Study Within Columbia's Graduate and Professional Schools

Professional Schools | Cross-Registration Policies | Limit on Courses Counted Toward Degree | Joint and Combined Programs

Graduate and Professional Schools

A limited number of courses in Columbia’s graduate and professional schools are open to undergraduates. Undergraduates may take a maximum of two courses (6 points) for elective credit in professional courses toward the 124 points necessary for their degree. Those students who wish to take a graduate or professional course and not count it toward the 124 points necessary for the undergraduate degree should review this option with their respective GS advisors. In addition, the following Columbia graduate and professional schools offer undergraduate level courses specifically designed for undergraduate students, for which no cross-registration process is needed: School of the Arts, School of Journalism, and Mailman School of Public Health.

To enroll in a course at one of Columbia’s graduate or professional schools, students must have approval from GS. Students must submit a cross-registration petition form, which is required as part of the approval and registration process. Students must follow the cross-registration policies established by the various graduate and professional schools, must have permission to enroll from the instructor of the course, and in some cases must have the permission of the school in which the course is offered. A student must have completed one semester and 15 points of Columbia coursework and be in good standing within GS to be eligible to petition for coursework in another school. If a course is cross-listed within the course offerings of an undergraduate program or department, students need not file a special petition.

Students who enroll in graduate or professional courses with the permission of GS are still bound by GS policies regarding drops, withdrawals, Pass/D/Fail, and incompletes. Students are not permitted to hand in coursework after the official end of term, even if the graduate-level course permits or encourages extensions, unless the student has been approved for an incomplete (see Midterms and Final Exams in Academic Policies). All work for these courses must be completed within the term in which the student is enrolled.

In every instance of cross-registration in one of the graduate or professional schools, GS students must complete the Cross-registration Petition to be approved by the appropriate offices. Following is a list of schools that allow undergraduates to register for courses and their policies regarding enrollment of GS students. Students interested in cross-registering into a school not on this list should consult their GS advisors.

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Cross-Registration Policies

Barnard: Cross-registration into Barnard courses has no restrictions unless so indicated in specific programs and course descriptions. Barnard students have priority of enrollment over Columbia students in all Barnard courses.

Barnard Education Program: Courses in the Barnard Education Program are open only to students who have been admitted to the program.

The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science: Cross-registration into engineering courses has no restrictions unless so indicated in specific programs or course descriptions. In such cases, a maximum of two courses may be taken on a space-available basis. This limit does not apply to students in the 3-2 Combined Plan program or to computer science majors or concentrators.

Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation: Lectures may be taken on a space-available basis by qualified undergraduates. Undergraduates are not allowed to enroll in any seminars or studio courses.

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences: Qualified undergraduates may take graduate-level courses in the department in which they are majoring with the permission of the instructor and the director of undergraduate studies in the department. Qualified students who wish to take graduate-level courses outside their major must have the permission of the instructor and their GS advisors, as indicated on the GS cross-registration form.

Mailman School of Public Health: Students who have been accepted into the GS/Mailman Accelerated MPH program may cross-register for one elective course at Mailman during their senior undergraduate year. The course will count toward the undergraduate degree.

School of the Arts: Graduate courses may be taken on a space-available basis by qualified undergraduates.

School of International and Public Affairs: Normally SIPA courses may only be taken by students in one of the approved five-year combined degree programs. In exceptional cases, other students may be allowed to enroll in a particular course, but must have signed permission from the SIPA. Additional information and relevant forms

School of Journalism: Courses may be taken on a space-available basis, but this option is usually restricted to graduate students and/or seniors. Additional information and relevant forms

Teachers College: In general, GS students are not allowed to register for courses at TC. Most inquiries about course registration at TC relate to their offerings in musical instruction and conflict resolution; GS students are directed to enroll in courses offered in these fields through Columbia's Faculty of the Arts & Sciences. GS students cannot enroll in music instruction courses at TC. Petitions for other coursework at TC to count toward the GS degree must be submitted to the Committee on Academic Affairs through the student's GS advisor.

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Limit on Graduate and Professional Courses Counted toward the Degree

GS students are permitted only 6 points of graduate or professional studies coursework toward their GS degrees. Those 6 points may be counted in transfer credits or courses completed at Columbia, or a combination thereof. Exceptions to this rule include GS students accepted into the combined programs with Columbia's Schools of Business, Law, Social Work, or International and Public Affairs.

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Joint and Combined Programs

GS supports several dual-, combined-, and joint-degree programs with Columbia's graduate and professional schools. Students must be specially nominated for these programs and only highly qualified candidates will be considered. The minimum requirements for a nomination for most of these highly competitive programs include a minimum GPA of 3.5, a minimum of 60 points completed toward the degree (of which at least 30 letter-graded points must have been earned at GS), and satisfactory and relevant professional experience.

Students are normally expected to complete their core requirements and be a declared major prior to enrollment in combined programs. More information about the application process and requirements for these programs will be provided to qualified students. Following are the schools and programs to which GS may recommend highly qualified candidates for combined degrees:

The Postbac Premed Program has arrangements with degree programs at the Institute of Human Nutrition, the Mailman School of Public Health, and the School of Professional Studies. Postbacs preparing to matriculate into the M.S. in Bioethics Program upon completion of their postbac studies are eligible to complete up to six credits of coursework in the bioethics curriculum while still in the Postbac Program; however, they will need to secure permission of the Bioethics Program administrator to do so. More information 


Qualified students should discuss their interest in one of these programs with their advising dean and attend the information sessions about these programs sponsored by the GS Dean of Students Office and the individual schools.

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