All students in Columbia College must complete either a major or a concentration as described in the departmental sections of the school bulletin. Moreover, students must complete the entirety of the Core Curriculum, and in total earn 124 points, approximately 40 classes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What academic requirements are necessary for graduating from Columbia College?
How are classes selected?
First-year students register during orientation week of their first semester.
In subsequent years students are assigned a registration time; this registration time gives seniority to upper class students, and times are distributed by lottery within each class year. Students then can participate in on-line registration for courses.
When do students take Core courses?
Students will primarily take Core courses in their first two years, but only in the first year will students be pre-registered for specific Core courses.
Columbia College: students will be pre-registered for Literature Humanities and University Writing. Most students will elect to take Contemporary Civilization in their sophomore year and then have the choice of when to complete the remaining Core courses. In general the Core will make up roughly one third of the courses a student will take in the College.
Columbia Engineering: students will be pre-registered for The Art of Engineering, University Writing and Principles of Economics. Most students will complete most of their technical Core courses in their first two years to better prepare them for specific majors. Students will complete the remaining humanities requirements throughout their tenure at Columbia. In general the Core will make up roughly one fourth of the courses a student will take in the Engineering School.
How large are Core classes?
Though celebrated for their content, these courses are equally important for their small class format. The hallmark courses in the Core (Literature Humanities, Contemporary Civilization, Art Humanities and Music Humanities) are taught in seminars of approximately 22 students; these courses ensure that education at Columbia begins with an emphasis on every student’s active intellectual engagement.