translation
  • Slavic Cultures
  • Slavic Languages
  • Sociology
  • South Asian Studies
  • Statistics
 

 

Good Standing in a PhD Degree Program

Students in a PhD program in the Graduate School must maintain good academic standing in the degree program, good administrative standing in the Graduate School, and continued good progress toward the degree each semester.

Academic Standing

Good academic standing for PhD students includes but is not limited to:

  1. Acquiring an advisor
  2. Maintaining consistent contact with the departmental director of graduate studies and sponsor  
  3. Fulfilling the dissertation prospectus requirement (in the cases in which it applies)
  4. Completing (on SSOL) an annual dissertation progress report upon attaining the MPhil degree
  5. Completing degree requirements and maintaining superior quality of work as determined by the department
  6. Maintaining a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0*
  7. Holding no more than one mark of Incomplete at any given time
  8. Fulfilling pedagogical requirements and responsibilities as designated by the department and GSAS
  9. Meeting other criteria specified by the department 

Departments should communicate explicitly to their students their additional criteria for good academic standing; candidates should be familiar with them. Any questions should be directed to the DGS.

*The cumulative GPA is derived from all courses in which a student has registered and received a grade, except when the student takes a course again after receiving an F. In such cases, the F received for the original iteration does not count toward the GPA.

Administrative Standing

Students are expected to remain in compliance with all applicable administrative policies and procedures of the university, including those of the Columbia Libraries, University Apartment Housing, and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, as well as the regulations described in Essential Policies for the Columbia Community.

Failure to Maintain Good Standing

Consequences for failing to maintain good academic standing, good administrative standing, or good academic progress may include academic or administrative warning, probation, suspension, or dismissal.  Click here for a full description of rules and processes.

Progress and Time to the PhD Degree

University Standards

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences adheres to federal regulations requiring that students receiving federal assistance make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the standards set by the university.

Graduate School Standards

MA

The Graduate School considers progress to be minimally satisfactory when progress is such that a student completes all requirements for the MA degree en route to the PhD within two academic years (four semesters) of registration, not including official leaves of absence or periods of parental accommodation.

MPhil

To maintain satisfactory academic progress, all work for the MPhil degree—including the dissertation prospectus requirement, if relevant—must be completed within four academic years (eight semesters) of registration, not including official leaves of absence or periods of parental accommodation.

If, however, the student holds an appropriate master’s degree from Columbia or another institution and received two Residence Units of advanced standing, all MPhil degree requirements—including the dissertation prospectus requirement, if relevant—must be completed within three academic years (six semesters) of registration.

PhD

Students who entered a PhD program in the Arts and Sciences in Fall 2011 or later are allowed nine years of continuous registration (not including official leaves of absence) to satisfy all requirements for the doctoral degree. Please note that after their seventh year of registration in a PhD program, GSAS students in the Arts and Sciences are not eligible for housing or for funding from GSAS or the Arts and Sciences.

Appeals to Complete beyond the Ninth Year

Students who do not complete all requirements for the doctoral degree by the end of the ninth year of registration (excluding periods of parental accommodation) will no longer be considered to be GSAS PhD degree candidates, and will be notified accordingly in writing by GSAS. Students so notified may appeal this determination within thirty days of receipt of notification. To appeal, a student must do the following:

a) Submit a letter to the dean of GSAS that indicates all the steps he or she will take, with a timetable, to distribute, defend, and deposit the dissertation in at most two additional semesters of candidacy.

b) Submit to the sponsor all chapters and materials produced to date on the dissertation, as well as a copy of the timetable referenced above. After examining the materials, the sponsor should write a letter to GSAS that evaluates the materials received, and that endorses as feasible the timetable provided.

GSAS will review the request and determine either that a) the student be allowed to remain a degree candidate as a registered student for at most two additional semesters; or that b) the student not be allowed to continue as a degree candidate. If the extension is granted but the student does not complete all requirements for the PhD, including the deposit of the dissertation, by the stipulated date, he or she will no longer be considered to be a PhD degree candidate by GSAS. 

Exception for students entering before Fall 2011

Students who entered from Fall 2002 through Fall 2010 and who have not completed all requirements for the doctoral degree by the end of the ninth year of registration (excluding periods of parental accommodation) may request a two-semester final extension to finish all requirements for the degree.  

Students who entered a PhD program in the Arts and Sciences from Fall 2002 through Fall 2010 and who have not registered continuously (and did not receive an approved leave of absence) must reapply for admission in order to return to doctoral study.

 


 

Failure to Maintain Good Standing

Consequences for failing to maintain good academic standing, good administrative standing, or good academic progress may include academic or administrative warning, probation, suspension, or dismissal. Departments and programs advise their students who are not in good standing of corrective steps to take, the deadlines for doing so, and the consequences of failing to remedy the matter. A student who fails to take corrective steps within the specified time limit will be terminated from candidacy for his/her degree. In cases of evident and extreme failure to achieve progress, a student may be dismissed from the degree program without a probationary period.

Additionally, each program maintains its own standards of satisfactory academic progress and corrective procedures, and all students must familiarize themselves with them.

Procedure for Dismissal

If a student's performance continues to be inadequate, the director of graduate studies or faculty member holding a similar position will confer with the GSAS administration, typically the dean of academic affairs, and recommend dismissal. If GSAS accepts the recommendation, the department or program will typically communicate to the student the reasons for the recommendation of dismissal, and GSAS will proceed with the formal termination of candidacy by sending an official letter by email to the student’s Columbia email address, copying relevant faculty and administrators.

The official notification from GSAS will include the effective date of the termination of candidacy for the degree. Dismissal is generally effective immediately or at the end of the then-current semester. However, the department or program may on rare occasions request a later effective date of dismissal if there are compelling reasons to do so.

Appealing the Recommendation to Dismiss

A student may appeal a departmental recommendation to dismiss within ten calendar days of receiving notification from GSAS by writing to the dean of the Graduate School. The letter should explain the grounds for challenging the program's recommendation to dismiss. The student may appeal the decision on only two grounds:

  1. The student has new and relevant information that was unavailable to the department at the time of dismissal.
  2. The student has information about the process that led to the dismissal that could potentially change or affect the outcome of the decision.

The dean will consider the appeal to determine if a modification of the original decision is warranted. The dean will notify the student of the final decision in writing within ten calendar days of the appeal request. There are no further possibilities of appeal beyond the dean of GSAS. A student's university privileges remain in effect until the dismissal is final.