FAQs - Current Students

Frequently Asked Questions from current students in the MA European History, Politics, and Society program.

The European Institute redesigned the European History, Politics, and Society program when it assumed responsibility for the program in 2013. The new program is shorter and allows students to focus their studies more effectively. Students who enrolled in fall 2013 or earlier may fulfill the pre-2013 requirements, although we encourage them to elect the new program. All students who enter in fall 2014 or later follow the new requirements.

You may be able to. Consult the MA Faculty Advisor.

The Directory of Classes indicates whether a class is a lecture, seminar, or colloquium.

All classes must be at the 4000 level or higher to count toward the degree, with the exception of some 4-credit, 3000-level history classes. The latter may be taken for graduate credit as HIST G6999 with the approval of the instructor and the History department. Consult the MA Faculty Advisor.

The concentrations take up just four courses of the nine usually required for the degree. You may take courses outside your concentration as electives. In fact, we encourage you to do so, since interdisciplinary breadth is one of the program’s strengths.

The European Institute offers competitive grants for European History, Politics, and Society students who want to conduct thesis research in Europe. The funds may be used for travel expenses and research expenses.

You can fulfill the requirement by demonstrating advanced proficiency through an exam or by passing a 3000-level language class. Exams are generally offered by Columbia’s foreign language departments at the beginning of each semester. Certain languages (Spanish, French, Russian) have set exam dates for each semester. It is your responsibility to check these dates and register in a timely manner.

If you need to take an exam for a language with no set exam schedule, please email the Program Manager to coordinate.

For more information, please go to the Language Requirement page.

If in doubt, consult with the MA Faculty Advisor. Courses on the EU count as courses with Europe-wide focus. Courses on European colonialism and imperialism count as courses on European relations with other world regions, but courses on specific European colonies or former colonies do not. Courses on Russia and Turkey may count toward the degree.

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) determines whether courses can be transferred at the time you are admitted. Please visit the GSAS page on Transfer Credit for more information.

After you enroll only Columbia courses may count toward the degree, with the exception of some courses at New York University, through an agreement between the European Institute and NYU’s Center for European and Mediterranean studies.

Students who have earned a degree at an institution where the language of study is a European language other than English are exempt from the language requirement.