For Students
For Member Universities
Study Abroad Asia
Program Announcements from SAF Member Universities in Asia Learn more.
SAF Offices


Columbia University, Columbia College

Program Overview 

Location: New York City, New York
Culture: Energetic, globally engaged
Neighborhood: Urban, cosmopolitan
Housing: On-campus dormitory
English level: Intermediate - advanced 

As the oldest institute of higher learning in the state of New York, Columbia University has had a long history of fostering academic excellence and learning. Through its diverse faculty and student body, it seeks to support the process of learning at every level of the world renowned institution. Eighty-two alumni and past and current faculty have been Nobel Prize winners, which bolsters its mission and focus on advancing knowledge in the learning experience.

The campus and its resources reside in an urban environment, as it is situated in Manhattan in the neighborhood of Morningside Heights. Students who attend Columbia live on and off campus, so campus life is intertwined with the neighborhoods and communities around it. 

With over eight and a half million residents, New York City is the largest city in the country. The abundant diversity in the city helps to provide students with opportunities for activities and events that meet every interest. From Wall Street, the financial hub for the country, to the headquarters of the United Nations, from Broadway to the Village, the city demonstrates the width and breadth of what it offers individuals who reside in it. 

Student Profile

SAF Scholars seeking a rigorous academic experience in an urban environment would be well suited for Columbia. Right-fit students who want to interact with diverse individuals on and off campus would be well-suited for this program.

Other Programs at University

Columbia University also offers SAF Scholars the opportunity to complete Language or Academic programs through their School of Professional Studies.

Other Comparable Programs

University of Pennsylvania ; John Hopkins University

Program Details

Program Dates by Term Availability

Fall Semester (Late August - Late December)
Spring Semester (Early January - Late May)

Progression or Concurrent Notes

These options are currently unavailable at this time. 

Program Strengths

A core strength of Columbia is its rigorous academics and its reputation. As all students who attend Columbia excel academically, SAF Scholars attending classes there will be joining the group of academically-focused individuals. 

# of Credits (per term)

SAF Scholars must enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester. The maximum amount of hours allowed is 16. 

Course Registration Policies & Procedures

No Ds and 1 C maximum on school transcript in order to register for classes. Scholars register for classes during a registration window online. 

Course/Departmental Restrictions

Some courses and departments have limited access. SAF Scholars are eligible to take any course in Columbia College with the exception of those in the Core Curriculum. The following areas have limited access:

  • Economics
  • Business Management

Graduate Courses

Available, but depends on the educational background and prerequisites. 


Housing Type

Fall: Off-campus apartment
Spring: On-campus dormitory


Dining plan D

Type of Room


Student Life

Co-/Extra-Curricular Opportunities or Programs

SAF Scholars have the opportunity to take advantage of numerous programs and activities available on campus. With almost 500 clubs, countless community service organizations, and a vibrant performing arts community, students will find something to suit their specific interests.

Life on Campus

The campus is located in Morningside heights, a neighborhood in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a stone's throw from Riverside Park and easily accessible to Central Park. This urban identity is apparent and affords campus life to be intermingled with life in the adjoining neighborhoods and communities.

Furthermore, the academically rigorous coursework and expectations are a consistent presence on campus, so it is not unknown to find students frequently utilizing the advising opportunities and numerous libraries on campus. 

Last Updated: 1/9/19