Admissions and Financial Aid

The program holds admissions cycles during the spring semester for cohorts which will start in the fall. Information about application requirements is available on the Graduate School website HERE. Students should apply to the program through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website HERE. The application deadlines can be found HERE.

The application includes transcripts, 2 recommendation letters, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample. GRE scores are optional but not required.

Recommendation Letters

The admissions committee will understand that some applicants have been out of school for long enough that they might prefer to have a professional contact among their recommenders.

Statement of Purpose

In the statement of purpose, please be sure to make clear your intentions with respect to the program’s interdisciplinary freedom. The degree culminates in a final thesis project, and we have found that the most successful students come in with some notion of what kind of long-term research they’d like to do, so please indicate this in your statement. In addition, please mention how you would approach the course distribution, and how the intersection of American Studies and Ethnic Studies particularly suits your trajectory as a student.

Writing Sample

The writing sample should be approximately 15 pages, although some students choose to submit more. Selections from undergraduate theses can be effective, though are not required. The committee does prefer to see applicants’ research abilities in this context. If you have done non-academic forms of writing for publication more related to American Studies than your undergraduate work, please feel free to include those materials. In choosing a sample, please be sure to provide a piece of your work that is as recent and relevant as possible.

Financial Aid and Fiducia Fellowships

Many of our students use Columbia Financial Aid to help pay for their degree. Please see their website HERE for more information.

Each year, with the support of the Fiducia Fund, the MA program selects 5 Fiducia Fellows, who receive substantial financial support (at least $20,000). The Fiducia Fellowship is intended to help students from diverse backgrounds coming to Columbia to do experimental, interdisciplinary research.

Please contact the program director upon submission of your application if you would like to be considered for the Fiducia Fellowship.

Transfer Courses

Students may transfer credits for classes previously taken at Columbia toward their MA degree. More information on this is available on the GSAS website.

CSER continues to be Columbia's main interdisciplinary space for the study of ethnicity and race and their implications for thinking about culture, power, hierarchy, social identities, and political communities. The Center also offers a wide range of public programming, including Artist at the Center, Indigenous Forum, and Latino Public Speaker Series and the Transnational Asian/American Speaker Series. CSER's most recent spaces include the Media and Idea Lab and Gallery at the Center, a space dedicated to curating artistic and thematic exhibits around the Center’s key areas of interest.
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Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
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1130 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027