Columbia College vs. School of General Studies

<p>@Fiorucci76 I’m very interested to know how GS causes any kind of injury to CC students, or to Columbia’s reputation as a whole. Why should the selectivity of GS factor into this debate when GS students take the exact same classes as non-GS students, alongside them? </p>

<p>I live near UCLA which has an extension program. Rightfully many UCLA students are perturbed by the fact that some extension students call themselves UCLA students. Everyone is accepted into the program and precisely zero extension students take classes alongside UCLA students. I see many anti-GS CC students framing their arguments as if GS is an extension program like UCLA’s. </p>

<p>I already know the answers I’m looking for. Quite clearly, the anger is derived from the frustration that many CC students went through the politics of education throughout their lives, they were always going to be Ivy League students, they were groomed for it; and while others were not groomed for Ivy League schools since the moment they left the birth canal they are still successful at Columbia. They can’t reconcile the idea that other students, who have committed the sin of not going through the motions of the educational pipeline as CC students have, are capable of academic success sharing Columbia’s umbrella. So GS lets in a greater proportion of applicants…so what? An older student who may have been a business owner, an activist, a troop, or a single mother has life experiences that cannot be captured by letter grades, and yet are so invaluable to a well-rounded graduate. </p>

<p>The solution to this apparent emotional turmoil some CC students seem to experience is simple: when they graduate from Columbia and they are in the middle of their first job interviews, they should feel free to let their prospective employers know that they were CC students rather than GS students, that even though they’re 22 and have no life experience that they’re still more qualified than older GS graduates because they took AP classes and played the violin in high school. </p>

<p>I dont really care about reputation or something…
I am a current frosh and have just been admitted by GS. My dream is to be a development economist and I really care about the placement for applying Econ PhD as a GS graduates.
My aim is the TOP10, and I ll devote myself for it. How about GS graduates applying for PhD?</p>

<p>Here are the summary of Non Traditional programs at Ivy League schools.</p>

<p>Yale : Non-traditionals get the same diploma, same degree from the same college.
UPenn : Same Diploma, Same degree from the same school (college of Arts and Sciences)
Brown : Same Diploma, Same Degree from the same School.</p>

<p>Harvard : Different Diploma, Different Degree, Separate School
Columbia : Different Diploma, Different Degrees( CC get AB only GS get BA/BS), Separate School</p>

<p>Princeton, Dartmouth : No Program for nontraditions. </p>

<p>At Yale, UPenn, Brown, non-traditional students are completely integrated with traditional students and it is not possible to track if you graduated from non traditional program after you received the diploma. </p>

<p>At Harvard and Columbia, it is easy to check if you are from non traditional program. </p>


<p>Again, as mentioned above, my name is Christina and I’m a current GS student and tour guide.</p>

<p>I would like to clarify some of the points you referenced about GS, since they give an incorrect impression about the School, likening it with the Harvard Extension School. While that is certainly a reputable school of continuing education, outside of its affiliation with an Ivy League institution and its willingness to accept nontraditional students, it is nothing like the School of General Studies.</p>

<p>GS and CC students do receive a slightly different diploma from one another; the CC diploma is written in Latin, while the GS diploma is written in English. This is the reason that CC graduates receive an AB (artium baccalaureus) degree while GS students receive a BA (Bachelor of Arts) degree (GS no longer offers the BS degree). They are the same degree, expressed in different languages. For insight into why the School decided to continue using the English-language diploma (it has to do with honoring the mission and identity of the GS), read this letter [ <a href=“”></a> ] from Peter Awn, Dean of the School of General Studies. </p>

<p>On the other hand, graduates from the Harvard Extension School do receive a different degree (ALB; Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies), as explained on their website [ <a href=“”></a> ].</p>

<p>Concerning the fact that CC and GS are different schools, this separation is exclusively administrative in nature. In my opinion, this is a benefit, because GS has its own dedicated admissions and financial aid offices, as well as its own team of academic advisors, who understand the unique needs of nontraditional students. In terms of academics, the School of General Studies is a member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as is Columbia College. GS students register for and take the same classes as CC students, choosing from the same Directory of Classes [ <a href=“CU Directory of Classes”>CU Directory of Classes</a> ]. </p>

<p>Students at the Harvard Extension School take separate courses, and are not permitted to register for courses offered by Harvard College. In fact, Harvard Extension School courses are open to the public, and no application is required to enroll as a student, while GS has an involved and competitive application process.</p>

<p>Lastly, while it’s true that it’s “easy to check” whether students attended GS, as opposed to CC, my impression is that this isn’t something prospective employers care about. I’ve spoken to numerous GS alumni who testify, time and again, that this distinction hasn’t proven relevant. And considering the things I mentioned above, why would it be? </p>

<p>I hope this information helps to resolve any misunderstanding. If you have further questions, please get in touch!</p>



<p>Christina, what would say about graduate/professional schools? How much does the different matter as far as admission? This is one thing I do worry about is applying to a grad/pro school in the future.</p>

<p>I’d like to know what other think on this as well. I am applying to GS for the Fall. </p>

<p>@fage345‌., It seems the more integrated programs (e.g. Yale, Brown) can afford to more fully integrate with their flagship undergraduate colleges because of the smaller applicant pool coupled with VERY strict admissions (yale only admits a handful of students, so its not analogous to GS obv) What are your thoughts on this and on Penn (which seems to be the best of both)?</p>


<p>As for GS students’ prospects for getting into graduate or professional school, I shouldn’t think it matters at all. As I mentioned previously, GS students take the same classes as CC students, as well as the same sections of these classes. Academically, we are completing the exact same program, and are not segregated in any way. </p>

<p>Since your application would include college transcripts, it would be easy for an admissions committee to intuit this. A great number of GS students go on to pursue graduate or professional school; anecdotally, I’ve never heard anyone mention their status as a GS student having any negative impact on their application.</p>

<p>Let me know if you have other questions.</p>


Regarding not being segregated, correct me if I’m wrong but don’t GS students take special sections of the core? I’m fairly certain for classes like UW and LitHum there were special GS only sections in the registrar.</p>

<p>I can’t speak for graduate schools but from a firm recruitment perspective GS students’ apps usually signal a non-typical application that a recruiter needs to more carefully examine, from a different perspective than a typical undergrad, rather than the person being from an “inferior school”. In practice I don’t think there are much negative effects to a GS student’s job application, besides intrinsic factors such as some firms not looking for applicants with too much previous work experience/older candidates.</p>

<p>The general sentiment around campus is GS students whether smart or not, care a lot more about classes than a typical CC/SEAS undergrad, and are often some of the most vocal people in class. I had one intro CS class where we had a GS student with over 10 years of industry programming experience in the class, who ended up transitioning from a student to a de facto TA by the end of the semester. </p>

<p>Hi Alls,</p>

<p>I have just been admitted by Columbia GS, NYU CAS (Math-Econ Major), Wesleyan University and Vanderbilt University.
Among all these prestigious universities, I chose GS since my dream is to be a development economist and Columbia has the best Math and Econ department among these universities.
As for the comparison between SEAS/CC and GS, I have official PDF about how graduates from GS and SEAS did. Hope this would help.
<a href=“”></a>
<a href=“”></a></p>

<p>From these two PDF, I have to say that I feel a little bit disappointed: it seems that not many graduates from GS could get admitted by Harvard, Yale, MIT, Oxbridge, etc. It might because Econ PHD program doesn’t like old students. Since I am only 19 years old, I hope this would not affect. Otherwise I might choose to internal transfer to CC.
However, as for job placement, GS and CC/SEAS share almost the same DATA.</p>

<p>So, In my opinion, GS is a great institution, much better comparing to my former Liberal Arts College (Occidental).</p>


<p>Congratulations on your acceptance to GS! I’m glad to hear you’ll be joining us.</p>

<p>I took a look at the PDFs that you posted, and wanted to offer a bit more information, in order to put the information into perspective. The School of General Studies is also home to the Columbia Postbac Premed Program, which is intended for students who’ve already received their bachelor’s degree, but who have decided they now want to pursue medicine. Most of the schools on this list boast prestigious medical schools—Weill Cornell, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Brown, Boston University, and Columbia. Over 90% of students who complete Columbia’s Postbac Program are accepted into medical school, and because GS is a smaller school, this skews the graduate school sample. </p>

<p>Many GS students go on to pursue graduate school at other prestigious schools, including Oxford/Cambridge, which is represented on the PDF you provided, as well as Harvard, Yale, MIT, and other similarly-respected institutions. The list is merely a small sampling.</p>

<p>I also wanted to mention that as a GS student, you are not able to transfer to CC. That being said, I think you’ll find that as a GS student, and therefore a Columbia University student, you will be a very competitive applicant for graduate school. As you mentioned, Columbia’s math and economics departments are highly regarded, and your completion of such a program will be an impressive accomplishment in the eyes of potential graduate schools. Columbia also offers a lot of support through its Career Education Center, and there are myriad internship and career fair/networking opportunities for those studying economics.</p>

<p>Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to welcoming you to campus!</p>


<p>@fage345 Just so everyone knows, “fage345” is a Columbia GS reject and is a student at Harvard Extension School. I know who he is and I know him well personally; he has multiple accounts on CollegeConfidential dedicated to perpetuating lies on the forum to degrade schools he got rejected from. Please ignore his posts. Don’t waste your time on the ■■■■■.</p>

<p>@fage345 He has stated that he has a major inferiority complex due to his rejection from Columbia GS and his status as an Extension School student at Harvard, so he tries to make himself feel better by putting down other colleges. The unfortunate thing is that he has misled and misinformed many people due to his personal emotional problems. Hopefully, the Mods will track down his other accounts (he has nearly a dozen of them, apparently).</p>

<p>A CC grad with a law degree worked alongside my spouse for several years, and she is a literally incompetent moron. She popped the Ivy ‘bubble’ for my wife.</p>

<p>Also, we toured Columbia with a CC student guide, my wife thought he was so smart, my D and I told her yeah he talks a lot but don’t confuse quantity with quality. She and I thought that, despite his flamboyant talkativeness he was uninsightful, ordinary, and a bore.</p>

<p>So you decided to judge an entire school based on experiences with two people? @jimkingwood</p>

<p>@ds0501‌ I left off the reply to tag, I was spur-of-the-moment replying to someone further up the chain denigrating GS students. </p>

In terms of the academic experience, GS is the same as CC! Same classes, same professors, same curriculum, same diploma, and same tuition. The only difference is the admissions process and how fin aid is structured. Aside from this, they are academically the same thing.

I’ll confirm what jb231 said. I’m in classes with Columbia College and Columbia SEAS students. Same demanding courses. I’ve read a few comments on various online forums saying there is a different curriculum and set of classes for Columbia GS. That’s misinformation. Columbia GS has the same Columbia College core courses. The only thing you are not required to do as a Columbia GS student that a CC or SEAS must do before graduation, is to pass the 75 yard swim test.

Hi guys, I feel like I am late to the party, but I wanted to share my story anyways. I wish I could have applied to GS earlier but it is only recently (over the past few weeks) that I finally set my mind on going back to college. I only discovered GS like a week ago and I am balls deep into the application process hoping to finish before Nov. 1 deadline.

So here is my story: I was born in China. My family was very poor during my childhood and my education was dismal. When financial situation improved, I went to an international middle school in China. I learned English from scratch and mastered the language within a matter of one year. By the time I was high school age, I took my studies to America. Graduated from an elite boarding school in the south with 3.87 unweighted and 4.23 weighted GPA and a bunch of AP.

I got into a really selective business program at USC (World Bachelor in Business for those who are interested) where I would basically spend the first three years of my college career in USC, Hong Kong, and Milan respectively. I would graduate with three business degrees from the three schools after finishing my senior year at whichever college I preferred.

This is where it gets interesting. After I finished freshman year and just before I was about to go to HK. I learned about the mass civil protests happening in HK. I also witnessed the horrendous police brutality that totally shook me to my core. It changed my mind about going to Hong Kong and I decided to stay at USC. But at this point my mind was no longer on academics and all that I cared about was doing whatever I could to advocate for freedom and human rights in China against the tyrannical Communist regime. I started doing volunteer work for a respected non-profit to the point where I withdrew from USC to do full-time volunteer work. During the 1.5 years I left USC (withdrew Spring 2020 semester), I traveled across the country and organized quite a few public-awareness rallies to advocate for freedom and human rights in China. I event got a 180k annual grant from the non-profit to help them set up a local chapter of the non-profit in LA. I was able to set up the LA chapter of the non-profit and grow it to include more than 150 volunteers. Also, while doing all of this it became obvious to me that I could no longer return to China so I subsequently filed for political asylum here in the US.

Recently I developed an interest in law and legal studies and I really feel like it would allow me to make a greater difference, which is why I am applying to GS hoping to major in Economics-Political Science and then go to law school.

Stats: 3.87 unweighted HS GPA, 4.23 Weighted with bunch of AP ranging in 4s and 5s.

3.672 GPA at USC, and 3.766 Major GPA (counting only classes that count towards my major)

33 ACT taken three years ago, but I am a little worried because my optional ACT writing score is only 8.

Given my experiences and stats, do I realistically have a shot at GS? I am also very concerned bc I am applying nearing the end of the application cycle. Also, 3.672 GPA at USC appears low for GS… Guys, I know this is a bit wordy but I would truly appreciate some outside perspectives! Thank you so much!