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Columbia University Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Mar 
International :15 Mar 

MA International and World History

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

2 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

76752 USD
76752 USD

Application fee

International 105 USD
National 105 USD
Graduate school of Arts and Sciences
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
GRE (avg)315

World University Ranking

About this course

The world is more interconnected than ever. Join leading historians to study how we arrived here. An innovative curriculum includes a two-year sequence of reading and research seminars, interdisciplinary electives, and intensive foreign language training, providing the students with new frameworks and tools to understand the transnational forces that have shaped our world: migration, trade, war, technology, epidemic disease, and environmental change. At the heart of the program is the two-year dissertation, an original scholarly work based on empirical research and analysis.

Students spend the first year in New York and the second year in London and receive degrees from both institutions. Immersed in the vibrant intellectual communities of two of the world’s great cities, graduates are prepared for careers in government, journalism, think tanks, NGOs, and academia.

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Eligibility Criteria

The dual Master’s degree program in International and World History welcomes applicants from all academic and professional backgrounds. Students are selected for admission based on their academic and professional pursuits, in addition to their unique interests and life experiences.

Students in our program have backgrounds in history as well as a wide range of other academic fields including comparative literature, philosophy, anthropology, area studies, political science, journalism and business. Students with backgrounds outside of the humanities and social sciences are also welcome to apply, so long as their Statement of Purpose explains why they wish to study history.

Although work experience is considered desirable, the program will also accept students who are currently finishing their undergraduate studies. Students with previous master’s degrees are welcome to apply, although the majority of incoming students are likely not to have a degree beyond the Bachelor’s degree. 

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Course Modules

At the heart of the program is the two-year dissertation (a master’s thesis in the American system), a piece of original scholarly work based on detailed empirical research and analysis. The dissertation is supported by a sequence of three core courses taken at Columbia and LSE, as well as a large range of electives that allow for specialization. Rigorous language study is also an important component of the curriculum as it enables projects that are international in nature. 

The two-year core sequence begins with Approaches to International and Global History (HIST GR8930), which introduces the conceptual possibilities and problems of international and world history, and the year-long MA/MSc Research Skills and Methods (HISTGR5000). The latter is a series of practical workshops that help students develop their dissertation topics and begin their research. At LSE, students enroll in their final core course, a year-long Dissertation Workshop (HY458), designed to help students write their dissertations as well as think about where they would like to take their careers after their time in the program has finished. 

During the summer between the years in New York and London, students are expected to work on their dissertations. The long summer (4 1/2 months) provides students with an opportunity to engage in ambitious research projects. Some students’ projects require working in multiple archives across the globe, while others are able to conduct the entirety of their research in a single city or using online resources. Many students choose to accompany their research with foreign language training, internships and other career opportunities. It is expected that students will have completed the majority of their research by the time they arrive at LSE and will be ready to start writing. 


At Columbia University, students are required to complete 30 credits, including the core components of the program: Approaches to International and Global History (HIST GR8930) and Research Skills and Methods in International and Global History (HIST GR5000). At least 22 credits must be obtained through courses in the History Department. Students can also take courses outside of the History Department, provided that both the MA/MSc academic advisor (Dr. Line Lillevik) and the course instructor approve. Please note that the program does not permit R credits.

Eight elective points (2 courses) may be taken from outside of the History Department. Students can take classes from other departments within the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) as well as in other schools at Columbia, including the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), the Journalism School, Teachers College and the School of the Arts (SOA).

Language classes taken to meet the program’s foreign language requirement generally do not count towards the minimum 30 credit hours.

The definitive guide to courses being offered in a given semester can be found online Columbia Directory of Classes.

Students can find detailed information on program requirements in the first-year handbook.


At LSE, students are required to complete three full units in addition to the CU-LSE Dissertation Workshop (HY458), the final core component of the program. At least two of these three units must be chosen from the wide range of International History and Economic History course offerings. Students may complete their third unit in another department at LSE, provided that both the academic director at LSE and the teacher responsible for the course approve.

All dual degree students are required to take the year-long HY458 Dissertation Workshop, which is designed to help students research and write their dissertations and to think about where they would like to take their careers after their time at LSE has finished. It provides a specialized forum for discussion and debate on what it means to write history and to be an historian.

Although they are not required to do so, students are also welcome to attend the larger graduate-level HY499 Research Training Workshop for all international history master’s students at the LSE, which focuses on practical research and study skills.

Dissertations are submitted in the first week of the Summer Term and assessed in accordance with LSE’s MSc criterion. Exams are held between mid-May and late June. Further information on academic requirements at LSE can be found in the CU-LSE graduate handbook.

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

Electronic transcripts showing courses and grades from all post-secondary schools attended. All transcripts or other records of academic work (e.g., mark sheets, Releve de Notes) must be submitted electronically. If your university does not offer electronic transcripts, please upload a scanned copy of your transcript or academic record.

Accepted applicants who have submitted a scanned copy of their transcript will be required to send in official paper documents for verification before the offer is considered official. (Please do not send official transcripts before being notified by GSAS.)

2. A Statement of Purpose (not to exceed 1,000 words)

3. A CV.

4. A Writing Sample.

  • The writing sample should be approximately 10-20 pages in length. It can be a self-contained paper, an excerpt from a longer piece, or a compilation of shorter essays. The sample does not have to be a history paper, but it should showcase your verbal and analytical abilities.

5. Two Letters of Recommendation

  • Academic references are preferred, however, applicants who have not been enrolled in an academic program for some time may submit letters from supervisors or colleagues in positions of responsibility. While applicants are free to submit the references that they believe best support their applications, at least one reference from an instructor familiar with his/her work is recommended. Applicants are permitted to submit a third letter of recommendation as well, but should keep in mind that additional recommendations are not necessarily positive additions to applications.

Reapplicants may elect to reuse letters of recommendation from the previous year's application. (Note: This option is available through Slate. It is only available to reapplicants who applied in the preceding year.)

6. The TOEFL

  • The TOEFL is required for all international students whose native language is not English and whose undergraduate degree is from an institution whose language of instruction is not English. (Minimum TOEFL scores accepted are 100 on the iBT Internet-based test and 600 for the PBT paper-based test.) IELTS scores are also acceptable to fill this requirement (minimum 7.5). The GSAS institution code is 2162.

Please review the GSAS English Proficiency Requirement for International Students for further details.

7. GRE General Exam

  • The GRE test is not required for admission to the dual master’s degree program in International and World History. If you do take the GRE and wish to include the test scores, use Institution Code 2162. A Department Code is not necessary.

8. Application Fee

  • The GSAS application fee is $105.

9. Tuition Deposit

  • A $750 tuition deposit is required for M.A. students, which must be paid via credit card upon acceptance of the offer of admission.

Check further details on University website

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