M.S. Leading to Ph.D.

This policy applies only to students who enter the PhD program without a Masters degree recognized by Columbia. Every MS/PhD track student (registration status ETCOMS) must apply for MS graduation in order to receive the MS degree from Columbia University and be awarded advanced standing (two RUs) towards the PhD.

The faculty will approve the MS degree application following successful completion of six (6) breadth requirement areas completed in the Computer Science Department at Columbia, including all four (4) distribution areas and any two (2) COMS elective areas [departmental requirement].  The student must also satisfactorily complete at least 30 points and at least six graduate lecture courses while enrolled for MS/PhD, not including imports, comp exams, or courses taken while an undergraduate at Columbia or Barnard [SEAS requirement].

[Revised by full faculty vote, 11/6/13, to remove 4701 from the core.  Revised again by full faculty vote, 4/4/14, to abolish the core entirely and institute the distribution requirement.  Students enrolled in Spring 2014 or earlier may choose either four core topics or the four-topic distribution requirement, plus two electives, to fulfill the MS/PhD requirements.  Students enrolled in Fall 2013 or earlier may treat 4701 as core for this purpose.]

Last updated on May 11, 2024.