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Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of frequently asked questions from across the offices supporting Columbia College and Columbia Engineering collected here in one place for your convenience. You can browse by topic/department or search by keyword.

Columbia College, Berick Center for Student Advising

What’s the difference between a major and a concentration?

Columbia College students may choose either to major or concentrate in a discipline. Concentrations usually have fewer requirements and thus free up a student’s schedule to take other classes of interest. CC students do not need to have a major to graduate and may instead choose a concentration. Please note that in the case of "Special Concentrations" (for example, the Special Business Management Concentration), a student must choose a major or a concentration in addition to the special concentration in order to graduate.

I want to major in economics. What should I take?

A sample schedule may include: Principles of Economics and Calculus I or Calculus III.

I want to major in a discipline in the humanities or social sciences. Which classes should I take?

Take courses in the subject matters of interest. For example, if you are interested in history, take some history classes that sound interesting. Typically, it is a good idea to take introductory classes that are 1000- or 2000-level.. Classes in the 3000- or 4000-level, especially seminars, are often taken by juniors and seniors who are more advanced in the subject matter.

I’m a CC student and am not sure what I want to major in. I’m interested in many things! Which classes should I take?

Take a variety of classes that interest you! Your first year is a great time to explore classes and to figure out what you are really passionate about. Peruse the Directory of Classesand the CC Bulletin, make a list of classes that interest you, and then put them intoVergil to see what might work best with your schedule. You may also take classes that fulfill your core requirements, such as a foreign language, a Global Core class, or a class that fulfills the science requirement.

I want to major in one of the hard sciences. What should I take?

Consult the requirements for your prospective major or concentration in the CC Bulletin. Students planning to study biology, chemistry, or physics should plan to take General Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus their first semester.

How do I request to change my section of Literature Humanities or Frontiers of Science?

Can I change sections for my pre-registered Frontiers of Science class?

The Frontiers of Science lecture is the same for all students and cannot be changed. Students may use the REPLACE function on SSOL to change their Frontiers of Science discussion sections or Literature Humanities class on their own.  If online replacement is not possible, students can submit a petition to the Core Office in 202 Hamilton to request a FOS section change starting September 5 at 9 AM.

How do I request to change sections of University Writing?

The best way to change your University Writing section is for you to find someone with whom to trade sections. If you find someone with whom to trade, both of you should come in person to 310 Philosophy Hall no later than Wednesday, August 30 at 4 p.m. to make the trade.

If you do not find someone with whom to trade, you may still submit a petition to change your University Writing section. All petitions must be submitted to 310 Philosophy Hall, by Wednesday, August 30 at 4pm. Please note that we do not over-enroll University Writing sections for any reason.

Can I switch the order in which I take University Writing and Frontiers of Science?

Columbia College students with a compelling reason to reverse the order of their enrollment in University Writing and Frontiers of Science may fill out an in-person petition in the Writing Center (310 Philosophy) no later than Wednesday, August 30 at 4pm. Petitions must include a strong argument as to why one course should take precedence over the other. Even with a compelling reason, the granting of a petition is not automatic, as it depends on availability in both University Writing and Frontiers of Science

Petitions must include a strong argument as to why one course should take precedence over the other. Even with a compelling reason, the granting of a petition is not automatic, as it depends on availability in both University Writing and Frontiers of Science.

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