Executive Committee of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

The Executive Committee of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is the deliberative body for all the research PhD and MA programs at Columbia, and has faculty representatives from all the doctoral programs across the university: Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, International and Public Affairs, Journalism, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Social Work, and Teachers College. The committee establishes academic standards and administrative policy for graduate education in the university. Among its most important functions are reviewing existing programs of study and approving proposals for new doctoral and master's programs. View the approval process and workflow here.


Carlos J. Alonso, Dean

Arts and Sciences Departments


Claudia Breger, Germanic Languages

Branden Joseph, Art History & Archaeology

Carol Rovane, Philosophy

Ellen Morris, Classics

Natural Sciences

Gustaaf Brooijmans, Physics

Arian Maleki, Statistics

Molly Przeworski, Biological Sciences

Mary Putman, Astronomy

Social Sciences

Vanessa Agard-Jones, Anthropology

Shigeo Hirano, Political Science

Navin Kartik, Economics

Denise Milstein, Sociology

College of Physicians and Surgeons

Donna Farber, Microbiology & Immunology

Arthur Palmer, Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs, College of Physicians and Surgeons

Columbia Engineering 

Garud Iyengar, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

Jenny Mak, Executive Director, Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

Doctoral Program Subcommittees

Architecture and Urban Planning

Felicity Scott, Architecture, Planning, and Preservation

Biostatistics, Environmental Health, Epidemiology and Sociomedical Sciences

Dana Palmer, Mailman School of Public Health


Oded NetzerBusiness


Andrea Tucher, Communications 

Teachers College 

Victoria Marsick, Organization and Leadership


Maureen George, Nursing

Social Work

Qin Gao, Social Work

Sustainable Development

John Mutter, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Student Representatives

Peter Zhang, President of ASGC

Cheng Gong, Chair of PhD Council

Jacob Nye, President of EGSC

GSAS Staff and Associates

Andrea Solomon, Vice Dean and Dean of Academic Affairs

Rebecca Hirade, Dean for Finance and Operations

Richard Slusarczyk, Senior Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs

Celina Chatman Nelson, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Diversity and Inclusion

Gennet Black, Assistant Dean of Academic Programs

2023-2024 in progress

Proposals from Arts and Sciences Departments and Schools

  • Revisions to MPhil in Philosophy (Christopher Peacocke, Chair of Philosophy, and Justin Doane-Clark, DGS of Philosophy)
  • Revisions to PhD in Astronomy (upcoming March 2024)

Proposals from other Columbia schools

  • Continue discussion of standard practices and expectations for all Columbia PhDs
  • Proposal to modify Certificate in Psychoanalytic Studies (Adele Tutter, Director of Psychoanalytic Studies Program, ICLS)
  • Proposal for new PhD in Educational Neuroscience, Teachers College (upcoming February 2024)


Proposals from Arts and Sciences Departments and Schools

  • Revision MA Classics (Katharina Volk, Classics)
  • Revision PhD Classics (Katharina Volk, Classics)
  • Revision PhD in Theatre and Performance (William Worth, Theatre)

Proposals from other Columbia schools

  • ChatGPT: CTL Resources, Q&A (Catherine Ross and Amanda Irvin, Center for Teaching and Learning)
  • Dissertation defense modality (GSAS)
  • Continuing: School presentations on Mentorship and Supervision (All Columbia schools)
  • Begin discussion of standard practices and expectations for all Columbia PhDs


Proposals from Arts and Sciences Departments and Schools

  • Proposal to change MPhil requirements in Classics (Joseph Howley, Classics)
  • Proposal for an MA/MSc dual-degree program with European Institute, Columbia University nd the London School of Economics: MA in European History, Politics, and Society and MSc in Culture and Conflict in Global Europe (Adam Tooze, Francoise Carrel-Billiard, Tsveta Petrova, European Institute)
  • Proposal for new PhD in African American and African Diaspora Studies (Kellie Jones, Mabel Wilson)
  • Revised process for Dissertation Progress Meetings (GSAS/DGS)

Proposals from other Columbia schools

  • Proposal to create an MS in Quantum Science and Technology (Dmitri Basov and Abhay Pasupathy, Physics (A&S); Alexander Gaeta, Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics (SEAS)
  • Proposal for a new dual degree: The College of Dental Medicine DDS / SEAS PhD in Biomedical Engineering (SEAS: Helen Lu; Dental Medicine: Sunil Wadhwa, Christian Stoler)
  • Dissertation defense: nomenclature of committee members (GSAS/DGS)
  • New nomenclature for faculty sponsorship of the dissertation (GSAS/DGS)
  • Dissertation number of participants (GSAS/A&S faculty question)
  • Toward common practices across PhD programs (GSAS)


Proposals from Arts and Sciences Departments and Schools

  • Proposed revisions to Human Rights Studies MA (Lara Nettelfield, Human Rights)
  • Proposal to revise PhD requirements in Music (Ana Maria Ochoa, Chris Washburne, Music)

Proposals from other Columbia schools

  • Presentations on mentorship and supervision; supportive curriculum; milestone revisions; pedagogical training; academic job market preparation (All Schools)
  • Credit hour guidance for online and hybrid courses (GSAS/ Provost)
  • Committee on Doctoral Education (CoDE) final report (GSAS)
  • Questionnaire for all PhD programs at Columbia (GSAS)
  • Reminder: Data collection across PhD programs
  • Models to support/ monitor dissertation progress; Considering time to degree
  • Addressing academic and student life challenges in Covid


Proposals from Arts and Sciences Departments and Schools

  • Proposal to revise PhD in French and Romance Philology (Madeleine Dobie, French)
  • Policy to offer for GSAS PhDs an option for an MA in Statistics (Tian Zhang, Statistics)
  • Review MESAAS proposal for en-route MA thesis requirement (Gil Hochberg, MESAAS)
  • Dissertation proposal: viability of requiring by end of year 3

Proposals from other Columbia schools

  • Faculty delegation from Teachers College: Education, Health, and Psychology PhD (Provost Thomas James, Professors Aaron Pallas, Carol Garber, and George Bonanno) were invited for an open discussion with the ECGSAS about the state of the PhD at Teachers College
  • Discuss the Arts and Sciences Committee on Doctoral Education  
  • PhD standards: dissertation length (GSAS/A&S dept question)
  • Extension of Nine-Year policy due to Covid (GSAS/DGS)
  • Other PhD student issues due to Covid: Housing status and summer funding
  • E3B rubric as template for adaption for oral exams
  • Improving mentorship and time to degree: effective initiatives across PhD programs
  • Data template based on the one used by Committee on Doctoral Education (GSAS)
  • Announce dissertation templates and copyright chapter (GSAS/Libraries)
  • Projects for all PhDs: data; career outcomes; dissertation progress meetings


Proposals from Arts and Sciences Departments and Schools

  • Review Proposal for a New Track in the Economics PhD (Bernard Salanie, Economics)
  • Revisit MA track in Hispanic Cultural Studies (Alberto Medina, LAIC)
  • Revision of exams and milestones in Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences PhD program (Göran Ekström, John Mutter, DEES)
  • Proposal Dual MA in Islamic Studies (Columbia University) /MA in Muslim Cultures (Aga Khan University) – Brinley Messick, Kathryn Spellman Poots, Astrid Benedek, Simone Rutkowitz (Middle East Institute)

Proposals from other Columbia schools

  • Review Proposal to Reactivate PhD in Higher Education (Noah Drezner, Teachers College)
  • Revisit Proposal for PhD in Curriculum and Teaching, Teachers College (Daniel Friedrich), Teachers College
  • PhD deposit deadline and consequences
  • Establish Internal Rules of Procedure for ECGSAS Voting  
  • Clarify Dissertation Defense Adjudication, review Defense Chair Guidelines  
  • Dissertation defense registration policy for students supported on grants
  • CPT, ISSO, and template for Fieldwork course for international students (ISSO)


Proposals from Arts and Sciences Departments and Schools

  • Proposal for Changes to Requirements for the MA in Islamic Studies (Astrid Benedek, Brinkley Messick, Kathryn Spellman, Middle East Institute)
  • Proposal to Revise the MA in Latin American and Iberian Cultures (Alberto Medina, LAIC)
  • Proposal to revise course requirements for the MA degree in Germanic Languages (Oliver Simons, German)
  • Proposal for Elimination of Language Requirement for PhD in Mathematics (Mikhail Khovanov, Mathematics)
  • Proposal for Changes to Requirements for the MA in Human Rights (Lara Nettelfield, Human Rights)
  • Revisit Proposal for New Certificate in Comparative Media (Brian Larkin, Anthropology; Stefan Andriopoulos, German)

Proposals from other Columbia schools

  • Revisit Proposal for a Time-Off Policy for Doctoral Students on Grants
  • Proposal for a PhD in Data Science (SEAS Computer Science, IEOR, EE; and Statistics)
  • Proposal for New MD/MA Dual Degree Program in Biomedical Informatics (George Hripcsak. Biomedical Informatics)
  • Proposal for New Teachers College PhD Program in Curriculum and Teaching (Thomas James (History and Education), Daniel Friedrich, Mariana Souto-Manning (Early Childhood Education))
  • Announce GSAS Initiative for Chapter Meetings
  • Proposal about Dissertations Written in a Foreign Language
  • Discussion of Part-Time PhD Study (Arlene Smaldone, Nursing)