Skip to navigation menu

Skip to main content

Programs in International and Comparative Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University
Description of Program Requirements > Master of Arts (M.A.)

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Description of the Master of Arts (M.A.) Program Requirements

International Educational Development (IED – code: INTL)
Comparative and International Education (CIE – code: COMP)

Download IED/CIE General Student Course Guide (PDF)
Download IED/CIE Requirements for the MA Degree including the Course Planning Worksheet for MA students (PDF)

IP Deadlines

For Degree to be Awarded in MAY
Approval of Project by Advisor: December 20th
First Draft of Project Paper Due: February 22nd
Degree Application Due*: February 1st         
Final Draft of Project Paper Due to advisor: April 10th
Supplementary Form Due (“pink form”)*: April 30th
For Degree to be Awarded in FEBRUARY
Approval of Project by Advisor: May 1st (before summer holiday)
First Draft of Project Paper Due: October 15th
Degree Application Due*: November 1st
Final Draft of Project Paper Due to advisor: December 1st
Supplementary Form Due (“pink form”)*: January 2nd
For Degree to be Awarded in OCTOBER
Approval of Project by Advisor: May 1st (before summer holiday)
First Draft of Project Paper Due: June 15th
Degree Application Due*: August 1st
Final Draft of Project Paper Due to advisor: August 1st
Supplementary Form Due (“pink form”)*: September 1st

* Consult the Registrar’s Academic Calendar for the exact date each year. If this date falls on a weekend, please hand in the approval the Friday BEFORE the due date.

With regard to all M.A. program requirements, please note:

  • Copies are important! It is highly recommended that students keep personal copies of all paperwork submitted to TC offices. Copies of all forms submitted to the Registrar should ALSO be filed in the student file in the IED/CIE program office. This is the responsibility of every student.
  • Read the weekly “Notes from 374 Grace Dodge Hall” for important updates and deadlines.
  • Contact the IED/CIE Program Assistant with questions:
Office: 374 Grace Dodge Hall
Phone: (212) 678-3184
Fax: (212) 678-8237

1. Coursework (at least 32 graduate level credits). Students are encouraged to use the “Course Planning Worksheet for Master of Arts Students” to plan out all coursework.

  • M.A. coursework falls into four broad areas:
    • Area 1: Core Courses (6 credits)
      • Choose one: ITSF 4090 (Issues and Institutions in International Educational Development) or ITSF 4091 (Comparative Education)
      • ITSF Research Methods Course
    • Area 2: Concentration (at least 12 credits)
      • Courses counting towards the concentration must be advisor-approved.
      • Students considering a change in concentration must discuss the change with the faculty advisor.
      • Consult the “General Student Course Guide” for suggestions on courses that fall within each concentration.
    • Area 3: Transcultural/Area Studies (at least 6 credits)
      • Area 3 courses must come from at least three of the following categories: topics, research methods, professional skills, internship/practicum.
      • Consult the “General Student Course Guide” for suggestions on courses that fall within this area.
    • Area 4: TC Electives (at least 8 credits)
      • To fulfill the TC breadth requirement, M.A. students must take at least 3 courses (with a minimum of 2 credits each) that are at TC but outside of the IED/CIE program. All non-ITSF courses at TC that are two or more credits can count as TC breadth electives. Courses offered by other programs within the ITS department (anthropology, economics, or bilingual/bicultural education) can also count as TC breadth electives if they are outside of the student’s concentration.
  • Advisement: It is the student’s responsibility to meet with his/her main advisor and have all coursework approved. It is recommended that students meet with the advisor at least once at the beginning of each semester to discuss course offerings and receive approval of all study plans.
  • Choosing courses: It is recommended that students sit in on different courses during the first two weeks of any semester. For suggestions of courses, students may ask the main advisor, the Peer Advisor, or the IED/CIE Program Assistant. Also, speaking with fellow students is a good way to learn about courses being offerered.
  • Registering for courses: Students may add or drop courses until the date posted by the Registrar (refer to the TC Academic Calendar) through the online Student Information System using the PIN number. Students can obtain the PIN from the IED/CIE Program Assistant at Orientation or from the Registrar.
  • Courses Outside of TC: All courses taken outside TC at are subject to the tuition rates of the school offering the course. Consult the Registrar for current rates and for instructions on how to register.
  • Full v. part-time status and Certificates of Equivalency (COE): Part-time status is the equivalent of 6-11 credits. Full-time status is the equivalent of 12 or more credits. Part-time students who require full-time certification (for such reasons as funding/financial aid, international student status, IP fieldwork) may file a Certificate of Equivalency form. This must be signed by the student’s advisor and may be obtained online or in person from the Registrar.

2. Integrative Project (IP)

  • Completion of an IP is required for the M.A. degree. Please see the handout in the IED/CIE office on IP Requirements for more details.
  • Students should consult with the advisor about the IP at least one semester before the intended graduation date. After the IP topic has been approved, the Peer Advisor is available to guide students through the completion of the IP.
  • Students who are working on the IP but not registered for any other classes may register for IND 4000 (Masters Candidate). 

3. Graduation

  •  Full-time students can complete the M.A. degree within one academic year (fall semester, spring semester, and one summer session).
  • In order to graduate, students need to file an “M.A. Degree Application to Graduate” and the “Supplemental Pink Form,” both of which need to be signed by your advisor. Students may contact the Registrar for forms and specific deadlines.