Frequently Asked Questions


Are there any networking opportunities with Columbia Alumni and Alumni of the Scholars Program?

We are constantly seeking to connect our current Scholars with alumni, both in person and through more formal events such as the CUSP Speaker Series and the annual Senior Lunch.

Are there special opportunities for Scholars?

Yes! As a Scholar, you participate in an academic enhancement program featuring speakers, cultural events, field trips, opportunities to meet with faculty and alumni, and summer research programs, internship and research assistantships. We are always looking for new opportunities to enrich your experience here at Columbia.

Can I defer a year, take a year off, or study abroad, and still be a Scholar?

Yes! You will still be a Scholar, and a welcome participant in our community, even if you take some time off from Columbia. Make sure to talk to your advising dean about how to stay in good standing while you are away from Columbia.

Can I make suggestions for guest speakers?

We welcome suggestions for future speakers - in fact, some of our most exciting and thought-provoking programs have come about as the result of a Scholar's request for a certain speaker (Ernest Drucker, Diane Ravitch, Philip Gourevitch, Samantha Power, and George Bizos, to name just a few).

Can I use the CUSP Office as an additional academic and general advising office?

Of course. In addition to the Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program, the CUSP Office was responsible for prestigious national fellowship advising for several years. As you consider graduate school options, we can assist you with your fellowship search and application process. In addition, we are here to advise you on academic matters, as well as any other questions or concerns you may have.

How do I ensure that my participation in CUSP events is recorded?

At every CUSP event, you will need to swipe your Columbia ID at the door. Additionally, following most events, you will be asked to submit a brief online evaluation. Your participation will not only ensure that you remain in good standing, but will also enhance your Columbia journey.

How does one become a Scholar?

Scholars are selected by the Office of Admissions during the application process, based on their academic and extracurricular achievements during high school. All applicants are considered for participation in the Scholars Program; there are no special application forms required.

Is there a financial package involved in being a Scholar?

While participating in the Program may help you with your financial aid needs, all Scholars' aid packages are determined on a case-by-case basis. Your financial aid officer can assist you with questions regarding educational financing.

What is required of me as a Scholar?

Throughout your four years at Columbia, we expect you to take full advantage of the resources and programming our office presents. Please refer to the expectations and responsibilities outlined here.

Will participating in the Scholars Program help me get a job? An internship? Summer employment? Accepted into graduate of professional schools?

Participating in the Scholars Program will broaden your horizons and challenge you to view the world in a new light. We offer ideas and issues you may not encounter in the classroom, and this element of your education - the exploration of current issues through an academic and intellectual lens - will serve you well in whatever field, discipline, or occupation you pursue. While participation in CUSP is a great honor (of which you should be proud), it is the intrinsic gains you reap from participating in it, which will be the most beneficial to you. You should take full advantage not only of the Columbia Journey Seminar (CJS), the CUSP Distinguished Speaker Series, the advising and mentoring by the CUSP staff, but also of the opportunity to learn experientially over the summer through the Summer Enhancement Fellowship (SEF).

Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program


403 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-6378

Fax: (212) 854-2562

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.