2,068
Students
Financial aid thermometer
30,920
Avg. Financial Aid
Most Selective
Admission Difficulty
34
34%
Acceptance Rate
Urban setting
Urban
Setting
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Overview

Columbia University School of General Studies

Columbia University School of General Studies (GS), established in 1947, is the finest liberal arts college in the country dedicated specifically to nontraditional students seeking a traditional Ivy League education. Nontraditional students include those who have, for personal or professional reasons, interrupted their educations, never attended college, or are only able to attend part time.

GS is unique among colleges of its type because its students are fully integrated into the Columbia undergraduate curriculum--they take the same courses with the same faculty members and earn the same degree as all other undergraduates at the University. In the classroom, the diversity and varied personal experiences of the student body promote discussion and debate that is unparalleled in the Ivy League, fostering an environment of academic rigor and intellectual development.

In addition to its core undergraduate program, GS is home to the Columbia University Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program, the Dual BA Program Between Columbia University and Sciences Po, the Dual BA Program between Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University, the Joint Bachelor's Degree Program between City University of Hong Kong and Columbia University and the Joint Program with List College of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

GS enrolls world-class dancers, athletes, and musicians; bankers and small business owners; military veterans; and people who come from as far away as China, Israel, and Germany. There are more than 2,100 undergraduate degree candidates and more than 400 students enrolled in the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program. The average age of the GS student body is 26. More than 70 percent attend classes full time, and more than 70 percent of GS graduates go on to earn advanced degrees.

Columbia University Campus

Columbia University is located in Morningside Heights, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The University's neighbors include the Union Theological Seminary, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Manhattan School of Music, Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital, Riverside Church, and the historic Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the largest cathedral in the world. The diversity of intellectual and social activities offered by these institutions is one of Columbia's great assets; another is New York City itself, which offers Columbia students a rich and almost boundless variety of social and cultural opportunities.

Columbia University Majors and Degrees

GS offers a traditional, Ivy League liberal arts education leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree, which is designed to provide students with the broad knowledge and intellectual skills that foster continued education and growth in the years after college, as well as to provide a solid foundation for positions of responsibility in the professional world. Students choose from more than 80 majors and concentrations, and individually-designed majors are also available.

The Dual BA Program Between Columbia University and Sciences Po is an intensive, transatlantic course of study in which students earn two bachelor's degrees in four years, one from each University. Students begin their studies at one of three Sciences Po campuses, each of which is devoted to a particular part of the world and offers a heavy linguistic and cultural focus. After two years, students matriculate at GS to complete core and major requirements. Upon graduation, students are eligible for guaranteed admission to a graduate program at Sciences Po. Admission to the program is highly competitive, and high school seniors are eligible to apply.

The Dual BA Program between Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University transcends traditional study-abroad opportunities by providing students the opportunity to pursue a rigorous undergraduate liberal arts education spanning two continents, at two world-renowned universities in the heart of Dublin and New York City. Upon completion of one of four programs at Trinity—English studies, European studies, history, or Middle Eastern and European languages and cultures—students matriculate at GS to complete core and major requirements. Admission is highly competitive, and high school seniors are eligible to apply.

Study Abroad

Columbia students are encouraged to enhance their academic experiences through the more than 150 study abroad programs offered in more than 100 cities around the world. Options include studying in Paris at the Columbia University Global Center, in Kyoto at the Consortium for Japanese Studies, in Kenya completing the Tropical Biology and Sustainability Program, or in Cuba taking courses at the University of Havana, to name a few.

Financial Aid

GS awards financial aid based upon need and academic ability. Approximately 70 percent of GS students receive some form of financial aid, including federal Pell grants, New York State TAP grants, federal unsubsidized and subsidized Stafford Loans, institutional scholarships, and Federal Work-Study Program awards. GS is also a proud participant in the Department of Veterans Affairs' Yellow Ribbon Program, and more than 400 military veterans are currently enrolled at the School.

Costs

For the 2018-2019 academic year, tuition is $1,822 per point (credit). Living (room and board) and personal (books, local commuting costs, etc.) expenses are approximately $24,170.

Columbia University Faculty

All undergraduate liberal arts courses at Columbia University are taught by members of the Columbia University Faculty of Arts and Sciences. These distinguished scholars in virtually every discipline also teach students in Columbia College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts, and the School of Professional Studies. The student-faculty ratio is six to one, and GS students have many opportunities to work closely with faculty members, both in small classes and on research projects. Faculty members also serve as departmental advisors to students majoring in their area of study and maintain regular office hours.

Admissions Information and Deadlines

GS employs a rigorous admissions process geared toward nontraditional students. Applicants are evaluated individually, with each student's background and experiences taken into account alongside more traditional measures of academic success. 

Students who wish to apply to GS must submit an application, standardized test scores, high school and college transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a non-refundable application fee. If the applicant has not taken the SAT or ACT within the last eight years, he or she has the option of taking the General Studies Admissions Exam (GSAE). For additional information about admissions requirements, visit the GS website.

Students may apply to GS either Early Action (nonbinding) or Regular Decision. Early Action applicants receive a decision significantly earlier. Application deadlines are as follows: 

Fall Early Action (nonbinding): March 1; Fall Regular Decision: June 1

Spring Early Action (nonbinding): October 1; Spring Regular Decision: November 1

The application deadline for the Dual BA Program Between Columbia University and Sciences Po is January 2. For additional information about admissions requirements, visit the Dual BA Program website.

Location & Contact

Address 2970 Broadway
408 Lewisohn Hall, MC 4101
New York, NY  10027
United States
Contact Mr. Curtis M. Rodgers
Vice Dean
Email: gsdegree@columbia.edu
Phone: 212-854-2772
Fax: 212-854-6316

Majors & Degrees

Architecture And Related Services Associate Bachelors
Architectural History And Criticism Checkmark
Architecture Checkmark
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, And Gender Studies Associate Bachelors
African American/Black Studies Checkmark
African Studies Checkmark
American Studies Checkmark
Asian Studies (East) Checkmark
Asian Studies (South) Checkmark
Caribbean Studies Checkmark
Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, And Group Studies Related Checkmark
French Studies Checkmark
Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, And Mexican-American/Chicano Studies Checkmark
Italian Studies Checkmark
Latin American Studies Checkmark
Near And Middle Eastern Studies Checkmark
Regional Studies Checkmark
Russian Studies Checkmark
Slavic Studies Checkmark
Women's Studies Checkmark
Biological And Biomedical Sciences Associate Bachelors
Biochemistry Checkmark
Biology/biological Sciences Checkmark
Biophysics Checkmark
Ecology And Evolutionary Biology Checkmark
Environmental Biology Checkmark
Evolutionary Biology Checkmark
Neuroscience Checkmark
Business, Management, Marketing, And Related Support Services Associate Bachelors
Finance And Financial Management Services Related Checkmark
Computer And Information Sciences And Support Services Associate Bachelors
Computer And Information Sciences Related Checkmark
Computer Science Checkmark
Information Science/studies Checkmark
English Language And Literature/Letters Associate Bachelors
Creative Writing Checkmark
English Checkmark
English Language And Literature Related Checkmark
Writing Checkmark
Foreign Languages, Literatures, And Linguistics Associate Bachelors
Classics And Classical Languages Checkmark
Classics And Classical Languages Related Checkmark
Comparative Literature Checkmark
East Asian Languages Related Checkmark
French Checkmark
German Checkmark
Germanic Languages Related Checkmark
Italian Checkmark
Middle/Near Eastern And Semitic Languages Related Checkmark
Russian Checkmark
Slavic Languages Checkmark
History Associate Bachelors
History Checkmark
Mathematics And Statistics Associate Bachelors
Applied Mathematics Checkmark
Mathematics Checkmark
Mathematics And Statistics Related Checkmark
Statistics Checkmark
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies Associate Bachelors
Ancient Studies Checkmark
Sustainability Studies Checkmark
Natural Resources And Conservation Associate Bachelors
Environmental Science Checkmark
Philosophy And Religious Studies Associate Bachelors
Philosophy Checkmark
Religious Studies Checkmark
Physical Sciences Associate Bachelors
Astronomy Checkmark
Astrophysics Checkmark
Chemical Physics Checkmark
Chemistry Checkmark
Environmental Chemistry Checkmark
Geology/earth Science Checkmark
Physics Checkmark
Psychology Associate Bachelors
Psychology Checkmark
Social Sciences Associate Bachelors
Anthropology Checkmark
Archeology Checkmark
Economics Checkmark
Economics Related Checkmark
Political Science And Government Checkmark
Political Science And Government Related Checkmark
Sociology Checkmark
Urban Studies/affairs Checkmark
Visual And Performing Arts Associate Bachelors
Art History, Criticism And Conservation Checkmark
Dance Checkmark
Design And Applied Arts Related Checkmark
Dramatic/theater Arts Checkmark
Film/cinema/video Studies Checkmark
Fine/studio Arts Checkmark
Music Checkmark
Visual And Performing Arts Checkmark
Visual And Performing Arts Related Checkmark

Admissions

Acceptance Rate

696
Applied
241
Accepted
2,068
Enrolled
35%
Female icon

Female Admissions

383
Females Applied
111
Females Accepted
29%
Acceptance Rate
Male icon

Male Admissions

313
Males Applied
130
Males Accepted
42%
Acceptance Rate

Applying

80
Application Fee
3.83
Avg. high school GPA for freshman
Admission Requirements
Required Transcript of high school record
Essay
2 recommendations
Required for some programs Interview

Application Deadlines

Type Application Closing Notification Date Rolling Admissions
Fall freshmen June 1st Not reported
Other early decision plan March 1st May 1st
Transfer June 1st Not reported Yes

Test Scores Accepted

Test Avg. Score Accepted 25th PercentileInfo icon 75th PercentileInfo icon
ACT Composite 32 34

Tuition & Fees

Money icon

Tuition

54,660
Fees icon

Fees

2,889
Full-time student fees
14,190
Room & board
8,770
Room only
Calculator icon

Other Payment Considerations

Guaranteed tuition plan offered No
Tuition pre-payment plan Yes
Tuition payment plans offered Yes
Student groups that qualify for full or partial waiver of tuition Employees

Financial Aid

30,920
Avg. Financial Aid Package
19,986
Avg. Freshman Financial Aid Package
16,245
Avg. International Student Financial Aid Package
8,513
Avg. Loan Aid
12,944
Avg. Grant Aid
23,244
Avg. Scholarship and/or Grant Aid awarded
99% Percentage of students with need who receive financial aid
42%
Avg. Percentage of Financial Need Met
2%
Percentage of Students Who Had Their Need Fully Met

Student Body

2,068
Total undergrad students
21%
International Students
57%
Out-of-state students

Race/Ethnicity

Hispanic/Latino 9.77%
Black or African American 5.42%
White or Caucasian 49.13%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.34%
Asian 9.19%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.24%
Two or more races 0.19%
Other 5.22%

Gender

Male (59.19%)
Female (40.81%)

Campus Life

Housing

Type
College-owned housing Yes
Housing requirements None
Housing options Cooperative housing
Co-ed housing
Disabled housing
% of undergrad students who live in college housing 28%

Student Activities

Student-run campus newspaper Checkmark
Drama/theatre group Checkmark
Student-run radio station Checkmark
Student-run television station Checkmark
Marching band Checkmark
Choral groups Checkmark
Campus events:
Commencement

Student Services

Legal services Checkmark
Health clinic Checkmark
Personal/psychological counseling Checkmark
Women's center Checkmark
International students advisor Checkmark

Student Organizations

Greek fraternities Checkmark
Greek sororities Checkmark
Local fraternities Checkmark
Most popular organizations:
General Studies Student Council

Campus Security & Safety

24-hour emergency telephone/alarm services Checkmark
24-hour patrols by trained officers Checkmark
Student patrols Checkmark
Late-night transport/escort services Checkmark
Electronically-operated dormitory entrances Checkmark

Athletics

Male icon

Men's Sports

Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
Archery Checkmark No No
Badminton Checkmark Checkmark No
Baseball No Division 1 No
Basketball Checkmark Division 1 No
Bowling Checkmark No No
Crew No Division 1 No
Cross-country Running No Division 1 No
Equestrian Sports Checkmark Checkmark No
Fencing No Division 1 No
Field Hockey No No No
Football Checkmark Division 1B No
Golf No Division 1 No
Ice Hockey No Checkmark No
Lacrosse No Checkmark No
Racquetball Checkmark Checkmark No
Rock Climbing Checkmark No No
Rugby No Checkmark No
Sailing No Checkmark No
Skiing (downhill) No Checkmark No
Soccer Checkmark Division 1 No
Softball No No No
Squash No Division 1 No
Swimming And Diving No Division 1 No
Table Tennis Checkmark Checkmark No
Tennis No Division 1 No
Track And Field No Division 1 No
Ultimate Frisbee No Checkmark No
Volleyball Checkmark No No
Water Polo No Checkmark No
Weight Lifting Checkmark No No
Wrestling No Division 1 No
Female icon

Women's Sports

Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
Archery Checkmark Division 1 No
Badminton Checkmark Checkmark No
Baseball No No No
Basketball Checkmark Division 1 No
Bowling Checkmark No No
Crew No Division 1 No
Cross-country Running No Division 1 No
Equestrian Sports Checkmark Checkmark No
Fencing No Division 1 No
Field Hockey No Division 1 No
Football Checkmark No No
Golf No Division 1 No
Ice Hockey No Checkmark No
Lacrosse No Division 1 No
Racquetball Checkmark Checkmark No
Rock Climbing Checkmark No No
Rugby No Checkmark No
Sailing No Checkmark No
Skiing (downhill) No Checkmark No
Soccer Checkmark Division 1 No
Softball No Division 1 No
Squash No Division 1 No
Swimming And Diving No Division 1 No
Table Tennis Checkmark Checkmark No
Tennis No Division 1 No
Track And Field No Division 1 No
Ultimate Frisbee No Checkmark No
Volleyball Checkmark Division 1 No
Water Polo No Checkmark No
Weight Lifting Checkmark No No
Wrestling No No No
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