FAQs about the Dual MA/MSc

Frequently asked questions about the new dual MA/MSc with the London School of Economics

The dual-degree program offers the opportunity to study Europe from an inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspective in two of the world's leading centers of the study of Europe.

At Columbia, students can design their own inter-disciplinary course of study to match their interests and career goals by choosing from a large number of classes offered by the University’s Arts and Sciences departments, the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and the Law School.

At the LSE, students are offered a multidisciplinary curriculum designed around the theme of culture and conflict in a global Europe and rooted in political science, international relations, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, public policy, and media studies.

Students benefit from the continuity between the first and second years of the dual-degree program when it comes to conducting in-depth research for their final project as well as to strengthening their foreign language competences. Students also have the option to participate in the program’s policy incubator project, which gives them experience and first-hand exposure to the work of public and private institutions in Europe.

In both the first and the second year of the dual-degree program, students also are invited to take an active part in a vibrant transatlantic academic community – a joint Columbia-LSE European workshop. Led by faculty from both Columbia and LSE, this workshop serves as an important forum for dialogue, and making contacts among students and faculty in New York and London.


The program is designed for students considering careers in the non-profit and corporate sectors as well as in government or international and European institutions.

Throughout program, students will gain policy analysis experience as well as transferable skills – analytical, writing, and presentation competences – acquired and practiced through doing original or applied research.

At Columbia, students will receive individual academic planning, research, and career advising from the MA Faculty Advisor. They will also take the two-semester Colloquium of the MA in European History, Politics, and Society that introduces the students to the study of Europe and to the research skills needed for their final project.

At the LSE, students will continue to strengthen their research skills through the one-semester course in Research Methods and Design. Students will further gain professional skills through a series of workshops, interactive simulations, and networking opportunities organized through the joint Columbia-LSE European workshop.

Students have to write only one thesis or dissertation for the dual degree. They will work on their dissertation during the second year of the program, when they are at the LSE, and will be advised by faculty of the LSE.

They will be able to choose between two options:

  1. writing a 10,000-word dissertation based on original research on European politics, economies, societies, and cultures; or
  2. participating in an applied policy project on a current policy issue and writing a 3,000-word policy brief and a 7,000-word policy study.

In their second year at the LSE, instead of submitting a dissertation, students have the option to participate in a Policy Incubator project in order to research a current policy issue. Students will work on an applied research project related to a public policy problem. This policy problem can be situated at the international, European, national, or sub-national level. Thematically, it can be related to a wide range of policy fields (e.g., international trade, social policy, environmental policy, or justice and home affairs and migration).

Students who choose the Policy Incubator option will take part in a workshop that prepares them for the Incubator work and for producing a set of two applied research papers: a policy advocacy brief (3,000 words) and a policy study (7,000 words). The workshops will focus on the theories and practice of policy-making as well as overview the different styles and types of policy analysis writings and dissemination. Students will also have regular meetings with their supervisors who will support them in the production of the two applied research papers.