Summer Session

Summer courses that are available to students enrolled in GSAS are offered and administered by the School of Professional Studies (SPS). Because summer sessions are shorter than semesters, the corresponding deadlines are earlier than in the fall and spring.

For registration deadlines and deadlines to drop or add a class and to take a class Pass/Fail or for R credit, please consult the summer academic calendar.

For policies regarding course registration, see the Current Columbia Students page of the SPS website.

Registration and Tuition for Students in MA Programs

Students who have been admitted to GSAS to pursue an MA degree only, and who (with the approval of their departments) are taking summer courses that satisfy MA degree requirements, should register for a quarter or a half Residence Unit (RU) depending on the number of courses taken. Fractional Residence Units from summer sessions count towards the two Residence Unit total required for conferral of the MA degree. Master’s students may not register for a full Residence Unit in the summer. Students who are taking courses in the summer and have already completed two full Residence Units should register for Extended Residence (ER).

MA students taking only summer courses that do not count toward their specific degree requirements (e.g., language study for reading knowledge) should contact the GSAS Office of Student Affairs in person at 107 Low Library or by email at gsas-studentaffairs [at] for guidance on paying tuition according to the schedule on the Tuition and Fees page of the SPS website.

Registration and Tuition for Students in PhD Programs

Doctoral students in GSAS do not register for, and do not earn, Residence Unit credit during the summer. For summer courses, GSAS awards Summer Tuition Credit to incoming and continuing doctoral students in the Arts and Sciences who hold departmental fellowships for the following fall term.

Students applying for the Summer Tuition Credit should complete the application form and submit it to their academic department for approval.  Completed applications should be forwarded to the Office of Financial Aid in 107 Low Library.  Any course changes made after the application is sent to the Office of Financial Aid must be submitted to that office in writing.

Please note the following policies regarding Summer Tuition Credit:

  • Students may be awarded up to eight points of Summer Tuition Credit.  All courses must be required for the completion of a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences degree and taken for credit.  Language courses may be taken if required for the completion of the degree.
  • Students must obtain approval from their department and the Office of Financial Aid.
  • Summer Tuition Credit includes tuition for courses offered through SPS plus any fees normally covered by a multiyear fellowship.
  • Students are responsible for tuition for courses offered by other schools at Columbia and for all fees that are not covered by a multi-year fellowship. 
  • Students must complete all courses for which they receive Summer Tuition Credit.  After tuition credit has been awarded, students are responsible for tuition and fees if they drop courses after the full-tuition refund deadline set by the Office of the Registrar for the session in which the courses are taken.
  • Students must register in a full-time registration category in the following fall semester. Students who take a leave of absence in the fall will be billed for the full amount of the Summer Tuition Credit they previously received.