Columbia Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Undergraduate College

Columbia Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Undergraduate College

Columbia University Faculty of Arts and Sciences

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University consists of twenty-nine departments in the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. All undergraduate liberal arts courses are taught by members of the Columbia University Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences also includes five schools: Columbia College, the School of General Studies, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts, and the School of Professional Studies, as well as numerous institutes and centers.

School of General Studies

The School of General Studies (GS) of Columbia University is the finest liberal arts colleges in the United States created specifically for returning and nontraditional students seeking a rigorous, traditional, Ivy League undergraduate degree full- or part-time. Most students at GS have, for personal or professional reasons, interrupted their education, 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 Columbia undergraduates.

GS students come from varied backgrounds and all walks of life. Many students work full-time while pursuing a degree, and many have family responsibilities; others attend classes full-time and experience Columbia’s more traditional college life. In the classroom, the diversity and varied personal experience of the student body promote discussion and debate, fostering an environment of academic rigor and intellectual development.

In addition to its bachelor’s degree program, GS offers combined undergraduate/graduate degree programs with Teachers College, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Columbia’s Schools of Social Work, International and Public Affairs, Law, Business, Public Health, and Dental Medicine. Additionally, GS offers undergraduate joint-degree programs with Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science, List College of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Sciences Po in France, and City University of Hong Kong.

More than 70 percent of GS alumni go on to earn advanced degrees.

GS is also home to the oldest and largest Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program in the United States. In recent years, the acceptance rate for Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program students applying to U.S. medical schools has been up to 90 percent.

Barnard College

Barnard College, founded in 1889, was established as an affiliate of Columbia University. The tenth President of Columbia University, Frederick Barnard, strongly believed in providing women with opportunities for higher education. Barnard College fulfilled his vision for women’s education as an independent women’s college.

Located in a small brownstone at 343 Madison Avenue, the school began with only 14 students and 6 faculty members. Today, Barnard students hail from all over the United States and around the world. Academically, the Barnard experience begins with the First-Year Seminar and First-Year English courses in which first-years examine texts and readings from an interdisciplinary perspective.

During students’ time here, they will work closely with professors and students in a community filled with opportunities for intellectual and emotional growth. The Barnard education culminates with the senior project, an in-depth work of personal significance related to a student’s chosen discipline. At Barnard, the possibilities for joining student organizations, obtaining internships, and participating in cultural events are endless.

The undergraduate experience will be enriched by the legacy of prestigious and accomplished alumnae, including Zora Neale Hurston, Jhumpa Lahiri, Margaret Mead, and Anna Quindlen.

Columbia College

Columbia College enjoys a long tradition of academic prestige. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia has maintained its high standard of excellence through centuries of change and development. As the first-year experience begins, each new student becomes a part of this legacy. The Core Curriculum will introduce them to the Columbia tradition while shaping and developing their intellectual capacities.

Small class settings will allow students to challenge their assumptions and consider new perspectives. Although the Core Curriculum is the focus for the first year, instruction within the classroom is only one of many forums for learning at Columbia. The time spent outside of the classroom, whether in co-curricular activities or athletics, exploring New York City, or talking to new friends from diverse backgrounds, will be a fundamental part of each student’s personal development and education.

In the next four years they will take part in long-standing traditions and seek out new experiences. In the process, students will build their own unique perspective of the world and their place in it. This greater learning is the hallmark of the Columbia experience which they will carry with them for a lifetime.

The Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science

The Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS), originally founded as the School of Mines in 1864, was the first mining school in North America. The School is more commonly referred to as Columbia Engineering or SEAS.

During its first 50 years, the school trained almost half of the mining engineers in the country. By 1896, the high volume of courses warranted the creation of the School of Chemistry, Engineering, and Architecture.

The school was renamed the School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1960 and moved to the Seeley W. Mudd building from its former home in Lewisohn Hall. In 1997, Columbia Engineering was given its current name to recognize the generous gift from businessman and philanthropist, Z.Y. Fu. Since its inception, Columbia Engineering has produced many prominent alumni who have contributed significantly to the history of the University and various fields of science.

SEAS students balance classes in both the sciences and humanities. Outside the classroom, pre-professional societies on campus serve as valuable resources for choosing a major, informing students about upcoming technology conferences, and introducing them to alumni in their prospective fields. By taking advantage of the various courses and co-curricular activities that Columbia University has to offer, SEAS students will enjoy some of the most rewarding years of their lives.