How hard are the core classes?

<p>I've gotten to be very fond of the core, but I have one question. How hard are the classes? Is it difficult to do well in these classes? Thanks</p>

<p>Core classes are a lot of work, but it is typically not too difficult to get good grades in them. If you accept the fact that most of your time are gonna be devoted to doing work and studying for core classes, then you should be fine.</p>

<p>Should a prospective Columbia student already be somewhat versed in great literature and classics, or is the instruction such that anybody can understand what is going on in the classroom and in the readings?</p>

<p>A prospective student should be prepared for discussion, in that he is well-read enough to be able to appreciate new texts. But there is no need to read the core materials before entering the class — there's time to do that during the year. Anybody can understand the discussion of a given book, but the better contextual background you have, the better you can relate to it.</p>

<p>yeah, don't try to read all the books beforehand. even if you do, you will probably want to read them again later anyway.</p>

<p>any current student, how many of your 1st/2nd semester classes are core classes? Do people generally fulfill the requirements in the 1st years or spread it out over the 4 years?</p>

<p>does columbia have a "shopping" period for classes like some other schools?</p>

<p>yes, the first week or week and a half of each new semester is considered the shopping period</p>