A student admitted to the Ph.D. program must obtain the sequential M.A. degree and the M.Phil. degree before being formally granted candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and the Department of Political Science require the completion of all M.A. requirements within two years, M.Phil. requirements within four years, and Ph.D. requirements within seven years. A student who enters the Ph.D. program with an M.A. degree in political science or a similar field may apply for advanced standing after completing the first semester of study at Columbia. A student who enters the program with an M.A. degree who applies for and is granted advanced standing is not eligible for a Columbia M.A. degree.
Students in the Ph.D. program may find it desirable to follow programs that combine work for the political science program with other graduate-level programs, such as the area studies program of one of the eight regional institutes of the School of International and Public Affairs or the program in policy studies under the Public Policy Consortium.
In partnership with Sciences Po, the department offers a dual degree in political science that allows students to spend two years at the partner institution, during which students take courses, conduct research, write a dissertation under the direction of a joint Columbia-Sciences Po dissertation committee, and eventually become eligible to receive the Ph.D. degree of both institutions. Students are granted unique opportunities to broaden and deepen their knowledge of the discipline in an international intellectual environment and pursue their doctoral research under the supervision of joint faculty teams of the highest academic quality.
The program is open to students currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in political science at Columbia University or at Sciences Po. Applications are open to students enrolled in the third year of their doctoral studies (i.e., after receiving the M.A. degree and the first year of Ph.D. studies for Sciences Po students).
The Alliance Program website provides details about program requirements, the application procedure, and FAQ's.