Life As an IEOR Doctoral Student


Most doctoral students serve as teaching assistants (TA) at some point during their studies. Being a TA broadens one’s knowledge, enhances communication skills, and opens doors to valuable collaboration opportunities. Outstanding TAs may be nominated for excellence awards or fellowships through the Center for Teaching and Learning.


Our department strongly emphasizes fostering collaboration and creating a supportive community. Students choose their doctoral advisor based on their research interests, and are encouraged to interact with other professors and students in the research community. Some of our students collaborate with multiple faculty members.

Office Space

Our department offers dedicated spaces for PhD students to concentrate on their research and academic endeavors. Each student has a desk in a shared office near the office of their faculty advisor and has access to various breakout spaces and conference rooms in order to facilitate collaboration.


Doctoral students are eligible for student housing through Columbia Residential. These units are within walking distance of Morningside campus.

Social Life

Our Doctoral students are a close-knit community, taking advantage of the hundreds of fun possibilities New York City has to offer. Together, they take hiking trips, host barbeques for the incoming class along the Hudson, organize board game nights, battle each other in laser tag, paintball and show off their artistic side at Paint Nights with the department. Apart from this, the department frequently curates events for the students, faculty and staff to kick back and relax from academic life- happy hours, bowling venues, arcade games, Halloween costume parties (with prizes!) and thesis defense parties. The students also enjoy a wide range of interests and hobbies- from sporting events, Broadway shows and exploring the city.