Requirements for the M.Phil. Degree


The degree of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) is conferred upon a student who has fulfilled all Ph.D. requirements except the dissertation. Study for the M.Phil. is full-time only.

For conferral of the M.Phil., the Graduate School requires the completion of all requirements for the M.A. degree (or two Residence Units of advanced standing), plus four additional Residence Units earned at Columbia. Through course work and qualifying examinations, each student must demonstrate that a satisfactory level of competence in the discipline has been achieved. Students must complete the instructional requirements for doctoral students, and are responsible for any language or other special requirements; students should consult their Director of Graduate Studies for the specific requirements of each program.

Students are required to complete all work and receive grades for all courses with the mark of Incomplete (IN) or Credit Pending (CP) before receiving the M.Phil., whether or not the course is a requirement for the degree.

To maintain satisfactory academic progress, all work for the degree must be completed in eight semesters of registration, unless the student receives two Residence Units of advanced standing, in which case all degree requirements must be completed in six semesters. This time limit for the M.Phil. applies to students entering Ph.D. programs who already hold appropriate Master’s degrees from Columbia or from other institutions.

In addition, doctoral students whose programs require a dissertation prospectus or proposal must defend it successfully within eight semesters of first enrolling in their doctoral program. (Students with two Residence Units of advanced standing must defend successfully within six semesters.)

Once all requirements have been completed, the student should submit an application for the M.Phil. degree (.pdf) to the DGS. The DGS must then sign the form and submit it to the GSAS Dissertation Office by the deadline that corresponds to the intended degree conferral date. Degrees are awarded three times a year—in October, February, and May—and each degree conferral date has a corresponding application deadline.