Application Requirements

Students apply through the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GSAS) at Columbia University. Applications should only be submitted to Columbia University. The Joint Teaching Committee with faculty members from both Columbia and LSE will evaluate the applications and make the final decisions jointly. 

All students admitted during a given year must begin the program in the fall. The MA/MSc program does not have a spring-start admissions cycle. Applications open in September for the following year’s Fall semester intake.

Applications for Fall 2024 entry are now closed.

For more information on the application process, please visit the GSAS website.



Admissions Information

The dual Master’s degree program in International and World History welcomes applicants from all academic and professional backgrounds. Students are selected for admission based on their academic and professional pursuits, in addition to their unique interests and life experiences.

Students in our program have backgrounds in history as well as a wide range of other academic fields including comparative literature, philosophy, anthropology, area studies, political science, journalism and business. Students with academic training outside of the humanities and social sciences are also welcome to apply, so long as their Statement of Purpose explains why they wish to study history.

Although work experience is considered desirable, the program will also accept students who are currently finishing their undergraduate studies. Students with previous master’s degrees are welcome to apply, although the majority of incoming students are likely not to have a degree beyond the Bachelor’s degree. 

All applications are reviewed using the same guidelines. However, applicants who apply by the early application deadline will receive an admissions decision earlier. This may be an advantage for those applying for fellowships with early deadlines that require proof of admission.

Applications for entry in Fall 2024 are now closed.
  • Priority Tuition Reduction Fellowship (TRF) consideration is given to January applicants. We strongly encourage applicants to apply by January if they plan to apply for TRF funding.

  • Applicants who are applying for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships must apply by the January deadline. For more information, see Fellowships and Financial Aid.

  • Early applicants will be notified that their application has been accepted, denied, or waitlisted by late February/early March.

  • Applicants who receive a waitlist decision during the first evaluation round will be automatically considered during the regular decision evaluation process and do not need to reapply.

  • Applicants who are denied admission during the first evaluation round cannot reapply for consideration during the regular decision evaluation process, but are welcome to apply again the following year (subject to the GSAS policy on reapplying)

Regular deadline: March 14, 2024
  • All applications received after the January deadline, as well as applicants that were waitlisted during the first round, will be reviewed during the second admissions review process. All applications must be received by the March deadline to be considered for admission.

  • Applicants will be notified by late April/early May.

  • March applicants will still be considered for Tuition Reduction Fellowships so long as funding remains available. 

1. Electronic Transcripts

Electronic transcripts showing courses and grades from all post-secondary schools attended. All transcripts or other records of academic work (e.g., mark sheets, Releve de Notes) must be submitted electronically. If your university does not offer electronic transcripts, please upload a scanned copy of your transcript or academic record. 

Accepted applicants who have submitted a scanned copy of their transcript will be required to send in official paper documents for verification before the offer is considered official. (Please do not send official transcripts before being notified by GSAS.)

2. Statement of Academic Purpose 

This succinct statement should be approximately 1,000 words and describe your past academic work relating to your field of study. If you are not currently pursuing an academic program, describe your activities since you were last enrolled in an academic institution. If there has been a break in your educational experience, include a brief explanation.

3. Personal Statement

A wide diversity of experiences and perspectives in the graduate student body enhances Columbia’s academic life: Graduate students work closely with the faculty, constitute the classroom context for their peers, and make substantive contributions to the University's pedagogical and research enterprise.

Provide a statement (maximum of 1,000 words) that explains how your personal experiences and history will allow you to contribute to the wealth of perspectives in the entering class of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and in the Columbia community at large.

4. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume


5. Writing Sample

The writing sample should be approximately 15-20 pages in length. It can be a self-contained paper, an excerpt from a longer piece, or a compilation of shorter essays. The sample does not have to be a history paper, but it should showcase your verbal and analytical abilities.

6. Two Letters of Recommendation

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 an additional letter from a supervisor or colleague in positions of responsibility.  All applicants are permitted to submit a third letter of recommendation as well, but should keep in mind that additional recommendations are not necessarily positive additions to applications.

Reapplicants may elect to reuse letters of recommendation from the previous year's application. (Note: This option is available through Slate. It is only available to reapplicants who applied in the preceding year.)

7. English Proficiency Exam Score

The TOEFL is required for all international students whose native language is not English and whose undergraduate degree is from an institution whose language of instruction is not English. (Minimum TOEFL scores accepted are 100 on the iBT Internet-based test and 600 for the PBT paper-based test.) IELTS scores are also acceptable to fill this requirement (minimum 7.5). The GSAS institution code is 2162.

Please review the GSAS English Proficiency Requirement for International Students for further details.  

8. GRE General Exam (OPTIONAL)

The GRE test is not required for admission to the dual master’s degree program in International and World History. If you do take the GRE and wish to include the test scores, use Institution Code 2162. A Department Code is not necessary.

9. Application Fee

The GSAS application fee is $120.

10. Tuition Deposit

If admitted a $1,000 tuition deposit is required for all students, which must be paid via credit card upon acceptance of the offer of admission. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Please reach out to the program's team at [email protected]

You are not expected to have a faculty advisor before you apply for the program. 

Dissertation advisors are not assigned until January/February of the second semester of the first year.  Dr. Line Lillevik serves as your academic advisor during your first year at Columbia University. Please know that CU and LSE faculty are generally unable to reply to questions from prospective students.

We do not expect students to have a dissertation topic when they apply. Applicants should have a general area of research or questions they are interested in exploring, as well as an awareness of faculty they may wish to work with. Students develop their dissertation topic during the first semester through the core classes, electives, and advising from the Program Director and potential dissertation advisors. Students’ interests always evolve, and sometimes the initial dissertation topic idea change significantly.


No, we do not have a language requirement for applicants. However, enrolled students need to meet our language requirement in order to graduate.


Columbia together with LSE provide partial fellowships to many of our incoming students through our Tuition Reduction Fellowships (TRF). Please see details on our Fellowships and Financial Aid page. Students seeking program fellowships are strongly encouraged to apply by the priority January deadline.

Because not all students will receive TRF awards, MA/MSc applicants are encouraged to apply for external fellowships. Please note scholarship programs often have application deadlines between six months and one year before the start of the academic program. 

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) allows applicants a two week grace period for your supplemental materials from the date of the application deadline. If supplemental materials are not received within two weeks of the deadline, your application will be incomplete and unable to proceed to review. Please see the GSAS admissions FAQs under Supporting Materials. We do encourage you to have these documents sent as soon as possible, and to follow up with your references where appropriate.

We do not have a GPA requirement to apply and review applications holistically.


No, we do not operate with rolling admissions. We have two application rounds with deadlines in mid-January and mid-March. We review all applications submitted by our January deadline in our first round with decisions by the end of February/early March. We review all applications submitted by our March deadline as our second round with decisions by late April/early May.

No, we do not include bibliographies into our page counts.


This is a terminal master's program; it does not feed into a PhD program at Columbia University or the London School of Economics. While many of our alumni do go on to PhD programs at a variety of schools after this degree, students are required to follow the same doctoral admissions process as all other candidates.