GS at a Glance

GS at a Glance


Lux in Tenebris Lucet – “The light that shines in the darkness”


The School of General Studies of Columbia University is the finest liberal arts college in the country dedicated specifically to students with nontraditional backgrounds seeking a traditional education at an Ivy League university. Most students at GS have, for personal or professional reasons, interrupted their education, never attended college, or are only able to attend part time.


Columbia is located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City's Upper West Side.

Degree Program

Bachelor of Arts

GS Enrollment

Note: The following enrollment statistics are based on 2015-2016 official reporting.

  • More than 2,000 undergraduate students
  • 77% full-time; 23% part-time
  • 41% female; 59% male
  • 24% of American students are Asian American, African American, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American
  • 18% international (non-U.S. citizen or permanent resident) students
  • Average age: 27

Joint Degree Program with List College at the Jewish Theological Seminary

  • 129 Joint Program students
  • 43% female; 57% male
  • Average age: 20

Dual BA Program Between Columbia University and Sciences Po

Joint Bachelor's Degree Program Between City University of Hong Kong and Columbia University

For full statistics about the current student population, please visit the Princeton Review or the College Board.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Note: The following tuition and financial aid statistics are effective for the 2016-2017 academic year.

  • $1,692 per point; Tuition and Fees
  • $23,270 estimated living and personal expenses, including room and board, books, commuting costs and miscellaneous expenses
  • Approximately 70 percent of students receive some form of need-based financial aid and/or merit scholarship
  • Average scholarship awards range between $8,000-$10,000 for first-year GS students

Academic Program

  • GS students must fulfill core requirements in science, literature, art, music, humanities, social sciences, quantitative reasoning, and global studies, and demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language.
  • GS students take the same classes, with the same professors, as students in Columbia's other undergraduate colleges.
  • More than 70 majors available
  • More than 1,500 courses offered every year

Student Life

  • More than 500 student clubs, organizations, and volunteer opportunities
  • NCAA Division I member, with intramural and intercollegiate sports teams
  • Countless cultural offerings on- and off-campus
  • Full-time students are eligible for University housing


  • 6 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • 79 Nobel Laureates are affiliated with Columbia; Laureates currently on the faculty include Richard Axel, Martin Chalfie, Eric Kandel, Tsung Dao Lee, Robert Mundell, Edmund Phelps, Orhan Pamuk, Joseph Stiglitz, and Horst Stormer.

University Resources

  • 13 graduate and professional schools, 3 undergraduate schools, and 4 affiliated institutions
  • More than 29,000 students enrolled
  • 22 libraries
  • More than 70 centers and institutes for specialized research
  • Endowment of more than $9 billion
  • Galleries, theaters, performance spaces, and art and architecture studios
  • Extensive network of support services

Joint Programs

GS supports several dual-, combined-, and joint-degree programs with Columbia’s graduate and professional schools as well as affiliates including The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia Business School, and List College at the Jewish Theological Seminary. GS also has a Dual BA Program with the French university Sciences Po and Joint Bachelor's Degree Program with the City University of Hong Kong.

After Graduation

  • More than 70 percent of GS graduates go on to earn advanced degrees.
  • More than 300 employers recruit on campus each year and approximately 1000 advertise employment opportunities to our students.
  • Students have access to a global network of more than 250,000 alumni throughout the U.S. and in 180 foreign countries.