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Our History

Since 1995, the School of Professional Studies and its forebears have administered and developed innovative programs to fulfill a diverse array of inquisitive students’ needs and desires.

Originally named the Division of Special Programs, professional education at Columbia began with several non-degree programs, one overseas program, the Summer Sessions, Summer High School Programs, the American Language Program, and a few inter-institutional arrangements. Over the next five years, it expanded steadily, launching a series of programs aimed at postgraduate students who needed to prepare for graduate school or career advancement and at undergraduates who wanted to study overseas for a semester, year, or over the summer.

In 2002, the Board of Trustees of Columbia granted final approval for the creation of the School of Continuing Education, the first new school at Columbia in 50 years. With this status, the school gained the authority to confer the Master of Science degree.

To reflect a targeted focus on professional degree offerings, market-specific academic programming, and cross-disciplinary scholarly research, the Board approved changing the school’s name in 2015 to the School of Professional Studies. Purposeful in its mission, the School of Professional Studies provides a rigorous education informed by rapidly evolving global market requirements, which supports the academic and professional aspirations of its student community.

 

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100+ Years of History
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50+ Programs and Counting
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2 New Programs in 2020

Timeline

 

Summer 1900 - present

Columbia Summer


1911 - present

American Language Program


1986 - present

Lifelong Learners Auditing Program


1987 - present

Summer Programs for High School Students: New York City


1996 - present

Certification of Professional Achievement in Business


1998 - present

Certificate in Classics


1999 - present

Certificate in Psychology


2002 - Fall 2004

Certification of Professional Achievement in Fundraising Management (subsumed by the Fundraising Management master's program)
 

2002 - present

Summer Programs for High School Students: Barcelona
 

Summer 2002 - present

Strategic Communication: International Perspectives
 

Fall 2002 - present

Executive Master of Science in Strategic Communication
 

2003 - present

Certificate in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology

Certificate in Quantitative Studies for Finance
 

Fall 2003 - present

Certificate in Biotechnology
 

Fall 2004 - Fall 2016 

Master of Science in Fundraising Management
 

Fall 2004 - present

Executive Master of Science in Technology Management
 

2005 - 2013

Master of Science in Landscape Design
 

Fall 2006 - present

Master of Science in Actuarial Science

Master of Science in Information and Knowledge Strategy

Master of Science in Construction Administration

Master of Science in Sports Management
 

Fall 2008 - present

Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
 

2009 - present

Summer Programs For High School Students: Jordan
 

Fall 2009 - present

Master of Science in Strategic Communication

Master of Science in Narrative Medicine
 

Summer 2010 - present

Certification of Professional Achievement in Critical Issues in International Relations

United Nations Studies
 

Fall 2010 - present

Master of Science in Bioethics

Master of Science in Sustainability Management
 

2011 - present

Certification of Professional Achievement in Advanced Business
 

Summer 2011 - present

Certification of Professional Achievement in Human Rights
 

Fall 2012 - present

Certification of Professional Achievement in Sustainability Analytics
 

2013 - present

Graduate Foundations Program
 

Spring 2013 - present

Certification of Professional Achievement in Sustainable Water Management

Business Edge
 

Fall 2013 - present

Certification of Professional Achievement in Actuarial Science

Certification of Professional Achievement in Bioethics 
 

Summer 2014 - present

Business Practice

Business Plus
 

Fall 2015 - 2017

Master of Science in Sports Management and Master in Global Sports Law Companion Degree Program
 

Fall 2015 - present

Certification of Professional Achievement in Sustainable Finance

Talks@Columbia
 

Spring 2016 - present

Accelerated Program in Sustainable Development and Sustainability Management

Master of Science in Enterprise Risk Management

Certification of Professional Achievement in Enterprise Risk Management
 

Fall 2016 - present

Master of Science in Applied Analytics

Master of Science in Nonprofit Management
 

Summer 2017 - present

College Edge
 

Fall 2017 - present 

Master of Science in Technology Management

Certification of Professional Achievement in Narrative Medicine
 

Spring 2018 - present

Master of Science in Sustainability Science
 

Fall 2018 - present

Master of Science in Human Capital Management
 

Starting Spring 2020

Master of Professional Studies in Insurance Management
 

Starting Fall 2020

Master of Professional Studies in Wealth Management