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Columbia University, School of Professional Studies

Program Overview 

Location: New York City, New York

Culture: Energetic, globally engaged
Neighborhood: Urban, cosmopolitan
Housing: Academic year; Off-campus apartment
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 a Language Program at the School of Professional Studies or an Academic Program at Columbia College. 

Other Comparable Programs

University of Pennsylvania ; John Hopkins University

Program Details

Program Dates by Term Availability

Fall (August –December)
Spring (January–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)

12 credits

Course Registration Policies & Procedures

SAF Scholars are registered by the university’s international/study abroad office. Once admitted to the university, the scholar is sent an e-mail and MUST reply to this e-mail with course preferences in order to officially register for classes. Scholars will be unable to register for classes if their transcript contains any 'D' grades or more than 1 'C' grade. 

Course/Departmental Restrictions

Some courses and departments have limited access. Therefore, SAF Scholars cannot enroll in the following courses prior to their arrival. However, if they choose, they can attend the course on theirfirst day, check if there are any open seats,and then obtain permission from the professor.

  • Accounting
  • Advertising
  • Business Management and Administration
  • Economics
  • Engineering (all types)
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Epidemiology
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Insurance and Risk Management
  • International Business
  • International Relations/Studies
  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Marketing
  • Public Administration/Policy
  • Public Health
  • Public Relations/Affairs

Graduate Courses



Housing Type

Academic year: off-campus apartment


Meals are left up to the students. Both housing situations have access to kitchens, so scholars are able to self-cater their own meals. Scholars also have the option of purchasing on-campus meal plans at their own expense.

Type of Room


Student Life

Co-/Extra-Curricular Opportunities or Programs

SAF Scholars have the ability to join in one or several of the hundreds of student organizations that exist at Columbia, from archery to the table tennis club to Amnesty International. With the Columbia ID card, students can visit many of New York’s museums and shows and performances at a discount or for free.

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