To successfully complete the Master of Arts Degree in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (QMSS) at Columbia University, students must:

  • Receive a passing grade in the five required QMSS courses:
  1. QMSS GR5010 Quantitative Theory and Methodology
  2. QMSS GR5015 Data Analysis for the Social Sciences (or Focus equivalent)
  3. QMSS GR5021 Research Seminar I
  4. QMSS GR5022 Research Seminar II
  5. QMSS GR5999 Master's Thesis
  • Complete at least 4 approved electives
  • Complete a minimum of 30 graduate course credits
  • Maintain a 3.0 or above average GPA.
  • Complete payment for the equivalence of two full Residence Units.
  • Apply to graduate by the deadline for the appropriate semester.

Students must complete five required core courses and four or five electives in order to graduate. Two of these elective courses must be in statistics or research methods.  Please see our Courses page for required core courses and elective options

QMSS Students typically take between 4 and 6 elective courses. Any 4000-level or above course offered by QMSS, Computer Science, IEOREconomicsStatistics, PsychologyPolitical ScienceSociology, HistoryMathematics, or SIPA will satisfy one of these requirements. 4000-level courses outside these departments MAY satisfy an elective requirement but require approval by the Director of QMSS. Send a copy of the syllabus to <qmss@columbia.edu> for approval to count a course towards your degree progress.

  • NOTE: Approval of a course does not grant you permission to enroll in a non-QMSS course. That is controlled by the course instructor. CLICK HERE for more detailed registration procedures.

Grading Policy: You must receive a passing letter grade in any classes that you count towards your degree must be taken for a letter grade. The only exceptoins to this policy include qualifying classes (4000+ in an approved subject area) that are only offered for P/N credit. The most common examples of this are the QMSS Practicum (GR5052, GR5053, GR5055, GR5056) and Internship (GR5050, GR5051, GR5054) classes.

Be aware that course listings are always subject to change. You should always check in the Columbia Directory of Classes for the most up-to-date information. 

Dual Degree Planning

QMSS Master of Arts/CC/Barnard Bachelor or Arts

BA/MA 4+1 Degree Requirements Checklist.pdf

BA/MA students may begin taking QMSS courses the semester after they are admitted. Upon matriculation in GSAS, they can recieve up to 1/2-Residence Unit in advanced standing (or 3 courses) from their time at Coulmbia College or Barnard.

QMSS Master of Arts/SIPA Masters of Public Administration (MPA)

MPA/MA Degree Requirements Checklist.pdf

QMSS Master of Arts/SIPA Masters of International Affairs (MIA)

MIA/MA Degree Requirements Checklist.pdf

Graduation Requirements

There are three graduation dates throughout the year (February, May, and October). Graduation ceremonies take place once a year in May. Any student who has graduated during that academic year (October through May) is eligible to participate. QMSS will determine eligibility for graduation after the student has completed all coursework and has submitted an application for degree. The Graduate School will contact you with information about tickets, and more information will be available on the GSAS website in the spring.

Columbia University also hosts graduation ceremonies separate from GSAS. These ceremonies are for the whole university and more information about them can be found here.

Registering to Graduate: You must complete this form and submit to the Registrar's office/Student Services by these dates for each graduation (Graduation Date, Application Due Date):

  • For October; September 1
  • For February; November 1
  • For May; December 1

If you have problems or miss a deadline, please contact the Program Coordinator for help.