The Office of the Dean of Students is the primary source of advising for students at the School of General Studies. Upon matriculation, each undergraduate student is assigned an advisor, who serves as the student's main link to GS throughout the student's career at Columbia, providing guidance on University as well as GS-specific policies and procedures.
Undergraduate advisors counsel students on their selection and load of courses for each term and must approve all courses counted toward fulfilling GS core requirements, including transfer courses. As needed, advisors can elaborate on GS guidelines and University and GS policies to provide students with the information they need to make decisions relevant to their academic progress and success. Students with questions not answered fully by the information on the GS website should consult their advisors.
Students should immediately contact their advisors if any personal or health emergency prevents them from attending class or completing coursework at any time during the semester.
Upon declaring a major, students are assigned faculty advisors within their major department who assume responsibility for advising students about courses and requirements for the major. Faculty advisors in departments are also available to students completing concentrations in that discipline or program. Each academic department and program at Columbia has a designated director of undergraduate studies (DUS), who is available for consultation about majors, concentrations, and their requirements.
After a student has been assigned a major advisor, the GS advisor continues to be a resource on matters both academic and personal. In particular, students must consult with their GS advisors about the following: fulfilling GS core requirements; dropping a course; withdrawing from a semester; taking a leave; studying abroad; petitioning for an incomplete or deferred exam; adding, changing, or canceling a major or concentration; applying for one of the dual or joint degree programs; petitioning the Committee on Academic Standing; and applying for graduation.
Students interested in study abroad, fellowships, medical school, law school, business school, engineering, or the combined programs with Columbia's professional schools should consult with their GS advisors and attend relevant information sessions sponsored by the Dean of Students Office. Faculty members are the best resources for students who are thinking about graduate school in particular academic fields and want academic advice concerning preparation for further study.
The Office of the Dean of Students keeps students informed of important dates and policy changes by sending notices to students via e-mail and by posting notices in DOS News and Announcements and the Announcements section of CourseWorks. Most information is communicated to students through twice-weekly email newsletters; however, on occasion, the Dean of Students staff sends emails with subject lines containing a double asterisk (**). Students are required to read all double-asterisk emails, which contain important information relevant to the entire student body.
The Office of the Dean of Students is located in 403 Lewisohn; (212) 854-2881; firstname.lastname@example.org.