The program has admissions cycles in spring and 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. 


In choosing a sample, please be sure to provide a piece of your work that is as recent and relevant as possible. If you have done non-academic forms of writing for publication more related to American Studies than your undergraduate work, please include those materials. 


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.


For the recommendation letters, you may include more than 2 if you have more recommenders. Also, 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. 



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

The program offers small recruitment scholarships, awarded on the basis of merit. Please mention in your application that you would like to be considered for one of these.


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

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

420 Hamilton Hall, MC 2880

1130 Amsterdam Avenue

New York, NY 10027

Tel 212-854-0507

Fax 212-854-0500