Early Admission for Columbia and Barnard SENIORS

Juniors should apply by the regular decision deadline on January 19th, 2023.

The Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (QMSS) Master of Arts Program at Columbia University invites undergraduate students of Columbia College, SEAS, Barnard and the Columbia School of General Studies to apply for early admission to the QMSS MA program for the opportunity to begin their MA coursework in their senior year. This option allows current Columbia undergraduate students to participate in MA coursework with a promise of official admission to the MA program following the conferral of their undergraduate degree.

GSAS may grant up to a half residence unit of transfer credit towards MA degree requirements for master-level coursework taken as undergraduates outside of BA/BS degree requirements. Students who are interested in pursuing the BA/MA option at QMSS should attend an information session with QMSS, typically in late September until mid-October. For more details on information sessions, email <[email protected]> or your program.

When an applicant is offered admission through the BA/MA option, they are not required to formally accept the offer of admission to the MA. Rather, they should begin taking graduate-level coursework and work separately toward the satisfactory completion of their undergraduate degree.

When the expected degree completion date approaches, the Office of Admissions will write to each student admitted through the BA/MA option to confirm that their undergraduate studies will be completed on schedule and that they still intend to enroll in the MA program. When confirmation is received, the student will be issued a formal letter offering admission to the MA program. At this point, the student must formally accept the offer by paying the tuition deposit. They will also be subject to the same credential verification processes as all other applicants admitted to GSAS.

Applicants interested in the B.A./M.A. option should apply no later than the semester before the one in which they intend to begin taking courses that will count toward the M.A. Students in the final semester of their senior year are not eligible to apply via the B.A./M.A. option; instead, those students should apply for regular M.A. admission via the GSAS online application. You can view GSAS's full BA/MA policy HERE.


Click here to apply for the B.A./M.A. option. Do not apply using the regular admissions application found elsewhere on the GSAS or QMSS websites.

Students who are applying as juniors must apply by the February deadline of their junior year.  Decisions on admissions to the program will be made after grades are posted from that semester. 

Students who are applying as seniors must apply by the November 17th of their senior year.

Decisions on admissions will be made no later than December 17th.

Applications will include all of the materials specified for the standard MA application, including...

  • Verified Transcripts of all previous post-secondary education
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation (2 from an academic source)
  • Resume/CV
  • Optional GRE or GMAT scores (This requirement is optional during the 2022-23 application cycle. Valid scores will still be evaluated if submitted.)
  • International Applicant TOEFL/IELTS scores if applicable. See the full GSAS English Language Proficiency policy HERE. If you believe you qualify for a waiver, contact <[email protected]>

For further information about the application process and minimal qualifications for early admissions, please contact the QMSS Program at [email protected].


NOTE: The GRE requirement is WAIVED for BA/MA Applicants!

Applicants may choose to upload scores to supplement their application but their materials will be considered complete without them.

QMSS is an interdisciplinary program and encourages applications from students in any major or focus who have completed appropriate coursework and have excellent academic records.  Applicants do not need to have strict quantitative and/or social science background but must demonstrate the ability to handle graduate-level coursework in these disciplines.

Applicants must be current Columbia (Columbia College, SEAS, and General Studies) or Barnard undergraduates with a minimum overall GPA of 3.00. The requirements for Columbia and Barnard undergraduates seeking early admission are otherwise the same as the regular admissions requirements.

Credit Points and Registration


Coursework taken to satisfy any requirement of the undergraduate degree - i.e. courses taken to complete a major, a focus, the science requirement, or the 124-point requirement - cannot be applied towards the requirements of the MA program. After the senior year, an undergraduate dean will certify what specifically did not count for the BA degree and therefore can be applied to the MA. However, students should consult with deans and advisors before the senior year when designing a course of study for completion of the BA and then the MA degree.  If, as undergraduates, students have taken courses normally required for the MA program to satisfy the requirements of their undergraduate degree, those courses will be replaced in the MA program with appropriate electives approved by the Director of the MA program.

Only graduate-level (4000 or above) courses may be taken towards the completion of MA graduation requirements.  Students will be expected to complete three QMSS core courses (outlined below) during their undergraduate degree, but are strongly encouraged to complete two graduate-level electives before entering the program.    Students are expected to maintain a grade of 3.00 in these courses in their courses throughout their master’s coursework.  Coursework taken with a grade of less the 3.00 will not be transferred.

Students must complete a total of two residence units in order to complete the QMSS MA degree. GSAS may grant students who receive early admission to the QMSS MA program a maximum of a half residence unit of advanced standing credited towards their MA degree, depending on the number of courses they take toward the MA degree before receiving their bachelor’s degree. Students may complete the remainder of their residence unit requirement as full-time students or as part-time students.


Admission in the MA program may be revoked if after admission students fail to make adequate progress toward either the undergraduate or graduate degree.  Examples of failure to make adequate academic progress include severe declines in GPA and cases of academic dishonesty.

When students are enrolled in the MA program and have finished their fourth year, they officially become students of GSAS. As such, they will lose their rights to undergraduate housing and undergraduate financial aid once they are enrolled in the MA program and have finished their fourth year. However, at that point they will be eligible for MA housing and financial aid.