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  • Locations: London, United Kingdom
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Budget Sheets: Fall
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Columbia Dates & Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
English Program Type: Columbia Administered Program
Program Advisor:
Jillian Burdziak: Eligibility - Home School: Barnard College, Columbia College, Columbia General Studies, Columbia SEAS
Discipline: Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM
Program Description:

London EyeLook into the Eye of London by Engaging with its Literary Culture

Open to students from all disciplines, on this program you will gain a deeper understanding of London by studying major works of English and Anglophone literature in a London context.  The city serves as your classroom as the program’s Global Seminar involves regular outings to urban sites, designed to complement and enhance the readings and classroom discussions.   By enrolling in the prestigious Queen Mary University of London, you also have the opportunity pursue your own studies of interest while experiencing British university life. 

Program Structure and Costs

Under the direction of Columbia’s Department of English and Comparative Literature and in partnership with Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), the Columbia in London Programs is offered for the fall semester only.  Each iteration of the program is led by one Columbia faculty member whose research directly engages the literary culture of London.  That faculty member will offer a version of the Global Seminar, London as Literature, that enables participating students to study literary texts in their immediate geographical and cultural settings, transforming their relationship to their objects of study and encouraging them to develop a wider range of reading practices and research methodologies.  In addition to the seminar, students also enroll alongside local students in courses offered by the host institution.  QMUL offers programs across a broad range of disciplines, including physical and natural sciences, business and management, engineering, humanities, and social sciences.  


Applications due: March 15, 2017
Program Start Date: September 16, 2017
Program End Date: December 15, 2017


Tuition: Columbia and Barnard students pay the regular tuition at their home school and pay their school directly as they would if they were on campus.
Housing: Students do not pay fees to Columbia and Barnard for housing.  Instead, you apply to QMUL Accommodation and pay housing costs directly to QMUL. 

Program Expenses: Fall 2017 View of St. Paul's Cathedral

Financial aid and scholarships

Financial aid normally applies for study abroad during a semester or an academic year.  Please meet early with your financial aid office to begin planning for your time abroad. 

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
BUTEX Scholarships

Other Resources:



  • Must be a currently enrolled undergraduate student in good academic and disciplinary standing at Columbia University or Barnard College
  • Must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • All qualified students are welcome to apply for the program.  Students do not need to major in English and Comparative Literature, but they should demonstrate the motivation to study the topic taught in the global seminar. 

How to apply

Want to apply? Click the “Start an Application" button at the top of this page. You will be asked to set up a short profile, which will allow us to send you relevant information about your application. Once you’ve created a profile, you will see a checklist of items that you will need to submit. These generally include:

  • Application questionnaire(s)
    • Personal statement
  • Letter of recommendation from someone who has taught you at the university level
  • Official transcript(s)


Note: The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.

All students are required to enroll in the Global Seminar.  To complete your academic program, you enroll in three QMUL courses chosen from a broad range of subject areas. 

Bodelian Libraries ManuscriptsColumbia Global Seminar:
The exact topic of the Global Seminar rotates depending on the Columbia faculty member who is teaching for that particular term.  The fall 2017 Global Seminar will be:

London Theater 1590 to 2017
Professor Jean Howard
Prerequisites: none

This course will examine changes in London theater culture from the late Elizabethan to the contemporary moment.  We will explore the types of theaters, acting troupes, dramatic genres, and performance conventions that were popular at particular historical periods, devoting two weeks each to late Elizabethan, late Restoration, Edwardian, 1970s, and contemporary theater.  Representative dramatists will include Shakespeare and Jonson, Wycherley and Congreve, Shaw and Maugham, Bond and Brenton, Churchill and Stoppard.  The playwrights might change, however, depending on what is playing in London during the term the class meets.  As much as possible, we will make use of live performance and theater history research projects to immerse members of the class in the past and present theater culture of London. We will visit The Globe, the Wanamaker, and the Rose excavation, the Inigo Jones Banqueting House, the Royal Court and the National Theaters, with a field trip to the Royal Shakespeare Company theaters in Stratford-upon-Avon.  Students will be introduced to research resources such as the V&A Theater and Performance Archive. Assignments will include a two-page performance review; a five-page research presentation on a key company, theater, production, or actor from the first four periods we will study; a five-page critical paper; and a weekly 500-word blog post on “My Life with London Theater.”  This course fulfills an English major requirement.  This course is open to non-majors. 

Courses at Queen Mary University of London:
QMUL module (course) listing

QMUL offers courses in the following disciplines:
K. Hickey, Bodelian Libraries

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Biological and Chemical Sciences (Chemistry, Environment, psychology, genetics, biochemistry)
  • Computer Science (database systems and applications, graphics, multimedia)
  • Economics (finance, management, statistics and mathematics)
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Engineering and Materials (Aerospace, Mechanical, Medical, Sustainable Energy, Materials, Design and Innovation)
  • English
  • Drama (text and performance based modules)
  • Film and Communications (includes scriptwriting and production)
  • Geography (Environment and human geography)
  • History (includes Art and Architectural History)
  • International Relations
  • Languages Learning Unit (includes French, German, Japanese, Italian)
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Languages (French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Hispanic Studies, Art and Architectural History, European Literature and Cultural Studies, Latin American Literature and Cultural studies, Linguistics)
  • Physics (includes Astronomy and Astrophysics)
  • Politics (includes international relations and globalization)
  • Psychology

Note: Columbia cannot provide credit for any courses taken at professional schools. 

Life in London


QMUL Accommodation - Mile End Campus 

Students will live in QMUL housing located on campus with other full degree or international students. Accommodations are self-catered apartments, or flats, suited for 4-10 students.  Students will have single bedrooms with a shared kitchen and dining-area.  

QMUL CanalMeals

Students are responsible for their own meals.   You can purchase food at nearby grocery stores and cook for yourself, or eat in the many local restaurants and cafes, some of which are on QMUL’s campus.  QMUL also offers a meal plan option for breakfast and dinner during semester week days.  


The Columbia Global Seminar course will include guided field trips designed to provide a deeper understanding of the readings and classroom discussions. Trips may include the Globe Theater, the Wanamaker, and the Rose excavation, the Inigo Jones Banqueting House, the Royal Court and the National Theaters, with a field trip to the Royal Shakespeare Company theaters in Stratford-upon-Avon. 
The QMUL Global Opportunities Office also organizes a number of events and activities throughout the semester that take place both within and outside of London.  Past events have included walking tours, football (soccer) matches, and visits to museums and galleries.

Additionally, you are encouraged to explore and participate in the more than 60 clubs, societies, and volunteer opportunities offered through the QMUL Student Union.  Joining a club is a great way to meet local students and discover all London has to offer!

Daily Living and Schedule

The daily schedule will vary person to person, depending on the classes you take.  The required London seminar will be held on Monday 1-3 p.m., with courseLondon store fronts excursions taking place Monday evening and/or Wednesday afternoon/evening.
The UK university system differs from the US university system in that modules (e.g. classes) may meet fewer times a week and/or for fewer hours.  However, students are expected to supplement their learning with independent reading and research in their free time.

London, the East End, and Queen Mary University of London

QMUL homepage
Queen Mary University of London is located in the Mile End neighborhood of East London, a vibrant and highly desirable location for the city's growing and diverse population of young professionals and students.  The campus, situated in the heart of London, is in close proximity to major transportation hubs and local landmarks such as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Tower Bridge, and Brick Lane.  The Barbican Center, West End, Parliament, Royal Parks and Palaces, and London's incredible wealth of other cultural and historical attractions, are all short journeys away by bike, bus, or Tube.  But when you’re in need of greenery, the campus’ location along the Regent Canal between Victoria and Mile End parks provides the perfect setting. 

Queen Mary University of London has a long and robust history as an institution of higher learning, beginning with its founding in 1887 as the People’s Palace, a philanthropic center providing educational opportunities to east Londoners.   A rising star among the UK’s Russell Group of research-centered universities, QMUL compares well to Columbia in its curricular structure as well as in its identity as an international university in an historic global city.  (Fully 20% of QMUL’s students come from 125 countries outside the UK). QMUL awards degrees at the undergraduate, master, and doctoral levels. 


Faculty & Staff

Big Ben and London EyeJean Howard is the George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities in Columbia’s Department of English and Comparative Literature.  Professor Howard began teaching at Syracuse in 1975, where she received the first University-wide Wasserstrom Prize for excellence as teacher and mentor of graduate students; she has also received Guggenheim, NEH, Mellon, Folger, Huntington, and Newberry Library Fellowships. In 2010 she gave the Columbia University Schoff Memorial Lectures on 'Staging History: Imagining the Nation' on playwrights William Shakespeare, Tony Kushner, and Caryl Churchill. Her teaching interests include Shakespeare, Tudor and Stuart drama, Early Modern poetry, modern drama, feminist and Marxist theory, and the history of feminism. Prof. Howard is on the editorial board of Shakespeare Studies and Renaissance Drama. She has published essays on Shakespeare, Pope, Ford, Heywood, Dekker, Marston, and Jonson, as well as on aspects of contemporary critical theory including new historicism, Marxism, and issues in feminism. Her books include Shakespeare's Art of Orchestration (1984); Shakespeare Reproduced: The Text in History and Ideology, edited with Marion O'Connor (1987); The Stage and Struggle in Early Modern England (1994); with Phyllis Rackin, Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare's English Histories (1997); Marxist Shakespeares, edited with Scott Shershow (2000); and four generically organized Companions to Shakespeare, edited with Richard Dutton (2001). She is a co-editor of The Norton Shakespeare (2nd ed. 2007) and General Editor of the Bedford Contextual Editions of Shakespeare. A recent book, Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy 1598-1642 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), won the Barnard Hewitt award for Outstanding Theater History for 2008.  She has just published, with Crystal Bartolovich, a monograph on Shakespeare and Marx in the Great Shakespeareans series for Continuum Press (2012) and is currently completing a book entitled Staging History that uses Shakespeare's history plays as a starting point for considering Tony Kushner and Caryl Churchill's use of history in framing debates about current political issues. A book on early modern tragedy is in the works.  From 1996 to 1999 Professor Howard directed the Institute for Research on Women and Gender  at Columbia; in 1999-2000 she was President of the Shakespeare Association of America;  from 2004-2007 she served as Columbia's first Vice Provost for Diversity Initiatives; and from 2008-2011 she was Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Currently, as a Trustee Emerita of Brown University, she chairs the Brown University President's Diversity Advisory Council and serves on the Advisory Board of the Pembroke Center; she is also a Senator of Phi Beta Kappa.

Columbia in London Staff

Jean Howard, Fall 2017 Faculty Director
Danielle Drees, Program & Teaching Assistant 
Reading Original Manscripts

Main Contacts in New York

Jean Howard
Department of English & Comparative Literature
602 Philosophy Hall

Office of Global Programs
606 Kent Hall
Columbia University
1140 Amsterdam Avenue, Mail Code 3948
New York, NY 10027-6902
Fax: 212-854-5164


For questions related to:

The program: Jillian Burdziak
The online application: Megan Friar
Registration and billing: Maryann Borgognone
Student feedback on the program: TBA

In the event of an emergency after office hours, please contact Columbia University Emergency at 212-854-5555 or
Columbia University Public Safety at 212-854-2796.

This program is currently not accepting applications.