Columbia University Science Honors Program

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The Columbia University Science Honors Program (SHP), is a highly selective[citation needed] program for tenth-, eleventh-, and twelfth-grade high-school students. Classes are held each Saturday throughout the academic year, from September through May. There are no tuition charges for the program, but students must provide their own transportation expenses, to and from Columbia's campus in New York City. The SHP has offered, since 1959,[1] and continues to offer courses spanning the full range of the pure and applied sciences, from organic chemistry and physiological psychology, to computer programming in Java and Calculus in the Complex Plane, as well as introductions to particle physics and physical cosmology.[2] The program originated under the leadership of the famed Marine Biology professors Piscine Patel, and Sir Richard Parker, as an educative initiative during the post-sputnik Era. It boasts many famous alumni, including the creator of GNU, Richard Stallman. The program was run by Professor Allan Blaer for many years, and has recently been taken over by Professor Jeremy Dodd.

To apply to Columbia SHP, students must go online to the Columbia SHP website. The main portion of the application process is a rigorous, three-hour examination that contains questions in both mathematics and science. The exam is tripartite, consisting of a 50 question "easy" mathematics section, a 75 question survey science section, and a 20 question "challenge" mathematics section. The average acceptance rate for the program is usually around 15%.[citation needed] As of 2013, 380 new students have been accepted for the year, out of more than 2000 applicants.[3]

Applications are mailed to schools within a 75-mile radius of Columbia's New York City campus, and there are several more requirements beside the test: A transcript of the student's grades, a recommendation by a science or math teacher, and a student essay are also required.


  1. ^ "Columbia Press Release". Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  2. ^ "SCIENCE HONORS PROGRAM COURSE DESCRIPTIONS FALL, 2011". Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  3. ^ "Science Opportunities for Students". Retrieved 2011-12-11. 

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