Global Thought

Program Category: MA Programs
Director of Graduate Studies: Vishakha Desai
Program Director: Sarah Miller-Davenport
Email Address: [email protected]

The Master of Arts in Global Thought is an interdisciplinary academic course of study that challenges students to explore new concepts and categories intended to encompass and explain the complexities of our interconnected and changing world. This distinctive M.A. is offered by the Committee on Global Thought (CGT), which includes more than thirty renowned scholars drawn from departments and schools across Columbia University.

The intensive, nine-month M.A. in Global Thought includes three core courses, which provide a broad-based conceptual and interdisciplinary foundation in global governance, global political economy, and global politics and culture, as well as a two-semester M.A. seminar. The M.A. seminar combines substantive engagement with CGT faculty members with workshop sessions that help students develop the original research, analytic argument, and persuasive writing of their capstone M.A. essays. Understanding global thinking as a process rather than a product, CGT’s faculty support students in their development of insights about the changing world, drawing upon local views of global processes that affect all of us, if not in the same way. Students choose the rest of their courses (13 credits) from available elective options across the university, which means that each student in the diverse and closely connected cohort pursues an individualized course of study.

Special Admissions Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed below, students must submit:

  • one transcript per school attended showing courses and grades
  • a statement of academic purpose emphasizing academic goals, anticipated program of study, and expected impact on career (no more than 1,000 words)
  • three letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should come from persons such as professors who have direct knowledge of the applicant’s academic background and abilities. No more than one letter should be submitted from supervisors or colleagues at an applicant’s place of employment. Applicants who have been away from formal studies for some years should consult the program’s website for further details.
  • proficiency (Intermediate II level) in a language other than English. Students may choose one of three options in which to confirm their language proficiency. Click here to learn more.

All international students whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree is from an institution in a country whose official language is not English must submit scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS.

Students must demonstrate intermediate proficiency in a language other than English equivalent to four semesters of collegiate study. Students may choose one of three options in which to confirm their language proficiency. Click here to learn more.

Admissions decisions are generally released within 6 weeks of the deadline date.

Applicants who wish to be considered for funding are strongly encouraged to apply by the early deadline date, February 1st.

Applicants who are denied admission during the first evaluation round cannot reapply for consideration during the regular decision evaluation process, but are welcome to apply again the following year (subject to the GSAS policy on reapplying).