Students who do well in the free-standing M.A. program will be in a good position to apply to Ph.D. programs. However, the free-standing M.A. program in Philosophy at Columbia is not intended as the first step toward earning a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Columbia. M.A. students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. should plan to apply to Ph.D. programs at other universities. Any M.A. student who wishes to pursue a Ph.D. at Columbia must apply separately to the Ph.D. program; they will be evaluated competitively with all of the other applications we receive. There is no guarantee that they will be admitted to the Ph.D. program, nor should there be any expectation that their chances of being admitted are improved by the fact of having obtained an M.A. degree in the Department.
Students who are pursuing the M.A. in order to enhance their chances of being admitted to a Ph.D. program should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies about how best to pursue that goal. Usually, it is wise to plan two years for the M.A. rather than one. That will allow more time to produce a record at Columbia, and to become known by the faculty members from whom they will be requesting letters of recommendation. If there are financial or personal reasons for trying to complete the degree within one year, we advise students to wait until after they have completed the M.A. before applying to Ph.D. programs.
At least 30 points of coursework must be earned at the G4000-level or above. Of these, at least 18 points must qualify for E-credit (a passing letter grade), including at least two G9000-level seminars; the remaining points may be taken for R-credit (Registration credit).
At least 3 points of E-credit must be earned in each of the following three distribution groups:
A complete application includes: transcripts of all previous post-secondary educationa statement of academic purposea curriculum vitae or résuméthree letters of recommendation from academic sourcesGRE scorespayment of the application fee English Language Requirements IELTS band: 7.5 TOEFL paper-based test score : 600 TOEFL iBT® test: 100
Due to budgetary constraints, the Department is not able to offer financial aid to students enrolled in the free-standing M.A. program. However, during the second Residence Unit, some aid in the form of a small stipend and tuition remission may be available for students who qualify for a program assistantship, serving as graders in certain courses offered by the Department. In addition, some students may qualify for fellowships from external sources, and it is wise to investigate as many such sources as possible.