Change of Program

A student who is currently registered in a program at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences may request a change of program:

  • from one PhD program to another PhD program
  • from a PhD program to a master's program
  • from one master's program to another master's program

Note: A change of program from an MA program to a PhD program is not permitted; master’s students who seek admission to a doctoral program must formally apply during the annual doctoral application cycle. Students wishing to change to a program at another school of the university must submit a formal application for admission.

To apply for a change of program, the student must contact the program director or director of graduate studies of the new program and ask to be considered for a transfer. If they agree to consider the student, the new program should contact the GSAS Office of Admissions for the student's application to the original program. They may also require directly from the student a transcript of all courses completed since the original application, as well as a new statement of purpose and/or writing sample. After these materials are reviewed by a faculty committee in the proposed new program, and the recommendation reviewed with GSAS, the student will be formally notified of the decision. Final approval for such requests is made solely at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate School and the faculty of the program to which the student is seeking to transfer.

Change of program requests cannot be made within the first semester of enrollment.

Once the change of program request is approved, the student will be unregistered from the original program and enrolled in the new one.

PhD fellows who wish to change to another PhD program should consult with the faculty of the new program before formally applying. Depending on the student’s year of registration, the original PhD fellowship may or may not be transferred to the new program. GSAS will review with the faculty of the new program whether the student is eligible to transfer the fellowship from the original program, or if the new department must commit to funding the balance of the student’s guaranteed funding package.  If a PhD student changes to another PhD program within his or her first two years, the receiving program must use one admissions allocation for that student.