Life as a Doctoral Student

The doctoral program experience is rewarding, enjoyable, and demanding. They often have to juggle many tasks and roles as students, teaching assistants, and colleagues. Below are a few areas of concern regarding doctoral student life.


The IEOR Department provides financial support for doctoral students for at least four years, provided satisfactory progress is made. The financial support includes tuition and a monthly stipend. The support is provided to students who are awarded teaching assistantships and SEAS fellowships. The department encourages students to seek outside funding whenever possible (i.e. National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships).


Many doctoral students are expected to serve as teaching assistants (T.A.). This is an excellent opportunity for students to hone their skills in teaching and presenting. They work collaboratively with the instructor in varying tasks include course administration, teaching, grading, and course design. T.A.s from the department have won a number of outstanding awards recognizing their excellence in service.

Office Space

Each funded doctoral student will be given a shared office and a designated desk area in the IEOR main office space. The doctoral offices are located at the same area as faculty offices to facilitate collaborations.


Many doctoral students live walking distance from Columbia in New York City. Upon acceptance, the department and Graduate Students Office will work with student to apply for housing.

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