Majors and Concentrations

Majors and Concentrations

After matriculating at the School of General Studies, Dual BA Program students will choose from over 80 majors and concentrations. Dual BA Program students must successfully complete the requirements for a major in order to graduate. Concentrations (minors) are optional.

Credits from Sciences Po do not automatically count toward a student's Columbia major or concentration. Transfer credits toward the major/concentration are accepted at the department’s discretion. The Director of Undergraduate Studies in each department is authorized to accept up to 12 GS-approved transfer credits toward the major. Some departments accept fewer than 12 credits; students must check individual department policies concerning transfer credits.

Based on Dual BA students’ experiences with transfer credit, below are approximate “maps” for several of the most popular majors:

Economics

A total of 41 points is required to complete a major in economics, with seven classes (four in economics, two in mathematics, and one in statistics) required of all students:

  • ECON W1105 Principles of Economics
  • ECON W3211 Intermediate Microeconomics
  • ECON W3213 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • ECON W3412 Econometrics
  • MATH V1101 Calculus I
  • MATH V1201 Calculus III
  • STAT W1211 Introduction to Statistics B (calculus-based)
  • Senior seminar (must be taken at Columbia)

Normal departmental rules for transfer students apply, and students must follow the procedures for receiving transfer credit. The following guidelines are specifically applicable for students in the Dual BA Program:

  • BMET 1105 Methodes Mathematiques et Quantitative will replace MATH V1101 Calculus I. Students who have completed BMET 1105 may start their Columbia math courses with MATH V1201 Calculus III. MATH V1201 may be taken concurrent with ECON W3211.
  • AECO 1140 OR AECO 1105 Principles of Microeconomics and AECO 1110 Macroeconomics will, in combination, replace ECON W1105
  • BECO 1585A Topics in Applied Economics or AECO 1300 Industrial Economics will count as an elective at the 2000-level. Only one course at the 2000-level may be taken in fulfillment of the major requirements.
  • BECO 1465A International Economy, BAFF 1375A Development Economics, BECO 1480A International Economics and Finance, DECO 1215 Money and Banking will count as electives at the 3000 level or higher and will replace the corresponding courses at Columbia (eg. BECO 1480A will replace W4505 International Monetary Theory and Practice).

Major Advising
The Director of Undergraduate Studies makes all decisions about transfer credit and exceptions to policy. For quick advising questions, students can use the email address econ-advising@columbia.edu. For questions about major requirements, course selection and scheduling, progress in the major, or other general matters, students should attend in-person advising hours. The schedule for in-person advising can be found on the Department of Economics website.

Additional Note
The Department of Economics also offers several additional majors in collaboration with other academic departments: Economics-Mathematics, Economics-Philosophy, Economics-Political Science, Economics-Statistics, and Financial Economics.

History

A total of 29 points is required to complete a major in history. Subject to approval after syllabus review, most Sciences Po history courses will count for two points in the Columbia history major and may be used to fulfill the departmental distribution requirements as well as requirements for specialization within the major.

Normal departmental rules for transfer students apply, and students must follow the procedures for receiving transfer credit as outlined in the Undergraduate Handbook. The following guidelines are specifically applicable for students in the Dual BA Program.

  • Up to 12 points in the major will be granted, with no more than six points granted in the student’s area of specialization. Students are advised to take courses in a diversity of areas (and not only Europe) while at Sciences Po to maximize the number of transferable credits. Students should provide the Director of Undergraduate Studies of History with full syllabi for all courses taken that they would like considered for credit.
  • Students must fulfill the two-seminar requirement with courses taken in history at Columbia.
  • The required Sciences Po course “Introduction to Contemporary History” is worth two points within the Columbia history major thematic specialization “Modern European History."

Political Science

 A minimum of nine courses is required to complete a major in political science. These classes must include the following:

  • Two of the following four courses: POLS UN1201, POLS UN1501, POLS UN1601, POLS UN1101
  • A course in research methods; please see the Department website for a list of courses accepted to fulfill this requirement
  • Three courses in a primary subfield (Subfields are as follows: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory)
  • Two courses in a second subfield
  • Two 4-point seminars, at least one of which is in the student’s primary subfield
  • Minimum of one additional elective course in any subfield

Please see the Department website for details of these requirements as well as requirements for the concentration in Political Science and requirements for the joint majors in Economics-Political Science and Political Science-Statistics.

Students planning to major or concentrate in political science or take either of the joint majors should email the Department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) or the Department’s Undergraduate Advising Office their Entering Credit Report, together with syllabi for the relevant courses taken at Sciences Po and a note indicating which Columbia requirements they would like to fulfill with Sciences Po courses. Dual BA Program students will typically be permitted to transfer three courses towards the major requirements or two courses toward the concentration or joint major requirements.

The department requires a major planning form for all students. 

Sociology

A total of 36 points is required to complete a major in sociology. Three classes are required of all students:

  • SOCI W1000 The Social World
  • SOCI W3000 Social Theory
  • SOCI W3010 Methods for Social Research

In addition, students must take 26 points of elective coursework, including three seminars (these may include the two-semester Senior Honors Seminar).

Normal departmental rules for transfer students apply, and students must follow the procedures for receiving transfer credit as outlined in the Undergraduate Handbook. The following guidelines are specifically applicable for students in the Dual BA Program.

  • Most sociology courses taken at Sciences Po will be counted in partial fulfillment of the elective requirements for the major at Columbia. Students should provide the Director of Undergraduate Studies of Sociology with full syllabi for all courses taken that they would like considered for credit.
  • CSOC 1280 Introduction to Sociology will be accepted in lieu of SOCI W1000
  • BSOC 1425A Introduction to Social Research or DSOC120A Empirical Sociology of Inequalities: Cultural and Educational Divides in Contemporary Knowledge will be accepted in lieu of W3010
  • Students must take SOCI W3000 at Columbia.
  • Students must fulfill the three-seminar requirement with courses taken in sociology at Columbia. 

Urban Studies

A total of 46 points is required to complete a major in urban studies, consisting of 14 required courses: three social science courses with a substantial urban focus, one non-social science course with a substantial urban focus, one methods course, five courses within a single specialization, two junior colloquia, and two senior seminars.

Students planning to major in urban studies must schedule a meeting with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), who will review their Sciences Po coursework and decide how and if these classes will apply to major requirements. Students must have a transcript and relevant syllabi ready for this meeting. Dual BA Program students typically receive 12 points of transfer credit towards the major requirements.

The DUS will make all decisions about transfer credit and exceptions to policy. The department has a program planning sheet to help students keep track of their progress. 

The DUS holds weekly office hours, published on the departmental website. Students may send questions to urban@barnard.edu. It is recommended that students interested in this major sign up for the program’s official listserv by emailing urban@barnard.edu with the subject line “Subscribe.”