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Handbook for Ph.D.




Department of International and Transcultural

Teachers College, Columbia University

September 2007

Sections Page numbers


Economics and Education Program Faculty……………………………………….....3

Institutes and Centers………………………………………………………………....6

Student Organization…………………………………………………………………7

Courses in the Economics and Education Program…………………………………..9

Recommended Courses from the Economics Department (GSAS)

and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)…….....………………....12

Requirements for the Program ..…………………………….....................................15

Program Description………………………………………………………………...16

Checklist of Steps for Ph.D. Certification (M.Phil.)……….......................................21

Important Steps towards the Dissertation Defense……………………………….....22

Other Useful Information…………………………………........................................23


Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, March 2001

The purpose of this handbook is to provide Economics and Education Ph.D. students with a
description and overview of the specific requirements that are needed to fulfill their academic
program of study. However, students are strongly recommended to always refer to the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy that is printed and revised by the Office of
Doctoral Studies (153 Horace Mann) on a regular basis.


Thomas R. Bailey George and Abby O’Neill Professor of Economics and Education.
Director of the Institute on Education and the Economy and The Community College Research
439 Thorndike Hall, (212) 678-3091
Scholarly Interests: Labor and education policy; Transition form school to work; Community
colleges and the economy; Work-based learning.
Educational Background: A.B., Harvard University; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Selected Publications:
“The Educational Outcomes of Occupational Sub-baccalaureate Students: Evidence from the
1990s,” with M. Alfonso and M. Scott (Economics of Education Review).
Working Knowledge: Work-Based Learning and Educational Reform, with K. Hughes and D.T.
Moore (Routledge).
Learning to Work: Employer Involvement in School-to-Work Transition Progress (Brookings
Employee Training and U.S. Competitiveness: Lessons for the 1990’s, with L. Benton, T. Noyelle
and T. Stanback (Westview Press).
The Double Helix of Education and the Economy, with S. Berryman (Institute for Education and the
Economy, Teachers College, Columbia University).

Henry Levin William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education.

Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education and The Center for
Benefit-Cost Studies of Education
230 Thompson Hall, (212) 678-3857 E-mail:
Scholarly Interests: Economics of education; Educational vouchers and privatization; Cost-
effectiveness; Education of at-risk students.
Educational Background: B.S., New York University; M.A., Rutgers University; Ph.D., Rutgers
Selected Publications:
“The Effects of Competition Between Schools on Educational Outcomes: A Review for the United
States,” with C. Belfield (Review of Educational Research).
Cost Effectiveness (Sage Publications).
Schooling and Work in the Democratic State, with M. Carnoy (Stanford University Press).
“Educational Vouchers: Effectiveness, Choice and Costs” (Journal of Policy
Analysis and Management).
“Educational Performance Standards and the Economy” (Educational Researcher).

Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz Professor of Economics and Education

Faculty Coordinator, Program in Economics and Education.
350 Macy Hall, (212) 678-3152 E-mail:
Educational Background: A.B., Cornell University; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Scholarly Interests: Labor and development economics. Education and economic development.
International economics and the globalization of labor flows. The socioeconomic status of racial and
ethnic minorities. Immigrants and education. Economic growth in Lain America and the Caribbean.
Selected Publications:
Selected Publications: “International Migration, the Brain Drain and Economic Development,” in
A.K. Dutt and J. Ros, eds., International Handbook of Development Economics, (Edward Elgar,
2007). “Education and Economic Development in Puerto Rico,” in S.M. Collins, B. Bosworth and
M. Soto-Class, eds., The Puerto Rican Economy: Restoring Growth (with H. Ladd, Brookings
Institution, 2006). “The Impact of School-to-Work Programs on Minority Youth Employment and
Student Outcomes,” in W.J. Stull and N.M. Sanders, eds., The School to Work Movement: Origins
and Destinations, (Praeger, 2003). The Political Economy of the East Asian Crisis and its
Aftermath: Tigers in Distress (with A. Lukauskas, Edward Elgar, 2001). “Undocumented Workers in

the Labor Market: An Analysis of the Earnings of Legal and Illegal Mexican Immigrants in the
U.S.,” (Journal of Population Economics, 1999), Reinventing Urban Education: Multiculturalism
and the Social Context of Schooling (IUME, 1996). U.S. Immigration Policy Reform in the 1980s:
A Preliminary Assessment (Praeger, 1991).

Mun C. Tsang Professor of Economics and Education.

Director of the Center on Chinese Education
348 Macy Hall, (212) 678-3947 E-mail:
Educational Background: B.S., M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; M.A. Ph.D.,
Stanford University
Scholarly interests: Cost and financing of education; Economic evaluation of education; Economic
effects of education; Education policy and economic development in China.
Selected Publications:
“Comparing the Costs of Public and Private Schools in Developing Countries,” in H. Levin and P.
McEwan, eds., Cost Effectiveness Studies in Education (American Education Finance Association).
“Education and National Development in China since 1949: Oscillating Policies and Enduring
Dilemmas” (China Review).
“Human Capital Development in an Emergent Economy: The Experience of Shenzhen, China”
(China Quarterly).
“Financial Reform of Basic Education in China” (Economics of Education Review).
“Cost Analysis and Policymaking Education: A Review of Cost Studies in Education in Developing
Countries” (Review of Educational Research).
The Way We Were? The Myths and Realities of America’s Student Achievement (Century



Randall Reback, Assistant Professor, Economics, Barnard College.

E-mail:, Phone: (212) 854-5005.

Jennifer Lynn Hill, Assistant Professor, School of International and Public Affairs
E-mail:, Phone: 212-854-4474

Miguel S. Urquiola, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics and School of International and
Public Affairs. E-mail:, (212) 854-3769.

David Weiman, Professor, Economics, Barnard College.

E-mail:, (212) 854-5755.


Center on Chinese Education (

CoCE is aimed at contributing to a better understanding of education in China and to educational
exchange between the United States and China. It seeks to achieve this mission through three
categories of activities: research and development, education and training, and outreach and
exchange. These activities will draw upon the special, historical relationship between Chinese
educators and Teachers College over many decades, as well as the expertise and resources available
on Chinese Studies at Columbia University in general. Professor Mun C. Tsang, Professor of
Economics and Education, and an expert on Chinese economic and educational issues is Director of
the Center. Major funding for the center’s activities is provided by the Luce Foundation and the
Ford Foundation.

Community College Research Center (

The mission of the Community College Research Center is to carry out and promote research on
major issues affecting the development, growth and changing roles of community colleges in the
United States. In addition to carrying out our its research, the CCRC strives to strengthen the
research capacity both within the colleges and the broader community, attract new scholars to the
field, promote discussion and debate about crucial and often controversial issues, and disseminate
existing research. Since community colleges are vital to the aspirations of people and their
communities, it is imperative that they become part of the mainstream research agenda.

Institute on Education and the Economy (

The Institute on Education and the Economy (IEE), established in 1986 by the Board of Trustees of
Teachers College, Columbia University, is an interdisciplinary policy research center that focuses its
attention on the interaction between education and the economy. IEE conducts a rigorous program
of research and policy analysis and provides intellectual leadership on the implications of changes
in the economy and labor markets for all levels of our education and training systems.
The Institute conducts research primarily in two areas. The first is education reform, particularly
those programs designed to respond to changing economic and employment needs. The second
involves changes in work, technology, and work organization, and the implications of those changes
for the performance of organizations and the skill needs and well-being of the workforce. To

achieve its objectives, the Institute has mobilized a broad range of research talent and disciplinary
perspectives, including economics, anthropology, sociology, political science, education, and
cognitive science.

The National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (

The National Center for the Privatization in Education acts as an independent, non-partisan source
of analysis and information on privatization in education. The NCSPE carries out research,
evaluation, conferences, publications, and dissemination on a full range of issues regarding
privatization of education from pre-school to higher education and covering both national and
international initiatives.

Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education (

The Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education (CBCSE) conducts research on the benefits and
costs of alternative educational policies and interventions. Education is a social investment that
entails both costs and outcomes. Too often assessments of educational alternatives either ignore
their costs or calculate them in inappropriate ways. Similarly, benefits of education are often
viewed too narrowly or measured inappropriately. The CBCSE brings together scholarship on both
benefits and costs so that the full value of investments in education can be evaluated, and the most
productive use of resources can be chosen. The Center also undertakes cost-effectiveness studies to
ascertain the types of educational interventions that will produce educational outcomes at least cost.


Society for Economics and Education

An organization run by students in the Economics and Education program that coordinates lectures,
workshops, and social functions throughout the academic year. Members of this society help to
orient new students. It also provides relevant information to Economics and Education students who
subscribe to their e-mail list about local and current events across the Columbia University campus
and other universities, including lectures and workshops, job and internship opportunities, and
college and department-related news. For more information about SEE, contact student
representative Brian Gabele (email:


ITSF4050. Economics of education (3) Professor Levin (Fall 2007)

Introduction to basic economic concepts and methods used for the study and analysis of educational
finance, education and inequality, education and economic growth, the impact of educational
outcomes, school reform and school choice.

ITSF4051. Education and economic development (3) Professor Rivera-Batiz (Fall 2007)
Introductory examination of the links between education and various aspects of economic
development. Includes discussions of the impact of education on economic growth, educational
inequities on the basis of income, determinants of enrollment rates in developing countries, adult
literacy, the role of international organizations (World Bank, IMF) on educational development,
measuring rates of return to education, cost-benefit analysis of educational projects in developing
countries, and the role of decentralization and privatization on educational reform.

ITSF 4055. Resource allocation in education (3) Professor Levin (Spring 2008)
This course reviews the literature on school effectiveness with respect to the allocation of resources.
It addresses and analyzes education production functions and cost-effectiveness analysis in
educational decision-making.

ITSF4057. Economics of urban and minority education (3)Professor Rivera-Batiz

Policy-oriented approach to the connections between education and the economy in an urban
context. Includes analysis of the impact of globalization on urban areas, urban labor markets and
economic development, residential patterns and their impact on urban educational inequities, urban
education finance, and the key challenges confronting racial and ethnic minorities in urban areas.

ITSF 4058. Economics of higher education (3) Professor Bailey (Fall 2007)
This course uses theoretical and empirical economic analysis to analyze the behavior of higher
education students and institution s and to study private and public policy related to post-secondary

ITSF 4097. International and comparative perspectives: educational finance (3) Professor
Tsang (Fall 2007)

Theory and practice on how nations in different parts of the world mobilize and allocate resources
for education. Methodologies for conducting international comparative studies in educational

ITSF4151. Microeconomic theory and applications to Education (Special Topics in Economics

of Education) (3) Professor Rivera-Batiz (Fall 2007)

This course is a survey of intermediate microeconomic theory combined with applications of

relevance to the economics of education. At the theory level, the course covers utility maximization,
income and substitution effects, labor supply, the analytics of market equilibrium, consumer surplus,
cost minimization, production and cost functions, the determinants of the demand for factors of
production, labor demand and the demand for skilled labor, market imperfections, monopoly
pricing, monopolistic competition, oligopolies and strategy in market equilibrium, externalities and
market failure, inter-temporal investments and the calculation of present value, human capital
investments and the rate of return to education, moral hazard, adverse selection, and the economics
of risk and uncertainty. Applications are included for each of these topics in the area of education
and human capital, including a discussion of various policy issues.

ITSF 4155. Privatization and school choice (3) Professor Levin

This course addresses the increasing emphasis on market-type choice systems including educational
vouchers, for-profit educational firms, and charter schools. Emphasis on the theory of emerging
empirical evidence underlying these developments in education.

ITSF 5550. Workshop in economics in education (3) Professor Bailey (Fall 2007)
For doctoral students and others with research projects or potential research projects in the field.
Participation is required for doctoral students writing their dissertation. Students who are beginning
to think about their dissertation topic or working on proposals are also encouraged to participate.
Faculty members also invite guests from within or outside the department to present their work.

ITSF5650. Readings in the economics of education (3) Faculty

Selected readings in the economics of education. Recommended for students with background in
economics or a related discipline. Can be used an independent study course or for those who have
started working on their dissertation.

ITSF6050. Education and economic development: Advanced Topics (3) Prof. Rivera-Batiz

Advanced discussion of the links between education and economic development, including both
theoretical frameworks and empirical models. Discussion of economic growth models incorporating
human capital, household choice models of the demand for schooling, estimation of cost functions
in education, public finance and optimal taxation issues related to education, and the role of public
sector governance on educational development. Prior knowledge of microeconomic theory and
econometrics is necessary.

ITSF6151. Advanced Microeconomic Theory with Applications to Education (3) Prof. Rivera-
Batiz (Spring 2008)

This course is a survey of advanced microeconomic theory combined with applications of relevance
to the economics of education. At the theory level, the course starts with an analysis of the theory of
the firm and its implications regarding factor demand. This discussion is applied to the economics
of educational production functions and to study the effects of immigration of skilled and unskilled
labor. The course then moves to examine consumer demand, including analyzes of utility
maximization, and income and substitution effects. This discussion is applied to examine the
determinants of labor supply and the demand for education. The analytics of market equilibrium is
discussed next, with a discussion of various types of market failure and externalities. This analysis
is applied to examine the theory and evidence on human capital externalities. The course concludes
with an analysis of public finance issues in education, including fiscal federalism and the Tiebout
hypothesis, and a discussion of dynamic labor supply, and the economics of uncertainty and

ITSF6590. Doctoral Seminar in Economics and Education (1-3) Faculty

ITSF 7502 Dissertation Seminar in International and Transcultural Studies

Permission required. Proposal writing. Required of doctoral students in the semester following
successful completion of certification examinations.

ITSF 8900 Dissertation Advisement in International and Transcultural Studies (0-3)

Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations. For requirements see section on Continuous

Registration for Ph.D. Degrees,(see p. 16).


Economics Department

G6417 Econometrics III. Applied Econometrics (3)

Prerequisites: G6411 and G6412. Permission of Instructor. Introduction to applied econometrics,
the fundamentals of identifying the testable implications of an economic model and subjecting those
implications to econometric tests through the use of the appropriate data and methodology.

G6451 and G6452Economics of Labor I & II (3)

Prerequisite: at least one term of price theory. Either term may be taken separately. G6451: the
allocation of time among persons and within households. The theory of labor supply and of labor
mobility. G6452: human capital, economics of education and occupation; wage structure and
income distribution; demand, cycles, and growth in competitive and unionized labor markets.

G6908 Global Economic Policy (3)

Concepts of gross world product and gross trade product. Global monetary aggregates—the
international capital markets: past, present, and future trends. Theory of dominant currencies and
currency areas. The international general equilibrium system. Impediments to global efficiency.
International macroeconomic and development policies. Economic and political control of
resources and transport. International pollution. World inflation and depression. Control of
international business cycle. Global banking complexes. Stability of the Eurodollar market.
Evaluation of 20th-century economic experience in the historical perspective of the world economic
system. Challenges of the 1970s and prospects for the 1980s.

G6807y (Section 01) Public Finance III (3)

Prerequisites: G6211-G6212 and G6411-G6412 This course examines economic theory on the
optimal provision of public goods, and the role of sub-national jurisdictions in their provision. It
includes several empirical applications that concern both the U.S. and developing countries.

G6211 and G6212 Microeconomic Analysis I & II (4)
Prerequisites: Primarily for graduate students in the Department of Economics, but other are
admitted after passing a math qualifying exam held during the first week of classes. A course
designed for first year economics doctoral students. Consumer and producer behavior; general
competitive equilibrium, welfare and efficiency, behavior under uncertainty, intertemporal
allocation and capital theory, imperfect competition, elements of game theory, problems of
information, economies with price rigidities.

G6215 and G6216 Macroeconomic Analysis I & II (4)

Prerequisites: Primarily for graduate students in the Department of Economics, but other are
admitted after passing a math qualifying exam held during the first week of classes. Concept of full
employment. Models of underemployment and theory applicability, determinants of consumptions
and of investment, multiplier and accelerator analysis, an introduction to monetary
macroeconomics, the supply side and inflation. Integration of macroeconomics with
microeconomics and monetary analysis.

G6410 Mathematical Methods for Economists (4)

Primarily for graduate students in the Department of Economics but others are admitted with the
instructor’s permission. Prerequisite: multivariable differential calculus and linear algebra.
Introduction to the mathematical techniques needed for the study of economics and econometric
methods. Topics include the calculus of one and several variables, linear algebra with emphasis on
vector spaces, linear transformations; and reduction to canonical form; mathematical analysis,
optimization theory, and linear differential and difference equations.

G6411-G6412 Introduction to Econometrics I & II (4)

Prerequisites: Permission of the Director of Graduate Studies. Co-requisites: G6410 or the
equivalent background in the calculus of several variables and linear algebra.
G6411: introduction to probability theory and statistical inference.
G6412: introduction to general linear model and its uses in econometrics, including consequences
of departures from the standard assumptions.

School of International and Public Affairs

U4320 Statistics and Quantitative Analysis for International Affairs

Familiarizes students with some of the basic statistical techniques used in policy analysis so that
they will be equipped to be intelligent consumers and producers of analyses. Covers basic
statistical concepts such as the organization of data and measures of central tendency and dispersion
as well as more advanced techniques of inferential statistics and multivariate regression.

U4601 International Economic Analysis

A year-long course designed to teach students the basic skills underlying economic analysis and
policymaking. Taking an integrated approach to economics, the course introduces students to both
the microeconomic foundations of economic thought and the macroeconomic issues facing nations.

U6312 Applied Quantitative Analysis for International Affairs

Prerequisite: U4320—Statistics and Quantitative Analysis for International Affairs or its equivalent.
Introduces students to cross-sectional and time-series regression techniques. The first part of the
semester focuses on the assumptions, estimation, and evaluation of the standard classical regression
model. The second part of the semester focuses on time-series regression models. These techniques
are of special relevance for students interested in comparative and international political economy
(e.g., development, finance). The course will emphasize the application of the techniques and
computer work. An essential objective of the course is to have students develop a paper in their area
of interest.

Requirements for the Ph.D. program

Program Structure Courses (75 credits minimum)

1. Core Courses (at least 24 credits) ITSF 4151: Microeconomics (3), only if required
ITSF 6151: Advanced Microeconomics (3)
Microeconomics (at least 3)
ITSF4050: Economics of Education (3)
Economics of Education (9) ITSF4055: Resource Allocation in Education (3)
ITSF4058: Economics of Higher Education (3)

Labor Economics (at least 6 credits) Ph.D. Labor Economics sequence:

G6451-6452: Economics of Labor I & II (Economics Department)

Public Finance/Educational Finance ITSF4097: International Comparative Studies in Educational Finance (3)
(at least 3 credits) ITSF4155: Education, Privatization and School Choice (3)

Education and Economic Development ITSF4051: Education and Economic Development (3)
(at least 3 credits) ITSF 6050: Education and Economic Development: Advanced Topics (3)

2. Research Methods (at least 12 credits) U6610: Econometric Techniques for Policy Managers(3) (Program in Economic
Policy Management, SIPA)
Econometrics (at least 6 credits) G6417: Econometrics III (3) (Economics Department)
U8990: Quantitative methods in Program Evaluation and Policy Research (School
Dissertation Research (at least 6 credits) of International and Public Affairs)
ITSF 5550: Workshop in Economics of Education (3)
Three semesters of continuous registration in a research seminar, (i.e., ITSF6950:
Studies in Economics and Education or consult with adviser) for 1 point

3. Specialization (at least 39 credits)

Examples of Specializations:
Education and economic development
Education and the transition to work
Educational finance Course work for the specialization should be developed individually by the
Economics of urban and minority education student with guidance from their adviser
Economic evaluation of education
Economics of new educational technology
Teacher markets

4. Other Requirements to Fulfill  Electives: at least 6 credits taken outside of the department within
 Competence in 1 foreign language Teachers College (no less than 2 credits in each course)
 Certification Examination consisting of
two parts:
1. Three-hour exam
2. Literature review with guidelines
 Doctoral Dissertation (proposal,
research, writing and defense)


The Ph.D. in Economics and Education is one of the doctoral degrees granted by the Columbia
University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and is intended for persons who want to acquire
advanced training in the theory, methods, and practices of the economics and finance of education.
The Program is housed at the Department of International and Transcultural Studies at Teachers
College, Columbia University. It is a selective 75-credit program that prepares individuals for
leadership roles in teaching, research, or administrative settings.
The Ph.D. Program requirements are divided into four components:
1. Core Courses (at least 24 credit points; see Program Overview for more details)
2. Research Methods (at least 12 credits; see Program Overview for more details)
3. Specialization (at least 39 credits; see Program Overview for more details)
4. Other Requirements


1. Major Advisor
The selection of an academic advisor is based on the following:
• An existing match exists between the student’s and the advisor’s interests or areas of research;
students may change advisor if their interest or area of research changes.
• The advisor is able to provide the student with satisfactory guidance throughout the student’s
program of study.
• The advisor is a strong advocate for the student in all aspects of the academic program
Advisors are initially assigned to students based on their area of interest by the department’s
Program Coordinator. However, students are free to choose another adviser whose area of research
may be compatible to the one they wish to pursue for their academic work and who agrees to
support the student’s academic goals (see the Program Faculty List above). The student’s advisor
need not be the dissertation sponsor.

2. Continuous Registration
A student must register every semester until all requirements for the Ph.D. degree have been
satisfactorily completed, unless a leave of absence has been requested and approved. The leave of
absence is approved on the basis of sustained illness, maternity leave, or national military service,
usually for no longer than a year. Applications for the request of a leave of absence are available
through the Office of Doctoral Studies. Still, a student may be advised to register for the course
IND 6000, in order to maintain their student status and privileges at the college.

3. Program Plan
With the assistance of his or her advisor, Ph.D. students must detail the projected course of study to
satisfy the department’s requirements and those of the program. The Ph.D. Program Plan is a
publication that provides directions as well as the forms needed to be completed by the student; the
Plan is available at the Office of Doctoral Studies. In completing their Program Plan, students list
the courses they have taken and/or intend to take at Teachers College and at other Schools of
Columbia University, as well as those they wish to have transferred from other institutions. The
plan requires the signature of the student, the advisor, and approval by the appropriate Area
Committee. This form must be completed after credits to be transferred have been approved. It is
advisable to have this done by the end of the first year of study.

1. Statement of Total Program

All doctoral students must hand-in a “statement of total program” in which they describe their plans
for meeting all of the program’s objectives and requirements. This statement must be approved and
signed by the advisor, and filed with the Office of Doctoral Studies. It is customary to deliver this
statement at the same time as the program plan.

2. Completion of course requirements

The first major step in the process of completing a Ph.D. degree is to achieve the status of doctoral
candidate. In order satisfy the requirements for certification as a doctoral candidate, a set of
required and elective courses must be completed in a timely manner. In planning and choosing
coursework each semester, it is recommended that students do the following:
 Check the “Program Overview” above

 Check the List of “Relevant Course Offerings at Teachers College,” and “Relevant
Course Offerings Outside of Teachers College,” noted earlier in this handbook, as well
as other, current course offerings at Teachers College, Columbia University or other
relevant graduate schools within New York City.
 Consult advisor and ask fellow students for course recommendations.
Students who will need to transfer credits accumulated from institutions other than Teachers
College or from other departments will need to apply for a transfer of credit. The transfer of credits
policy, procedures and forms are available through the Admissions Office (146 Horace Mann). Up
to 30 credits may be transferred from another institution and be applied to the 75-credit
requirement. Students who have taken credits at a graduate-level institution other than Teachers
College and would like to have those credits counted toward their program should complete and
send to the Admissions Office a Transfer of Credit form, attaching an official transcript from the
institution that they attended. A copy of the form and transcript will be sent to the department for
review and approved by the student’s advisor.

3. Certification Examination
All students must pass a certification examination as part of their Ph.D. requirements. Students are
encouraged to take the exam no later than the semester in which they have completed 60 points or
when they have completed up to 70-80% of their coursework. However, they should consult with
their advisor as to their readiness to sit for the exam. Certification exams are held twice a year, in
October and February. Applications for taking the certification exam are available in the Office of
Doctoral Studies. The application must be completed by the student, be signed by the advisor, and
returned to Office of Doctoral Studies at least a month prior to the scheduled exam date.
The certification exam has two parts:
1. A three-hour exam on topics covered in the core Economics and Education courses. This
exam can be taken either in October during the fall semester or in February during the spring
semester. International students whose first language is not English are allowed to request an
additional hour in order to complete the certification exam, with the advisor’s approval.
2. A take-home exam that consists of a review of the literature on a topic in the student’s
area of specialization. This take-home exam must be submitted to the program within 3
months after the scheduled three-hour exam. An extension can be granted but must be
requested from the Economics and Education Program.

A doctoral student will not be considered as having passed the certification exam unless he or she
has successfully passed both the first and second parts of the certification exam.

7. Foreign language examination

All Ph.D. students in the Economics and Education program, including international students, must
demonstrate competence in one foreign language. Details on the ways to satisfy this requirement
(including the language proficiency examinations offered at Teachers College and at Columbia
University), are provided by the Office of Doctoral Studies.

8. Dissertation proposal
Once a student completes the essential course requirements for the degree, and passes the
certification exam, the next step is to write a dissertation proposal.
The Ph.D. dissertation represents a substantial project of scientific research and writing. Students
must select a dissertation topic that will be approved based on the following criterion:
 it must be an original contribution to the area of research
 it must be completed successfully with the resources available to the student
 it must be a topic for which appropriate faculty advisors are available in the university
and are willing to guide the student’s research and study
Once a topic is selected, the student must write a dissertation proposal, in which a literature review
of the topic is presented jointly with a detailed description of the research questions to be answered
and the data and methodology to be used in answering them. A Proposal Defense Hearing must
then be scheduled, in which the student presents and defends his/her proposal before his/her key
dissertation advisors.
All Ph.D. students must register once for ITSF 7500 Dissertation Seminar in Economics and
Education while preparing their proposal. Subsequently, the proposal must be defended in an Area
B Seminar that pertains to Economics and Education. The approval of the dissertation proposal is
only made official when the student has met the proposal committee members’ approval, received
their signature on the “Proposal Hearing Form” and submitted this form to the Department and the
Office of Doctoral Studies. This form is available through the Office of Doctoral Studies. Once the
proposal is approved, the student may be certified to receive the M.Phil. Degree. For further details,
consult the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy issued by the Office of Doctoral

9. Dissertation advisement.
While writing the dissertation, Ph.D. students must enroll for continuous dissertation advisement by
registering each semester for the course ITSF 8900 Dissertation Advisement. A dissertation
committee consisting of three core faculty members supervises the progress of the dissertation. The
key advisor is referred to as the Dissertation Sponsor. Only faculty members of Teachers College
who are named on the list of Ph.D. Sponsors and are members of The Graduate School of Arts and
Sciences at Columbia University may be Sponsors. In addition, the dissertation committee must
include two Outside Members, who will consist of faculty outside the Economics and Education
Program. One of these must be from outside Teachers College. Students often choose a faculty
member from the Economics Department or the School of International and Public Affairs at
Columbia University as an Outside Member.

10. Advanced seminar/Final oral dissertation defense

A Ph.D. candidate must complete their research and produce a manuscript under the guidance of
their dissertation committee. The dissertation must be defended in an Oral Dissertation Defense.
Before this defense, and in preparation for it, students must present the results of their dissertation
to two or three of the core committee members at an Advanced Seminar. After taking into
consideration all suggestions offered at the Advanced Seminar, the student can then select a date for
the Oral Dissertation Defense. Once the Oral Dissertation Defense is passed, the student will be
eligible for receiving the Ph.D. degree. For more details see Requirements for the Degree of Doctor
of Philosophy, p. 12-13.


In order to be certified as a Ph.D. candidate or to receive the M.Phil. (Master of Philosophy) degree,
doctoral students must satisfactorily complete the following six requirements:
1. A minimum of 75 points of coursework, satisfying the required courses for the Program.
2. File an approved Program Plan of Study with the Office of Doctoral Studies, (including
applying for the transfer of credit with the Office of Doctoral Studies at the start of the Ph.D.
program if necessary).
3. File an approved Statement of Total Program showing their academic involvement (in

accordance with program criteria) other than course work.

4. Pass the departmental Certification Examination.

5. Pass the foreign language requirement.
6. Prepare and defend a dissertation proposal, have it approved and filed with the appropriate
forms with the Office of Doctoral Studies.
7. Prepare a satisfactory dissertation and present its results in an Advanced Seminar.
8. Complete the dissertation and defend it in a Dissertation Defense Hearing.
9. Deposit the dissertation manuscript with the Office of Doctoral Studies, following the final
document preparation requirements.


1. File an “Intent to Defend” application with the Office of Doctoral Studies

2. Plan an Advanced Seminar at least 3 weeks before the defense
3. Arrange an oral defense date
4. Deposit the dissertation with the Office of Doctoral Studies

Schedule of Dissertation-Related Activities to Graduate in May

To ensure the timely defense of the Ph.D. dissertation and to guarantee participation in the
University Commencement exercises in May, deadlines and requirements established by the Office
of Doctoral Studies must be followed. The Economics and Education Program recommends the
following schedule:
January 31 Complete draft of the dissertation delivered to the sponsor

March 7 An Advanced Seminar scheduled not later than this date, allowing the sponsor to
read and make suggestions before the Advanced Seminar, which should be scheduled
in turn at least 5 weeks before the defense date. In addition, the student needs time
to make revisions in response to the comments at the Advanced Seminar, and enough
time to complete and distribute copies of the dissertation to the members of the
dissertation committee at least 3 weeks before the defense date.

April-May The last date for scheduling a defense is the last week of April. The final date for
depositing the final copy of the dissertation with the Office of Graduate Studies is in
early May in order to avoid paying tuition past the spring semester and in order to
meet the deadline for May graduation.


Administrative Office Locations and Services

Office Location Telephone Service

Admissions 146 Main (212) 678-3140 Transfer of credit applications

re-applications for change of degree level,
program and department

Career Services 44 Mann (212) 678-3140 Information on employment and internship

Center opportunities.

Department 357 Dodge (212) 678-3947 General information, special enrollment, and
Office Department Chair signature including
scheduling an appointment with the Chair.

Office of 153 Mann (212) 678-4058 All matters related to doctoral study policies
Doctoral Studies and procedures including forms pertinent for
the certification exam, program plan,
dissertation proposal hearing, dissertation
defense, and the depositing of final version of
the defended dissertation.

Economics and 353 Macy (212) 678-3763 General questions about the program, college
Ed Program policy and procedures.
Office Open: Tuesdays-Thursdays (hours TBA)
Contact: Kati Kabát, Program Assistant.
Housing/ 1st Floor Whittier (212) 678-3235 Information on housing.
Residence Halls

International Student Life Center (212) 678-3406 Assistance for international students.
Services 163 Thorndike

Tuition Payment Business Office (212) 678-3406 Payment of tuition and other fees.
133 Thompson

Student Aid 134 Thompson (212) 678-4050 Course registration, permission to register,
change of grade, teacher certification, course
withdrawal, requests for transcripts,
certification to Government, degree application,
certificate of equivalency. Applications for
financial aid.

Student Life 159 Thorndike (212) 678-3704 Health insurance and service information,
including immunization verification.