During each academic term, students who have earned a minimum GPA of 3.6 or better in 12 or more points of letter credit in the preceding term are placed on the Dean’s List.
The grade P is considered neutral when the averages are figured, and the dividing factor is reduced by the number of points taken for Pass credit. Students who have received grades of D, F, or UW during the term are not eligible for consideration. Students who receive the grade of INC, approved in advance by the Committee on Academic Standing, are eligible for Dean’s List only after all INC grades are changed to letter grades.
The Bachelor of Arts degree is awarded with honors in three categories (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude) to no more than 25 percent of the graduating class, with no more than 5 percent summa cum laude, and the total of summa and magna cum laude not exceeding 15 percent. College honors is the highest academic recognition awarded by the College. The Committee on Honors, Awards, and Prizes reviews the academic records of the top 35% of the graduating class. Selection is based not on GPA alone, but on the breadth, depth, and rigor of academic program, high quality of academic achievement, departmental recommendations, and outstanding academic work beyond that which is required for the degree. Students may not apply for honors nor may they solicit faculty for recommendations.
There is no separate consideration of honors for October or February graduates. Each spring the Committee on Honors, Awards, and Prizes considers the October and February graduates along with those who are degree candidates for May. The report of those graduating with honors is in the May Class Day program. The honor is noted on the diploma and transcript. October and February graduates may ask the Registrar to add an honors notation to an already issued diploma.
The Committee on Honors, Awards, and Prizes reviews the academic records of the most exceptional students nominated by the faculty for Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Selections is based not on GPA alone, but on the breadth, depth, rigor of academic program, high quality of academic achievement, departmental recommendations, and outstanding academic work beyond that which is required for the degree.
Departmental Honors may be established and awarded by any Columbia College department or academic program, and is recorded on a student’s final transcript. Students should consult with their director of undergraduate studies no later than the beginning of the first term of their senior year if they wish to be considered for Departmental Honors. Students who are awarded Departmental Honors are notified by their department in mid-May. Not all departments and programs offer Departmental Honors. College guidelines for Departmental Honors include the following three criteria:
This academic society was founded in 1776 to recognize and celebrate friendship, morality, and learning. The Columbia College Delta chapter was formed in 1869. Each year 10 percent of the senior class is inducted into Phi Beta Kappa by faculty who are members of the society. Two percent is elected in November and the other eight percent is elected in the spring. Selection is based not only on academic achievement, but also on evidence of intellectual promise, character, and achievement outside the classroom. Academic achievement is measured by strength and rigor of program as well as by grades and faculty recommendations. Students may not apply for Phi Beta Kappa nor may they solicit faculty for recommendations.
As with graduation honors, October and February graduates are considered along with students graduating in May. Election to Phi Beta Kappa is noted on a student’s transcript.
A number of prizes are awarded to students for outstanding academic achievements and extracurricular activities.
While prizes are awarded annually (unless otherwise specified), they are done so at the discretion of the respective selection committees. Hence, should a selection committee decide, in a particular year, that there are no suitable candidates the prize will not be awarded.
Unless otherwise noted, these prizes are awarded to Columbia College students only.
(1947) A trophy, in the form of a Columbia lion, awarded annually to the member of the senior class who is judged to be most outstanding for qualities of mind, character, and service to the College.
(1858) Awarded annually by the Alumni Association to the senior judged by classmates to be the most faithful and deserving.
(1937) Awarded annually to a member of the senior class for unselfish service to the College community. Established by Ottle Emma Bjorkwall in memory of her brother, Dr. Charles H. Bjorkwall.
(1920) Awarded annually to the member of the graduating class who is judged by classmates to be most worthy of distinction for qualities of mind and character. Established by Miss Phebe Sutliff in memory of her nephew, Edward Brainard Sutliff, Class of 1921.
(1984) Established in memory of James Christopher Caraley, 1959–1979, Class of 1981, by his family and friends. Awarded annually to that member of the junior class who has demonstrated the greatest commitment to the value of preservation of the natural environment.
(1967) A trophy, in the form of a lion, awarded annually by the Alumni Association to the senior who, through a combination of leadership qualities as exercised in the non-athletic extracurricular program of Columbia College and outstanding achievement in the academic program of the College, best exemplifies the ideals that Robert Lincoln Carey sought to engender in the students of Columbia College.
Awarded to an undergraduate fraternity member who has demonstrated leadership, academic achievement, and participation in athletics or other campus activities. Established in honor of Stanley I. Fishel, Class of 1934, who was president of ZBT while at Columbia and later national president, and who believed in the important role fraternities can play in the development of undergraduates.
(1927) Awarded to the senior who, in the judgment of the King’s Crown Advisory Committee, has shown to the College the greatest interest and helpfulness. The student must have participated in some nonathletic activities and must be one who combines intelligence with a kindly interest in his or her fellows. Established by Mr. and Mrs. Leon S. Fox in memory of their son, Richard H. Fox, Class of 1921.
(1969) Awarded to that member of the graduating class who, throughout the undergraduate years, has made a significant contribution as a member of the staff of one or more College student publications, especially Jester, Columbia Review, and Spectator. Established by Mr. and Mrs. Irving Gerdy in memory of their son, Robert Shellow Gerdy, Class of 1939.
(1972) Awarded annually to a member of the junior class for qualities of grace and generosity. Established by his friends in memory of Robert Harron.
(1916) Gold and silver insignia in the form of King’s Crowns, each distinguished by a device symbolic of a particular activity, awarded annually by the King’s Crown Advisory Committee in recognition of significant participation in any activity under its jurisdiction. Conferred each spring on the basis of written nominations solicited from the governing board of each eligible organization.
(1948) Awarded annually to the member of the junior class who, by leadership in extracurricular as well as scholastic activities, has, in the judgment of teachers and classmates, done the most to enhance the reputation of Columbia College. Established by Dr. and Mrs. Henry Milch.
(1965) A certificate and the inscription of the student’s name on a plaque in Alfred Lerner Hall, awarded annually to a member of the senior class who displays those qualities of outstanding scholarship and significant service to the College exemplified in the life of Leonard Pullman, Class of 1962. The recipient must occupy a position of responsibility in a nonathletic Columbia College activity.
(1909) Awarded annually to the member of the graduating class who is judged by classmates to be most worthy of special distinction because of scholarship, participation in student activities, or in any combination thereof. Established by Mrs. C. M. Rolker in memory of her son, Charles M. Rolker Jr., Class of 1907.
(1925) Awarded to the member of the sophomore class who is most distinguished for service, character, and courtesy in relations with faculty members, fellow students, and visitors. A donation is presented to the student activity of the winner’s choice. Established by the Class of 1898 on the occasion of its twenty-fifth anniversary.
(1913) Awarded to the senior who has been a student in good standing in the College for at least three years and who has made the best record of scholarship. Established by Mr. and Mrs. Asher Green in memory of their son, Albert Asher Green, Class of 1914.
(1970) A lion trophy donated annually by the Alumni Association to the Columbia College student who has made the most distinguished contribution to the academic affairs of the College. Established in honor of David B. Truman, former Dean of the College.
(2004) Established by Joshua Feigenbaum and awarded to a student who is judged by the faculty to have exhibited excellence in Literature Humanities.
(2004) Established in memory of the late Professor Wallace Gray and awarded annually to the Columbia College undergraduate who is judged by the faculty to have written the best essay in Literature Humanities.
(1943) Awarded annually to the member of the junior class who is judged to be the most deserving on the basis of work in the humanities. Established by a committee of the Class of 1943 in memory of Dean Herbert E. Hawkes.
(1997) Established by Mrs. Ina Cohen in memory of her husband, Jonathan Throne Kopit, who was a member of the Class of 1968.
(2004) Awarded annually to the Columbia College undergraduate who is judged by the faculty to have written the best essay in Contemporary Civilization. Established by the Committee on the Core and the Office of the Dean of the College in memory of Professor James P. Shenton, Class of 1949 and GSAS 1955.
(2002) Established as a gift from Philip E. Aarons, CC’73 and Law ‘76, in recognition of an outstanding senior thesis by a major in the Department of Art History and Archaeology.
(2000) Awarded to a Columbia College senior who is judged by the English Department to have excelled in critical writing in any scholarly field. Established by his parents and his sister in honor of Charles, who graduated from the College in 1983.
(1954) Established by the former students and friends of Professor Dino Bigongiari, awarded annually to the senior who has written an outstanding essay on Italian civilization or whose work in the regular Italian courses is judged most worthy of distinction.
(1978) Awarded annually to the Columbia undergraduate who writes the best essay on any topic in the history of science or mathematics as judged by a faculty committee. Established by Mrs. Carl B. Boyer in memory of her husband.
(1896) Awarded to the candidate for a degree in Columbia University who has submitted the best essay on a topic dealing with American literature. The topic to be selected in connection with course or seminar work in American literature and approved by the chairman of the Bunner Prize Committee. Established by friends of the late Henry Cuyler Bunner.
(1994) Established in memory of Douglas Gardner Caverly, Class of 1968, by his family and friends, and awarded for outstanding performance by a graduating major in Classics.
(1917) Awarded annually to the junior or senior who submits the winning essay on a prescribed topic in German literature.
(1907) Awarded for excellence in sight translation of passages of Greek and Latin. Only candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts may compete. Established in memory of Mortimer Lamson Earle, Class of 1886, lecturer and professor in the Department of Classics.
(2004) Awarded annually to the Columbia College undergraduate who is judged by the Department of English and Comparative Literature to have submitted the best essay on Irish, English, or American poetry. Established by Dr. Helene J.F. de Aguilar in honor of her brother.
(1934) Awarded to a student in the College for the best essay on any topic in the philosophy of science or in the foundation of logic. It may be either a topic connected with seminar work in the Department of Philosophy or one approved by the Jones Prize Committee. Established by Mrs. Adam Leroy Jones in memory of her husband, who was Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of University Admissions, 1909–1934.
(1972) Awarded to an undergraduate of high academic distinction and promise in an area of study concerned with Italian culture, including art, music, comparative literature, history, economics, government, or in any other academic discipline. Established in honor of Professor Howard R. Marraro.
(1992) Awarded to a student who is not a native speaker of Italian but who has an excellent record in the study of some aspect of Italian culture. Established in memory of Peter M. Riccio, student and Professor in the College and the University and Director of the Casa Italiana from 1957 to 1966.
(1922) Gift of Benjamin F. Romaine to provide an annual prize for proficiency in Greek language and literature.
(1941) Established by a member of the noted family of Hispanophiles to encourage young women in humanistic pursuits at the college level. Currently offered by the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures and the Hispanic Institute of Columbia University to the Columbia College senior who has most demonstrated excellence in the study of Spanish language and Spanish and Latin American literatures and cultures.
(1963) Awarded to the student who writes the best paper in political science during the academic year. Established by the Honorable Albert Levitt.
(2003) Established by the History Department for a senior thesis of superior distinction in any historical field and period.
(1877) Awarded to the senior who submits the best essay on a topic dealing with the history of civil government in America. The topic to be selected in conjunction with seminar work in one of the social science departments and approved by the chairperson of the Chanler Prize Committee. Established by the bequest of J. Winthrop Chanler of the Class of 1847.
(1957) Awarded annually to a student in Columbia College, the School of General Studies, or Barnard College for excellence in Asian studies, particularly in the history and culture of India.
(1912) Awarded to a student with sophomore, junior, or senior standing who has demonstrated excellence in modern history. Established by Mrs. Albert Elsberg in memory of her son, Albert Marion Elsberg.
Awarded by the History Department for academic achievement in the study of history other than that of the United States. Established by Professor James P. Shenton, Columbia College Class of 1949 and GSAS Class of 1955, in honor of his mother.
(2003) Established by the History Department for a senior thesis of superior distinction in any historical field and period.
(1980) Awarded to a Columbia College senior going on to graduate study in economics who shows promise of doing original work and has already demonstrated boldness of thought and a commitment to excellence, whose interests are wide, heart kind, and spirit generous. Funded by the family and friends in memory of Sanford S. Parker, Class of 1937.
(1996) Awarded to two undergraduate students who have done exemplary work in the field of economics. Established by John Romine in honor of his brother, David Estabrook Romine.
(1910) Awarded to a student who has been a degree candidate for at least one academic year at Columbia College or Barnard College, and who has written the best essay on any topic concerning the rights of man. The topic to be selected in connection with course or seminar work and approved by the Stokes Prize Committee. Established by the bequest of Caroline Phelps Stokes.
(1968) Awarded to the Columbia College student who writes the best seminar paper on a contemporary American political problem. The selection is made jointly by representatives of the Departments of History and Political Science. Established by classmates and friends of Alan J. Willen, Class of 1964, in his memory.
(2009) Established by Professor Louis Brus, who was a student of Professor Bersohn, this prize may be awarded to the Columbia College, General Studies, or SEAS student majoring in the chemical sciences who is deemed by the faculty to have demonstrated outstanding achievement as a scholar and as a researcher.
Awarded to a degree candidate for scholastic achievements as a computer science major and as acknowledgment of his or her contributions to the Department of Computer Science and to the University as a whole.
(2009) Established by friends and colleagues of Professor Katz, this prize may be awarded to the Columbia College, General Studies, or SEAS student majoring in the chemical sciences who is deemed by the faculty to have demonstrated outstanding achievement as a scholar and as a researcher.
(2012) Established in honor Calvin Bridges and Alfred Sturtevant whose pioneering studies as Columbia College undergraduates—using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster in Thomas Hunt Morgan's laboratory—laid the basis for our understanding of genes and the way they behave. The prize may be awarded annually to a graduating senior whose experimental or computational research is deemed by the faculty to have been both highly original and fruitful.
(1992) Established in memory of Russell C. Mills, a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science who exemplified academic excellence and intellectual curiosity, and presented annually to the senior in Computer Science whose course work and projects stand out as the best in the class.
(1926) Awarded to the member of the graduating class who has completed with the most proficiency the sequence of courses in physics that corresponds most nearly to the sequence given by the late Professor George V. Wendell. Established by Mrs. Jeanette Michaelis in memory of her son, Alfred Moritz Michaelis, Class of 1920.
(1910) Awarded to three College students (a first-year, a sophomore, and a junior) who are deemed most proficient in the mathematical subjects designated during the year of the award. Established by George G. DeWitt, Class of 1867.
(1906) Awarded to the degree candidate who writes the best examination on subjects prescribed by the Department of Mathematics. Established by Mrs. Louise T. Hoyt in memory of her nephew, John Dash Van Buren Jr., Class of 1905.
(1956) Given by the Academy to the poet who has written the best poem or group of poems submitted during the academic year. Manuscripts should normally be submitted to the Department of English and Comparative Literature before April 1.
(1969) Awarded to the Columbia College student who submits the best one-act or full-length play as judged by the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Established by Mrs. Seymour Brick and her son, Richard, in honor of their husband and father, who was a member of the Class of 1934.
(1991) Awarded to a graduating senior in Columbia College who has written a single piece or a body of work so distinguished in its originality of concept and excellence of execution that it fairly demands the award, support, and recognition the prize intends. Established by Neill H. Brownstein, Class of 1966, in memory of Karen Osney Brownstein.
(1902) Awarded to students in the College for excellence in the public delivery of English orations. Established by the late Samuel Putnam Avery, Class of 1896, an associate of George William Curtis.
(1980) Awarded annually to the senior who submits the best collection of poems. Established by Mrs. Doris Ford in memory of Arthur E. Ford.
(1902) Awarded once every four years to the student in the college who shall be deemed most worthy, upon delivery of an original address on a subject concerning public affairs. Gift of J. Ackerman Coles, Class of 1864.
(1904) A gift of the Philolexian Society, the income from which shall be used for prizes in Columbia College for debating, essays, short stories, and poetry.
(2010) The Austin E. Quigley prize for outstanding artistic and intellectual achievement may be awarded to a Columbia College senior majoring in Drama and Theatre Arts. Named in honor of Columbia College's dean from 1995-2009, the prize is funded by Nobel Laureate Richard Axel, Columbia College Class of 1967 and University Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
(1983) Awarded annually to a senior who, in the opinion of the Faculty, has demonstrated excellence of the highest standards of proficiency in performance or execution or in the field of composition in one of the following general areas of performing and creative arts: music, theatre, painting, sculpture, design, architecture, or film.
(1926) Given to the candidate for a degree in Columbia University who is the author of the best example of English lyric verse. Material must be submitted to the Department of English and Comparative Literature by April 1. Gift of Maximilian Foster.
(1935) Awarded every second year to an undergraduate student in Columbia University for the best original poem. Established by the Woodberry Society of New York.
For further information, students should inquire at the Office of Global Programs, 606 Kent Hall.
(1949) Awarded to no more than two graduating seniors for advanced study. Established from the gifts of former friends and students of Dean Carman.
(2005) Awarded to a graduating senior, this fellowship provides a stipend for one year of graduate study at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. Established by the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Foundation.
(1928) Gift of Mrs. Henry Evans in memory of her husband, Henry Evans, Class of 1881. Awarded to a graduating senior, with preference given to the student planning to undertake a research project of a creative nature that requires travel rather than formal graduate study.
(2000) Established as a behest from the estate of Lenore S. Holthusen, the widow of Hen Holthusen, Law 1917, to provide financial support in the form of scholarships to worthy graduates of Columbia College who continue their education at the Law School of Columbia University.
(1932) Awarded annually and for two consecutive years to two graduating seniors of the College who have shown exceptional proficiency in the study of the liberal arts, for study at Oxford or Cambridge University. Bequest of Euretta Jane Schlegel.
(2011) Established in memory of Professor Herbert Deresiewicz, a long time SEAS faculty member and department chairman who held a deep and abiding love for undergraduate teaching, the Herbert Deresiewicz Summer Research Fellowship provides support for a Columbia College or SEAS student who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and whose interest in science has been kindled by his or her experiences at Columbia. The recipient, selected by a faculty committee, will engage in full-time laboratory research on the Morningside Heights campus in one of the following Columbia University academic departments: Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, or Chemical Engineering.
(1989) Awarded annually to a Columbia College student to work during the summer in the Legal Department of the American Civil Liberties Union National Office in New York City. Gift of Solomon Fisher, Class of 1936, and Seymour Fisher, Class of 1945.
(1988) Grants are awarded competitively to students from underrepresented groups to pursue an independent research project during the summer under the sponsorship of a faculty member. The application process includes a series of seminars and workshops. Endowment gift of John Kluge, Class of 1937.
(1959) Awarded annually to a well-qualified student to supplement work in the College with study during the junior year in Great Britain, preferably at the University of London. First consideration is given to students majoring or concentrating in political science or economics. Established from gifts of various donors.
(1996) Awarded in the spring semester of the sophomore year to minority students, and other undergraduates with a demonstrated commitment to racial diversity, who wish to pursue a PhD and whose intellectual and social commitments embody those of the late Dr. Benjamin Mays. The Fellowship provides a two-year academic enhancement program funded by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation.
(1993) Gift of Richard A. Rapaport, Class of 1969, and Brooke Kamin Rapaport, to create a summer opportunity for Columbia College students who are particularly gifted in musical performance, composition, or conducting.
(1991) A stipend awarded each summer to four Columbia College students majoring in political science or history whointend to conduct research into important political or policy making matters, or who will be working as interns, without compensation, in a governmental office, agency, or other public service organization. Established by Edwin Robbins, Class of 1953.
(1958) Awarded to a senior in the College who is to assist the work of a member of faculty in one of the departments that contribute to the courses in Contemporary Civilization and the Humanities. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bennett Rose in memory of their son, Arthur Rose.
(1988) Awarded to a Columbia College junior English major for a summer research project requiring foreign travel. The recipient of the fellowship must register for an independent research course in the fall to write up the results of the summer’s work. Bequest of Richmond B. Williams of the Class of 1925.
(1981) The Urban New York Program is sponsored by Barnard College, Columbia College, and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and has been endowed by the Class of 1954. The program enables student and faculty to jointly experience cultural events in New York City twice during the academic year.
(1993) Created for students to experience opera in New York City within the Urban New York Program.