The SPS Academic Resource Center (ARC) is a one-stop shop for all the academic resources you need to support your success at Columbia University. Below you will find valuable information about the various services, departments, and University resources available to you as a student at the School of Professional Studies. Use this virtual guide to navigate your graduate school experience in New York City!
The Office of Student Support partners with departments across campus to offer a number of workshops throughout the year that are open to current SPS students. Examples of these workshops include:
- A Financial Wellness Workshop covering financial literacy topics, resources, and tools, including iGrad, a free, web-based Financial Literacy platform that provides personalized financial resources for Columbia University students.
- A Library Resources Workshop provides an overview of library resources and covers the basics of navigating the library website, searching in CLIO, and more.
- An Introduction to Academic Writing Workshop which focuses on grammar strategies, overcoming writer's block, and how to avoid plagiarism.
Click here to see our Spring 2023 workshop schedule!
The SPS Tutoring Program is intended to complement classroom instruction and promote student success by creating educational environments that encourage independent learning and individual growth. The program’s core services include subject-based tutoring and English Language tutoring.
- Programming - Python, R, SQL, Machine Learning
- Tableau - statistical analysis, data visualization
- Statistics - foundational statistics, probability theory
- Finance - accounting, introductory finance
- Advanced Excel - statistical analysis, data management
- English Language Speaking & Writing - provided by American Language Program faculty
To learn about the program and/or how to apply to be a tutor, visit the SPS Tutoring Page linked above.
Questions? Email: sps-tutoring [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.
For additional assistance in higher level mathematics, visit the CU Department of Mathematics Help Room.
For additional assistance with academic writing at the graduate level, visit the CU Writing Center.
For more general academic support, try the SPS Peer Academic Success Coaching Program.
New for the Fall 2022 semester, the Peer Academic Success Coaching (PASC) Program will give students the opportunity to work one-on-one with a coach in developing and enhancing their approach to graduate school. Rather than focusing on specific course content, PASCs will help SPS students identify barriers to their academic success and determine more effective strategies to be applied both inside and outside of the classroom.
Meet with a PASC to discuss any of the following concepts:
- Time management
- Goal setting
- Exam preparation
- Utilizing campus resources
To learn about scheduling an appointment and/or how to apply to be a coach, visit the SPS PASC website linked above.
Questions? Email: sps-studentservices [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.
For more technical academic support, try the SPS Tutoring Program.
The goal of the SPS English Language Conversation Tables is to provide students with an opportunity to improve their confidence speaking English both inside and outside of the classroom. This initiative allows students to benefit from learning about the various cultures and customs that exist within the SPS community, and it provides students with the opportunity to build meaningful connections with others through shared experiences and circumstances.
The SPS English Language Conversation Tables program is a three-day event series that takes place during the week prior to the start of both the fall and spring semesters. All three days of the program have their own theme and purpose, but come together to form a comprehensive program. This timeline allows students to make friends, practice conversational English, adjust to living in NYC with a cohort of peers, and learn about studying at Columbia University before classes begin.
FALL 2022 PROGRAM INFORMATION
Students who are interested in participating in the program should plan to attend all three sessions to make the most of their experience. In order to meet the needs of students across all programs at SPS, the Fall 2022 Conversation Tables program is tentatively being held both virtually and in-person.
Students will meet in groups with a facilitator on the following dates:
Monday August 29, 2022 | Learning About Each Other
In Person: 10:00am - 12:00pm (EST)
Online: 3:00pm - 4:30pm (EST)
Wednesday August 31, 2022 | All About Columbia & NYC
In Person: 10:00am - 12:00pm (EST)
Online: 3:00pm - 4:30pm (EST)
Friday September 2, 2022 | Cultural Show and Tell
In Person: 10:00am - 12:00pm (EST)
Online: 3:00pm - 4:30pm (EST)
Registration is now closed.
Questions? Email the Office of Student Support: sps-studentservices [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu
For more technical assistance with English Language speaking and writing, try the SPS Tutoring Program!
Through active engagement and reflection, experiential learning allows students to gain real world experience, acquire valuable knowledge and skills, and develop meaningful connections with their course materials. The SPS Academic & Professional Development Grant (APD) aims to support students in pursuing tailored, hands-on learning experiences aligned with their academic programs that include, but are not limited to: graduate research, capstone projects, and experiential learning/professional development opportunities (e.g. internships, project-related costs, conferences, events, etc.)
The application for the Summer 2022 grant is now closed. Check back in September for details on Fall 2022 semester funding.
To learn more about the SPS Academic & Professional Development Grant, visit the APD Grant Page linked above.
Questions? Email: sps-scholarships [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.
The Office of Student Support provides a Study Space guide for all SPS students in order to navigate the campus and surrounding areas. Download this PDF for a full list of libraries, cafes and other appropriate study areas throughout the various Columbia University campus locations. This guide includes quiet study spaces and has been updated based on COVID-19 guidelines.
Columbia Health Disability Services (DS) oversees accommodations for all students at the University. They serve over 2,700 students annually across campus, from first-year undergraduates to doctoral candidates completing their dissertations. They work with students with all types of disabilities: physical, hearing, visual, chronic medical conditions, psychological, temporary, ADHD, and learning disabilities. They partner closely with medical providers to determine eligibility for accommodations and services; DS aims to support the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of University life.
The Office of Student Support coordinates with Disability Services, students, and faculty to ensure that accommodation needs are being met. To learn more about the registration process and student accommodations, click here.
The School of Professional Studies DS liaison is: Phong Luu, Director of Student Support at SPS
Alternative Formats - Alternative formats for course content are available on every Canvas page by clicking on the small icon next to the page title. Alternative formats provide opportunities for students to access course information in the way they need or want it. For example, maybe you have a lot of course material to read and get eye strain, or maybe you’re an auditory learner: listen to an audio format of the learning materials instead. Or, if the content isn’t in your first language, you could follow along in the ePub as you listen to the audio file. Alternative formats benefit everyone. Choose the format, or formats, that best suit your learning needs! For more information about alternative formats please see this student guide.
Assistive Technology and Alternate Format Materials (eText): Assistive technology is any item, software, hardware, or equipment used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. Assistive technology may be provided as a reasonable accommodation for students whose disabilities affect their ability to access information and products. You must first register with Disability Services to apply for eligibility for accommodation.
Note-Taking: Note-taking services may be provided for students unable to take notes and simultaneously participate in class due to their disability. Students must register with Disability Services so staff can determine their eligibility for this accommodation.
Sign Language and Speech-to-Text: Disability Services coordinates sign-language interpreting and speech-to-text services for students and visitors who are Deaf or hard-of hearing to facilitate communication and participation in University programs and activities. You must first register with Disability Services to apply for eligibility for this accommodation.
Test-Taking: Students with disabilities may be eligible for accommodations related to the administration of examinations. Testing accommodations are provided for students whose disabilities impact their ability to complete exams under standard conditions in the classroom. Students must register with Disability Services so staff can determine eligibility for this accommodation.
Work with a Learning Specialist - Aside from classroom accommodations, eligible students can work with a learning specialist to develop compensatory strategies and academic skills. You must first register with Disability Services to apply for eligibility for this accommodation.
Workshops and Trainings: Columbia Health units offer a variety of workshops and trainings on a broad range of issues that focus on developing a certain skill or focusing on a particular topic.
Accommodations for Pregnant Students - The University’s Title IX Coordinator works to ensure that Columbia’s programs and classrooms are accessible to all pregnant students.
This includes students experiencing any pregnancy-related condition for which they may need accommodations, including pregnancy, fertility treatments, and medical conditions related to miscarriage.
Working from Home as a Parent/Caregiver - Caring for someone while in school, and possibly while working, can be a major challenge. We hope you will find the PDF above helpful as your navigate your time at the School of Professional Studies both as a student and a caregiver. Read the document for recommendations, resources, and links as you come up with a plan that will be manageable for you.
SPS Time Management Calculator - Research suggests that, on a weekly basis, college students should spend approximately 2-3 hours studying per credit hour (also known as points at Columbia) in order to be successful in their courses. This worksheet is an interactive tool meant to help you visualize how school may fit into your current, or ideal, lifestyle. This resource can help you easily identify areas of opportunity to maximize your time and success at Columbia University.
Please note: This tool is meant to be a guide in helping you better understand how you use your time. Study time is based on the formula of three hours of study time per credit taken, and may differ for each student depending on the unique nature of their program and courses.
THIS DOCUMENT IS VIEW-ONLY FOR COLUMBIA LIONMAIL USERS. Log in to Google with your Columbia LionMail account to view the spreadsheet. To make edits, please create a copy by clicking "File" > "Make a copy." Access requests to view or edit this document will not be granted.
The SPS Student Handbook brings awareness to key community policies, practices, resources and services for the student body of the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University. Efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein; however, accuracy is not guaranteed and the information presented in this handbook is subject to change. The School of Professional Studies reserves the right to depart without notice from any policy or procedure referred to in this handbook. This handbook is not intended to and should not be regarded as a contract between the School of Professional Studies and any student or other person. If you have questions or need guidance during your time with us or have suggestions for future handbook editions, you may submit them to spsadvising [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu. If you have general thoughts concerning your student experience, we encourage you to submit them on the Listening Owl as well.
Loaner laptops are intended for emergency, short-term loans only. With only a few loaner laptops for all SPS students, the pool can be used in no other manner. Please note, the laptop loaner program is only available to those students who have paid the Technology Fee for the current semester. Additionally, priority will be given to students in Master's programs.
The loan is for a maximum of seven calendar days unless otherwise discussed and agreed upon with Student Affairs. A student may request an extension if a laptop is available.
The loaner laptop must be returned to Lewisohn Hall, Room 203 by 5:00pm on the specified due date in the condition it was borrowed. If the system is not returned within the agreed upon time, the user's CU network account and access to support will be suspended. A hold will be added to student record, which may affect registration and graduation.
The student accepts full financial responsibility if the computer and/or any peripherals are missing or damaged upon their return. The replacement system will be:
Identical to the lost computer (if available from the manufacturer); or
A comparable computer from the same manufacturer.
All students must agree to, sign, and upload the SPS Loaner Laptop Program Lease Agreement (found here).
You may also access a number of computer labs across Columbia's campus, as well as in the Student Lounge in Lewisohn Hall, Room 208.
Below are documents created by the Office of Student Support to assist you in navigating your experiences at the School of Professional Studies.
Academic Integrity at SPS - Learn about academic integrity, see examples of potential violations, and take the Academic Integrity Pledge!
Academic Writing Checklist - Before submitting an academic paper, refer to this checklist for general guidelines and reminders to ensure your paper is in good shape. While some requirements may be different based on your assignment, this is a good place to start.
Academic Writing - Sample Outline - Are you struggling to create an outline for your academic paper? Refer to this document to see an example!
Accommodations and Disability Services at SPS - Learn about Columbia Health Disability Services, their registration process, and the available accommodations for SPS students.
Comprehensive Guide to Remote Learning - This concise yet comprehensive guide is a just-in-time resource created for SPS students to get ready to access and participate in their courses remotely. This guide is meant for immediate use and is focused on essential information for the first week of transitioning to remote learning.
How to Talk to Faculty - Approaching faculty members can be intimidating, but it is an essential part of being a successful student. Check out this PDF including the “Do’s & Don’ts” for communicating with faculty members at SPS!
Maximizing Your Success: Graduate School Seminars - Discussion based courses can be intimidating, especially if English is not your first language. Read this document for academic success tips to use in your SPS seminar courses!
Stress Management Tips - Feeling stressed out? You are not alone! Check out these stress management tips.
Tips for Online Learning - Learn best practices to succeed in your online courses at SPS.
Zoom Guide for Students - Need help accessing or using Zoom? Use this guide!
Want to see more? Email us with your suggestions at sps-studentservices [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.
The Office of Student Support collaborates with university stakeholders and fellowship organizations to bring various prestigious fellowship opportunities, such as the Fulbright Program and Peace Corps, to SPS students. The office can provide guidance and help students prepare their applications in order to submit a comprehensive application. Students seeking information and an interest in applying for fellowships should contact the Office of Student Support (sps-studentservices [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu).
For questions about your financial student account or bill, email Student Financial Services at sfs [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.
For questions about loans, payment options, or financial aid, email Student Financial Planning at sfp [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.