International and World History (MA/MSc, with London School of Economics)

Program Category: Dual-Degree Program
Website: MA/MSc in International and World History
Email Address: [email protected]
Program Director: Line Lillevik
Faculty Director: Marwa Elshakry

Degree Programs

Full-Time in New York (Year 1) and London (Year 2): Free-Standing MA (housed in the Department of History, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences) and MSc (housed in the Department of International History, London School of Economics)

The MA/MSc Program in International and World History offers two degrees: a Master of Arts from Columbia University and a Master of Science from the London School of Economics. 

Over the course of the two-year program, students work with preeminent historians at both institutions to explore the transnational forces that have shaped and continue to remake our world: migration, trade, technology, religion, epidemic disease, the environment, diplomacy, and war. This research-orientated program offers an opportunity to explore these ideas and connects vibrant intellectual communities in two global cities: London and New York. 

While many graduates go on to undertake PhDs, the MA/MSc in International and World History also offers a launching pad for careers in many other fields, including, but not limited to, government, journalism, NGOs, and international organizations.

Note: The program requires two years of full-time study, which must be taken in sequence. Students cannot complete one year of the program and receive only one degree. Degrees are awarded after all program requirements at Columbia University and the London School of Economics have been met.

Special Admissions Requirements

Students apply through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University. The Joint Steering Committee, including faculty members from both Columbia and LSE, evaluates the applications and makes the final decisions jointly.

In addition to the requirements listed below, all students must submit one transcript showing courses and grades from each school attended, a statement of academic purpose (not to exceed 1,000 words), a personal statement, and two letters of recommendation.

The statement of academic purpose allows the university to evaluate your ability to succeed academically and the reasons you wish to undertake the degree. It should describe briefly your academic and/or professional background (relevant coursework, professional experience or other activity pertaining to your academic interests); moreover, it should indicate your plans for graduate study at Columbia and the LSE, and finally it should explain the relation your studies have to your plans once completing the degree.

The writing sample should be 15-20 pages long, preferably a paper that you have written for a history course. Alternatively, you may provide a focused essay written in an academic style for another field. The sample can be an excerpt from a longer work.

Two reference letters, supplied by academic sources, are required. If you have not been enrolled in an academic program in recent years, you may also submit additional letters from supervisors or colleagues in positions of responsibility.

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.

For more information, refer to the Admissions Information and Frequently Asked Questions pages.

*GSAS will accept up to four recommendations, regardless of the number required by your program of interest. However, to be eligible for admission at GSAS, at least TWO letters must be submitted by academic recommenders.


Foreign Language Area and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships are available for applicants who are US citizens or permanent residents. If you are applying for the FLAS Fellowship, you must submit your admission application, including the FLAS essay, by the fellowship application deadline. Note: FLAS applicants are required to notify the MA/MSc program office by writing to [email protected].

The MA/MSc program offers Tuition Reduction Fellowships (TRF) based on merit and need. Priority consideration is given to applications submitted by January 16. If you are interested in applying for a TRF award, please contact [email protected] for additional instructions. For more information, see the International and World History website.