Requirements for the PhD and DMA Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

The degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) are the university’s highest degrees. Study for the PhD and DMA is full time only. Students who wish to earn the PhD degree must have earned the MPhil degree at Columbia and must prepare, defend, and deposit a dissertation in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (for more information see Dissertation Office). Students must also fulfill satisfactorily the requirements of their department or PhD program.

The doctoral program in Music Composition does not include the MPhil degree. Students who wish to earn the DMA degree must prepare, defend, and deposit a dissertation in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (for more information see Dissertation Office). Students must also fulfill satisfactorily the DMA requirements of the Department of Music.

Students pursuing either degree must satisfy rules pertaining to time limits as stated in Satisfactory Academic Progress and the Nine-Year Policy for Time to the PhD Degree.

Instructional Requirement for Doctoral Students

As part of the academic requirements for conferral of the degree, all students in the thirty Arts and Sciences PhD programs must fulfill a one-year GSAS teaching requirement that must be completed in their first four years of residence (three years for students admitted with advanced standing) or before receipt of the MPhil degree, whichever should come first. Students are usually appointed as teaching fellows while they fulfill the requirement. It is expected that students will fulfill the instructional requirement in consecutive semesters of an academic year; exceptions based on compelling academic or professional reasons must be approved by the Office of the Dean.

Students who receive GSAS multiyear fellowships must typically teach for two more years as a condition of their fellowship support, as indicated in their official letter of admission from the dean of the Graduate School.

PhD Extra Muros

By decision of the Executive Committee of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the PhD will no longer be granted for work completed when not in residence at Columbia.