Please see the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences website HERE for the most up-to-date information on tuition and fees.  GSAS charges tuition through a "residence unit" system.

Full-time students are expected to complete the program in two (2) semesters of coursework. Full-time students are encouraged to take the maximum number of credits per Residence Unit (RU) each semester. 1 RU = 20 credits maximum and 4 courses minimum. 

Part-time students are expected to complete the program in four (4) to five (5) semesters of coursework. Part-time students are encouraged to take 4 semesters of courses at ½ RU each semester (2-3 courses). However, part-time students may also take 5 semesters of coursework with the first and last semester holding only ¼ RU (2 courses). These students may accrue more than the required 30 credits/10 courses. 

Please visit the GSAS Cost of Attendance page for more information on how this works.

Estimated Living Expenses

The following table lists estimated living expenses based upon reasonable expenditures over the 9-monthacademic year. Students may incur additional expenses that are not covered by the standard Cost of Attendance, such as the purchase of a computer, medical expenses not covered by insurance, conference expenses, etc. For more information, we encourage you to consult a cost-of-living calculator for New York City like this one provided by NerdWallet:

Room and board

$20,400 ($1200/mo for room, $500/month for groceries)

Health Insurance

 Variable - Columbia Students are required to have health insurance. If you do not have an independant policy, you are strongly encouraged to take advantafe of the Columbia Student Health Plan. Informtion about this coverage and it's associated cost can be found HERE

Personal Expenses

$5,124 ($127/mo for metrocard, $300/month for other miscellaneous expenses)

Books and supplies  

$2,500 (Few books are required for this program; this mostly reflects the cost of personal computing and software needs.)

Additional Allowances- Children

First child


Each additional child


For information on loans and financial aid, please see the GSAS website.  

Merit-Based Scholarships

Each year QMSS offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships that cover a portion of program tuition costs. All applicants are considered for these opportunities during the admissions process so there is no need to include any additional materials in your application. Awards are based on the criteria specified by the specific scholarships and the availability of institutional resources.

QMSS Research Assistantships

  Research Assistantships can help offset the cost of your tuition for the QMSS MA program.

Assistantships are awarded to accepted students after students have confirmed attendance. Incoming students will be provided with an assistantship application over the summer. Assistantships are both need and content based.

NOTE: This program is neither merti nor need-based. Placement is dependant on the skillsets requested by cooperating faculty at the point of application.

QMSS Teaching Assistantships

Beginning in their second semester, high-performing QMSS students are eligible to apply for QMSS TA positions valued at $4000.00 per semester of work.

Public Service (Federal) Loan Forgiveness

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) was created to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your eligible federal student loans after you have made 120 income-adjusted payments on loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time in public service or working with 501(c)(3) non-profits. Under such payment plans, your monthly payment on student loans is capped according to your annual salary, and if eligible for PSLF, the balance is forgiven after 120 payments (10 years).

For more information, please visit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness website.

Employee Tuition Benefits Program

Many employers provide educational assistance programs to their employees in order to develop employee capacity. While most employers subsidize education for students in part-time study as they work full time, some employers will allow their employees to undertake full-time study during a leave of absence. We encourage applicants to explore these options with their company's human resources department. Columbia University provides tuition benefits for its employees. Please consult your department administrator for more information. Also, read our "quick guide" to how this Columbia benefit may work for our students. 

Other Funding Sources

 There are many organizations and individuals who would be very interested in funding you in your academic career. We encourage you to browse the internet to learn more and contact current or future employers about employee incentive programs. We have provided links to some of these opportunities below. Additionally, Fastweb provides an online scholarship search engine that can be very useful in finding resources to support your studies at QMSS.


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