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Student Life

The Columbia University Summer Session connects students with one another, Columbia faculty, and New York City through special lectures, on campus activities and events, and citywide excursions. Past activities include faculty-led museum trips, panel discussions, movie screenings, Broadway shows, a live concert series, and more.

On-Campus and Around-Campus Events

A man performs at the Sounds of Summer Fest.

Hit campus with one of the many planned University activities. Start with the Mix and Mingle event held at the beginning of each session, where you can meet students from around the globe, then catch live music at the Sounds of Summer Fest, a free lunchtime concert series spotlighting up-and-coming New York City artists across multiple genres. From on-campus film screenings to student mixers at restaurants surrounding the Morningside campus, there are myriad ways to immerse yourself in the vibrant Columbia community.


Summer Session A Mix & Mingle

May 23, 2024
4:00-6:00 p.m.
Venue: Faculty House, Skyline Ballroom

Kick-off your summer experience by connecting with students from across School of Professional Studies and students visiting campus from around the world. Enjoy food, drinks, and music in good company during this casual social event. Let us celebrate your scholarly pursuits and build up the good vibes you’ll need to ace your classes this summer.

This event is only open to current Columbia University Students and Columbia University ID holders.

Register here.


Sounds of Summer Fest 2024

June 12, 2024
The Rakiem Walker Project, featuring GLRYA
12:30–2:00 p.m.
Venue: Lerner Hall, the Wang Pavilion

Join us for live music from the Rakiem Walker Project. From jazz to R&B to soul, the Rakiem Walker Project delivers authentic New York City sounds! DJ Kenny Parker will open the event with a 30-minute set.

Emceed by Anna Galarza, Coordinator, Student Life, Columbia University

Free tickets here.

Check back for the July 24 Sounds of Summer lineup.


Summer Session B Mix & Mingle

July 10, 2024
4:00-6:00 p.m.
Venue: Faculty House, Seminar Room

Kick-off your summer experience by connecting with students from across School of Professional Studies and students visiting campus from around the world. Enjoy food, drinks, and music in good company during this casual social event. Let us celebrate your scholarly pursuits and build up the good vibes you’ll need to ace your classes this summer.

This event is only open to current Columbia University Students and Columbia University ID holders.

Register here.

Senior Faculty Events

Each summer, Columbia University faculty lead a series of discussions and activities around their areas of expertise. These opportunities are designed to spark academic curiosity and exploratory learning while providing the broader Columbia University community–students, faculty, staff, and the public–the opportunity to be in conversation with esteemed Columbia faculty and one another.


World Environment Day - 

Public Affairs and Sustainable Futures

Panel Event

June 5, 2024
5:30–6:30 p.m.
Reception to follow
Venue: Pulitzer Hall, Lecture Hall

Explore how sustainable futures are being shaped through public policy, sustainable infrastructure design, and finance for renewable energy. Moderated by Senior Vice Dean Steve Cohen, director of the M.S. in Sustainability Management program. Event speakers include:

  • Susanne DesRoches: Vice President, Clean and Resilient Buildings of the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Lecturer, Columbia University School of Professional Studies M.S. in Sustainability Management program; previously Regulatory Director, Energy Policy, NYC Office of Sustainability

  • Curtis Probst: CEO, New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC); Lecturer, Columbia University School of Professional Studies M.S. in Sustainability Management program; previously Managing Director, Rocky Mountain Institute

  • Adam Freed: Principal, Bloomberg Associates; Lecturer, Columbia University School of Professional Studies M.S. in Sustainability Management program; previously Deputy Managing Director of the Nature Conservancy’s Global Water Program

Free tickets here.


The Whale of Wall St.

Fireside Chat

June 18, 2024
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Reception to follow
Venue: Low Library Faculty Room

In this conversation, Professors Winnie O’Kelly and David Henry Hwang discuss the challenges of uncovering financial stories—especially that of the greatest fraud in history, perpetrated by Jho Low and captured in the book Billion Dollar Whale—while exploring the elements that make this such a compelling story to adapt for television. The conversation will cover O’Kelly’s experience reporting the story for The New York Times. At the same time, Hwang will share his experience in adapting the book for television. Event speakers include:

  • Winnie O’Kelley, Bloomberg Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Journalism School 

  • David Henry Hwang, Professor, Theatre School of the Arts, Columbia University

Free tickets here.


Past Summer Events

In summer 2023, Karen Green, curator for Comics and Cartoons and lecturer in English and Comparative Literature, led public panels on the history of graphic novels, featuring Columbia faculty, movie screenings, and discussions. This series included exclusive tours of Columbia University’s groundbreaking Comics and Graphic Novel Collection, which contains roughly 20,000 titles in more than two dozen languages.

Learn more about the Experience Columbia series "A History of Graphic Novels"

Throughout summer 2021, Professor Josef Sorett, Chair of Columbia’s Department of Religion and Professor of Religion and African American and African Diaspora Studies, along with his students and fellow experts, led the “Religion and the History of Black Music” series that took attendees on a tour of the music that reflects the spiritual and social experiences of Black Americans across generations. Attendees learned about the mutual influences of music and history, from the Great Migration to the struggles of the Civil Rights era, up to our current moment of social demonstrations against systemic racism.

Watch and listen to the Columbia Summer series “Religion and the History of Black Music”

The Columbia University ID 

In addition to learning from respected scholars and gaining access to University facilities and programs, Summer Session students receive a Columbia University ID, which grants them access to museums around New York, including the Asia Society Museum, the Intrepid MuseumEl Museo del Barrio, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, and the Museum of Modern ArtSee the full list of participating museums on the Columbia University Arts Initiative website. 

The New York City Experience

Columbia University School of Professional Studies (SPS) students get the benefits of being in a global city of museums, cultural landmarks, performance spaces, and sporting venues. Students are invited to attend Broadway and off-Broadway shows throughout the summer, with a variety of performances to suit all tastes. And, of course, there are the professional opportunities that come with being in one of the world’s most dynamic and diverse cities.