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Programs in International and Comparative Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University
Current Student Information > EdD/PhD Policies and Procedures

EdD/PhD Policies and Procedures



  • Doctoral Student Progress and Degree Completion
    Department of International and Transcultural Studies
    Programs in International Educational Development
    & Comparative and International Education

    Policies Specific to the Programs of International and Comparative Education
    Doctoral student progress and degree completion

    Note: In many cases, Teachers College policies are less restrictive than the policies adopted by the Programs of International and Comparative Education. In such cases, Program policies take precedent.

    After having passed the general (AM) certification examination, students have two years to take the remaining steps to secure full certification, these include
    1. Passing the Specialization Exam
    2. Finishing their proposal
    3. Passing their proposal hearing
    4. Completing their Program Plan
    5. Completing their Statement of Total Program
    6. Passing Language Exams (Ph.D. students)
    7. Completing the IRB process.
    All Ed.D. candidates must complete their Ed.D. degree requirements by the expiration date of their period of certification. Ed.D. candidates who have not completed their degree during this time but have registered and completed a course during the last fiveyears may petition for an extension if they are in good standing and, if applicable, have satisfied the college requirements for continuous enrollment for doctoral dissertation advisement. Petitions for extensions may be obtained in the Office of Doctoral Studies. Students filing for an extension must:
    1. Have adequate and acceptable reason
    2. Have registered and completed a course within the last 5 years
    3. Provide a feasible plan for degree completion
    4. Obtain the approval of their faculty advisor, program coordinator and department chair
    5. Students filing petitions for extensions may be required to re-take courses,or undertake additional coursework, as specified by faculty advisor, program coordinator, and/or department chair
    6. File the petition within 6 months of expiration of the certification period
    7. File a maximum of two petitions, which will not exceed 2 years
  • Certification Procedures for Ed.D. Students
    Steps to become eligible for Ed.D. certification:
    1. Pass the department certification exam
    2. Pass the specialization exam
    3. Pass the proposal hearing
    4. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process
         a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website
         b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request
             approval from the IRB before beginning research
    5. Have the ODS approve the program plan and statement of total program


  • Certification/Candidate Procedures for Ph.D. Students
    Steps to become eligible for Ph.D. certification (award of the M.Phil):
    1. Pass the department certification exam
    2. Pass the specialization exam, students with a concentration in Anthropology or Sociology must take and additional specialization exam
    3. Pass the proposal hearing
    4. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process
         a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website
         b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request
             approval from the IRB before beginning research
    5. Have the ODS approve the program plan and statement of total program
    6. Complete 75 graduate credits of course work
    7. Demonstrate language proficiency in two languages other than English OR one language plus successful performance in a particular statistics sequence
  • The Certification Exam for Ed.D. and Ph.D. Students
    Information on the Certification Exam (aka "Comps" or "AM Exam" or "Department Exam")
    Students are advised to take the department exam the semester after they have successfully completed both ITSF 6580, Advanced Seminar in International Educational Development, and ITSF 6581, Advanced Seminar in Comparative Education. The topics and readings covered in the core classes serve as a basis for the breadth of knowledge expected on the department exam, and a full bibliography is available in 374 GDH. Every student has TWO opportunities to take the department examination. Thus if a student does NOT pass the first time, he/she can retake once. If a student does not pass the retake examination, he/she will be discontinued from the IED or CIE doctoral program.

    The department exam is offered twice during the academic year, in October and February. It is a three-hour morning exam that is usually taken on the computer. The deadline to apply to take the department examination is the first Friday of the fall semester (for the October exam) and the first Friday of the Spring semester (for the February exam). Students can obtain an Application for the Ed.D. or Ph.D. Doctoral Certification Examination from the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS) in 324 Thorndike Hall. This form needs to be filled out, signed by the advisor, and submitted to ODS prior to the application deadline. It is highly recommended that students bring a copy of the completed form to the IED/CIE Program Assistant in 374 GDH for filing. Please be careful to fill out the form correctly. The Program Assistant can review any application or paperwork before it is returned it to ODS.

    Filling out the Application for the Ed.D. or Ph.D. Doctoral Certification Examination:
    If you are ONLY taking the department exam, ONLY fill out SECTION I.
    Please note the following when filling out SECTION I.
    Question 1: The department name is: International & Transcultural Studies.
    Question 2: The program name is EITHER: International Education Development OR Comparative and International Education.
    Question 3: The examination is ONLY a retake if the student did NOT pass the first time.
    Question 4: If the student is ONLY taking the department examination, check AM. If the student is taking both the department exam and the specialization exam in the same semester, check BOTH. Please note that this is NOT recommended.
    Question 5: ONLY the advisor can approve an extra hour for a department exam which is normally given to students with documented disabilities or to students whose first language is not English. A memo from the advisor must be included with the application.

    If you require particular services, please check "S/A" and contact Services for Students with Disabilities located in 162 Thorndike Hall. It is highly recommended that students with disabilities inform their advisors of this at the start of the doctoral program. Students cannot expect a memo from their advisor immediately so these issues should be worked out in advance. Please provide the advisor documentation of disability from the Services for Students with Disabilities Office.

    Computer Information: If students do NOT mark anything in this section, the default is hand writing the exam. The majority of students choose to use the computer.

    Cancellations: Students who decide to cancel taking the exam after filing the application should alert the IED/CIE Program Assistant and the ODS (attention: Aida Christian).

    Layout of the Certification Examination
    The general certification exam is based upon a bibliography that is available from the IED/CIE program assistant in 374 GDH. This bibliography is derived from the syllabi of the two core classes. The exam poses six questions, and students are required to select two questions to answer during a sit-down, timed exam. The exam is three hours long, although students whose first language is not English are allowed to request an extra hour if approved by the advisor.

    Certification Exam Preparation
    Students may ask the IED/CIE Program Assistant for past department exam questions to use for study purposes. Please keep in mind that past exam questions will not reappear on future exams; questions will be of similar genres but will not be identical in content. Additionally, the most recent syllabi for the core classes, ITSF 6580 and ITSF 6581, are available on the professors' websites.

    Every student needs to know his/her most successful approach to studying. The following are recommendations that many students have found particularly useful in preparing for the department exam:

    1. Create a small (3-4 people) study group. You can obtain a list of names of other doctoral students taking the exam from the IED/CIE Program Assistant.
    2. Decide with your study group members when you will meet and how you will divide the reading of the course material. Study groups usually begin to meet at least six weeks prior to the exam or during the summer/winter breaks before the exam.
    3. Contact doctoral students who have successfully passed the department exam for their advice on how to study for the exam.
    4. Take at least 2 practice exams under the same conditions in which you will take the exam. Create exam questions with your study group and take mock-exams at the same time and in a similar environment as the actual exam. Afterwards, review each other's exams.
    5. Sleep, eat and rest well!

    The Day of the Certification Exam
    One week before the exam date, check the bulletin board outside of the ODS (153 HM) to see what room the exam will be held in. This information will also be available the day of the exam at the Information Desk on the first floor Main Hall, (212) 678-3777, and the Thorndike Lobby Security desk. The ODS does not notify students of room assignments. Students should be in their assigned rooms at 8:45 am. The exam starts at 9:00 am and lasts until 12:00 pm. A dictionary -- electronic or hard copy -- may be used during the examination. Earplugs, blank paper, pens/pencils, and bottled water are also allowed in the room during the exam.

    After the Certification Exam: Grading Procedures
    After the department exam, one hard copy of the exam is sent to the ITS department. The IED/CIE program assistant makes another copy of the exam and routes the two copies to two program faculty reviewers with a grading sheet. The reviewers make comments, assign a grade, and return the exam to the Program Assistant. The grades are Low Pass, Pass, High Pass, and Fail. If there is a discrepancy between the grades assigned by the two reviewers, the exam will be read by a third reader. The student is informed of his/her grade via a mailed letter within 6 weeks of taking the exam and the IED/CIE program assistant informs ODS of the grades. Students can make an appointment with the program exam coordinator to see anonymous comments on the exam compiled from the reviewers. Students who fail the exam are advised to make an appointment with their advisor and the program exam coordinator regarding the exam and future steps. The grade of the exam is non-negotiable.

    Please note: The IED/CIE program assistant, ITS department secretary, and ITS department associate do not discuss grades with students under any circumstances. This is disrespectful, and inappropriate actions may have consequences. If, in any given semester, the IED/CIE program assistant is taking an exam, an alternative ITS staff member will take over the exam procedures.

    Some of the common problems for students who do not pass the exam are: 1) the student did not answer the question; (2) the student answered only pieces of the question, but not all sub-questions; (3) the student supplied information but lacked analysis; (4) the student did not provide a thesis -- the exam should be argument-driven, not author-driven; (5) the student did not reference key authors or texts.

    The Specialization Exam, Ed.D. Students

    Guidelines for the Specialization Examination (“PM exam”) towards the Ed.D. Degree
    Components of Certification
    The certification of Ed.D. students in the International Education Development Program (IED) consists of the successful completion of four components: (1) the departmental certification examination (“AM exam”); (2) the specialization examination (“PM exam”); (3) the dissertation proposal defense; and (4) the Teachers College (TC) Human Subjects Research Training (IRB). Upon successful completion, a Departmental Recommendation for Certification is made to the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS). The documentation is reviewed by ODS, after which the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is expected to fulfill the College requirement of continuous registration, graduating within a four-year timeline. This document describes the second part of this process—the examination in the area of the student's specialization. Please refer to the guidelines provided by ODS for all other requirements.

    The Specialization Examination
    The specialization examination provides an opportunity to integrate previous coursework and dissertation research interests toward the completion of the dissertation proposal. The examination consists of a take-home paper directly related to the student's dissertation topic- as it intersects with significant theories, debates, and studies in the relevant field of IED. The specialization examination is generally not recommended before the student has narrowed the research topic for the dissertation proposal.

    Readers
    The first reader is the adviser of the doctoral student and is affiliated with the students' area of concentration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies (ITS). The second reader is generally the second member of the student's dissertation committee and can be either a faculty member from the ITS department or a faculty member at the College working in the research area of the doctoral student.

    Planning and Registration
    Directly after completing the certification exam, doctoral students must inform their adviser of their intention to write the specialization examination and to solicit the willingness of the second reader to act as a reviewer.  At this time, doctoral students must develop their bibliographies and questions, and have both approved by their advisor.

    Each doctoral student must also follow the deadlines set by ODS and published in the academic calendar in order to register for the examination, which is generally by the first week of the semester in which the examination is taken. The student determines, in conversation with the first and second readers, the timeline for the specialization examination, which is to be taken over a two-week period, beginning no earlier than two weeks before the certification examination date established by ODS, and ending no later than two weeks after the deadline established by ODS, as set forth in the academic calendar.

    Content
    The examination consists of one or more questions to be determined in consultation with their first and second readers. At least four weeks prior to the official start of the examination, doctoral students submit to their first reader one or more possible questions and a preliminary bibliography with, in consultation with the first reader, an  ample number of sources indicating that they are ready to undertake the examination. The questions should be closely related the student's research interests and in their area of specialization. The first reader, in conversation with the second reader, suggests modification to the questions when necessary and returns to the student one or two questions on the date of the official start of the examination. Each doctoral student is given two weeks to complete the take-home examination. The recommended length for the written response to the examination questions is 25 pages in total, including references.

    Evaluation
    A well-crafted specialization examination demonstrates the doctoral student’s understanding of important theories, concepts, debates, studies, and developments in her or his particular area of IED and as it relates to the student's dissertation research topic. Each reviewer sets one of the following grades:  high pass, pass, low pass, or fail. Each reviewer also provides comments with the aim of informing the writing of the dissertation proposal.
  • The Specialization Exam, Ed.D Students
    Guidelines for the Specialization Examination (“PM exam”) towards the Ed.D. Degree

    Review of the Components of Certification

    The certification of Ed.D. students in the International Education Development Program (IED) consists of the successful completion of four components:
    1. The departmental certification examination (“AM exam”)
    2. The specialization examination (“PM exam”);
    3. The dissertation proposal defense
    4. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process
         a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website
         b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request
             approval from the IRB before beginning research

    Upon successful completion, a Departmental Recommendation for Certification is made to the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS). The documentation is reviewed by ODS, after which the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is expected to fulfill the College requirement of continuous registration, graduating within a four-year timeline. This document describes the second part of this process—the examination in the area of the student's specialization. Please refer to the guidelines provided by ODS for all other requirements.

    The Specialization Examination
    The specialization examination provides an opportunity to integrate previous coursework and dissertation research interests toward the completion of the dissertation proposal. The examination consists of a take-home paper directly related to the student's dissertation topic- as it intersects with significant theories, debates, and studies in the relevant field of IED. The specialization examination is generally not recommended before the student has narrowed the research topic for the dissertation proposal.

    Readers
    The first reader is the adviser of the doctoral student and is affiliated with the students' area of concentration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies (ITS). The second reader is generally the second member of the student's dissertation committee and can be either a faculty member from the ITS department or a faculty member at the College working in the research area of the doctoral student.

    Planning and Registration
    Directly after completing the certification exam, doctoral students must inform their adviser of their intention to write the specialization examination and to solicit the willingness of the second reader to act as a reviewer.  At this time, doctoral students must develop their bibliographies and questions, and have both approved by their advisor.

    Each doctoral student must also follow the deadlines set by ODS and published in the academic calendar in order to register for the examination, which is generally by the first week of the semester in which the examination is taken. The student determines, in conversation with the first and second readers, the timeline for the specialization examination, which is to be taken over a two-week period, beginning no earlier than two weeks before the certification examination date established by ODS, and ending no later than two weeks after the deadline established by ODS, as set forth in the academic calendar.

    Content
    The examination consists of one or more questions to be determined in consultation with their first and second readers. At least four weeks prior to the official start of the examination, doctoral students submit to their first reader one or more possible questions and a preliminary bibliography with, in consultation with the first reader, an  ample number of sources indicating that they are ready to undertake the examination. The questions should be closely related the student's research interests and in their area of specialization. The first reader, in conversation with the second reader, suggests modification to the questions when necessary and returns to the student one or two questions on the date of the official start of the examination. Each doctoral student is given two weeks to complete the take-home examination. The recommended length for the written response to the examination questions is 25 pages in total, including references.

    Evaluation
    A well-crafted specialization examination demonstrates the doctoral student’s understanding of important theories, concepts, debates, studies, and developments in her or his particular area of IED and as it relates to the student's dissertation research topic. Each reviewer sets one of the following grades:  high pass, pass, low pass, or fail. Each reviewer also provides comments with the aim of informing the writing of the dissertation proposal.
  • The Specialization Exam, Ph.D. Students with a Concentration in Anthropology
    Guidelines for the Specialization Examination (“PM exam”) towards the Ph.D. Degree

    Review of the Components of Certification:

    Steps to become eligible for Ph.D. certification (award of the M.Phil):

    1. Pass the department certification exam
    2 & 3. Pass the Anthropology Theory and Area Exams, which are required in place of the CIE Program’s specialization exam
    4. Pass the proposal hearing
    5. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process

     a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website

     b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request approval from the IRB before beginning research

    6. Have the ODS approve the program plan and statement of total program
    7. Complete 75 graduate credits of course work
    8. Demonstrate language proficiency in two languages other than English OR one language plus successful performance in a particular statistics sequence

    Upon successful completion, a Departmental Recommendation for the M. Phil is made to the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS). The documentation is reviewed by ODS, after which the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is expected to fulfill the College requirement of continuous registration, graduating within a four-year timeline. This document describes the second part of this process—the examination in the area of the student's specialization. Please refer to the guidelines provided by ODS for all other requirements.

    The Anthropology Theory and Area Exams

    The Theory and Area examinations provide an opportunity to integrate previous coursework and dissertation research interests toward the completion of the dissertation proposal. The examinations consist of two four-hour, in-house exams proctored by the Anthropology Program Assistant.  The exams are directly related to the student's dissertation topic, as it intersects with significant theories, debates, and studies in the relevant field of CIE as it relates to Anthropology.  Students may decide which exam they would like to take first.  The process for finding the readers, planning and registration, and evaluation listed below is the same for both exams.  The theory and area exams are generally not recommended before the student has narrowed the research topic for the dissertation proposal.

    Readers

    The readers are determined in consultation with the student’s advisor.  Generally the readers are affiliated with the students' area of concentration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies (ITS). The readers can be the first and second members of the student's dissertation committee and can be either faculty members from the ITS department or faculty members from any college working in the research area of the doctoral student.

    Planning and Registration

    After step #1,  which includes completing and passing the certification exam, doctoral students must begin working with their adviser to plan the Theory and Area Exams and to solicit the willingness of the first and second readers to act as reviewers.  It is the student’s choice to decide which exam to take first.  Doctoral students must develop their bibliographies and questions, and have both approved by their readers. 

    Each doctoral student must fill out The Doctoral Certification Examination Application form by the deadlines set by ODS which are published in the academic calendar  in order to take the Theory and Area examinations, which is generally by the first week of the semester . The student then determines, in conversation with the first and second readers, the timeline for the Theory and Area examinations, which are to be taken beginning no earlier than two weeks before the certification examination date established by ODS, and ending no later than two weeks after the deadline established by ODS, as set forth in the academic calendar. Exam times should be scheduled with the Anthropology Program Assistant.

    Content

    The examination consists of five questions, of which three have to be answered, in the duration of four hours. At least four weeks prior to the official start of the examination, doctoral students submit to their first reader five possible questions and a preliminary bibliography with, in consultation with the first reader, an  ample number of sources indicating that they are ready to undertake the examination. The questions should be closely related the student's research interests and in their area of specialization. The first reader, in conversation with the second reader, suggests modification to the questions when necessary and will decide which ones will be used for the exam.  The student is given four hours to answer three if the five revised questions.  They will not be allowed to consult their bibliography during the exam.

    Evaluation

    A well-crafted specialization examination demonstrates the doctoral student’s understanding of important theories, concepts, debates, studies, and developments in her or his particular area of CIE and as it relates to the student's dissertation research topic. Each reviewer sets one of the following grades:  high pass, pass, low pass, or fail.

    **Please note that this outline is indicative of a general course and has been created to give students an understanding of the process.  This is neither Teachers College policy nor Program policy.

     

  • The Specialization Exam, Ph.D. Students with a Concentration in Economics
    Guidelines for the Specialization Examination (“PM exam”) towards the Ph.D. Degree

    Review of the Components of Certification
    :
    Steps to become eligible for Ph.D. certification (award of the M.Phil):
    1. Pass the department certification exam
    2. Pass the specialization exam
    3. Pass the proposal hearing
    4. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process
         a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website
         b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request
             approval from the IRB before beginning research
    5. Have the ODS approve the program plan and statement of total program
    6. Complete 75 graduate credits of course work
    7. Demonstrate language proficiency in two languages other than English OR one language plus successful performance in a particular statistics sequence

    Upon successful completion, a Departmental Recommendation for the M.Phil is made to the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS). The documentation is reviewed by ODS, after which the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is expected to fulfill the College requirement of continuous registration, graduating within a four-year timeline. This document describes the second part of this process—the examination in the area of the student's specialization. Please refer to the guidelines provided by ODS for all other requirements.

    The Specialization Examination
    The specialization examination provides an opportunity to integrate previous coursework and dissertation research interests toward the completion of the dissertation proposal. The examination consists of a take-home paper directly related to the student's dissertation topic- as it intersects with significant theories, debates, and studies in the relevant field of CIE. The specialization examination is generally not recommended before the student has narrowed the research topic for the dissertation proposal.

    Readers
    The first reader is the adviser of the doctoral student and is affiliated with the students' area of concentration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies (ITS). The second reader is generally the second member of the student's dissertation committee and can be either a faculty member from the ITS department or a faculty member at the College working in the research area of the doctoral student.

    Planning and Registration
    Directly after completing the certification exam, doctoral students must inform their adviser of their intention to write the specialization examination and to solicit the willingness of the second reader to act as a reviewer.  At this time, doctoral students must develop their bibliographies and questions, and have both approved by their advisor.

    Each doctoral student must also follow the deadlines set by ODS and published in the academic calendar in order to register for the examination, which is generally by the first week of the semester in which the examination is taken. The student determines, in conversation with the first and second readers, the timeline for the specialization examination, which is to be taken over a two-week period, beginning no earlier than two weeks before the certification examination date established by ODS, and ending no later than two weeks after the deadline established by ODS, as set forth in the academic calendar.

    Content
    The examination consists of one or more questions to be determined in consultation with their first and second readers. At least four weeks prior to the official start of the examination, doctoral students submit to their first reader one or more possible questions and a preliminary bibliography with, in consultation with the first reader, an  ample number of sources indicating that they are ready to undertake the examination. The questions should be closely related the student's research interests and in their area of specialization. The first reader, in conversation with the second reader, suggests modification to the questions when necessary and returns to the student one or two questions on the date of the official start of the examination. Each doctoral student is given two weeks to complete the take-home examination. The recommended length for the written response to the examination questions is 25 pages in total, including references.

    Evaluation
    A well-crafted specialization examination demonstrates the doctoral student’s understanding of important theories, concepts, debates, studies, and developments in her or his particular area of CIE and as it relates to the student's dissertation research topic. Each reviewer sets one of the following grades:  high pass, pass, low pass, or fail. Each reviewer also provides comments with the aim of informing the writing of the dissertation proposal.
  • The Specialization Exam, Ph.D. Students with a Concentration in Philosophy
    Guidelines for the Specialization Examination (“PM exam”) towards the Ph.D. Degree

    Review of the Components of Certification
    :
    Steps to become eligible for Ph.D. certification (award of the M.Phil):
    1. Pass the department certification exam
    2. Pass the specialization exam
    3. Pass the proposal hearing
    4. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process
         a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website
         b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request
             approval from the IRB before beginning research
    5. Have the ODS approve the program plan and statement of total program
    6. Complete 75 graduate credits of course work
    7. Demonstrate language proficiency in two languages other than English OR one language plus successful performance in a particular statistics sequence

    Upon successful completion, a Departmental Recommendation for the M.Phil is made to the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS). The documentation is reviewed by ODS, after which the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is expected to fulfill the College requirement of continuous registration, graduating within a four-year timeline. This document describes the second part of this process—the examination in the area of the student's specialization. Please refer to the guidelines provided by ODS for all other requirements.

    The Specialization Examination
    The specialization examination provides an opportunity to integrate previous coursework and dissertation research interests toward the completion of the dissertation proposal. The examination consists of a take-home paper directly related to the student's dissertation topic- as it intersects with significant theories, debates, and studies in the relevant field of CIE. The specialization examination is generally not recommended before the student has narrowed the research topic for the dissertation proposal.

    Readers
    The first reader is the adviser of the doctoral student and is affiliated with the students' area of concentration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies (ITS). The second reader is generally the second member of the student's dissertation committee and can be either a faculty member from the ITS department or a faculty member at the College working in the research area of the doctoral student.

    Planning and Registration
    Directly after completing the certification exam, doctoral students must inform their adviser of their intention to write the specialization examination and to solicit the willingness of the second reader to act as a reviewer.  At this time, doctoral students must develop their bibliographies and questions, and have both approved by their advisor.

    Each doctoral student must also follow the deadlines set by ODS and published in the academic calendar in order to register for the examination, which is generally by the first week of the semester in which the examination is taken. The student determines, in conversation with the first and second readers, the timeline for the specialization examination, which is to be taken over a two-week period, beginning no earlier than two weeks before the certification examination date established by ODS, and ending no later than two weeks after the deadline established by ODS, as set forth in the academic calendar.

    Content
    The examination consists of one or more questions to be determined in consultation with their first and second readers. At least four weeks prior to the official start of the examination, doctoral students submit to their first reader one or more possible questions and a preliminary bibliography with, in consultation with the first reader, an  ample number of sources indicating that they are ready to undertake the examination. The questions should be closely related the student's research interests and in their area of specialization. The first reader, in conversation with the second reader, suggests modification to the questions when necessary and returns to the student one or two questions on the date of the official start of the examination. Each doctoral student is given two weeks to complete the take-home examination. The recommended length for the written response to the examination questions is 25 pages in total, including references.

    Evaluation
    A well-crafted specialization examination demonstrates the doctoral student’s understanding of important theories, concepts, debates, studies, and developments in her or his particular area of CIE and as it relates to the student's dissertation research topic. Each reviewer sets one of the following grades:  high pass, pass, low pass, or fail. Each reviewer also provides comments with the aim of informing the writing of the dissertation proposal.
  • The Specialization Exam, Ph.D. Students with a Concentration in Political Science
    Guidelines for the Specialization Examination (“PM exam”) towards the Ph.D. Degree

    Review of the Components of Certification
    :
    Steps to become eligible for Ph.D. certification (award of the M.Phil):
    1. Pass the department certification exam
    2. Pass the specialization exam
    3. Pass the proposal hearing
    4. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process
         a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website
         b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request
             approval from the IRB before beginning research
    5. Have the ODS approve the program plan and statement of total program
    6. Complete 75 graduate credits of course work
    7. Demonstrate language proficiency in two languages other than English OR one language plus successful performance in a particular statistics sequence

    Upon successful completion, a Departmental Recommendation for the M.Phil is made to the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS). The documentation is reviewed by ODS, after which the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is expected to fulfill the College requirement of continuous registration, graduating within a four-year timeline. This document describes the second part of this process—the examination in the area of the student's specialization. Please refer to the guidelines provided by ODS for all other requirements.

    The Specialization Examination
    The specialization examination provides an opportunity to integrate previous coursework and dissertation research interests toward the completion of the dissertation proposal. The examination consists of a take-home paper directly related to the student's dissertation topic- as it intersects with significant theories, debates, and studies in the relevant field of CIE. The specialization examination is generally not recommended before the student has narrowed the research topic for the dissertation proposal.

    Readers
    The first reader is the adviser of the doctoral student and is affiliated with the students' area of concentration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies (ITS). The second reader is generally the second member of the student's dissertation committee and can be either a faculty member from the ITS department or a faculty member at the College working in the research area of the doctoral student.

    Planning and Registration
    Directly after completing the certification exam, doctoral students must inform their adviser of their intention to write the specialization examination and to solicit the willingness of the second reader to act as a reviewer.  At this time, doctoral students must develop their bibliographies and questions, and have both approved by their advisor.

    Each doctoral student must also follow the deadlines set by ODS and published in the academic calendar in order to register for the examination, which is generally by the first week of the semester in which the examination is taken. The student determines, in conversation with the first and second readers, the timeline for the specialization examination, which is to be taken over a two-week period, beginning no earlier than two weeks before the certification examination date established by ODS, and ending no later than two weeks after the deadline established by ODS, as set forth in the academic calendar.

    Content
    The examination consists of one or more questions to be determined in consultation with their first and second readers. At least four weeks prior to the official start of the examination, doctoral students submit to their first reader one or more possible questions and a preliminary bibliography with, in consultation with the first reader, an  ample number of sources indicating that they are ready to undertake the examination. The questions should be closely related the student's research interests and in their area of specialization. The first reader, in conversation with the second reader, suggests modification to the questions when necessary and returns to the student one or two questions on the date of the official start of the examination. Each doctoral student is given two weeks to complete the take-home examination. The recommended length for the written response to the examination questions is 25 pages in total, including references.

    Evaluation
    A well-crafted specialization examination demonstrates the doctoral student’s understanding of important theories, concepts, debates, studies, and developments in her or his particular area of CIE and as it relates to the student's dissertation research topic. Each reviewer sets one of the following grades:  high pass, pass, low pass, or fail. Each reviewer also provides comments with the aim of informing the writing of the dissertation proposal.
  • The Specialization Exam, Ph.D. Students with a Concentration in Sociology
    TBA
  • The Language Proficiency Exams, Ph.D Students
    Each Ph.D. student must demonstrate acceptable proficiency in two foreign languages or one foreign language and a series of two statistics courses to fulfill M.Phil degree requirements. Ed.D. students do not have a language requirement. To obtain more detailed information on how to fulfill this requirement contact ODS and/ the appropriate language department/program at Columbia University. Please note that a specific sequence of Statistics courses can be substituted for one foreign language.


CertificationProcedures

  • Doctoral Student Progress and Degree Completion
    Department of International and Transcultural Studies
    Programs in International Educational Development
    & Comparative and International Education

    Policies Specific to the Programs of International and Comparative Education
    Doctoral student progress and degree completion

    Note: In many cases, Teachers College policies are less restrictive than the policies adopted by the Programs of International and Comparative Education. In such cases, Program policies take precedent.

    After having passed the general (AM) certification examination, students have two years to take the remaining steps to secure full certification, these include
    1. Passing the Specialization Exam
    2. Finishing their proposal
    3. Passing their proposal hearing
    4. Completing their Program Plan
    5. Completing their Statement of Total Program
    6. Passing Language Exams (Ph.D. students)
    7. Completing the IRB process.
    All Ed.D. candidates must complete their Ed.D. degree requirements by the expiration date of their period of certification. Ed.D. candidates who have not completed their degree during this time but have registered and completed a course during the last fiveyears may petition for an extension if they are in good standing and, if applicable, have satisfied the college requirements for continuous enrollment for doctoral dissertation advisement. Petitions for extensions may be obtained in the Office of Doctoral Studies. Students filing for an extension must:
    1. Have adequate and acceptable reason
    2. Have registered and completed a course within the last 5 years
    3. Provide a feasible plan for degree completion
    4. Obtain the approval of their faculty advisor, program coordinator and department chair
    5. Students filing petitions for extensions may be required to re-take courses,or undertake additional coursework, as specified by faculty advisor, program coordinator, and/or department chair
    6. File the petition within 6 months of expiration of the certification period
    7. File a maximum of two petitions, which will not exceed 2 years
  • Certification Procedures for Ed.D. Students
    Steps to become eligible for Ed.D. certification:
    1. Pass the department certification exam
    2. Pass the specialization exam
    3. Pass the proposal hearing
    4. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process
         a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website
         b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request
             approval from the IRB before beginning research
    5. Have the ODS approve the program plan and statement of total program


  • Certification/Candidate Procedures for Ph.D. Students
    Steps to become eligible for Ph.D. certification (award of the M.Phil):
    1. Pass the department certification exam
    2. Pass the specialization exam, students with a concentration in Anthropology or Sociology must take and additional specialization exam
    3. Pass the proposal hearing
    4. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process
         a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website
         b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request
             approval from the IRB before beginning research
    5. Have the ODS approve the program plan and statement of total program
    6. Complete 75 graduate credits of course work
    7. Demonstrate language proficiency in two languages other than English OR one language plus successful performance in a particular statistics sequence
  • The Certification Exam for Ed.D. and Ph.D. Students
    Information on the Certification Exam (aka "Comps" or "AM Exam" or "Department Exam")
    Students are advised to take the department exam the semester after they have successfully completed both ITSF 6580, Advanced Seminar in International Educational Development, and ITSF 6581, Advanced Seminar in Comparative Education. The topics and readings covered in the core classes serve as a basis for the breadth of knowledge expected on the department exam, and a full bibliography is available in 374 GDH. Every student has TWO opportunities to take the department examination. Thus if a student does NOT pass the first time, he/she can retake once. If a student does not pass the retake examination, he/she will be discontinued from the IED or CIE doctoral program.

    The department exam is offered twice during the academic year, in October and February. It is a three-hour morning exam that is usually taken on the computer. The deadline to apply to take the department examination is the first Friday of the fall semester (for the October exam) and the first Friday of the Spring semester (for the February exam). Students can obtain an Application for the Ed.D. or Ph.D. Doctoral Certification Examination from the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS) in 324 Thorndike Hall. This form needs to be filled out, signed by the advisor, and submitted to ODS prior to the application deadline. It is highly recommended that students bring a copy of the completed form to the IED/CIE Program Assistant in 374 GDH for filing. Please be careful to fill out the form correctly. The Program Assistant can review any application or paperwork before it is returned it to ODS.

    Filling out the Application for the Ed.D. or Ph.D. Doctoral Certification Examination:
    If you are ONLY taking the department exam, ONLY fill out SECTION I.
    Please note the following when filling out SECTION I.
    Question 1: The department name is: International & Transcultural Studies.
    Question 2: The program name is EITHER: International Education Development OR Comparative and International Education.
    Question 3: The examination is ONLY a retake if the student did NOT pass the first time.
    Question 4: If the student is ONLY taking the department examination, check AM. If the student is taking both the department exam and the specialization exam in the same semester, check BOTH. Please note that this is NOT recommended.
    Question 5: ONLY the advisor can approve an extra hour for a department exam which is normally given to students with documented disabilities or to students whose first language is not English. A memo from the advisor must be included with the application.

    If you require particular services, please check "S/A" and contact Services for Students with Disabilities located in 162 Thorndike Hall. It is highly recommended that students with disabilities inform their advisors of this at the start of the doctoral program. Students cannot expect a memo from their advisor immediately so these issues should be worked out in advance. Please provide the advisor documentation of disability from the Services for Students with Disabilities Office.

    Computer Information: If students do NOT mark anything in this section, the default is hand writing the exam. The majority of students choose to use the computer.

    Cancellations: Students who decide to cancel taking the exam after filing the application should alert the IED/CIE Program Assistant and the ODS (attention: Aida Christian).

    Layout of the Certification Examination
    The general certification exam is based upon a bibliography that is available from the IED/CIE program assistant in 374 GDH. This bibliography is derived from the syllabi of the two core classes. The exam poses six questions, and students are required to select two questions to answer during a sit-down, timed exam. The exam is three hours long, although students whose first language is not English are allowed to request an extra hour if approved by the advisor.

    Certification Exam Preparation
    Students may ask the IED/CIE Program Assistant for past department exam questions to use for study purposes. Please keep in mind that past exam questions will not reappear on future exams; questions will be of similar genres but will not be identical in content. Additionally, the most recent syllabi for the core classes, ITSF 6580 and ITSF 6581, are available on the professors' websites.

    Every student needs to know his/her most successful approach to studying. The following are recommendations that many students have found particularly useful in preparing for the department exam:

    1. Create a small (3-4 people) study group. You can obtain a list of names of other doctoral students taking the exam from the IED/CIE Program Assistant.
    2. Decide with your study group members when you will meet and how you will divide the reading of the course material. Study groups usually begin to meet at least six weeks prior to the exam or during the summer/winter breaks before the exam.
    3. Contact doctoral students who have successfully passed the department exam for their advice on how to study for the exam.
    4. Take at least 2 practice exams under the same conditions in which you will take the exam. Create exam questions with your study group and take mock-exams at the same time and in a similar environment as the actual exam. Afterwards, review each other's exams.
    5. Sleep, eat and rest well!

    The Day of the Certification Exam
    One week before the exam date, check the bulletin board outside of the ODS (153 HM) to see what room the exam will be held in. This information will also be available the day of the exam at the Information Desk on the first floor Main Hall, (212) 678-3777, and the Thorndike Lobby Security desk. The ODS does not notify students of room assignments. Students should be in their assigned rooms at 8:45 am. The exam starts at 9:00 am and lasts until 12:00 pm. A dictionary -- electronic or hard copy -- may be used during the examination. Earplugs, blank paper, pens/pencils, and bottled water are also allowed in the room during the exam.

    After the Certification Exam: Grading Procedures
    After the department exam, one hard copy of the exam is sent to the ITS department. The IED/CIE program assistant makes another copy of the exam and routes the two copies to two program faculty reviewers with a grading sheet. The reviewers make comments, assign a grade, and return the exam to the Program Assistant. The grades are Low Pass, Pass, High Pass, and Fail. If there is a discrepancy between the grades assigned by the two reviewers, the exam will be read by a third reader. The student is informed of his/her grade via a mailed letter within 6 weeks of taking the exam and the IED/CIE program assistant informs ODS of the grades. Students can make an appointment with the program exam coordinator to see anonymous comments on the exam compiled from the reviewers. Students who fail the exam are advised to make an appointment with their advisor and the program exam coordinator regarding the exam and future steps. The grade of the exam is non-negotiable.

    Please note: The IED/CIE program assistant, ITS department secretary, and ITS department associate do not discuss grades with students under any circumstances. This is disrespectful, and inappropriate actions may have consequences. If, in any given semester, the IED/CIE program assistant is taking an exam, an alternative ITS staff member will take over the exam procedures.

    Some of the common problems for students who do not pass the exam are: 1) the student did not answer the question; (2) the student answered only pieces of the question, but not all sub-questions; (3) the student supplied information but lacked analysis; (4) the student did not provide a thesis -- the exam should be argument-driven, not author-driven; (5) the student did not reference key authors or texts.

    The Specialization Exam, Ed.D. Students

    Guidelines for the Specialization Examination (“PM exam”) towards the Ed.D. Degree
    Components of Certification
    The certification of Ed.D. students in the International Education Development Program (IED) consists of the successful completion of four components: (1) the departmental certification examination (“AM exam”); (2) the specialization examination (“PM exam”); (3) the dissertation proposal defense; and (4) the Teachers College (TC) Human Subjects Research Training (IRB). Upon successful completion, a Departmental Recommendation for Certification is made to the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS). The documentation is reviewed by ODS, after which the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is expected to fulfill the College requirement of continuous registration, graduating within a four-year timeline. This document describes the second part of this process—the examination in the area of the student's specialization. Please refer to the guidelines provided by ODS for all other requirements.

    The Specialization Examination
    The specialization examination provides an opportunity to integrate previous coursework and dissertation research interests toward the completion of the dissertation proposal. The examination consists of a take-home paper directly related to the student's dissertation topic- as it intersects with significant theories, debates, and studies in the relevant field of IED. The specialization examination is generally not recommended before the student has narrowed the research topic for the dissertation proposal.

    Readers
    The first reader is the adviser of the doctoral student and is affiliated with the students' area of concentration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies (ITS). The second reader is generally the second member of the student's dissertation committee and can be either a faculty member from the ITS department or a faculty member at the College working in the research area of the doctoral student.

    Planning and Registration
    Directly after completing the certification exam, doctoral students must inform their adviser of their intention to write the specialization examination and to solicit the willingness of the second reader to act as a reviewer.  At this time, doctoral students must develop their bibliographies and questions, and have both approved by their advisor.

    Each doctoral student must also follow the deadlines set by ODS and published in the academic calendar in order to register for the examination, which is generally by the first week of the semester in which the examination is taken. The student determines, in conversation with the first and second readers, the timeline for the specialization examination, which is to be taken over a two-week period, beginning no earlier than two weeks before the certification examination date established by ODS, and ending no later than two weeks after the deadline established by ODS, as set forth in the academic calendar.

    Content
    The examination consists of one or more questions to be determined in consultation with their first and second readers. At least four weeks prior to the official start of the examination, doctoral students submit to their first reader one or more possible questions and a preliminary bibliography with, in consultation with the first reader, an  ample number of sources indicating that they are ready to undertake the examination. The questions should be closely related the student's research interests and in their area of specialization. The first reader, in conversation with the second reader, suggests modification to the questions when necessary and returns to the student one or two questions on the date of the official start of the examination. Each doctoral student is given two weeks to complete the take-home examination. The recommended length for the written response to the examination questions is 25 pages in total, including references.

    Evaluation
    A well-crafted specialization examination demonstrates the doctoral student’s understanding of important theories, concepts, debates, studies, and developments in her or his particular area of IED and as it relates to the student's dissertation research topic. Each reviewer sets one of the following grades:  high pass, pass, low pass, or fail. Each reviewer also provides comments with the aim of informing the writing of the dissertation proposal.
  • The Specialization Exam, Ed.D Students
    Guidelines for the Specialization Examination (“PM exam”) towards the Ed.D. Degree

    Review of the Components of Certification

    The certification of Ed.D. students in the International Education Development Program (IED) consists of the successful completion of four components:
    1. The departmental certification examination (“AM exam”)
    2. The specialization examination (“PM exam”);
    3. The dissertation proposal defense
    4. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process
         a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website
         b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request
             approval from the IRB before beginning research

    Upon successful completion, a Departmental Recommendation for Certification is made to the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS). The documentation is reviewed by ODS, after which the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is expected to fulfill the College requirement of continuous registration, graduating within a four-year timeline. This document describes the second part of this process—the examination in the area of the student's specialization. Please refer to the guidelines provided by ODS for all other requirements.

    The Specialization Examination
    The specialization examination provides an opportunity to integrate previous coursework and dissertation research interests toward the completion of the dissertation proposal. The examination consists of a take-home paper directly related to the student's dissertation topic- as it intersects with significant theories, debates, and studies in the relevant field of IED. The specialization examination is generally not recommended before the student has narrowed the research topic for the dissertation proposal.

    Readers
    The first reader is the adviser of the doctoral student and is affiliated with the students' area of concentration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies (ITS). The second reader is generally the second member of the student's dissertation committee and can be either a faculty member from the ITS department or a faculty member at the College working in the research area of the doctoral student.

    Planning and Registration
    Directly after completing the certification exam, doctoral students must inform their adviser of their intention to write the specialization examination and to solicit the willingness of the second reader to act as a reviewer.  At this time, doctoral students must develop their bibliographies and questions, and have both approved by their advisor.

    Each doctoral student must also follow the deadlines set by ODS and published in the academic calendar in order to register for the examination, which is generally by the first week of the semester in which the examination is taken. The student determines, in conversation with the first and second readers, the timeline for the specialization examination, which is to be taken over a two-week period, beginning no earlier than two weeks before the certification examination date established by ODS, and ending no later than two weeks after the deadline established by ODS, as set forth in the academic calendar.

    Content
    The examination consists of one or more questions to be determined in consultation with their first and second readers. At least four weeks prior to the official start of the examination, doctoral students submit to their first reader one or more possible questions and a preliminary bibliography with, in consultation with the first reader, an  ample number of sources indicating that they are ready to undertake the examination. The questions should be closely related the student's research interests and in their area of specialization. The first reader, in conversation with the second reader, suggests modification to the questions when necessary and returns to the student one or two questions on the date of the official start of the examination. Each doctoral student is given two weeks to complete the take-home examination. The recommended length for the written response to the examination questions is 25 pages in total, including references.

    Evaluation
    A well-crafted specialization examination demonstrates the doctoral student’s understanding of important theories, concepts, debates, studies, and developments in her or his particular area of IED and as it relates to the student's dissertation research topic. Each reviewer sets one of the following grades:  high pass, pass, low pass, or fail. Each reviewer also provides comments with the aim of informing the writing of the dissertation proposal.
  • The Specialization Exam, Ph.D. Students with a Concentration in Anthropology
    Guidelines for the Specialization Examination (“PM exam”) towards the Ph.D. Degree

    Review of the Components of Certification:

    Steps to become eligible for Ph.D. certification (award of the M.Phil):

    1. Pass the department certification exam
    2 & 3. Pass the Anthropology Theory and Area Exams, which are required in place of the CIE Program’s specialization exam
    4. Pass the proposal hearing
    5. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process

     a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website

     b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request approval from the IRB before beginning research

    6. Have the ODS approve the program plan and statement of total program
    7. Complete 75 graduate credits of course work
    8. Demonstrate language proficiency in two languages other than English OR one language plus successful performance in a particular statistics sequence

    Upon successful completion, a Departmental Recommendation for the M. Phil is made to the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS). The documentation is reviewed by ODS, after which the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is expected to fulfill the College requirement of continuous registration, graduating within a four-year timeline. This document describes the second part of this process—the examination in the area of the student's specialization. Please refer to the guidelines provided by ODS for all other requirements.

    The Anthropology Theory and Area Exams

    The Theory and Area examinations provide an opportunity to integrate previous coursework and dissertation research interests toward the completion of the dissertation proposal. The examinations consist of two four-hour, in-house exams proctored by the Anthropology Program Assistant.  The exams are directly related to the student's dissertation topic, as it intersects with significant theories, debates, and studies in the relevant field of CIE as it relates to Anthropology.  Students may decide which exam they would like to take first.  The process for finding the readers, planning and registration, and evaluation listed below is the same for both exams.  The theory and area exams are generally not recommended before the student has narrowed the research topic for the dissertation proposal.

    Readers

    The readers are determined in consultation with the student’s advisor.  Generally the readers are affiliated with the students' area of concentration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies (ITS). The readers can be the first and second members of the student's dissertation committee and can be either faculty members from the ITS department or faculty members from any college working in the research area of the doctoral student.

    Planning and Registration

    After step #1,  which includes completing and passing the certification exam, doctoral students must begin working with their adviser to plan the Theory and Area Exams and to solicit the willingness of the first and second readers to act as reviewers.  It is the student’s choice to decide which exam to take first.  Doctoral students must develop their bibliographies and questions, and have both approved by their readers. 

    Each doctoral student must fill out The Doctoral Certification Examination Application form by the deadlines set by ODS which are published in the academic calendar  in order to take the Theory and Area examinations, which is generally by the first week of the semester . The student then determines, in conversation with the first and second readers, the timeline for the Theory and Area examinations, which are to be taken beginning no earlier than two weeks before the certification examination date established by ODS, and ending no later than two weeks after the deadline established by ODS, as set forth in the academic calendar. Exam times should be scheduled with the Anthropology Program Assistant.

    Content

    The examination consists of five questions, of which three have to be answered, in the duration of four hours. At least four weeks prior to the official start of the examination, doctoral students submit to their first reader five possible questions and a preliminary bibliography with, in consultation with the first reader, an  ample number of sources indicating that they are ready to undertake the examination. The questions should be closely related the student's research interests and in their area of specialization. The first reader, in conversation with the second reader, suggests modification to the questions when necessary and will decide which ones will be used for the exam.  The student is given four hours to answer three if the five revised questions.  They will not be allowed to consult their bibliography during the exam.

    Evaluation

    A well-crafted specialization examination demonstrates the doctoral student’s understanding of important theories, concepts, debates, studies, and developments in her or his particular area of CIE and as it relates to the student's dissertation research topic. Each reviewer sets one of the following grades:  high pass, pass, low pass, or fail.

    **Please note that this outline is indicative of a general course and has been created to give students an understanding of the process.  This is neither Teachers College policy nor Program policy.

     

  • The Specialization Exam, Ph.D. Students with a Concentration in Economics
    Guidelines for the Specialization Examination (“PM exam”) towards the Ph.D. Degree

    Review of the Components of Certification
    :
    Steps to become eligible for Ph.D. certification (award of the M.Phil):
    1. Pass the department certification exam
    2. Pass the specialization exam
    3. Pass the proposal hearing
    4. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process
         a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website
         b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request
             approval from the IRB before beginning research
    5. Have the ODS approve the program plan and statement of total program
    6. Complete 75 graduate credits of course work
    7. Demonstrate language proficiency in two languages other than English OR one language plus successful performance in a particular statistics sequence

    Upon successful completion, a Departmental Recommendation for the M.Phil is made to the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS). The documentation is reviewed by ODS, after which the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is expected to fulfill the College requirement of continuous registration, graduating within a four-year timeline. This document describes the second part of this process—the examination in the area of the student's specialization. Please refer to the guidelines provided by ODS for all other requirements.

    The Specialization Examination
    The specialization examination provides an opportunity to integrate previous coursework and dissertation research interests toward the completion of the dissertation proposal. The examination consists of a take-home paper directly related to the student's dissertation topic- as it intersects with significant theories, debates, and studies in the relevant field of CIE. The specialization examination is generally not recommended before the student has narrowed the research topic for the dissertation proposal.

    Readers
    The first reader is the adviser of the doctoral student and is affiliated with the students' area of concentration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies (ITS). The second reader is generally the second member of the student's dissertation committee and can be either a faculty member from the ITS department or a faculty member at the College working in the research area of the doctoral student.

    Planning and Registration
    Directly after completing the certification exam, doctoral students must inform their adviser of their intention to write the specialization examination and to solicit the willingness of the second reader to act as a reviewer.  At this time, doctoral students must develop their bibliographies and questions, and have both approved by their advisor.

    Each doctoral student must also follow the deadlines set by ODS and published in the academic calendar in order to register for the examination, which is generally by the first week of the semester in which the examination is taken. The student determines, in conversation with the first and second readers, the timeline for the specialization examination, which is to be taken over a two-week period, beginning no earlier than two weeks before the certification examination date established by ODS, and ending no later than two weeks after the deadline established by ODS, as set forth in the academic calendar.

    Content
    The examination consists of one or more questions to be determined in consultation with their first and second readers. At least four weeks prior to the official start of the examination, doctoral students submit to their first reader one or more possible questions and a preliminary bibliography with, in consultation with the first reader, an  ample number of sources indicating that they are ready to undertake the examination. The questions should be closely related the student's research interests and in their area of specialization. The first reader, in conversation with the second reader, suggests modification to the questions when necessary and returns to the student one or two questions on the date of the official start of the examination. Each doctoral student is given two weeks to complete the take-home examination. The recommended length for the written response to the examination questions is 25 pages in total, including references.

    Evaluation
    A well-crafted specialization examination demonstrates the doctoral student’s understanding of important theories, concepts, debates, studies, and developments in her or his particular area of CIE and as it relates to the student's dissertation research topic. Each reviewer sets one of the following grades:  high pass, pass, low pass, or fail. Each reviewer also provides comments with the aim of informing the writing of the dissertation proposal.
  • The Specialization Exam, Ph.D. Students with a Concentration in Philosophy
    Guidelines for the Specialization Examination (“PM exam”) towards the Ph.D. Degree

    Review of the Components of Certification
    :
    Steps to become eligible for Ph.D. certification (award of the M.Phil):
    1. Pass the department certification exam
    2. Pass the specialization exam
    3. Pass the proposal hearing
    4. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process
         a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website
         b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request
             approval from the IRB before beginning research
    5. Have the ODS approve the program plan and statement of total program
    6. Complete 75 graduate credits of course work
    7. Demonstrate language proficiency in two languages other than English OR one language plus successful performance in a particular statistics sequence

    Upon successful completion, a Departmental Recommendation for the M.Phil is made to the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS). The documentation is reviewed by ODS, after which the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is expected to fulfill the College requirement of continuous registration, graduating within a four-year timeline. This document describes the second part of this process—the examination in the area of the student's specialization. Please refer to the guidelines provided by ODS for all other requirements.

    The Specialization Examination
    The specialization examination provides an opportunity to integrate previous coursework and dissertation research interests toward the completion of the dissertation proposal. The examination consists of a take-home paper directly related to the student's dissertation topic- as it intersects with significant theories, debates, and studies in the relevant field of CIE. The specialization examination is generally not recommended before the student has narrowed the research topic for the dissertation proposal.

    Readers
    The first reader is the adviser of the doctoral student and is affiliated with the students' area of concentration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies (ITS). The second reader is generally the second member of the student's dissertation committee and can be either a faculty member from the ITS department or a faculty member at the College working in the research area of the doctoral student.

    Planning and Registration
    Directly after completing the certification exam, doctoral students must inform their adviser of their intention to write the specialization examination and to solicit the willingness of the second reader to act as a reviewer.  At this time, doctoral students must develop their bibliographies and questions, and have both approved by their advisor.

    Each doctoral student must also follow the deadlines set by ODS and published in the academic calendar in order to register for the examination, which is generally by the first week of the semester in which the examination is taken. The student determines, in conversation with the first and second readers, the timeline for the specialization examination, which is to be taken over a two-week period, beginning no earlier than two weeks before the certification examination date established by ODS, and ending no later than two weeks after the deadline established by ODS, as set forth in the academic calendar.

    Content
    The examination consists of one or more questions to be determined in consultation with their first and second readers. At least four weeks prior to the official start of the examination, doctoral students submit to their first reader one or more possible questions and a preliminary bibliography with, in consultation with the first reader, an  ample number of sources indicating that they are ready to undertake the examination. The questions should be closely related the student's research interests and in their area of specialization. The first reader, in conversation with the second reader, suggests modification to the questions when necessary and returns to the student one or two questions on the date of the official start of the examination. Each doctoral student is given two weeks to complete the take-home examination. The recommended length for the written response to the examination questions is 25 pages in total, including references.

    Evaluation
    A well-crafted specialization examination demonstrates the doctoral student’s understanding of important theories, concepts, debates, studies, and developments in her or his particular area of CIE and as it relates to the student's dissertation research topic. Each reviewer sets one of the following grades:  high pass, pass, low pass, or fail. Each reviewer also provides comments with the aim of informing the writing of the dissertation proposal.
  • The Specialization Exam, Ph.D. Students with a Concentration in Political Science
    Guidelines for the Specialization Examination (“PM exam”) towards the Ph.D. Degree

    Review of the Components of Certification
    :
    Steps to become eligible for Ph.D. certification (award of the M.Phil):
    1. Pass the department certification exam
    2. Pass the specialization exam
    3. Pass the proposal hearing
    4. Human Subject Research and Institutional Review Board, IRB, process
         a. Satisfy the Human Subject Research training requirements outlined on the IRB website
         b. Upon successful completion of the dissertation proposal defense, all students are required to request
             approval from the IRB before beginning research
    5. Have the ODS approve the program plan and statement of total program
    6. Complete 75 graduate credits of course work
    7. Demonstrate language proficiency in two languages other than English OR one language plus successful performance in a particular statistics sequence

    Upon successful completion, a Departmental Recommendation for the M.Phil is made to the Office of Doctoral Studies (ODS). The documentation is reviewed by ODS, after which the student becomes a doctoral candidate and is expected to fulfill the College requirement of continuous registration, graduating within a four-year timeline. This document describes the second part of this process—the examination in the area of the student's specialization. Please refer to the guidelines provided by ODS for all other requirements.

    The Specialization Examination
    The specialization examination provides an opportunity to integrate previous coursework and dissertation research interests toward the completion of the dissertation proposal. The examination consists of a take-home paper directly related to the student's dissertation topic- as it intersects with significant theories, debates, and studies in the relevant field of CIE. The specialization examination is generally not recommended before the student has narrowed the research topic for the dissertation proposal.

    Readers
    The first reader is the adviser of the doctoral student and is affiliated with the students' area of concentration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies (ITS). The second reader is generally the second member of the student's dissertation committee and can be either a faculty member from the ITS department or a faculty member at the College working in the research area of the doctoral student.

    Planning and Registration
    Directly after completing the certification exam, doctoral students must inform their adviser of their intention to write the specialization examination and to solicit the willingness of the second reader to act as a reviewer.  At this time, doctoral students must develop their bibliographies and questions, and have both approved by their advisor.

    Each doctoral student must also follow the deadlines set by ODS and published in the academic calendar in order to register for the examination, which is generally by the first week of the semester in which the examination is taken. The student determines, in conversation with the first and second readers, the timeline for the specialization examination, which is to be taken over a two-week period, beginning no earlier than two weeks before the certification examination date established by ODS, and ending no later than two weeks after the deadline established by ODS, as set forth in the academic calendar.

    Content
    The examination consists of one or more questions to be determined in consultation with their first and second readers. At least four weeks prior to the official start of the examination, doctoral students submit to their first reader one or more possible questions and a preliminary bibliography with, in consultation with the first reader, an  ample number of sources indicating that they are ready to undertake the examination. The questions should be closely related the student's research interests and in their area of specialization. The first reader, in conversation with the second reader, suggests modification to the questions when necessary and returns to the student one or two questions on the date of the official start of the examination. Each doctoral student is given two weeks to complete the take-home examination. The recommended length for the written response to the examination questions is 25 pages in total, including references.

    Evaluation
    A well-crafted specialization examination demonstrates the doctoral student’s understanding of important theories, concepts, debates, studies, and developments in her or his particular area of CIE and as it relates to the student's dissertation research topic. Each reviewer sets one of the following grades:  high pass, pass, low pass, or fail. Each reviewer also provides comments with the aim of informing the writing of the dissertation proposal.
  • The Specialization Exam, Ph.D. Students with a Concentration in Sociology
    TBA
  • The Language Proficiency Exams, Ph.D Students
    Each Ph.D. student must demonstrate acceptable proficiency in two foreign languages or one foreign language and a series of two statistics courses to fulfill M.Phil degree requirements. Ed.D. students do not have a language requirement. To obtain more detailed information on how to fulfill this requirement contact ODS and/ the appropriate language department/program at Columbia University. Please note that a specific sequence of Statistics courses can be substituted for one foreign language.