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Focus Areas for Visiting Students

The Visiting Students program offers hundreds of courses, many of which fall under four Focus Areas that are designed to help visiting students hone in on the areas of study that interest them the most. Each Focus Area unites distinct courses and subjects under a thematic banner paired with exclusive co-curriculars. Along with earning course credit, visiting students who complete at least two courses under a Focus Area will receive a Certification of Participation. Focus Areas also offer opportunities for on-campus housing and work-based stipends.

2024 Program Dates

Session A: May 20–June 28

Session B: July 1–August 9

Craft a curriculum that aligns with your interests and goals. Our unique interdisciplinary approach offers students the opportunity to take two courses and participate in curated co-curriculars within a thematic area.

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

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 Sustainable Futures

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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Benefits Beyond the Classroom

Learning doesn’t end once you leave the classroom. Students enhance their academic experience through specialized co-curricular activities exclusive to New York City and its landmark institutions. Craft a curriculum that aligns with your interests and goals at the global destination for these disciplines.

Program Features

  • Earn Columbia credit and a Certification of Participation upon completion of the program
  • Participate in unique co-curricular activities exclusive to each Focus Area
  • Gain access to on-campus housing and an opportunity to apply for a student ambassadorship with a housing stipend
  • Learn from Columbia’s esteemed faculty, and build a professional network 
  • Study alongside high-achieving Columbia students from around the world with similar academic interests, and make lifelong connections.


Visiting students have access to housing on Columbia University’s tranquil campus, where they can experience cultural and social engagement, a residential community among students from around the world, and the opportunity to live in New York City. In Summer Session B, students in the Public Affairs and Sustainable Futures or Wall Street Prep: Economics, Finance & Analytics areas have the opportunity to participate in Columbia’s Living and Learning Communities (LLCs). Be sure to check the program page for your Focus Area to get more information.


Focus Area Ambassadorship

The Focus Area Ambassadorship allows visiting students enrolled in Columbia University's School of Professional Studies' summer term to share their student journey and document their summer experience in NYC. Ambassadors attend program events and meet diverse individuals with similar interests. They develop their communication skills through training hosted by administrators and gain valuable professional experience to enhance their resumes. Ambassadors are eligible to apply for a housing stipend to cover the full funding for their on-campus housing or flex dollars to spend at participating business partners near the Morningside campus based on available funds. All admitted applicants will receive an invitation to submit an application to become an ambassador. Spots are limited and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. The deadline to apply for Session B is June 12th. 

If you have any questions about this Ambassadorship opportunity, please contact Visiting-Office [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.

Visiting Student Admissions

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

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