Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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Columbia Graduate School
of Arts and Sciences
Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences emblem.svg
DeanCarlos J. Alonso
Students~6,000 students
Location, ,
Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences logo.svg

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (also known as GSAS) is the graduate school of Columbia University. Founded in 1880, GSAS is responsible for most of Columbia's graduate degree programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The school offers MA and PhD degrees in approximately 78 disciplines.


GSAS began to take shape in the late 19th century, when Columbia, until then a primarily undergraduate institution with a few professional attachments, began to establish graduate faculties in several fields: Political Science (1880), Philosophy (1890), and Pure Science (1892). The graduate faculties, notably, were open to women at a time when many other Columbia schools were not; Columbia College did not become a coeducational institution until 1983. The first Ph.D. awarded by Columbia was conferred in 1882; the first woman to receive one did so in 1886.

The increasing professionalization of the university brought with it an emphasis on the graduate schools, as presidents such as Seth Low and Nicholas Murray Butler sought to emulate the success of German universities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Indeed, in the effort to produce as many graduate degree-holders as possible, attempts were made to streamline undergraduate life and center academic life in the graduate-focused departments. Such efforts led to resistance among Columbia College administrators and undergraduates, arguably one of the contributing factors in the 1968 protests. Nevertheless, graduate research has flourished at Columbia as a result, and the university has been among the top producers of PhDs in the United States from the inception of the graduate disciplines. In the early 1990s, GSAS and Columbia College faculty were all absorbed into a consolidated Faculty of Arts and Sciences, with familiar complaints among undergraduates and their advocates.

List of academic departments[edit]

  • African-American Studies
  • African Studies Certificate
  • American Studies (Liberal Studies M.A.)
  • Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Anthropology (Ph.D in Anthropology & Education - joint degree with Teachers College[1])
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
  • Architecture (History and Theory)
  • Art History and Archaeology
  • Astronomy
  • Atmospheric and Planetary Science
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomedical Informatics
  • Biostatistics
  • Biotechnology
  • Buddhist Studies
  • Business
  • Cell Biology and Pathobiology
  • Cellular, Molecular, and Biophysical Studies
  • Chemical Biology
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
  • Classical Studies
  • Classics
  • Climate and Society
  • Communications
  • Comparative Literature and Society
  • Computer Science
  • Conservation Biology
  • Dental Sciences
  • Earth and Environmental Engineering (Henry Krumb School of Mines)
  • Earth and Environmental Science Journalism
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • East Asia: Regional Studies
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • East Asian Studies (Liberal Studies M.A.)
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology
  • Economics
  • Education (Teachers College)
  • Electrical Engineering
  • English and Comparative Literature
  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Epidemiology
  • French and Romance Philology
  • French Cultural Studies in a Global Context
  • Genetics and Development
  • Germanic Languages
  • Global Thought
  • History
  • Human Rights
  • Human Rights Studies
  • Industrial Engineering & Operations Research
  • International and World History, Dual Degree M.A./M.Sc.
  • Islamic Studies (Liberal Studies M.A.)
  • Italian Studies
  • J.D./Ph.D. Program
  • Japanese Pedagogy
  • Jewish Studies
  • Jewish Studies (Liberal Studies M.A.)
  • Journalism
  • Latin America and Caribbean; Regional Studies
  • Linguistics
  • M.D./Ph.D.
  • Materials Science and Engineering/Solid State Science and Engineering
  • Mathematical Structures for Environmental & Social Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics of Finance
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Medieval Studies (Liberal Studies M.A.)
  • Microbiology
  • Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
  • Middle East Studies, Certificate
  • Modern Art, Critical, and Curatorial Studies
  • Modern European Studies (Liberal Studies M.A.)
  • Museum Anthropology
  • Music
  • Neurobiology and Behavior
  • Nutrition
  • Operations Research
  • Oral History
  • Pathology and Cell Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Philosophical Foundations of Physics
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Physiology and Cellular Biophysics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences
  • Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences, dual degree MA/MPA
  • Religion
  • Religion-Journalism Dual MA/MS
  • Russia, Eurasia and East Europe: Regional Studies M.A. Program
  • Russian Translation
  • Slavic Cultures
  • Slavic Languages
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Sociomedical Sciences
  • South Asian Studies (Liberal Studies M.A.)
  • Spanish and Portuguese
  • Statistics
  • Sustainable Development
  • Theatre
  • Urban Planning
  • Yiddish Studies

Notable alumni[edit]





Natural scientists[edit]

Performing arts[edit]

Social scientists[edit]


Visual arts[edit]

Other fields[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Seligson, Fred Jeremy (2014-03-03). "Korean music expert Heyman dies at 83". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  3. ^ RASHBAUM, William K. (April 12, 1996). "HE ADMITS LAUNDERING DRUG CASH". New York Daily News.

External links[edit]