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The MA in Global Thought prepares students to tackle complex global issues in the classroom, future workplaces, and the public sphere.

The MA in Global Thought is an interdisciplinary degree that challenges students to explore new concepts and questions to explain the complexities of our interconnected and changing world. This distinctive MA is offered by the Committee on Global Thought (CGT), which includes more than thirty renowned scholars drawn from departments and schools across Columbia University.

Global Thought students learn to ask critical questions rather than offer prescriptive answers to global problems. The curriculum is designed to respond directly to the urgency of our global moment and to students’ most pressing interests and concerns. Through exposure to faculty and experts from a wide range of experiences and disciplinary backgrounds, and by learning from each other, students are encouraged to embrace curiosity, nuance, and open-ended thought. This unique degree creates a space where students have permission to think capaciously while also developing expertise in their area of interest. Students in the Global Thought cohort are drawn from all over the world and from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds in the social sciences, humanities, and STEM fields. Students will come away from their year at CGT with a transformed understanding of the world and their own place in it.

What is Global Thought?

Global Thought is an open-ended approach to exploring questions that demand perspectives across disciplines and borders. It challenges us to think differently, think globally, and think creatively in order to understand and address the complexities of our interconnected and ever-changing world.

Students come to Global Thought from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds.

The Degree

The intensive two-semester, nine-month program provides rigorous academic training through the Global Thought Core, as well as a wide range of electives tailored to students’ individual intellectual and professional interests. The Core includes a two-semester MA seminar and three interdisciplinary courses that provide a foundational knowledge of global governance, political economy, and culture. In the MA seminar, students become familiar with diverse methods of academic inquiry, are introduced to the cutting edge research produced by Columbia faculty and outside experts, and conduct their own original research projects culminating in an article-length essay. Students also take electives from across Columbia’s many graduate schools. Throughout their time at CGT, they will receive unparalleled personalized advising and support from staff and faculty, who are invested in creating an enduring community of students and alumni. Partial scholarships are available based on need and merit.

The Global Thought program is customizable, interdisciplinary, and globally diverse

Global Columbia

Located in the diverse and vibrant neighborhood of Morningside Heights in New York City, Columbia has led the effort to reimagine the university for a globalizing world. The Committee on Global Thought, established in 2006, brings together scholars to seek new analytic categories and concepts to comprehend global processes, crises, and approaches to the world’s multidimensional challenges. Students benefit from access to CGT faculty as well as Columbia’s resources in its academic and professional schools, expansive library collections, a full calendar of campus events, and intellectual and cultural opportunities in New York.

A Career Without Borders

Graduates are prepared for a wide range of careers in government, civil society, academia, and the private sector. It is neither a professional nor a vocational degree but an intellectual foundation for transnational and interdisciplinary approaches to thinking about and working effectively in the world.

To learn more about professional development opportunities available through CGT, click here. 

  • Program Manager, TikTok, Singapore
  • Senior Analyst, U.S. Military, Washington DC, USA
  • Analyst, Think Tank EUROPA, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Head of Programming, UN Global Compact Network, New York, USA
  • Data Policy Fellow, Data Foundation, Washington DC, USA
  • Media Officer, Ministry of Justice, London, UK
  • Senior Associate, UNICEF USA, New York, USA
  • Naval Officer, Republic of Singapore
  • Trading Risk Governance, Morgan Stanley
  • PhD student in Sociology, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
  • Associate Corporate Lawyer, Good mans LLP, Toronto, Canada
  • US Correspondent, Die Presse, New York, USA
  • Communications Manager, The Brookings Institution, Washington DC, USA
  • Associate, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, London, UK
  • Senior Intelligence Officer, Graphika, Los Angeles, USA
  • Program Support Manager, International Organization for Migration, Kabul, Afghanistan