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Questions about transferring to Columbia University School of General Studies

YachaoYachao Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
Hi everyone,

Im a community college student, and i still have another year left before transferring to a 4-year university. i've recently received a email from GS school, suggesting that i should apply for their school. So i was wondering that is this GS school any different from their other undergrad school? and should i apply? and if i do graduate from GS, would my degree be any different from other grads' ones? i mean, the reason that i ask these questions is because i know Columbia College rarely accepts transfer students, and looking at GS's website, it seems like they have relatively higher acceptance rate. So im just kinda confused at the moment..

But thank you for taking the time and answering my question!
Post edited by Yachao on

Replies to: Questions about transferring to Columbia University School of General Studies

  • hellojanhellojan Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    You are eligible to apply to either the College or GS - but not both. If you've had a break in your education of more than a year or you have a compelling reason as to why you'd like to study part-time, you'd apply to GS.

    Transferring to CC is harder than being admitted outright from high school - and most ivy league transfers are coming from another top-ranked school and are, more often than not, recruited athletes. GS is really very transfer-friendly.

    All that said, as you'd expect, there are some significant differences between the two schools. Though, access to a traditional Columbia education is not one of them.
  • campaignercampaigner Registered User Posts: 342 Member
    The diploma is a tiny bit different (in that it says GS instead of CC), but it's a full on Columbia BA. Don't let it hold you back.

    The things to hold you back include workload and money. And as Jan says, you can only apply to GS or CC, not both. If you can apply to either, GS is much more friendly to transfers (essentially everyone is a transfer with at least some credit).
  • college_nolecollege_nole Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    That's actually not completely correct. The diploma from the School of General Studies looks like this: http://www.gs.columbia.edu/files/gs/diploma.jpg. The only difference is the language (GS - English and CC - Latin):. As described in this article url=http://www.gs.columbia.edu/news-article-find-out-more?ntitle=4164Regarding the School of General Studies Diploma | General Studies[/url], the design is exactly the same.
  • hellojanhellojan Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    English makes more sense, no?
  • RandomAdmitRandomAdmit Registered User Posts: 307 Member
    Yachao, I think you are asking all of the wrong questions. What you should really ask yourself is:

    1. Do GS students procure the same types of careers, such as investment banking , and/or consulting?
    2. Can GS students get into med schools?
    3. Can GS students obtain opportunities in industries outside the United States?
    4. Can GS students get into top graduate schools like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, PENN etc?
    5.Can GS students get recruited by tech companies like Facebook, and Google?

    The answer to all of the above is, of course, yes, because GS = Columbia Student, and Columbia students get jobs, period. I honestly was so focused with the idea of what the diploma would look like that I completely forgot about the power of the Columbia brand. As a current GS student, I had my fair share of doubts, much like you did, about the prestige of the college when I first came to this institution merely five weeks ago. Let me just say that so far it has been the best decision I have ever made. I have already rubbed shoulders and exchanged business cards ( Yes, Columbia gives you a personalized business card in your name if you choose to have one) with Mckinsey & Co. Associates that are GS alumni, not to mention a few from Accenture, and some other consulting companies.

    I have also entertained the idea of obtaining an investment banking internship, so I have also met a few GS graduates that are from Barclays, Morgan Stanley, and HSBC........

    Additionally, I have already attended this years Fall 2011 Job Fair with all the CC, SEAS, and Graduate students, and I can tell you that NOBODY really cares about which college you are IN, they only care about your GPA status at COlumbia.

    So if you are wondering if it is worth it, allow me to paraphrase what DEAN AWN has said at our orientation meeting: " Columbia College, SEAS, and the School of General Studies are merely "gateways" into the institution, once you are accepted, you ARE a Columbia Student, no matter what anyone says. Columbia College, SEAS, and GS simply serve as admissions "portals" into this marketplace of ideas that we call Columbia, all undergraduate students have access to the same opportunities as anyone else."

    Dont let admissions acceptance rates FOOL you. It is just that people havent really figured out how much of a good deal columbia GS really is yet, and I would take advantage of that before people find out. Even the affiliate schools such as BARNARD, have the SAME EXACT opportunities for ANY job you wish. Think about it, if you can take the same exact classes as any of your columbia college counterparts, and get good grades, then you have the same exact opportunities...


    All I am saying is that you are looking for schools that give you the best opportunities for jobs, and/or graduate school, and what I am saying is that academically, GS and CC are synonymous with one another. Admissions rates have absolutely no bearing. You will have a few elitist kids from CC that will say other wise but what they have to say is absolutely not true.
  • pbrpbr Registered User Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    With all respect, RandomAdmit, I'm not sure your proposed questions are all the right ones either. The fundamental question is whether GS will open life (not just career) opportunies in an environment where I am challenged to grow and "be all I can be" by my community of peers, role models and advisors? My Columbia son answers in the affirmative, for what it's worth.
  • RandomAdmitRandomAdmit Registered User Posts: 307 Member
    Whatever flavor of "opportunity" you like is out there for the taking at Columbia. It just depends on YOU. Just as in any other university, its what you put out so you can get what you want out.

    Not sure what you mean by "life" opportunities, pbr. Although I feel that comes secondary , However, when I transferred here, my circle of friends and night-life has been better than any institution I have been before. I constantly get calls, and messages on my facebook by columbia students about parties around the immediate morningside heights area ( a.k.a hangouts on amsterdam and broadway ). In terms of academics, and club sports, theres the GSSC, and I have already been to a couple club sports, such as sailing and rugby etc etc, and tried out for the rowing team... Theres also a myriad of research opportunities etc etc. As far as on-campus jobs and summer opportunities, you can be anything from working with the children within the low-income population of Harlem , working with kids in Africa, to being a Java developer or student accountant... etc etc opportunities of all kinds are everywhere to be found. But thats only if you can keep up with your ridiculously hard courses.
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