B.A./M.A. Program

The Committee on Global Thought accepts applications for its B.A./M.A. program, which is available only to current Columbia undergraduates (enrolled at Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of General Studies, or Barnard College), who want to add an M.A. in Global Thought to their achievements at Columbia University. BA/MA applicants must apply and receive a deferred admission decision to the M.A. program during their junior or senior year. Students admitted under the B.A./M.A. option may then undertake graduate-level coursework while still undergraduates; that coursework will be later applied to fulfill degree requirements for an MA program after they have graduated from their undergraduate school and enrolled officially at GSAS. Only graduate-level courses taken in excess of the 124-credit requirement for the Columbia or Barnard bachelor’s degree can be applied to the M.A. in Global Thought.

Students interested in the B.A./M.A. option must contact the M.A. Academic Coordinator to determine an appropriate selection of graduate courses during their remaining undergraduate semesters. The M.A. in Global Thought program is interdisciplinary, flexible, and dynamic, building on the core curriculum in global governance, global political economy, and global culture and politics. Students pursue electives in their fields of interest and undertake independent research working with CGT and other Columbia faculty.

What is a B.A./M.A.?

About the program

Columbia University allows students interested in a Master’s degree to begin studies towards that degree while still enrolled as undergraduates. The BA/MA program can save undergraduate students time and money when they transition into graduate school. Credits that students intend to apply toward the M.A. must be at 4000 level (or higher) and cannot be applied to earning an undergraduate degree.

Upon enrollment in GSAS, B.A./M.A. students may be granted up to three courses (9-12 credits) of transfer credit and up to 0.50 RU for graduate courses (4000-level and above) taken in excess of the 124-credit requirement for the Columbia or Barnard bachelor’s degree (i.e., courses that did not count toward undergraduate major, concentration, or general education requirements). Students transferring fewer than 9 credits will be granted a 0.25 RU.

Who Should Apply?

GPA requirement

We expect applicants to apply with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. We partner with admitted applicants to provide advising that identifies courses that fit with the goals of the Global Thought degree.

Why the Global Thought BA/MA?

Student profile

An M.A. is a great transitional tool, which prepares students for a wide range of careers. Alumni have gone on to work in the global corporate and finance worlds, the universe of global goods, NGOs, and non-profits. We offer a great set of tools for developing nuanced understandings of pressing global issues, as well as habits of critical thinking and sophisticated analytical writing.

What Goes Into an Application?

Application requirements

  • Students should follow this link and complete the suitable GSAS application form. In addition to the form, applicants must submit transcripts of undergraduate work, a CV, a writing sample of ten pages, and three letters of recommendation from instructors with a direct knowledge of their academic background and abilities.
  • Students should be able to demonstrate competence in a language other than English – you can present studies as an undergraduate to meet the program requirement for intermediate competence.
  • Scores on a GRE exam.
  • A statement of academic purpose that explains the applicant’s interest in the Global Thought degree and its contribution to their long-term career goals. Statements must also explain how the BA/MA study period will complement the student’s undergraduate studies.

When Can I Apply?

Application deadline

We will consider applicants in their Junior or Senior year in any major who apply by the GSAS April deadline for Fall admissions.