Year One at Columbia

At Columbia, students are invited to choose any course related to topics on modern Europe in the Arts and Sciences departments, as well as courses by the Law School and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) which are open to cross registration.

Students can study Europe from–for instance–the perspectives of history, sociology, philosophy, or international affairs.

Ahead of each semester, the European Institute publishes on its website a List of Pre-approved Courses.

MA Faculty Advisor 

Students are encouraged to meet regularly with the MA Faculty Advisor in order to:

  • Discuss their progress toward the MA degree,
  • Get approval for courses,
  • Plan for their final project,
  • Get advice on post-graduation career planning.

Program Requirements

Students must complete 2 Residence Units at Columbia University.

The MA program requires a minimum of 30 graduate-level credits distributed across 9 courses, which must include:

  • The two-semester European Studies Colloquium (8 credits),
  • A four-course concentration in humanities or social sciences (12-16 credits),
  • Two electives (6-8 credits),
  • Columbia-LSE European workshop (4 credits).

The six courses taken to fulfill the concentration or as electives must include:

  • One course with Europe-wide scope or on European relations with other regions,
  • Courses on at least two different European countries or subregions,
  • At least two seminars or colloquia.


The humanities concentration consists of courses in architecture, art history, film, history, literature, music, philosophy, religion, and theater arts. The social science concentration can be fulfilled by courses in anthropology, economics, law, history, international and public affairs, political science, and sociology.

Approved Courses

  • All courses must be at the 4000 level or higher and be approved by the MA Faculty Advisor. 
  • Courses taken pass/fail or for R credit (auditing) cannot count toward fulfilling the program requirements.
  • Some 3000-level history courses may be taken for graduate credit as HIST G6999.
  • Students may take up to two courses not specifically on Europe provided the final course project is on a European topic.

Joint Columbia-LSE European workshop

Led jointly by faculty from the two universities, the workshop convenes twice a month during the fall and spring semesters and explores developments in modern and contemporary Europe.

Language Requirement

In addition to the course requirements, students must demonstrate advanced proficiency in a European language other than English by the time they submit their final project. The language requirement can be fulfilled by passing an exam, completing a 3000-level language course, or earning a degree at an institution where the language of study is a European language other than English. Please view the Language Requirement page for more information.

One 4000-level language course may count toward the MA program's 30-credit requirement. Lower-level language courses are not eligible.