Policy Handbook

All master's and doctoral students should familiarize themselves with and follow the regulations of the university, the Graduate School, and their individual programs of study. Please be aware that lack of knowledge about university, GSAS and/or departmental rules and policies does not excuse students who fail to comply with these regulations.

Although the degree and academic requirements in place normally will not change within any given academic year, other GSAS policies are reviewed and updated regularly. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences reserves the right to make changes at any time.

Key Contacts

Office of the Dean
109 Low Library, MC 4306
535 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
[email protected]
(212) 854-2861

Policies and Resources

Academic Calendar

View important academic dates and deadlines.


Registration is the process whereby an eligible student reserves a seat in a particular course or selects an enrollment category.

Grading System

Learn about the letter grades and other grading systems, including Incomplete, R, and Pass/Fail.

Degree Requirements

Read about the requirements for the MA, MPhil, and PhD and DMA degrees, and satisfactory academic progress.

Summer Session

Summer courses that are available to students enrolled in GSAS are offered and administered by the School of Professional Studies (SPS).

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is relevant coursework completed before a student’s enrollment in a GSAS degree program that the student submits in partial fulfillment of specific academic requirements for the degree.

Transcripts and Certification

Transcripts are issued by the Registrar through the Office of Student Services. 

Change of Program

A student who is currently registered in a program at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences may apply for a change of program.

Leaves of Absence, Withdrawals, and Reinstatement

Information on absenting yourself from study, either temporarily or permanently, and on returning after interruption.

Parental Accommodation

PhD and DMA students who become parents are offered a twelve-week period of accommodation.

Studying Away from Columbia

Students can utilize Columbia's agreements and partnerships with other universities, going there to complete coursework or conduct research.

Academic Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research

Graduate students are expected to exhibit the high level of personal and academic integrity and honesty.

Good Standing

Good standing in the Graduate School involves two components: good academic standing and good administrative standing.

Grievance Policy

Students in GSAS who believes that they are a victim of misconduct may make use of the mediation and grievance procedures developed by the Graduate School.

Dean’s Discipline

Dean’s Discipline is the process used to investigate and respond to allegations of academic or behavioral misconduct of a graduate student in GSAS.

University Policies

Become acquainted with Essential Policies for the Columbia Community.

Immunization Requirements

New students who fail to comply with the immunization requirements listed below will be blocked from registration and will be reported to the Office of the Dean, which may impose additional sanctions.

Time-Off Policy for Doctoral Students on Appointment in the Sciences and Related Research Fields

In any given academic year, such students are entitled to two weeks** beyond the eleven (Morningside Campus) or twelve (CUMC Campus) designated University/Federal holidays.