Columbia University School of General Studies

Columbia University School of General Studies

New York, NY
location
Private
type
Urban
setting
41%
59%
student ratio
2,068
total students
Tuition Cost $52,680 | $52,680
in-state | out-of-state
Average Financial Aid Package $30,819
June 1
fall application deadline
34%
acceptance rate
Most Difficult
admission difficulty
Average test scores for all first-year students that were accepted and enrolled.
Not
Reported
sat math
Not
Reported
sat reading
Not
Reported
sat writing
Not
Reported
act composite

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 2,000 undergraduate degree candidates and more than 400 students enrolled in the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program. The average age of the GS student body is 27. 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 2017-2018 academic year, tuition is $1,756 per point (credit). Living (room and board) and personal (books, local commuting costs, etc.) expenses are approximately $23,765.

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

2970 Broadway 408 Lewisohn Hall, MC 4101
New York, NY 10027-6939
USA

Mr. Curtis Rodgers

Vice Dean

Phone: 212-854-2772
Fax: 212-854-6316
Email: gsdegree@columbia.edu

Request More Info

Majors & Degrees

Degrees Offered
Bachelor's
Associate's
  • Architecture
    • Architectural History and Criticism
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Architecture
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Area and ethnic studies
    • African American/Black Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • African Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • American Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Asian Studies (East)
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Asian Studies (South)
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Caribbean Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • French Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American/Chicano Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Italian Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Latin American Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Near and Middle Eastern Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Regional Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Russian Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Slavic Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Women's Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Biological/life sciences
    • Biochemistry
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Biology/Biological Sciences
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Biophysics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Environmental Biology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Evolutionary Biology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Neuroscience
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Business/marketing
    • Finance and Financial Management Services Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Computer and information sciences
    • Computer and Information Sciences Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Computer Science
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Information Science/Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • English
    • Creative Writing
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • English
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • English Language and Literature Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Writing
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Foreign languages and literature
    • Classics and Classical Languages
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Classics and Classical Languages Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Comparative Literature
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • East Asian Languages Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • French
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • German
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Germanic Languages Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Italian
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Middle/Near Eastern and Semitic Languages Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Russian
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Slavic Languages
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • History
    • History
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Interdisciplinary studies
    • Ancient Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Sustainability Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Mathematics and statistics
    • Applied Mathematics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Mathematics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Mathematics and Statistics Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Statistics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Natural resources/environmental science
    • Environmental Science
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Philosophy and religious studies
    • Philosophy
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Religious Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Physical sciences
    • Astronomy
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Astrophysics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Chemical Physics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Chemistry
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Environmental Chemistry
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Geology/Earth Science
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Physics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Psychology
    • Psychology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Social sciences
    • Anthropology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Archeology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Economics
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Economics Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Political Science and Government
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Political Science and Government Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Sociology
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Urban Studies/Affairs
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
  • Visual and performing arts
    • Art History, Criticism and Conservation
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Dance
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Design and Applied Arts Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Dramatic/Theater Arts
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Film/Cinema/Video Studies
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Fine/Studio Arts
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Music
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.
    • Visual and Performing Arts Related
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.

Admissions

34% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied696
    • Accepted241
    • Acceptance Rate34%
    • Enrolled2,068
    • Female Applicants383
    • Females Accepted111
    • Female Acceptance Rate28%
    • Male Applicants313
    • Males Accepted130
    • Male Acceptance Rate41%
  • Applying
    • Application Fee $80
    • Required for All Essay or personal statement
      Transcript of high school record
      Letter(s) of recommendation
    • Required for Some Interview
    • Average high school GPA for first-year freshman3.83
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Application Closing Notification Date Rolling Admissions
    • Fall freshmen June 1st --
    • Out-of-state Fall freshmen Not Reported
    • Early decision plan Not Reported
    • Other early decision plan Not Reported
    • Transfer June 1st --
  • Test Scores Accepted
    • Test Average School Accepted 25th Percentile* 75th Percentile*
    • SAT Critical Reading
    • SAT Math
    • SAT Writing
    • ACT Composite 32 34
    • * 25th and 75th percentile is the score that 25/75 percent of students score at or below.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition
    • In-state tuition *$52,680
    • Out-of-state tuition *$52,680
    • In-district tuitionN/A
    • * Tuition costs are based on a full academic year typically extending from September to June.
  • Fees
    • Full-time student fees$2,798
    • Room and board *$13,950
    • Room only *$8,530
    • * Room and board charges vary according to board plan selected (i.e., 12-meal plan, 19-meal plan, etc.) and student level (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
  • Other Payment Considerations
    • Guaranteed tuition plan offeredNo
    • Tuition pre-payment planYes
    • Tuition payment plans offeredInstallments
    • Student groups that qualify for full or partial waiver of tuitionEmployees or children of employees

Financial Aid

    • Average Financial Aid Package:$30,819
    • Average Freshman Financial Aid Package:$18,679
    • Average Loan Aid:$8,359
    • Average Grant Aid:$12,545
    • Average Scholarship and/or Grant Aid Awarded:$22,797
    • Percentage of Students with Need who Receive Financial Aid:98%
    • Average Percentage of Financial Need Met: 45%
    • Percentage of Students Who Had Their Need Fully Met: 3%

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Undergraduate Students2,068
    • Male Student Percentage59%
    • Female Student Percentage41%
  • Race/Ethnicity
    • Hispanic/Latino9.77%
    • Black or African American5.42%
    • White or Caucasian49.13%
    • American Indian or Alaska Native.34%
    • Asian9.19%
    • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.24%
    • Two or more races.19%
    • Unknown or International Student5.22%
  • Other Student Statistics
    • International BreakoutNot Reported
    • Out-of-state Students57% out-of-state student

Campus Life

  • Housing
    • College-owned housing available Yes
    • Housing Requirements Not Reported
    • Housing options Coed housing , Special housing for disabled, Cooperative housing
    • Percentage of undergraduate students who live in college-owned housing 28%
  • Student Activities
    • Student-run campus newspaper Yes
    • Drama / theater group Yes
    • Student-run radio station Yes
    • Student-run television station Yes
    • Marching band Yes
    • Choral groups Yes
  • Student Services
    • Legal services No
    • Health clinic Yes
    • Personal / psychological counseling Yes
    • Women's center Yes
  • Student Organizations
    • Greek fraternities Yes
    • Greek sororities Yes
    • Local fraternities Yes
    • Local sororities Not Reported
    • Other organizations Not Reported
    • Most popular organizations General Studies Student Council
  • Campus Security and Safety
    • 24-hour emergency telephone / alarm services Yes
    • 24-hour patrols by trained officers Yes
    • Students patrols Not Reported
    • Late-night transport / escort services Yes
    • Electronically-operated dormitory entrances Not Reported
    • Other Not Reported

Athletics

Member of the: NCAA Division I
  • Men's Sports
    • Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
    • Archery Yes No No
    • Badminton Yes Division C No
    • Baseball No Division 1 No
    • Basketball Yes Division 1 No
    • Bowling Yes No No
    • Crew No Division 1 No
    • Cross-country running No Division 1 No
    • Equestrian sports Yes Division C No
    • Fencing No Division 1 No
    • Field hockey No No No
    • Football Yes Division B No
    • Golf No Division 1 No
    • Ice hockey No Division C No
    • Lacrosse No Division C No
    • Racquetball Yes Division C No
    • Rock climbing Yes No No
    • Rugby No Division C No
    • Sailing No Division C No
    • Skiing No Division C No
    • Soccer Yes Division 1 No
    • Softball No No No
    • Squash No Division 1 No
    • Swimming No Division 1 No
    • Table Tennis Yes Division C No
    • Tennis No Division 1 No
    • Track No Division 1 No
    • Ultimate Frisbee No Division C No
    • Volleyball Yes No No
    • Water polo No Division C No
    • Weight Lifting Yes No No
    • Wrestling No Division 1 No
  • Women's Sports
    • Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
    • Archery Yes Division 1 No
    • Badminton Yes Division C No
    • Baseball No No No
    • Basketball Yes Division 1 No
    • Bowling Yes No No
    • Crew No Division 1 No
    • Cross-country running No Division 1 No
    • Equestrian sports Yes Division C No
    • Fencing No Division 1 No
    • Field hockey No Division 1 No
    • Football Yes No No
    • Golf No Division 1 No
    • Ice hockey No Division C No
    • Lacrosse No Division 1 No
    • Racquetball Yes Division C No
    • Rock climbing Yes No No
    • Rugby No Division C No
    • Sailing No Division C No
    • Skiing No Division C No
    • Soccer Yes Division 1 No
    • Softball No Division 1 No
    • Squash No Division 1 No
    • Swimming No Division 1 No
    • Table Tennis Yes Division C No
    • Tennis No Division 1 No
    • Track No Division 1 No
    • Ultimate Frisbee No Division C No
    • Volleyball Yes Division 1 No
    • Water polo No Division C No
    • Weight Lifting Yes No No
    • Wrestling No No No


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