Academics at Columbia University

After completing their studies at TAU, students will continue their Dual Degree Program at Columbia University School of General Studies (GS), where they will further their study in one of Columbia’s liberal arts majors and participate in Columbia’s Core Curriculum in a variety of disciplines, including literature, art, music, science, and the humanities.

During years three and four of the program, 40 credits of classwork from Columbia University will be counted toward students’ TAU degree requirements. Twelve credits of students’ Columbia coursework must be relevant to a student’s TAU major track.

The Columbia University degree is broken down into three parts: Core Curriculum, Major, and electives courses. Up to 60 credits of coursework completed during years one and two at TAU may be applied toward a student’s Columbia University degree requirements. While at Columbia University, students may choose from any of the liberal arts majors; however, students who select a Columbia University major that does not relate to their TAU Lowy International School degree requirements may need to take additional courses, and are encouraged to research such major requirements in conversation with their academic advisors. Choosing a combined plan or STEM major will likely extend the undergraduate program to five years or more.

Personalized degree planning takes place on an individual, ongoing basis between students and their academic advisors at both TAU and Columbia throughout the four years of the Dual Degree Program. Please refer to the table below for a general overview of the Columbia undergraduate degree program:


*approximate credits to be completed at TAU/Columbia, based on individual class registration

The Core

Columbia University's Core requirements provide the foundation for a traditional liberal arts education, assuring that students develop critical skills in writing and quantitative reasoning while exposing them to a range of knowledge and disciplines. Flexibility within the Core allows students to choose from several different departments to fulfill requirements in science, literature, humanities, and social sciences, encouraging students to explore new areas of inquiry and develop their intellectual interests. No two students complete the Core in the same way; moreover, given the unique nature of the Columbia undergraduate environment, classes at Columbia contain a mix of age ranges and class years.

Dual Degree Program students fulfill many of the Core requirements through coursework completed at TAU during years 1 and 2. Flexibility within the Core allows students to choose from several different departments to fulfill specific requirements in science, literature, humanities, and social sciences, thereby encouraging students to explore new areas of inquiry and develop their intellectual interests.

Majors and Concentrations

After matriculating at GS, Dual Degree Program students will choose from over 80 liberal arts majors. Dual Degree Program students must successfully complete the requirements for a major in order to graduate. In most cases, this will involve completing the TAU major through taking suitable courses at the School of General Studies.  

Credits from Tel Aviv University do not automatically count toward a student's Columbia major. Transfer credits toward the major are accepted at the department’s discretion. The Director of Undergraduate Studies in each department is authorized to accept up to 12 GS-approved transfer credits (3-4 classes) toward the major. Some departments accept fewer than 12 credits; students must check individual department policies concerning transfer credits.

Notes on the Premedical Curriculum

Dual BA students who wish to pursue premedical studies during their time at Columbia should make their academic plans in close collaboration with the GS academic advisor. It is important to note that science coursework completed abroad cannot be used to satisfy the requirements of the premedical curriculum. Consequently, it is not feasible to complete all degree and premedical requirements within a two-year period. Students with a strong commitment to becoming physicians should inquire to arrange for additional time in which to complete their requirements. We recommend that such students inform their advisors of their aspiration for medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine as early as possible to allow time for thoughtful planning. 

For more information please review the Columbia GS Pre-Med Handbook.