The PhD dissertation is a research document that makes a significant and original contribution to existing knowledge in the discipline. While the precise form of the dissertation will vary by field, the dissertation's fundamental function as an element of doctoral training is to attest to the author’s capacity to produce novel scholarship independently according to the standards of a particular academic discipline. This is why the final requirement of the dissertation is for it to undergo an examination by a panel of scholars in the field who can ascertain the originality of the argument advanced as well as its adherence to the conventions of the discipline.
The Dissertation Office provides advanced doctoral candidates with dissertation guidelines and forms including the application to defend the dissertation and the final deposit and award of the PhD degree. The Dissertation Office also receives academic progress inquiries and applications for the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree.
Guidelines & Resources
Beginning in the semester after defending their prospectus, students will meet once each semester with their sponsor and at least one other faculty member to review and discuss their most current work.
Fellowships & Awards
The Bancroft Awards were established by the Trustees of Columbia University to make possible the publication of up to two dissertations in the areas of American history (including biography), diplomacy, or international relations.