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Focus Areas for Visiting Students

Thematically linked courses of study designed to cover four different areas of scholarship. Our unique interdisciplinary approach offers students the opportunity to study across multiple departments, crafting a curriculum that aligns with their interests and goals.

Focus Areas for Visiting Students

Focus Areas for visiting students are designed to help visiting students hone in on the areas of study that interest them the most. Each of the four Focus Areas unites distinct courses and subject areas under a thematic banner, providing students the opportunity to enroll in courses offered across multiple departments, through an interdisciplinary approach that includes co-curriculars exclusive to each Focus Area.

Our four Focus Areas for visiting students offer compelling areas of study in a wide array of fields. These Focus Areas include: Arts and Culture in NYC, Foundations of Pre-Medicine, Public Affairs and a Sustainable Future, and Wall Street Prep: Economics, Finance & Analytics.

Selecting a Focus Area is simple: Students must register for 2 (or more) courses listed in the Focus Area of their choice when enrolling in the program. Upon successful completion of these 2 courses, a Certificate of Participation in their Focus Area will be awarded at the end of the session. 

2024 Program Dates

Session A: May 20–June 28

Session B: July 1–August 9

Arts and Culture in NYC

Designed for students with a passion for exploring the arts and humanities while living in the rich cultural landscape of New York City.
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Foundations of Pre-Medicine

A flexible program designed for students with an interest in the healthcare sector as well as those completing foundational prerequisite courses for graduate programs like medical school and nursing school.
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Public Affairs and a Sustainable Future

Designed for students who are interested in the fast-paced world of the public sector and career pivoters interested in current events.
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Wall Street Prep: Economics, Finance & Analytics

Designed for students who want to gain a better understanding of finance, business, and the complexities of economic systems.
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Learning doesn’t end once you leave the classroom. Co-curriculars in the Visiting Focus Area of your choice enhance your experience by providing outings that make use of everything the University and the city of New York have to offer. Co-Curriculars are exclusive to each Focus Area and could include things like: Sites visits to Wall Street & the New York Stock Exchange, and Federal Reserve; Attending a neuroscience seminar by the Zuckerman Brain Institute; attending a performance of Shakespeare in the Park; or a visit to The New York Climate Exchange on Governors Island, to learn about the upcoming 2028 campus.


100 dormitories are reserved for Visiting Students during the Summer Session. Students in the Public Affairs and Sustainable Futures or Wall Street Prep: Economics, Finance & Analytics areas have the opportunity to participate in the launch of Columbia’s Living and Learning Communities, to be located at Broadway Hall and Hogan Hall. These students will be offered additional weekend programming opportunities geared towards building community with your peers onsite. Housing opportunities vary depending on your Focus Area. Be sure to check the program page for your Focus Area to get more information.

Visiting Student Admissions

Visit the Admissions page to review program requirements and deadlines, or start your application.

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