Academic Year Weekend at Columbia University

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Female student writing in her desk.

Academic Year Weekend at Columbia University

Thinking about an educational experience that’s more than just regular classes? Columbia University’s Academic Year Weekend Program is a great choice for new college students looking to add to their learning. This guide will tell you all about this special program, including what it offers, its benefits, how to apply, and more. Learn how the Weekend Program at Columbia can help shape your future!

What is the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University?

Columbia University’s Academic Year Weekend Program offers a dynamic and comprehensive online learning experience accessible to students worldwide. Utilizing a sophisticated and interactive online platform, this program bridges geographical boundaries, allowing students from various corners of the world to interact, learn, and grow together. This platform is not just a hub for rigorous academic instruction but also a space for inclusive and diverse student life activities and events geared toward college preparedness and success.

Spanning ten weekends, the program invites students from grades 9 to 12 to immerse themselves in an extensive selection of over 20 courses. These courses are delivered in a vibrant, engaging virtual classroom environment where learning goes beyond traditional boundaries. In addition to the academic sessions, the program is designed to foster global connections and cultural exchanges. Students can engage with their international peers through various activities scheduled before morning classes and during breaks. These interactions are carefully curated to enhance their readiness for college life, offering a glimpse into the diverse experiences and perspectives they will encounter in their higher education journey.

The Academic Year Weekend Program is enriched with exceptional opportunities that augment the online learning experience. Participants can join virtual clubs, allowing them to explore interests and hobbies in a collaborative online setting. Additionally, the program offers a unique feature – the Digital Community Group. By signing up for these groups, students can form a core network of peers, providing a sense of community and belonging in the virtual space. These groups are facilitated by a Student Life Intern, who provides mentorship and support, guiding students through their online learning journey and helping them maximize their experience in the program.

Combining academic rigor with extracurricular and social activities, this holistic approach to online learning makes Columbia University’s Academic Year Weekend Program a distinctive and enriching experience for aspiring college students globally.

Male student looking at his laptop intently.

Weekend Courses

Art and Architecture: Painting Intensive 

This course, a collaboration with Columbia University’s School of the Arts, introduces students to fundamental techniques in acrylic painting. It integrates practical painting assignments with concise art history lectures, enhancing understanding of artistic content. Students work on their paintings at home and receive personalized feedback from the instructor.

During the course, students showcase their work through the online platform, engaging in virtual group critiques. These sessions allow the instructor to review and provide individualized advice on each student’s progress. Additionally, the course covers how to compile a final portfolio for college applications. Students are expected to complete asynchronous work outside of class times.

Before the course begins, a list of necessary supplies will be provided. A well-ventilated workspace and a computer for online classes are also required.

Business, Economics, and Entrepreneurship: Economics, Entrepreneurship, and Social Justice 

This course delves into the interplay between economic growth, sustainability, social entrepreneurship, and social justice. It raises critical questions about reconciling profitability with ethical principles like equity, access, and human rights. Students explore whether social entrepreneurs can address climate change challenges, how to incentivize conservation in global fisheries, and the role of microfinance in reducing poverty.

The course introduces essential economic concepts like supply and demand, utility, macro- and microeconomics, time value of money, and economic indicators. It also covers business fundamentals, including business formation, funding strategies, and financial accounting. The focus extends to understanding and finding solutions to major social issues from an economic perspective.

Participants engage in both synchronous and asynchronous work, with the latter expected to be completed between class sessions. While a background in high school algebra is beneficial, it is not a prerequisite for this course.

Entrepreneurship & Innovation: Changing the World via Venture Creation 

This practical course is designed for students eager to develop new businesses or social enterprises. It comprehensively covers the journey from the initial concept to making a venture ready for launch. Students work in teams to select and develop their own venture ideas, guided by a structured venture creation process.

The course content includes interactive lectures, case studies, and peer activities. Students will delve into business model development, customer discovery, market validation, industry analysis, product or service innovation, branding, and marketing strategies. Other crucial aspects like team management, profit modeling, financing, and legal issues are also addressed.

Students engage in various activities and assignments, each corresponding to a different phase of venture planning. They receive feedback from the instructor and peers, refining their business model throughout the course. Key terminologies, research tools, and decision-making strategies are introduced at each stage, fostering a comprehensive understanding of venture creation.

Key professional skills such as problem-solving, communication, negotiation, project management, financial analysis, and leadership are emphasized. By the course’s end, students will have developed detailed business models, complete with venture plans, investor pitches, websites, and crowd-funding videos.

Globalization: Challenges in International Economics & Politics 

This course delves into the complexities of globalization and its impact on international economics and politics. It explores pressing issues like the rise of populism, geopolitical competition, China’s influence on global currency, and the ramifications of public debt in various regions. The course seeks to understand how global pressures intersect with national interests.

Students analyze the dynamics of international relations and economic integration from a multilateral perspective, employing case studies. Key topics include international political economy theories, foreign aid, sovereign debt, international trade, security issues, development approaches, energy sustainability, and the roles of international organizations and financial institutions.

Additionally, the course provides insights into the domestic political economies of various countries, including the United States. It examines economic policy-making, the interplay of domestic and foreign policies, and topics like income distribution, national defense, national debt, and the broader effects of globalization.

The course structure includes lectures, research, dialogue on academic and policy issues, group projects, presentations, peer critiques, and sessions with guest speakers.

Female student shaking hands with someone.

Introduction to Finance & Investment Management

This course introduces finance and investment management concepts, covering interest rates, time value of money, risk-reward balance, stock and bond valuation, stock market operations, and international financial markets. It teaches stock selection and portfolio management strategies.

The course also delves into the financial system’s structure, examining the roles of various entities like investment banks, asset managers, and the Central Bank in the global economy. It links economic principles to financial markets, exploring the impact of risk, market environment, and historical investment trends on returns. The course questions why certain investments succeed or fail, using financial theory to analyze past investment outcomes. It covers traditional investments like mutual funds and alternative options like venture capital and hedge funds.

Students will develop and manage their own investment strategies and portfolios. The course requires some asynchronous work to be completed between classes.

Columbia Writing Academy: Writing for College Success

This course, tailored for high school students aiming for college success, focuses on enhancing their writing skills and developing a unique personal voice. It involves workshops, tutorials, exercises, and assignments to master essential writing skills for college, such as formulating arguments, persuasive writing, countering opposing views, and constructing effective sentences. The course covers the entire writing process, from brainstorming to revision, offering detailed feedback at each stage. Participants will conclude with a college-level essay.

The two-week online program demands 6-8 hours weekly, including reading, writing, and three weekly live Zoom sessions.

Creative Writing Workshop: Multi-Genre

This workshop caters to students keen on exploring creative writing across multiple genres. It offers an opportunity to delve into free verse poetry, short prose, drama, fiction, and creative nonfiction, culminating in a portfolio of polished work.

The course introduces various technical and imaginative writing aspects through exercises and discussions, covering the entire writing process from idea generation to drafting, revising, and editing. Students will engage in intensive writing, read and analyze notable literary excerpts, and participate in constructive peer critiques under the guidance of an experienced instructor. The workshop emphasizes openness to diverse literary approaches and includes individual conferences with the instructor for personalized feedback.

Part of Columbia University’s School of the Arts Writing Program, this course aims to challenge and inspire students interested in literary creation, laying a solid groundwork for further creative endeavors.

Fiction-Writing Workshop

This workshop is designed for students with prior creative writing experience or exceptional talent. It focuses on reading and writing various forms of fiction, aiming to compile a final portfolio of their work.

The course covers a broad spectrum of technical and imaginative writing aspects through creative exercises, discussions, and the comprehensive writing process, including idea generation, drafting, revising, and editing. Students engage in extensive writing, analyze and respond to significant literary works, and participate in honest, constructive peer critiques, all under the mentorship of an experienced instructor. The workshop encourages openness to different literary styles and methods. It also includes personalized feedback sessions with the instructor.

Male student writing in hid notebook on a table with books and coffee.

Introduction to Engineering

This course offers an overview of engineering, a rapidly expanding field. Students will explore various engineering disciplines, including Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, through guest lectures and group activities. The course emphasizes the importance of professional ethics in engineering, focusing on the responsibilities engineers have towards society and the environment. By the end of the course, students will have a comprehensive understanding of the engineering field, its diverse career opportunities, and the ethical considerations inherent in the profession.

Human Rights in the 21st Century: Challenges in International Law and Advocacy

This course explores the relevance and challenges of human rights in the 21st century, particularly against the backdrop of rising authoritarianism and anti-liberal regimes. It examines whether the human rights framework, a cornerstone of international politics post-World War II, can effectively address modern injustices. Students will delve into the law and practice of human rights and the difficulties in enforcing these rights in an increasingly hostile international environment.

The curriculum begins with the philosophical underpinnings of human rights, then splits into two perspectives: legal and social scientific. From a legal standpoint, students learn about the principles of international law, key organizations, and mechanisms for promoting and enforcing human rights. As social scientists, they debate the efficacy of human rights laws and the enforcement challenges in a system where a higher authority does not bind states.

The course encourages students to apply their knowledge to contemporary human rights issues, including cultural relativism, state surveillance, autonomous weapons, climate change, and environmental damage. It involves asynchronous work to be completed between classes.

Legal Reasoning: Thinking Like a Lawyer

This course provides an immersive experience in legal reasoning, mimicking a typical first-year law school class. It emphasizes reading and interpreting case law, developing solid legal arguments, and honing legal writing skills, offering a glimpse into contemporary legal practice.

Participants learn legal reasoning and research methods, applying these to craft persuasive and sophisticated legal arguments. Following a foundation in legal research, reasoning, and writing, students explore various law types through interactions with practicing lawyers, guest speakers, and visits to law firms. They also gain insight into the trial process and court system workings, including observing a criminal trial in a New York City court.

The course features in-class drafting and public speaking exercises, enhancing students’ reasoning, argumentation, and writing skills. These exercises introduce various legal tasks, including preparing written memoranda and oral arguments.

Suitable for students with strong writing abilities, with debate experience being beneficial but not essential.

The Supreme Court and Major Topics in U.S. Law

This course delves into the role of the U.S. Supreme Court and its jurisdiction over key social and legal issues. It begins with an overview of how the Supreme Court hears cases, followed by an in-depth examination of America’s most debated cases and the legal and social issues involved. Students learn both substantive and procedural law, developing skills to identify and argue both sides of each topic and understanding the constitutional challenges and limitations involved.

The course covers a range of topics, potentially including privacy rights, freedom of speech, LGBTQ rights, the death penalty, voting rights, gun control, and issues related to the coronavirus. It requires students to complete asynchronous work between class sessions.

Student talking her interviewer in an office.

Communicating with Consumers: The Basics of Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations

This course dives into marketing, advertising, and public relations, providing answers to common questions about consumer communication strategies. Students will explore why companies choose specific advertising methods, the rationale behind the plethora of product brands, and the psychology behind consumer choices.

Utilizing a mix of marketing texts, case studies, and recent news articles, the course offers a foundational understanding of marketing, advertising, and public relations. It includes asynchronous work, which students need to complete outside of scheduled class times.

Math Modeling and Statistics Applications

This course bridges the gap between high school math and its practical applications in business, social science, and public policy. It aims to show students how math is used in professional decision-making.

Initially, the course covers basic statistics, including mean, variance, standard deviation, Z-scores, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and p-values. Students apply these concepts to analyze data from various fields, addressing questions like the effectiveness of government programs, business campaigns, or medical treatments. The latter part focuses on math modeling, where students learn to derive equations that correlate multiple variables, such as product pricing or the relationship between poverty, unemployment, and crime rates. This course is commonly offered to students in business, public policy, economics, and social science. Modern online software aids in quick calculations, allowing more time for data analysis, conclusion drawing, and decision-making.

Suitable for students with Algebra II experience, although it’s not mandatory.

Introduction to Neuroscience: Understanding the Brain

This course is tailored for those intrigued by brain science, covering its evolutionary history, development, and its role in behavior. It traverses theories from ancient Greece to modern concepts, examining the brain from individual neurons to the entire central nervous system. The course delves into the workings of sensation, perception, and decision-making at a physiological level, blending historical neuroscience trends with contemporary experiments and research areas like animal studies, imaging techniques, computational neuroscience, and neuropharmacology.

Interactive small-group exercises complement lectures, enabling hands-on exploration of neuroscience concepts. Students build brain models, review scientific papers, and analyze real neural data, guided by the instructor. Asynchronous work is also part of the curriculum.

The Neuroscience of Psychiatric Disorders

This course delves into the neuroscience behind psychiatric disorders, intertwining psychological concepts with the science of the brain and body. It emphasizes understanding the molecular, cellular, and endocrine alterations that contribute to disorders like addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenia.

Students will learn about the roles of neurons and neurotransmitters in brain functioning. The course features interactive lectures, discussions, and assignments focused on the neuroscience of addiction, major depressive disorder, PTSD, and schizophrenia. It also includes case study analyses of neuropsychiatric disorders, exploring their impact and recovery possibilities. Asynchronous work is required between classes.

High school biology experience is recommended but not mandatory for this course.

Three people working on a laboratory.

Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry serves as a foundational subject for future biology, chemistry, or pre-medical majors in college. This course offers high school students an accessible introduction to key concepts typically found in college organic chemistry.

The curriculum encompasses the properties, reactions, structural shapes, and synthesis of classic organic compounds like alcohols. It also delves into fundamental organic reaction types and mechanisms, including elimination, substitution, and addition. Students will learn to utilize data to deduce reaction mechanisms for synthesis and the structural formula of organic compounds. Emphasis is placed on three spectroscopic techniques: infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance, and mass spectroscopy, as well as the three-dimensional aspects (isomers) of organic molecules. Detailed analysis of biochemical pathways like Kreb’s Cycle and nucleotide synthesis underscores the significance of organic chemistry in understanding life processes.

Cell and Molecular Biology of Medicine

This course explores the fundamental understanding of cell and biological molecule functionality that underpins modern medical treatments. It delves into the mechanisms of medications such as antibiotics, antivirals, chemotherapy, and psychiatric drugs. Moreover, the course investigates molecular biology and treatment approaches for conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders, including lupus.

The curriculum combines interactive lectures and in-class assignments that facilitate students’ comprehension of the intricate relationship between science and medical therapies. Additionally, participants are expected to compose a series of concise essays that analyze how various contemporary medical treatments operate at the cellular and molecular levels.

Prerequisite: While beneficial, prior experience in both high school biology and chemistry is not mandatory for enrollment. The course is available in the Fall and Spring, with online and in-person options in the Summer.

Extreme Human Physiology

This course delves into the remarkable adaptability of human organ systems when responding to challenges to homeostasis, such as extreme environmental conditions, severe infections, and significant life cycle events. It provides insights into normal organ system functions and their responses to stressors.

Students will engage in interactive lectures and in-class assignments that facilitate a deeper understanding of the connections between stressors and human responses, including potential treatments. Beyond the classroom, participants are tasked with creating a project focusing on a challenge to homeostasis of their choice to elucidate how human organ systems work to restore equilibrium.

The course also includes small amounts of asynchronous work, which students are expected to complete between class sessions. It is available in the Fall and taught online.

scientist holding a petri dish with specimen

Medical Diagnostic Device Engineering

This course offers an interdisciplinary exploration of medical diagnostic device engineering. It covers concepts from various engineering disciplines (electrical, mechanical, materials, chemical, and biomedical) and sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, and computer science) within the context of medical diagnosis.

Students will learn how principles of chemistry and physics are applied to facilitate the detection of critical biomedical information. The course also delves into mechanical, electrical, and materials engineering approaches for developing advanced diagnostic devices, along with discussions on electronic miniaturization, computational analysis strategies, and the role of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in medical diagnosis.

Ethical considerations related to medical technology use are also addressed, allowing students to reflect on the societal impact of these advancements. The course aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of medical diagnostic device engineering and its implications for personalized medicine.

Medicine as a Career Choice

This course offers an exploration of the diverse paths within the medical field, providing insights into how different types of physicians think within their disciplines and what it means to be a doctor in contemporary society. Topics covered may include logic and reasoning, evidence-based medicine, human psychology, ethics, malpractice, the history and future of medicine, medical education, and more.

The course includes asynchronous work that students are expected to complete between class sessions. It provides valuable insights into the medical world and the mindset required to excel in various medical disciplines. Please note that the content may vary depending on the instructor’s expertise within the field of medicine.

Social Psychology

This course introduces students to major psychological theories and research on human social behavior. It covers a wide range of topics, including empathy, prejudice, helping, compliance, bullying, conformity, and personality development. Additionally, the course explores psychological methods for predicting and preventing anti-social behavior.

Through this course, students develop a strong foundation in scientific principles and methodology, fostering critical thinking about complex social phenomena. The curriculum includes asynchronous work that students must complete between class sessions.

Big Data, Machine Learning, and Their Real-world Applications

This introductory course provides students with essential knowledge and skills related to big data, cloud computing, and machine learning. It focuses on the strategic use of data and innovative technologies to derive actionable business insights, preparing participants for the data-driven landscape of various industries.

The curriculum covers data import, export, manipulation, transformation, and visualization, as well as statistical summaries and machine learning model development and evaluation. Participants gain proficiency in data analytics and programming technology, empowering them to tackle real-world problems with data-driven solutions.

Prerequisite: Basic skills in Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry are recommended but not required.

a student coding using 3 laptops

Introduction to Programming with Python I

Designed for students with little to no programming experience, this course provides an introduction to Python, one of the most user-friendly programming languages. It covers fundamental computer science concepts and encourages logical reasoning and problem-solving skills through logic games, programming problems, and hands-on assignments.

By the end of the course, students should have a solid understanding of variables, user interaction, control flow statements, and using library functions. This foundational knowledge prepares them for future endeavors in computer science and engineering.

Introduction to Programming with Python II: Brief Overview

This course is intended for students who have completed the Introduction to Programming with Python course or have the prerequisite knowledge. It explores intermediate and advanced programming concepts, including program classes, objects, iterators, inheritance, lambda functions, try/except, regex, file handling, database modules, graphical modules, and numerical analysis modules.

Prerequisite: Foundational knowledge of Python and entry-level programming is required. The course includes asynchronous work that students must complete between class sessions.

Why should you join the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University?

Enrolling in the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University offers a unique opportunity to engage in a dynamic and intellectually stimulating educational journey. Below are several persuasive reasons why you should consider becoming a part of this program:

Access to Unparalleled Expertise: The program provides an exceptional platform to absorb knowledge from esteemed academics and accomplished professionals who are at the forefront of their respective fields. You’ll have the privilege to not only learn from these experts but also actively engage with them, fostering a deep and meaningful understanding of your chosen subject matter.

Networking: By participating in this program, you’ll become part of a vibrant and supportive community of individuals who share your passion for learning and personal growth. This network extends beyond the classroom, offering you the chance to connect with peers who may become lifelong friends and mentors. Furthermore, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with industry leaders, expanding your professional connections and opening doors to potential future collaborations.

Career Advancement: The knowledge and skills you acquire during the Academic Year Weekend Program can significantly enhance your career prospects. Whether you’re looking to excel in your current job or explore new career opportunities, the insights gained here can provide you with a valuable edge. Employers highly value the dedication and commitment demonstrated by individuals who invest in continuous learning and skill development.

Flexibility and Convenience: This program is thoughtfully designed to accommodate your busy schedule. You can seamlessly integrate it into your regular academic or professional commitments without the constraints of a full-time commitment. The flexibility it offers ensures that you can pursue your educational goals without compromising other aspects of your life.

The Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University promises an enriching educational experience that combines access to expertise, networking opportunities, career enhancement, and flexibility. It is a pathway to personal and professional growth that can propel you towards a brighter and more promising future.

a female student in front of her laptop

How do you get into the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University?

The admissions committee at the institution actively searches for students who exhibit outstanding academic prowess and possess a genuine desire to enrich the community with fresh ideas and a profound intellectual curiosity. They are dedicated to assembling a cohort of students who are academically accomplished and eager to engage in a vibrant learning environment characterized by motivated individuals.

It’s important to note that they do not prescribe rigid minimum requirements, such as a specific GPA, as the sole criteria for admission. Instead, they adopt a holistic approach, considering a range of factors to assess whether a student possesses the essential academic foundation, aptitude, motivation, and maturity necessary to thrive in the programs. Columbia recognizes that academic excellence cannot be distilled into a single metric and thus evaluates each applicant comprehensively.

They expect applicants to provide evidence of their successful completion of any prerequisites that may be specified in the program descriptions. This ensures that students are adequately prepared to excel in courses with specific prerequisites, guaranteeing a high level of academic rigor and engagement.

The admissions process is designed to identify individuals who not only meet the academic standards of our programs but also demonstrate the passion, commitment, and readiness to contribute meaningfully to our vibrant community of learners. They value diversity in thought and perspective, and each student admitted brings a unique and valuable dimension to our academic environment.

How do I apply to the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University?

Students should submit their application for the entire program rather than applying for admission to a specific course. It is advisable for students to choose multiple courses they are interested in, but it’s important to note that they may not be guaranteed access to all the courses they indicate on their application. The actual registration for courses occurs after a student confirms their intent to participate by paying the enrollment deposit, and it depends on course availability.

As courses often reach full capacity before the application deadline, students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis, but they will only be assessed if all required application materials have been received.

Here are the steps in the application process:

Step 1: Choose your preferred program option.
Selecting your program option is the first crucial step in the application process. Consider your academic goals, interests, and schedule to make the right choice. Take into account the program’s duration and format, as well as your availability. It’s wise to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve through the program.

Step 2: Collect your unofficial academic transcript and inform your recommender.
Gathering your unofficial academic transcript is essential for your application. Make sure it includes your latest academic achievements. Additionally, reach out to your recommender well in advance to request their support. Choose someone who knows you academically and can provide valuable insights into your abilities and potential.

Step 3: Select your top three courses of interest.
Remember that you are applying to the entire program and not individual courses. Take your time to explore the course offerings and choose the ones that align with your academic and career goals. Consider the prerequisites and course descriptions to ensure they match your interests and skill level.

Step 4: Create your account, submit your application, and review your application checklist.
Creating your account is the gateway to the application process. Pay close attention to the details you provide, as accuracy is crucial. Once your application is submitted, regularly check your application checklist to confirm that all required materials have been received. Be proactive in ensuring that nothing is missing to avoid delays in the review process.

Step 5: Receive your admissions decision in your application portal and review the program costs.
After submitting your application, patiently await your admissions decision. This information will be available in your application portal. Take the time to carefully review the program costs to ensure they align with your budget and financial planning. Consider available scholarships or financial aid options if needed.

Step 6: Confirm your enrollment decision, submit the non-refundable enrollment deposit, and complete the necessary enrollment forms.
Once you receive your admissions decision, it’s time to make an enrollment decision. Confirm your intent to participate and follow the enrollment procedures. This typically includes submitting a non-refundable enrollment deposit and completing required enrollment forms. Pay attention to deadlines to secure your spot in the program.

Step 7: Register for your class(es).
Registering for your chosen courses is the final step in the application process. Ensure that you have alternative course options in case your initial choices are fully enrolled. Be proactive and prepared for the registration period, as popular courses may fill up quickly. Plan your course schedule carefully to make the most of your academic experience.

Young woman typing in the floor.

For International Students

English Language Proficiency: While TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores are not mandatory, applicants should have English proficiency equivalent to a score of 90 or higher on the Internet-based TOEFL or a minimum of 6.5 on the IELTS.

Online Programs: It’s important to note that online courses are synchronous and follow Eastern Time. Students must be available to attend their course(s) during the scheduled meeting time.

How hard is getting into the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University?

The program doesn’t share its acceptance rate, but it’s known to be quite selective. This selectivity is further underscored by the requirement of a deposit to confirm enrollment once accepted. This aspect implies that securing a spot in the program might be competitive, reflecting the high standards and rigorous admission process typical of such esteemed educational offerings.

Program Costs for the Academic Year Weekend Program

The Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University has a clear and structured fee schedule for its online courses. The cost for each Weekend Online Course is set at $2,700.

This fee applies to each course a student enrolls in and covers the entirety of the course content and instruction.

Upon acceptance into the program, students are required to make a non-refundable deposit of $500. It’s important to note that this deposit is not an additional cost but is credited towards the overall course fee of $2,700.

However, the course fee of $2,700 does not include all the expenses associated with the program. Students should be aware of additional fees that are charged once per term. These include the activities fee, health services fee, and technology fee, which are essential for the smooth running and comprehensive support of the program. Additionally, there is an application fee of $80, which is also paid once per term.

Aside from these fees, students may incur extra costs related to specific courses. These course-specific fees will vary depending on the course requirements and materials. Furthermore, students should budget approximately $50 for course materials, such as textbooks and other necessary supplies. The specific materials required for each course will be listed in the course details, allowing students to prepare and budget accordingly.

While the primary cost per online course in the program is $2,700, students should account for the initial deposit, additional per-term fees, and potential course-specific expenses. Planning and budgeting for these costs will ensure a smooth and uninterrupted educational experience in the Academic Year Weekend Program.

When is the deadline to apply to the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University?

The deadline to apply for the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University is December 5, 2023. Applications submitted after this date will be considered until December 13, 2023, as long as there are still open spots.

Young woman talking to someone while looking at a laptop.

When do I find out about my application to the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University?

To ensure that your application is considered for review, it is imperative that all necessary materials are included and your application is complete. You can expect to receive a notification of the admissions decision within a timeframe ranging from one to two weeks after we have received all the required application components.

It is strongly advised that applicants regularly monitor their application status online to verify that all the necessary materials have been received and processed. This proactive approach helps ensure that your application remains on track and avoids any potential delays in the review process.

If, upon checking your application status, you find that a letter of recommendation is still missing from your checklist, we encourage you to reach out to your recommender and kindly remind them to submit their recommendation on your behalf. This proactive communication can help expedite the completion of your application and contribute to a more efficient admissions process. We understand the importance of timely notifications and are committed to facilitating a smooth application experience for all applicants.

Monitoring Your Application Progress

The admissions team kindly requests that you allow an appropriate amount of time to pass after submitting your application before reaching out to the Office of Admissions for updates on your application status. Please regularly check the status of your application through the online application portal. You will receive an email notification when a decision letter is available for viewing in your application portal.

Upon successfully submitting your fully completed application, you will receive an email informing you that the decision is accessible within the application system. Once all your application materials have been received, you can anticipate receiving a decision notification within 3–5 weeks for summer programs and 1–2 weeks for academic year programs.

Where is the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University held?

The academic enrichment program conducts its classes online through Zoom. To ensure a successful participation experience in your course, you will need the following:

  • Computer: A computer capable of running the latest browser versions, plug-ins, and up-to-date software.It should have tools for maintaining system security, such as antivirus and anti-spyware software.
  • Internet Connection: A high-speed, wired Internet connection (Ethernet) that supports streaming and interactive audio and video. Weak Wi-Fi connections may result in issues like latency, audio interruptions, and disconnections.
  • Webcam: Daily participation in class requires a webcam. If your computer doesn’t have a built-in camera, you can purchase a USB-based webcam to attach to your computer.
  • Headset with Microphone: While some laptops have built-in microphones and speakers, it’s strongly recommended to use a USB-based headset with a microphone, such as the Logitech H390 USB Computer Headset. If you’re using a laptop with a built-in microphone, please use headphones or earbuds during class sessions to prevent echo or feedback. Listening through speakers can disrupt the class.
  • Zoom: Ensure you have administrative permission to install Zoom and any other necessary technologies on your computer.
  • Designated Learning Space: Choose a well-lit, distraction-free learning area where you can interact with faculty and fellow students on camera. This space should be conducive to the online learning environment.

View of a female student studying in her room.

When does the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University take place?

The Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University offers a versatile and accommodating schedule, catering to the diverse needs and time zones of students from around the globe. Courses are available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with multiple time slots throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening. This flexibility allows students to select up to four courses per term over a span of ten weekends. To ensure a balanced and manageable workload, it’s advised that students enroll in one to three courses per term.

Each class in this program is designed to be two hours in length. To enhance concentration and comfort, there is typically a 10-minute intermission at the midpoint of each session. The schedule is strategically planned to include a variety of options. On Saturdays and Sundays, students can opt for a morning session, running from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, or an afternoon session, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

For those who prefer or require evening classes, additional courses are offered on Friday and Saturday evenings from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. It’s important for students to consult the specific meeting times of individual courses to plan their schedules effectively.

Looking ahead, the Spring 2024 term of the Academic Year Weekend Program is set to run from January 20th to March 24th, 2024. This period offers an extensive range of courses and activities meticulously organized to accommodate students’ academic and personal commitments.

How long is the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University?

The Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University allows students to enroll in a maximum of four courses per term, spread across ten weekends. Each class lasts two hours, typically with a brief 10-minute break at the midpoint.

A. Engaging Activities and Events in the Academic Year Weekend Program

The Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University is designed to be more than just a series of classes; it’s a holistic experience that encompasses a range of engaging and beneficial activities and events. These extracurricular offerings are thoughtfully scheduled to accommodate student’s schedules, taking place before morning classes commence and during the hour-long interlude between the morning and afternoon sessions.

This break time offers students a versatile window to not only take care of personal needs, like having a meal or catching up on homework, but also to immerse themselves in an array of organized activities. These activities are carefully curated to enrich the students’ overall experience in the program.

One of the key highlights of these activities includes workshops focused on college preparation and career exploration. These sessions are invaluable for students planning their academic futures, providing insights into the college application process and what to expect in higher education. They also offer guidance on navigating potential career paths, helping students align their current academic choices with their future professional goals.

The program features leadership seminars, where students can develop essential skills like effective communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. These seminars are not only beneficial for personal development but also play a significant role in preparing students for leadership roles in their future endeavors.

The program offers events on a variety of other topics of interest. These might include discussions on current global issues, interactive sessions on innovative technologies, or explorations into different cultural and artistic domains. Such a diverse range of topics ensures that there’s something of interest for every student, contributing to a well-rounded and stimulating weekend experience.

The activities and events organized as part of the Academic Year Weekend Program provide students with a comprehensive learning environment. These extracurricular offerings complement the academic curriculum, ensuring that students gain a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills crucial for both their personal growth and academic success.

Choosing the Right Pre-College Program: Tips for Selecting Courses at Columbia University that Match Your Goals

When deciding on the most suitable Pre-College Program within the Academic Year Weekend offerings at Columbia University, it’s crucial to ensure that your choices align with your academic and career aspirations. Here are some helpful tips for making the right selection:

Identify Your Interests and Goals

Before diving into program selection, take time to introspect and define your academic interests and long-term career goals. Consider what subjects genuinely fascinate you and which career paths you envision pursuing. Identifying your passions and objectives will serve as a solid foundation for making informed choices.

Explore Program Descriptions

Delve deep into the program descriptions provided by Columbia University. These descriptions offer a wealth of information about the content, focus, and intended learning outcomes of each course. Pay close attention to the course objectives, topics covered, and any special features or projects involved.

Review Course Offerings

Thoroughly investigate the list of courses available within the Academic Year Weekend Program. Identify those that closely align with your interests and connect with your academic or career aspirations. Keep in mind that exploring a variety of courses can lead to the discovery of new passions and areas of interest.

Unidentified student writing on a table.

Consider Prerequisites

Check whether any of the courses you’re interested in have prerequisites. Prerequisites are specific requirements that must be met before enrolling in certain courses. Ensure that you meet these requirements to avoid enrollment issues. If prerequisites exist, plan your course selections accordingly.

Consult with Advisors or Mentors

Engage with teachers, academic advisors, or mentors who can offer valuable guidance based on your strengths and interests. These individuals possess insights into your academic potential and can recommend courses that align with your goals. Seek their advice and benefit from their experience.

Think About Course Load

While the Academic Year Weekend Program permits enrollment in up to four courses per term, it’s essential to evaluate your capacity to handle the course load effectively. Consider your other commitments, such as schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and personal responsibilities. Striking a balance is key to a successful learning experience.

Balance Your Portfolio 

If you’re uncertain about your future academic or career path, consider diversifying your course selections. Choose a mix of courses from different disciplines to build a versatile skill set. Exploring various areas of interest can help you make informed decisions about your academic journey.

View of two students using a laptop on a table.

Research Instructors

Investigate the instructors who will be leading the courses you’re interested in. The quality of instruction can significantly impact your learning experience. Look for educators who are experienced in their field, known for their teaching excellence, and have a passion for mentoring students.

Assess Course Format

Understand the format of the courses you’re considering. Determine whether they are synchronous (live sessions) or asynchronous (self-paced). Consider your preferred learning style and availability when selecting courses. Ensure that the course schedule aligns with your commitments.

Seek Peer Reviews

Connect with current or former participants in the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University. Peer reviews and testimonials can provide firsthand insights into the program’s benefits, challenges, and overall experience. Hearing from peers can help you make informed decisions and gain a realistic perspective.

Consider Long-Term Benefits

Think beyond the immediate term and contemplate how the knowledge and skills acquired from these courses can contribute to your academic and career journey in the long run. Consider how each course aligns with your future goals and aspirations, as this will help you make choices that offer lasting value.

By following these comprehensive guidelines, you can confidently navigate the selection process for Pre-College Programs and courses within the Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University. Making well-informed choices will set you on a path to a rewarding educational experience tailored to your interests and goals.

Final Thoughts

The Academic Year Weekend Program at Columbia University is more than just an educational opportunity; it’s a gateway to personal and professional growth. By participating in this program, you’ll not only gain invaluable knowledge and skills but also become part of an elite network that can propel your career to new heights. If you’re ready to take your academic experience to the next level, consider applying to this exceptional program. Embrace the opportunity to learn, connect, and grow at one of the world’s leading universities.

Looking for advice on pre-college program admissions? Think about partnering with experts in college admissions, such as AdmissionSight. With our extensive experience, we’ve guided many students to successful admissions at prestigious international universities. Begin your educational journey today by scheduling a consultation with us!



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