Academic Programs

The undergraduate program in political science is one of the largest on campus, with approximately 475 students pursuing majors, and approximately 240 students pursuing combined majors in Political Science-Economics, Political Science-Statistics, Political Science-Pre-Medical, and the Human Rights Special Concentration.

The department offers two graduate degree programs, a free-standing, one-year program leading to the Master of Arts degree in political science, and a program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy in political science, which is to be completed in no more than seven years.  

The department is actively involved in the University-wide Columbia Public Policy Consortium, which is an interdisciplinary program that supports graduate teaching and doctoral research in public policy.

The department also participates fully in the interdisciplinary M.A. Program in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences. This M.A. program trains students to apply quantitative methods to problems in the social sciences as they arise in business, government, and nonprofit organizations. The program draws on the diverse strengths of the statistics and social sciences faculties at Columbia and other institutions in the New York metropolitan area. It is designed for students with a strong background in social sciences or quantitative methods who are interested in deepening their analytical skills and broadening their knowledge of the social sciences.

Recent graduates of the Ph.D. program have obtained teaching positions at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and abroad, and research and staff positions at organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Asia Society, and the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.

Recent M.A. graduates have applied their training to advance careers in journalism, business, applied research law, political activism and civil service. Others used the M.A. year to determine whether or not to enter a Ph.D. program in political science.