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Majors and Major Declaration

Majors and Concentrations

Here is the complete list of Columbia College majors, concentrations, and programs of study.

Most Columbia College students graduate with a single program of study — i.e., one major or one concentration. It is possible to declare a maximum of two programs of study — i.e., two majors, two concentrations, a major and a concentration, a major and a special concentration, or a concentration and a special concentration.  

If you are considering a major in the humanities and social sciences, you should in your first two years take a combination of Core courses and introductory-level courses in disciplines that interest you and that you would like to explore as potential majors or concentrations. If you are considering a major in the sciences, you must focus on the required introductory science and math courses in your first two years.

Students who are undecided should talk to their advising dean about choosing classes that will allow them to narrow their choices. You should also spend some time reading the CC Bulletin online, meeting with faculty, and exploring the courses offered by various departments and the requirements of each potential major. In  addition to information on the individual department’s web site, you can use the Center for Career Education’s resources on majorsstudent data, and the connection between majors and careers to help you in your decision making.

Each department and academic program has a Director of Undergraduate Studies, a faculty member who can answer your questions about requirements for the major or concentration, guide your choices about placement level, discuss opportunities to study abroad, and assist you in planning your program. Please see the complete list of names and contact information.

Premedical students:  You must complete a regular concentration or major while fulfilling the premedical curriculum.  Please note your interest in applying to a health professions school by making the appropriate selection on the declaration web page.

Students must complete their degree requirements within eight terms (including the terms that transfer students spent at other institutions), and students will not be awarded additional semesters for the purposes of completing an additional major or concentration.

If a student decides to pursue two programs of study, they may not both be owned by the same offering unit (department, institute, or center). For example, a student may not declare programs in Russian Language and Culture and in Slavic Studies, both of which are owned by the Department of Slavic Languages; similarly, a student may not declare programs in Mathematics and in Applied Mathematics, both of which are owned by the Department of Mathematics. All joint majors (e.g., Economics-Political Science) will be considered as owned by both offering units, so that a student may not, for example, major in both Political Science and Economics-Political Science.

If a student chooses to declare two programs of study, the student can, in certain situations, apply a single course to both programs (“double-counting”). There are three conditions under which students may apply a single course to two programs, and depending on the two programs declared, some or all of these conditions may apply:

1.       If two programs both require the same coursework to teach fundamental skills needed for the field, those courses may be applied to both programs. The Committee on Instruction has defined that coursework as the following:

(1) elementary and intermediate foreign language courses;

(2) the calculus sequence (I through IV, or Honors A and B);

(3) introductory courses in Statistics (STAT UN1101 or 1201);

(4) the introductory course in computer programming (COMS W1004).

If faculty members feel that other courses should be included in this category, those courses would need to be approved for such purpose by the Committee on Instruction.

2.      In addition to double-counting any fundamental courses enumerated above, a student pursuing two programs of study may apply a maximum of two classes to both programs, if applicable. Offering departments, institutes, or centers may choose to restrict the double-counting of particular courses, and such restrictions cannot be appealed.

3.      In addition to those courses that can be double-counted as noted above, a maximum of two courses taken in the Core Curriculum can also be counted toward the requirements of a program of study (major, concentration, special concentration), if applicable. Offering departments, institutes, or centers may choose to restrict the double-counting of courses taken in the Core Curriculum, and such restrictions cannot be appealed.

Major Declaration

Columbia College students declare their major March 12-15, 2019 (during the second semester of sophomore year).  Students are not permitted to declare their majors early.

Most majors can be officially declared using the online declaration system March 12-15. The departments on the list below, however, also require written departmental approval to finalize your declaration. Once the declaration period begins, please take this form to the appropriate department to obtain approval (addresses listed below).

  • Archaeology (965 Schermerhorn Extension)
  • Architecture (500 Diana)
  • Art History and Visual Arts (joint major; permission required from Visual Arts: 310 Dodge)
  • Astronomy (1328 Pupin)
  • Astrophysics (1328 Pupin or 704 Pupin)
  • Biochemistry (211A Havemeyer or 1208 Northwest Corner)
  • Comparative Literature & Society (Heyman Center, B-101)
  • Creative Writing (609 Kent)
  • Drama and Theatre Arts (507 Milbank Hall)
  • Earth & Environmental Sciences (556-557 Schermerhorn Extension)
  • East Asian Languages & Cultures (meet with Prof. John Phan (jp3720@columbia.edu)
  • Film Studies (513 Dodge)
  • Hispanic Studies (Casa Hispánica)
  • Italian (502 Hamilton)
  • Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (513 Knox)
  • Physics (704 Pupin)
  • Portuguese Studies (Casa Hispánica)
  • Sustainable Development (Hogan Hall Suite A110)
  • Urban Studies (meet with Prof. Yatrakis, kby1@columbia.edu)
  • Visual Arts (310 Dodge)

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