New Student Information

Congratulations on your admission to Columbia!

The Student Life Office provides services to ensure students have the best academic and extracurricular experience possible. It is located in the Toni Stabile Student Center. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2024-2025 Class Overview

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M.S. Students from 36 States

Students in the full-time Master of Science program, including the Dual Degree with Computer Science, hail from 36 states, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The top states represented among the class are New York, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Connecticut, Florida and Georgia.

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M.S. Students from 36 Countries

In addition, 38 percent of the full time Master of Science students are international, representing 36 countries, with the largest number holding citizenship from China, India, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Australia, France and Pakistan.

This year, 79 percent of those in the M.S. class are women, and 21 percent are men, with a select number of individuals identifying as nonbinary.

Nearly all Part-Time Master of Science students are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The part-timers reside from four states with the top states being New York and California along with New Jersey and Tennessee. Of this cohort, 73 percent are female and 27 percent male.

In the Master of Arts class, 60 percent of students are international, representing 15 countries, led by India, United Kingdom and Italy. U.S. citizens come from 10 different states, and the top represented states are New York, California and Minnesota. Fifty-eight percent of those in the M.A. class are women, and 42 percent are men.

In the M.S. in Data Journalism program, 86 percent of students are international, representing 17 different countries, led by China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines and Spain. Sixty-nine percent of those in the M.S. Data class are women, and 31 percent are men.

Of the three students admitted to the Ph.D. in Communications, two are U.S. citizens, and one is international. Two students in this year's doctoral class are male and one is female.

International Students

Leaving the comforts of home can be a challenge. Add to that the pressure of applying for the correct student visa and it can feel a bit overwhelming. That’s why the International Students and Scholars Office of Columbia University has developed an online guide just for you that covers everything from securing your visa, to making the most of your time in the U.S.. to understanding your Optional Practical Training after graduation, including the potential for the Data Journalism degree students to apply for the STEM degree extension. The International Students and Scholars Office website is designed to help international students meet the challenges of studying abroad and help you enjoy living and learning in New York City. 

New Student Checklist

You must complete the following tasks before you arrive on campus.

    IMPORTANT: In order to get your Columbia University ID card or purchase a Journalism School Press Pass, you will need to take two high resolution digital passport-­style photos as soon as possible.

    • The photo should be a color JPEG file.
    • The background should be uniform and light­-colored.
    • You must be facing forward with your head and shoulders clearly visible.
    • No photos with sunglasses or hats.
    • The file cannot exceed 100K in size for the Columbia University ID card and must be 300 dpi for the Journalism School Press Pass.

    You will need to submit official academic transcripts of your previous academic work to Columbia Journalism School. An official transcript is one that comes directly from the university or through a credentials verification service. If you submitted the transcript yourself, it is not official. You must have official transcripts from every university you have attended (including undergraduate schools, graduate schools, non-degree programs, and study abroad programs), without exception, sent to Columbia Journalism School by no later than July 1.

    If you already had your official transcripts sent to Columbia Journalism School during the initial application process or prior to deferring to this year, you do not need to have them sent again.

    Please review the official transcript submission methods and use the one most appropriate for you.

    Once your $1,000 electronic enrollment fee has been received, your UNI, which also serves as your Columbia e­mail address, is generated. Please allow seven to 10 business days for your information to be updated in the system. Follow these instructions to activate your Columbia UNI and email address.

    Once you’ve activated your email account, it will take 24 hours before you can actually use it. Access your Columbia email, a version of Gmail called LionMail.

    Other helpful links:

    CUIT has developed a secure web service for students to upload and submit a photo online for their first University ID card. Find out how to submit your photo. It is required that all students starting in the  fall semester submit their photo no later than June 15.

    Every incoming student must complete two required tutorials that introduce important University policies and valuable student resources.  Each tutorial takes approximately 40 minutes to complete. For students admitted for the Fall semester, you will receive access to Pre-Orientation in mid-summer. The deadline to complete the Pre-Orientation Tutorials is TBA.

    Record your meningococcal (meningitis) vaccination decision.

    Complete the Columbia University Measles, Mumps and Rubella form and submit it to the Health Immunization Compliance Office.  For all students starting in the fall semester, the MMR form must be submitted no later than June 15.

    YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO REGISTER OR COME TO CAMPUS UNTIL THIS HAS BEEN COMPLETED!

    Columbia University requires all registered full-time domestic students to have health insurance.

    Full-time domestic students must confirm enrollment in the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan (The Columbia Plan) or request a waiver at least two weeks prior to the open enrollment deadline (June 15 for part-time students beginning in August, Sept. 30 for fall enrollment, and Feb. 15 for spring enrollment. To request a waiver, you must document enrollment in another plan that meets the University’s coverage criteriaInstructions on how to submit a waiver request on the Patient Portal are online. Waiver requests are considered, but approval is not guaranteed.

    Part-time domestic students are encouraged, but not required, to have health insurance. Part-time domestic students can opt to enroll in the Columbia Plan.

    All international students (full-time and part-time) are required to enroll in the  Columbia Plan to ensure that they have access to the highest quality of care both on-and off-campus while studying in the United States.  On a limited case-by-case basis, international students may be considered for an exception to the insurance requirement. Details on eligibility and requirements are found on the Columbia Health website.

    Please review your Student Account Statement to make sure you have paid your bill to avoid the $150 late payment charge. Once the statement is available, an alert will be sent to your Columbia e­mail address. The payment deadline for the summer is mid-June and for the fall is mid-September. For further information, you can review the Columbia billing schedule.

    Sign up for Direct Deposit through Student Services Online to have scholarship and financial aid refunds deposited directly into your bank account.

     

     

    Sign up for an optional Dining Plan or purchase "Dining Dollars" or a Flex account. PLEASE NOTE: The University Dining Plan is NOT mandatory and is rarely used by Journalism School students.

    Register for your mobile number to receive important and emergency communications from Columbia University.

    It may take up to 10 weeks to process your visa. Please fill out the application for the ISSO Visa Certificate. See the International Students section for more details.

    If you are interested in applying for graduate student housing, see the Housing section for more details. International students should apply for on­-campus housing as soon as possible, as it can be extremely difficult to secure housing after you arrive.

    Disability Services facilitates equal access for students with disabilities by coordinating accommodations and support services. Disability Services supports all types of conditions including physical and learning disabilities to chronic illnesses or injuries. Disability Services helps with assistive technology, e-text, housing accommodations, learning specialists, exam proctoring and more. Register and learn more.

    Technology Guide

    "Greetings from the technology staff at the J-school.

    We oversee the computers, cameras, recorders and related gear that you’ll be using during your time here. We’ll describe what we have on hand for your use and what you need to bring with you. We’ll also give suggestions for those of you who want to acquire cameras and other optional equipment, and we’ll tell you how to obtain a student discount when making your purchases. The information below outlines 2024-2025 technology guidelines for your reference. For more information, download our Technology Guide."

    Required

    An external hard drive that meets these minimum specifications:

    • USB-C, USB 3.0 and/or Thunderbolt connections
    • 1TB or more recommended for students enrolled in digital media (video, audio) classes
    • Speed of 7200 RPM (the speed is very important for students who are taking video)

    An SD, SDHC or SDXC card. We recommend a card rated UHS Speed Class U3 or higher (UHS Speed Class U3 is necessary for video).

    Strongly Recommended

    Smartphone

    • (iPhone or Android) Details below

    Laptop computer

    • Specifications depend on how much multimedia you plan to do; details below

    Optional

    If you plan to pursue photojournalism, you may wish to bring a digital SLR camera with the following minimum requirements:

    • Records in standard formats — .jpg, .tiff, RAW (no proprietary software required)
    • At least 10 megapixels
    • Offers full manual controls
    • Records to removable flash media

    (For a list of specific models that meet these requirements, see below.)

    The J-School expects students to bring their own devices to school, and will provide students with all editing software, such as Adobe Premiere, Audition, and Photoshop, that is needed during their tenure.

    If you don't have a laptop, you may be able to check one out from our equipment room. That said, there is no guarantee that a computer will be available every time you need one, so we strongly recommend that you bring a laptop computer if at all possible. 

    The minimum specifications are listed on the link below. That way, you can work anywhere: in the field, at home, in spaces inside the school that don’t have computers, and in the nice weather on the sunny steps of our building. 

    Free wireless access is available throughout the Journalism School and the Columbia campus. If you wish to plug your laptop into one of our available monitor workstations, then you will also need the proper adapters for HDMI, thunderbolt, USB-C or display port.

    If you’re planning on buying a laptop, think first about what you hope to do while you’re here; the medium(s) you plan to pursue should dictate the specifications of your laptop. 

    To learn more, download the school's Technology Guide.

    Orientation and Start Dates

    Please note that orientation attendance is mandatory. Dates are subject to change.

    International M.S./Data/Dual Degree Students

    • Orientation: Thursday, August 15

    All M.S./Data/Dual Degree Students

    • Orientation: Friday, August 16 and Monday, August 19
    • Classes begin: Tuesday, August 20
    • Fall Prep Day: Friday, August 30

    International M.A./Ph.D. Students

    • Orientation: Wednesday, August 28

    All M.A./Ph.D. Students

    • Orientation: Thursday, August 29 and Friday, August 30
    • Classes begin: Tuesday, September 3

    Federal Financial Aid & Journalism Scholarship

    The Financial Aid Key has been created to guide you through the Financial Aid process.

    The following forms may be needed if you are applying for a federal student loan. Most of the forms are available in our online application system. You will have to sign in with your ID and password.

    • BUDGET INCREASE 
      For students who have documentation of a higher Cost of Attendance (COA)
      • The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an amount used to determine your maximum financial aid eligibility for an academic year. The COA consists of standard school expenses (tuition, fees, and books) and an estimate of a student's standard living expenses (housing, food, transportation, and other expenses). Each student's financial needs are different, so the estimated COA may not accurately reflect the student's circumstances. Federal regulations permit the financial aid office, on a case-by-case basis and with adequate documentation, to increase the COA for educational-related expenses incurred during the current academic year. Examples can include higher costs due to rent, medically required dietary restrictions, disability-related expenses, etc. The following form can be submitted if you have documentation that you have a higher COA: BUDGET INCREASE.

        If a student has special or unusual circumstances, federal regulations permit the financial aid office to adjust the COA for educational-related expenses on a case-by-case basis with adequate documentation for the current academic year.

        Please note that a professional judgment review does not guarantee additional funding, federal or otherwise.

    • CITIZENSHIP DOCUMENTATION For students who need to submit further documentation
    • FERPA (Federal Rights and Privacy Act) Students who wish to allow admissions and financial aid staff to discuss personal information with someone besides the student must complete this form.
    • FEDERAL GRADUATE PLUS LOAN For students who would like a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
    • FEDERAL LOAN RETURN For students who would like to return loan funds
    • SOCIAL SECURITY CARD Students can submit their SSN card if needed for verification
    • YELLOW RIBBON For students who are eligible for this military benefit

    Housing

    Columbia University has limited housing for full-time graduate students around the Morningside Heights campus. Please note: students admitted from the waitlist are ineligible to apply for Columbia University Housing. Please see the Housing Memo for additional information. The deadline to apply for housing is April 15.

    Additional Housing Information and Resources

    International House (I­-House) Residence: International House is a privately owned student residence near the campus that provides housing to students from various universities and colleges in the area. Get complete details on the International House resources and the housing availability at I­-House.

    Off­-Campus Housing Assistance: OCHA provides an online housing registry of room­-share and apartments in non­-Columbia owned buildings located in the New York City area (mostly surrounding Columbia University). Only students who have accepted our admissions offer (by submitting their $1,000 fee) and activated their Columbia ID (UNI) are permitted to use the website. You will be provided with the full details and website information once you have submitted your acceptance and deposit to the Admissions Office. See more housing search resources.

    Enrollment Response Form & Fee

    The enrollment response form can be found on your Applicant Status page in the online application system or in your admissions letter.

    The enrollment fee can be paid by credit card using a Visa or MasterCard by the deadline indicated in your admission letter. Our system does not accept Discover or American Express.

    The Journalism School does not accept wire transfers. Students who fail to remit the enrollment fee by the deadline forfeit their place in the entering class. The enrollment fee is not refundable.

    Public Safety Security Report

    Columbia University prepares an annual security report, which is available to all current and prospective employees and students. The report includes statistics for the three previous years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Columbia University, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning sexual assault, and other matters.

    You can obtain a copy of this report by contacting the director of Administration and Planning, Public Safety at 212­-854-­3815 or view it here.

    Course Registration

    The Student Affairs office handles registration for all classes offered by the Journalism School. Each degree cohort will receive information and instructions over the summer.

    Registration for classes offered elsewhere at Columbia (applies only to MA, Dual Degree and PhD students) is done via Vergil. Students will receive information over the summer.

    All students should be familiar with these important Journalism School policies and regulations.

    Policies and Forms

    Columbia Journalism School does not offer automatic deferrals of admission, and deferrals of any kind are not commonly granted. It is expected that admitted students enroll for the year to which they applied. Formal requests are considered by the Admissions Committee on a case-by-case basis under very limited circumstances. No deferrals are granted due to a conflicting job opportunity, desire to pursue another educational program or a lack of financial resources. Should a deferral be granted, submission of the enrollment fee is required in order to secure a space in the class and would be valid for only one year.

    Questions may be directed to [email protected].

    The Graduate School of Journalism has a pass/fail system of grading for its Journalism degree programs. Those in the Ph.D. program in Communications receive letter grades.

    In most Journalism courses, students receive written evaluations of their semester’s work from the instructors.

    At any time during the course of study, professors and the deans may discuss a student’s progress and performance. If they determine that a student is not performing in a given class at a passable level, the student may be given a written warning or placed on probation for that class by the Dean of Students Office.

    The warning or probation remains in effect until the professor of that class determines that the performance of the student has improved.

    The purpose of warnings and probation is first to alert students that they are not meeting a professor’s expectations and to provide them with concrete ways to get back on track and second to provide documentation that they were informed about their deficiencies and given the opportunity to correct them.

    In most M.S. classes, the instructor has the right to designate up to two students as receiving “honors in class” because of their exemplary performance. This is not a grade and will not appear on a student’s transcript. M.S. students are notified of the designation by the professor who awarded it via the written evaluation. The designation is used by the faculty in determining which students are graduating with honors from the Graduate School of Journalism.

    Failing Grades/Appeals

    If a student receives a failing grade, he or she may appeal to the Dean of Students Affairs. The appeal must be received within 10 days of the student's being notified about the failing grade. The Dean of Student Affairs will appoint a reading panel of three faculty members who will have 10 days to review the student’s work in the course and determine whether the failing grade was justified. All decisions of the reading panel are final.

    If the failing grade is undisputed or is upheld by the hearing panel, the student may appeal to the Dean of Student Affairs for permission to retake the course in a subsequent semester. The appeal to retake the course must be received within ten days of the failure notification or within ten days of notification that the grade was upheld if a grade appeal was filed. If permission is granted, the student will be enrolled for the course by the Dean of Students Office and will retake the course from the beginning, usually with a different instructor, and will be required to pay the applicable, additional tuition for the second enrollment in the course.

    M.S. Students who fail the Reporting class (or receive an incomplete that cannot be cleared before the start of the next semester) and M.A. students who fail the Seminar in Discipline class (or receive an incomplete that cannot be cleared before the start of the next semester) will be placed on Academic Suspension pending the resolution of the incomplete, successful appeal of the grade or the granting of an appeal to retake the course.

    Students on Academic Suspension may not register to take classes at the Journalism School or elsewhere at the University. They may not apply to other degree or non-degree programs while on suspension unless it is their intention to withdraw completely from the original program in which they were enrolled.

    Incompletes

    Professors award the grade of IN (incomplete) when a health problem or other emergency prevents a student from completing the assigned work within the duration of the course. Having an incomplete means that a student is required to finish the work for the class within a time frame specified by the professor and will receive an 'F' if the deadline is not met. The professor can allow no more than a year for the completion before the grade is automatically switched to an F by the grading system, but the professor is not required to give more time than he or she feels is warranted.

    School Policies and Disciplinary Procedures

    Although ultimate authority on matters of student discipline is vested in the Trustees of the University, the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism and its faculty are given responsibility for establishing certain standards of behavior for Journalism School students beyond the regulations included in the Statutes of the University and for defining procedures by which discipline will be administered.

    The faculty of the Graduate School of Journalism reserves the right to instantly dismiss or withhold a degree from any student it deems unworthy because of a general pattern of poor performance or unprofessional behavior.

    Such behavior includes but is not limited to:

    • Faking a story; making up quotations; plagiarism (using the writings or ideas of another as your own); deliberately deceptive reporting and/or producing practices;
    • Failure to meet deadlines; dishonesty in academic assignments; turning in the same assignment in two different courses without prior knowledge and written approval of the instructors of both courses.

    Policies Relating to Academic Work

    Plagiarism includes:

    • Verbatim copying of material that appears in a newspaper, magazine or book, or on the Internet, radio, television or other published and unpublished sources (including student work) without proper attribution;
    • Paraphrasing of material that appears in a newspaper, magazine or book, or on the Internet, radio, television or other published and unpublished sources (including student work) without proper attribution;
    • Use of another person’s research, phrasing, conclusions or unique descriptions without proper attribution.

    The use of facts that are generally known or easily accessible through multiple sources is not plagiarism. To qualify as common knowledge, the facts must be easily verifiable in multiple sources. It is always preferable to acknowledge previous publication of these facts. When in doubt, provide attribution.

    As noted in the Academic Discipline Form that all students sign during orientation, if a student is confused about what constitutes plagiarism or has questions about any of the guidelines listed above, it is her/his responsibility to seek clarification from the Dean of Students Office. Students may not turn in the same assignment (or substantial amounts from a single assignment) in two different courses without prior written approval from instructors of both courses.

    Students are expected to attend all classes and complete all assignments. If unable to do so, they must notify their instructors prior to the scheduled meeting of each class or assignment. If illness prevents a student from attending class, he or she must e-mail the Dean of Students Office at [email protected](link sends e-mail) or call 212-854-3861 before 9:15 a.m. each day of absence. If the student is not able to call, he or she must have someone do so. Failure to do so is an infraction of professional conduct.

    The Dean and the faculty expect that in and out of the classroom, on and off campus, each Journalism School student will conduct him/herself honestly and will respect the rights of others.

    Freedom of expression is an essential part of University life but does not include intimidation, threats of violence, the inducement of others to engage in violence or harassment of others.

    Conduct that threatens or harasses others because of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age or political view is unacceptable and will be dealt with severely. Anyone who believes he or she has been victimized should follow the instructions detailed in this document.(link is external)

    Academic Course Requirements

    The Graduate School of Journalism has a pass/fail system of grading for its Journalism degree programs. Those in the PhD program in Communications receive letter grades. The graduation requirements for each program are described below.

    In most Journalism courses, students receive written evaluations of their semester’s work from the instructors.

    At any time during the course of study, professors and the deans may discuss a student’s progress and performance. If they determine that a student is not performing in a given class at a passable level, the student may be given a written warning or placed on probation for that class by the Dean of Students Office.

    The warning or probation remains in effect until the professor of that class determines that the performance of the student has improved.

    The purpose of warnings and probation is first to alert students that they are not meeting a professor’s expectations and to provide them with concrete ways to get back on track and second to provide documentation that they were informed about their deficiencies and given the opportunity to correct them.

    In most M.S. classes, the instructor has the right to designate up to two students as receiving “honors in class” because of their exemplary performance. This is not a grade and will not appear on a student’s transcript. M.S. students are notified of the designation by the professor who awarded it via the written evaluation. The designation is used by the faculty in determining which students are graduating with honors from the Graduate School of Journalism.

    Master of Science (Including the Stabile and 3rd semester documentary programs): To graduate, Master of Science students must attempt all 37 of the required points and must pass 33 of them. They may attempt up to 43 points to meet this measure. Students must pass all four core courses to graduate: Reporting, Master’s Project, and two Seminar & Production courses. Students who fail the Reporting class may not remain enrolled at the Journalism School unless they are granted special permission by the Dean of Student Affairs to retake the course the next semester it is offered. Students may not register for additional classes until Reporting has been passed. The maximum time frame (separate from leaves of absence) is three semesters for full-time students and seven semesters for part-time students to allow students to retake a single failed class that put them over the four point maximum for failed classes. A student who fails any two courses, or the same course twice, will be dismissed.

    M.S. Data Journalism: To graduate, Master of Science in Data Journalism students must attempt all 46 of the required points and must pass 43 of them. They may attempt up to 49 points to meet this measure. Students must pass all five core courses to graduate: Reporting I, Reporting II, Master’s Project, and two Seminar & Production courses. Students who fail the Reporting I or Reporting II class may not remain enrolled at the Journalism School unless they are granted special permission by the Dean of Student Affairs to retake the course the next semester it is offered. Students may not register for fall classes until Reporting I has been passed and cannot register for spring courses until Reporting II has been passed. The maximum time frame (separate from leaves of absence) is four semesters to allow students to retake a single failed class that put them over the three-point maximum for failed classes. A student who fails any two courses, or the same course twice, will be dismissed.

    Master of Arts: To graduate, Master of Arts students must pass all 36 points of required coursework. They may attempt 42. Students who fail the Seminar in Discipline class may not remain enrolled at the Journalism School unless they are granted special permission by the Dean of Student Affairs to retake the course the next semester it is offered. Students may not register for additional classes until Seminar in Discipline has been passed. The maximum time frame (separate from leaves of absence) is three semesters to allow students to retake a single failed class.

    Dual M.S. degrees with SIPA/Business School/Law School: Students in these dual degree programs spend one academic year in residency at the Journalism School. During that year, they have the identical requirements and are held to the identical standards as those students enrolled in the single Master of Science degree described above.

    Dual degree in Journalism/Computer Science with School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: To graduate from this blended dual degree program, students must pass 64 points of academic work. Thirty-seven of those points are taken at the Journalism School and 27 are taken at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Students are in residency for the first three semesters at the Journalism School and for the final semester at SEAS. Students must pass all four core journalism courses to graduate: Reporting, Master’s Project, Computer Science Journalism Seminar and one Seminar & Production course. Students who fail the Reporting class may not remain enrolled at the Journalism School unless they are granted special permission by the Dean of Student Affairs to retake the course the next semester it is offered. Students may not register for additional classes until Reporting has been passed. Students will receive P/F grades for their journalism course work and letter grades for their computer science course work.

    Incompletes

    Professors award the grade of IN (incomplete) when a health problem or other emergency prevents a student from completing the assigned work within the duration of the course. Having an incomplete means that a student is required to finish the work for the class within a time frame specified by the professor and will receive an 'F' if the deadline is not met. The professor can allow no more than a year for the completion before the grade is automatically switched to an F by the grading system, but the professor is not required to give more time than he or she feels is warranted.

    Failing Grades

    If a student receives a failing grade, he or she may appeal to the Dean of Students Affairs. The appeal must be received within 10 days of the student's being notified about the failing grade. The Dean of Student Affairs will appoint a reading panel of three faculty members who will have 10 days to review the student’s work in the course and determine whether the failing grade was justified. All decisions of the reading panel are final.

    If the failing grade is undisputed or is upheld by the hearing panel, the student may appeal to the Dean of Student Affairs for permission to retake the course in a subsequent semester. The appeal to retake the course must be received within ten days of the failure notification or within ten days of notification that the grade was upheld if a grade appeal was filed. If permission is granted, the student will be enrolled for the course by the Dean of Students Office and will retake the course from the beginning, usually with a different instructor, and will be required to pay the applicable, additional tuition for the second enrollment in the course.

    M.S. Students who fail the Reporting class (or receive an incomplete that cannot be cleared before the start of the next semester) and M.A. students who fail the Seminar in Discipline class (or receive an incomplete that cannot be cleared before the start of the next semester) will be placed on Academic Suspension pending the resolution of the incomplete, successful appeal of the grade or the granting of an appeal to retake the course.

    Students on Academic Suspension may not register to take classes at the Journalism School or elsewhere at the University. They may not apply to other degree or non-degree programs while on suspension unless it is their intention to withdraw completely from the original program in which they were enrolled.

    Code of Conduct

    While every subtlety of proper behavior cannot be detailed here, examples of other actions that would subject a student to disciplinary action are:

    • Dishonesty in dealings with University officials, including members of the faculty;
    • Harassment of others in the University community or of anyone visiting Columbia; theft of property;
    • Destroying or maliciously misusing School facilities and/or materials;
    • Possession or distribution of illegal drugs;
    • Refusal to show identification at the request of a University official;
    • Failure to respond to the legitimate request of a University official exercising his or her duty;
    • Inappropriate use of the School identification card and privileges
    • Sexual assault(link is external)
    • Sexual harassment(link is external)
    • Threatening bodily harm.

    Violating rules set forth in the Academic Discipline form signed by students when they enroll.

    In the event that a Journalism School student is charged by a member of the Columbia community with a violation of any of the above, the Dean of Student Affairs or his or her designee will investigate the case.

    In cases alleging sexual or gender based misconduct, the Dean of Student Affairs will refer the matter to Student Services for Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct. More information.(link is external)

    For all other situations, if the Dean of Students Affairs (or the designee) determines that a hearing on the facts will be necessary, he or she will select three members of the Faculty Committee on Discipline to further investigate the case and hold the hearing. See below for the description of the Faculty Committee on Discipline’s hearing procedures.

    If a student is determined by the committee to have committed an infraction, the committee will recommend an appropriate sanction to the faculty as a whole. The faculty will then vote to approve or disapprove the sanction. Penalties for infractions can range from censure to disciplinary probation, suspension or dismissal.

    Procedures of the Faculty Committee on Discipline

    If the Dean of Student Affairs determines that a student should be referred to the Faculty Committee on Discipline, the following steps will be taken.

    1. The Dean of Student Affairs will select three members of the committee to serve as voting hearing panel members. None of the three voting members will be the faculty member who brought the student to the attention of the Dean for disciplinary action. One of the three faculty members will also be appointed to act as chair and secretary for the panel. The Associate Dean of Students will also serve as a nonvoting member of all disciplinary panels.
    2. After being appointed, the chair of the panel will investigate the charges being brought against the student, will coordinate a meeting time for the committee and will gather all necessary information. The chair will be responsible for assigning tasks to the other two panel members, e.g., meeting with witnesses, gathering materials, talking with other faculty members or students.
    3. The student is informed of the charges against him or her and is asked to respond. The student will be informed of a scheduled hearing a minimum of two days in advance of the hearing.
    4. At the hearing, the person responsible for the charges will present his or her information to the panel. The student may then offer information on his or her behalf, including the testimony of witnesses, written information or other evidence.
      While a student may choose to have the advice of an attorney, the attorney or advisor may not accompany the student to the hearing. The panel may also speak with other witnesses and investigate the complaint as it sees fit. The student has the right to be present to hear witnesses.
    5. If the committee finds that the student has committed an infraction of the University’s or School’s policies, the committee will recommend, within one week of the hearing, an appropriate sanction to the faculty as a whole. The faculty will then vote, if necessary in a special meeting, to approve or disapprove the sanction. A majority of the faculty present must vote to support the sanction for it to be applied. In the event that the faculty does not approve the recommended sanction, the matter will be referred back to the panel for further consideration. Penalties can range from censure to disciplinary probation, suspension or dismissal.
      The student will receive the panel and faculty’s decision within two weeks of the hearing. The decision will be presented in writing, by the Dean of Student Affairs.
    6. If a student wishes to appeal a disciplinary decision, the appeal must be made in writing within five days of the date of the letter informing the student of the decision. Any such appeal must be addressed to the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism. The Dean will consider information provided by the student and may confer with members of the hearing panel, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Dean of Student Affairs, the Associate Dean of Students or any other advisers he or she may choose. After considering the appeal, the Dean will usually respond to the student within 10 days of the date of the letter of appeal. In the event that the Dean or his or her advisers are unavailable in that time period, the Dean of Student Affairs will inform the student of the anticipated delay.
      All decisions by the Dean of the School are final.
      In general, under University policy and federal law, information about pending disciplinary proceedings against a student is confidential and may not be disclosed to others. A limited exception to this principle is that the outcome of disciplinary proceedings alleging a sexual assault must be disclosed to both the accuser and the accused.

    Grading & Satisfactory Academic Progress 

    The Graduate School of Journalism has a pass/fail system of grading for its journalism degree programs. Those in the PhD program in Communications receive letter grades. The grade requirements to graduate for each program are described below.

    In most courses, students receive written evaluations of their semester’s work from the instructors.

    At any time during the course of study, professors and the deans may discuss a student’s progress and performance. If they determine that a student is not performing in a given class at a passable level, the student may be given a written warning or placed on probation for that class by the Dean of Students Office.

    The warning or probation remains in effect until the professor of that class determines that the performance of the student has improved.

    In most M.S. classes, the instructor has the right to designate up to two students as receiving “honors in class” because of their exemplary performance. This is not a grade and will not appear on a student’s transcript. M.S. students are notified of the designation by the professor who awarded it via the written evaluation. The designation is used by the faculty in determining which students graduate with honors from the Graduate School of Journalism.

    In addition, federal regulations mandate that the Columbia University Office of Student Financial Services maintain its own Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress to measure students’ progress toward degree completion using both qualitative and quantitative methods in accordance. To be eligible for financial aid, students must meet or exceed these standards. Failure to maintain these standards may result in suspension of a student’s financial aid eligibility. For the Journalism School these standards are identical to the standards for a student enrolled in the same degree program at the Journalism School who is not receiving Title IV assistance.  The SAP standards are the same for all categories of graduate students, including full-time and part-time students in a given degree program.  For those students in the journalism degrees (Master of Science in Journalism, Master of Arts in Journalism, Master of Science in Data Journalism) the academic progress standards of the school are more stringent than those required to maintain Federal Financial Aid eligibility. Students failing enough classes to fall below the required 2.0 Federal Financial Aid SAP GPA are not eligible to remain enrolled. Therefore there is no formal policy for reestablishing financial aid eligibility for these students.

    Master of Science:  To graduate, Master of Science students must attempt all 37 of the required points and must pass 33 of them. They may attempt up to 43 points to meet this measure. Students must pass all four core courses to graduate: Reporting, Master’s Project, and two Seminar & Production courses. Students who fail the fall Reporting class may not remain enrolled at the Journalism School unless they are granted special permission by the Dean of Student Affairs to retake the course the next semester it is offered (Reporting is offered in the fall semester only).  Students may not take or register for additional classes until Reporting has been passed. Students who are granted the right to retake the course will be on academic suspension until it is offered again. Students who fail the Master’s Project or either of the Seminar & Production classes may not remain enrolled at the Journalism School unless they are granted special permission by the Dean of Student Affairs to retake the course the next semester it is offered (The Master’s Project is offered during the academic year and over the summer; Seminar and Production courses are offered only during the spring semester).  The maximum time frame (separate from leaves of absence and academic suspensions based on when courses are offered for retaking when granted) is three semesters for full-time students and seven semesters for part-time students to allow students to retake a single failed class that puts them over the four point maximum for failed classes. A student who fails any two courses, or the same course twice, will be dismissed.  Student Financial Services is required to use a quantitative cumulative financial aid grade point average to determine financial aid eligibility. All P grades are assigned a 4.0 and all F grades a 0.  Students must maintain at least a 2.0 financial aid grade point average to remain eligible for aid. PLEASE NOTE: This is not an official academic grade point average.  It will not appear on your transcript and cannot be used for employment or future education purposes.

    Master of Arts: To graduate, Master of Arts students must pass all 36 points of required coursework. They may attempt 42. Students who fail the 1st semester of Seminar in Discipline class may not remain enrolled at the Journalism School unless they are granted special permission by the Dean of Student Affairs to retake the course the next semester it is offered (the 1st Seminar in Discipline semester  is offered in the fall semester only).  Students who are granted the right to retake the course will be on academic suspension until it is offered again. Students may not register for additional classes until the 1st semester Seminar in Discipline has been passed. Students who fail the Master’s Thesis or the 2nd semester of Seminar and Discipline may not remain enrolled at the Journalism School unless they are granted special permission by the Dean of Student Affairs to retake the course the next semester it is offered (the 2nd semester of Seminar and Discipline is offered only in the spring semester;  The Master’s Thesis is offered during the academic year and over the summer). The maximum time frame (separate from leaves of absence and academic suspensions based on when courses are offered for retaking when granted) is three semesters to allow students to retake a single failed class.  Student Financial Services is required to use a quantitative cumulative financial aid grade point average to determine financial aid eligibility. All P grades are assigned a 4.0 and all F grades a 0.  Students must maintain at least a 2.0 financial aid grade point average to remain eligible for aid. PLEASE NOTE: This is not an official academic grade point average.  It will not appear on your transcript and cannot be used for employment or future education purposes.

    Master of Science in Data Journalism: To graduate, Master of Science in Data Journalism students must attempt all 46 of the required points and must pass 43 of them. They may attempt up to 49 points to meet this measure. Students must pass all five core courses to graduate: Reporting I, Reporting II, Master’s Project, and two Seminar & Production courses. Students who fail the Reporting I or Reporting II class may not remain enrolled at the Journalism School unless they are granted special permission by the Dean of Student Affairs to retake the course the next semester it is offered (Reporting I and II are offered in the fall semester only). Students who are granted the right to retake the course will be on academic suspension until it is offered again. The maximum time frame (separate from leaves of absence and academic suspensions based on when courses are offered for retaking when granted) is four semesters to allow students to retake a single failed class that puts them over the three-point maximum for failed classes. A student who fails any two courses, or the same course twice, will be dismissed. Student Financial Services is required to use a quantitative cumulative financial aid grade point average to determine financial aid eligibility. All P grades are assigned a 4.0 and all F grades a 0.  Students must maintain at least a 2.0 financial aid grade point average to remain eligible for aid. PLEASE NOTE: This is not an official academic grade point average.  It will not appear on your transcript and cannot be used for employment or future education purposes. 

    Dual degrees with SIPA/Business School/Law School: Students in these dual degree programs spend one academic year in residency at the Journalism School.  During that year, they have the identical requirements and are held to the identical standards as those students enrolled in the single Master of Science degree described above.

    Dual degree in Journalism/Computer Science with School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

    To graduate from this blended dual degree program, students must pass 64 points of academic work. Thirty-seven of those points are taken at the Journalism School and 27 are taken at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Students are in residency for the first three semesters at the Journalism School and for the final semester at SEAS. Students must pass all four core journalism courses to graduate: Reporting, Master’s Project, Frontiers of Computational Journalism and one Seminar & Production course. Students who fail the Reporting class may not remain enrolled unless they are granted special permission by the Dean of Student Affairs at the Journalism School to retake the course the next semester it is offered. Students may not register for additional Journalism School classes until Reporting has been passed. (Reporting is offered in the fall semester only). Students who fail the Master’s Project, Seminar & Production or Frontiers of Computational Journalism may not remain enrolled at the Journalism School unless they are granted special permission by the Dean of Student Affairs to retake the course the next semester it is offered (The Master’s Project is offered during the academic year and over the summer; Frontiers of Computational Journalism is offered only during the fall semester; Seminar and Production courses are offered only during the spring semester).

    Students will receive P/F grades for their journalism course work and letter grades for their computer science course work. Student Financial Services is required to use a quantitative cumulative financial aid grade point average to determine financial aid eligibility. While in residency at the Journalism School, all P grades are assigned a 4.0 and all F grades a 0. Letter grades will be assigned the numeric value used at SEAS. Students must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative financial aid grade point average to remain eligible for financial aid. Please note: For the semesters at the Journalism School, this is not an official academic grade point average. It will not appear on your transcript and cannot be used for employment or future education purposes.

    Knight Bagehot Certificate in Economics and Business Journalism

    To receive the certificate in this single academic year program, Knight Bagehot must pass at least 12 points in fall semester; Students must pass at least 30 points in total.  This program covers all tuition expenses and provides a living stipend.  It is not Title IV Financial Aid eligible

    PhD in Communications

    The Journalism School considers progress toward the PhD degree to be minimally satisfactory when progress is made at a rate that will allow a student to complete the degree within 18 consecutive terms of full-time study. Exceptions may be made only under extraordinary circumstances and upon petition to the Senior Associate Dean of Students, Program Chair and the Program Director.

    Maximum Timeframe

    Effect/Treatment of atypical courses/situations

    The Graduate School of Journalism includes all courses attempted at Columbia in the quantitative measurement to determine successful satisfactory academic progress. This also includes courses taken via a Consortium Agreement (PhD students only). Earned hours include all courses in which a passing grade was received. All withdrawn courses (UW) and failed courses (F) are counted as unearned hours in the calculation. Repeated courses are counted in the attempted hours and are taken into consideration for the maximum allowed hours for completion toward the degree.  Only courses in which an F was received can be repeated in the journalism degree programs; a maximum of six points can be attempted a second time. In the PhD program, only a required course that was failed can be repeated.

    Incompletes

    Courses with incomplete grades are included as cumulative attempted credits. However, these courses cannot be used as credits earned toward the degree since successful completion is the criterion for positive credit accumulation. Incomplete grades in Reporting for Master of Science students, Reporting I/Reporting II for the Data Journalism students and 1st semester Seminar in Discipline for Master of Arts students must be resolved before the next term.  Incompletes for Spring term must be completed before graduation. Students who fail to do so cannot remain enrolled for the spring. Incompletes are not held against students in determining satisfactory academic progress generally. If the student fails to meet the appropriate standard for financial aid eligibility credit accumulation due to the lack of successful completion grades for these courses, the recording of successful completion grades within a term which brings the accumulated credit level to the appropriate standard will restore eligibility for the term and subsequent terms within the academic year.

    Withdrawals/Leaves of Absence

    Withdrawals as part of the change of program period will not be included as cumulative attempted credits. Withdrawals which are recorded on a student’s permanent record will be included as cumulative attempted credits and will not have an adverse effect on a student’s capability to meet the appropriate standard. NOTE: Retroactive “non-punitive” administrative withdrawal activity may result in the requirement for the student to repay any assistance received as a result of the student’s enrollment at the time of receipt of the student assistance funds.

    Course Repetitions

    No course at the Journalism School can be repeated unless it was failed. Repeated courses are counted in the attempted hours and are taken into consideration for the maximum allowed hours for completion toward the degree.  Only courses in which an F was received can be repeated in the journalism degree programs; a maximum of six points can be attempted a second time (with Dean of Student Affairs permission for core courses). In the PhD program, only a required course that was failed can be repeated.

    Advance Standing

    There is no advance standing in the Journalism degree programs. 

    For the PhD program, Students who enter with an advanced degree from another institution or a different department or school at Columbia may receive either 15 or 30 points of advanced standing (i.e. one or two semesters' worth) if the previous degree is judged to be the academic equivalent of the Columbia M.A. and to be such that it advances the student toward the M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees. Usually the program accepts work for advanced standing when (1) it has contributed directly and substantially to the fulfillment of the requirements for the M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees and (2) it meets departmental standards. Courses deemed "professional" rather than academic, including most courses in the skills and techniques of journalism, are not acceptable toward a doctoral degree. Final decisions about advanced standing are made by the doctoral subcommittee after the student has completed one semester at Columbia. Students who are granted only one semester of advanced standing must complete the remaining requirements for the Columbia M.A. Calculation of time to degree and satisfactory academic progress are reckoned in proportion to the number of transfer credits and amount of advanced standing in addition to credits earned during the time that a student is registered in GSAS.   Transfer credits and awards of advanced standing are not calculated in the graduate GPA

    Transfer of Credits

    No transfers of credit are permitted in the Journalism degree programs.

    For the PhD program, Students who enter with an advanced degree from another institution or a different department or school at Columbia may receive either 15 or 30 points of advanced standing (i.e. one or two semesters' worth) if the previous degree is judged to be the academic equivalent of the Columbia M.A. and to be such that it advances the student toward the M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees. Usually the program accepts work for advanced standing when (1) it has contributed directly and substantially to the fulfillment of the requirements for the M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees and (2) it meets departmental standards. Courses deemed "professional" rather than academic, including most courses in the skills and techniques of journalism, are not acceptable toward a doctoral degree. Final decisions about advanced standing are made by the doctoral subcommittee after the student has completed one semester at Columbia. Students who are granted only one semester of advanced standing must complete the remaining requirements for the Columbia M.A. Calculation of time to degree and satisfactory academic progress are reckoned in proportion to the number of transfer credits and amount of advanced standing in addition to credits earned during the time that a student is registered in GSAS.   Transfer credits and awards of advanced standing are not calculated in the graduate GPA

    Changes in Program of Study

    No program changes are allowed at the Graduate School of Journalism

    EVALUATION

    Academic progress for journalism students  is evaluated at the end of each semester. For those students in the journalism degrees (Master of Science in Journalism, Master of Arts in Journalism, Master of Science in Data Journalism) the academic progress standards of the school are more stringent than those required to maintain Federal Financial Aid eligibility. Students failing enough classes to fall below the required 2.0 Federal Financial Aid SAP GPA are not eligible to remain enrolled. Therefore there is no formal policy for reestablishing financial aid eligibility for these students. Academic progress for PhD students  is evaluated at the end of the academic year. Those who fail to meet the financial aid SAP requirements in the PhD in Communications program will be placed either on financial aid warning or have their financial aid eligibility suspended. If they successfully appeal an unsatisfactory financial SAP finding, they will be placed on financial aid probation. Definitions below.

    Financial Aid Eligibility Status Definitions

    Financial Aid Warning

    Office of Student Financial Planning will assign this status to students who are failing financial aid SAP at the end of each term and were making financial aid SAP in the prior term. The Office of Student Financial Planning will reinstate eligibility for one term without an appeal.

    Financial Aid Probation

    Office of Student Financial Planning will assign this status to students who are failing financial aid SAP and who successfully appeal the financial aid review. Eligibility for aid may be reinstated for one term.

    SUSPENSION:

    PhD in Communications students who fail to meet financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for more than a single semester will be placed on financial aid suspension and will no longer be eligible to receive financial aid.

    APPEAL PROCESS:

    PhD in Communications students who have their financial aid suspended may submit a written appeal to the Office of Student Financial planning with a detailed explanation along with documentation, verifying the circumstance that led to the inability to meet the Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress.  Examples of acceptable explanations include:

    • death of a relative
    • injury or illness of the student
    • other special circumstances (such as difficult transition to UI, family issues, legal troubles, work or budget problems, etc.)

    PhD in Communications students must also describe what has changed to make them now able to meet SAP standards. An Academic Plan must also be provided.

    RESTORING ELIGIBILITY

    PhD students whose appeals are granted will receive federal financial aid but will be expected to adhere to the Academic Plan as well as maintaining SAP standards. 

    PhD in Communications students who choose to remain enrolled at the School without the receipt of Title IV funding may request a review of their academic records after any term in which they are enrolled without such benefits to determine whether the appropriate standards for the degree program(s) in which the students are enrolled have been met. If the standards are met, eligibility is regained for subsequent terms in the academic year.

    PhD in Communications students who choose to remain enrolled at the School without the receipt of Title IV funding or institutional aid are responsible for all debts owed to the University, including any fees or tuition that may have been incurred during the review process.

    NOTIFICATIONS

    The Office of Student Financial Planning will review all academic records annually after the spring semester or payment period. 

    PhD in Communications students who are not making satisfactory academic progress towards their degree will immediately lose eligibility for future Title IV aid. PhD students will be notified of their ineligible status via electronic mail (e-mail) from the Financial Aid office with instructions about how to appeal and restore eligibility. Those students who are in the journalism degree programs will be notified by the Student Affairs office that their enrollment has been terminated.

    Note: If a student has a grade change or correction to their academic record subsequent to the review process, he/she should notify the Office of Student Financial Planning in writing to request a re-evaluation of their academic progress

    Policy on Student Suggestions

    The Columbia Journalism School invites students to share any suggestions or concerns they might have about the School’s curriculum and policies by submitting them to the Dean of Students Office at [email protected].

    Policy on Student Complaints

    The Columbia Journalism School is committed to addressing student complaints about significant issues that negatively affect its programs. Students with such a concern should submit the concern, in writing, to the Dean of Students Office at [email protected].

    The Dean of Students Office deans and the Academic Affairs deans meet on a bi-weekly basis to review and address issues raised by students. The Dean of Students Office shall keep a record of all complaint submissions and their resolutions.

    Formal Grievance Procedures Against Faculty Graduate School of Journalism

    Students are encouraged but not required to seek an informal resolution to their complaints against their faculty. They may elect, instead, to ask for a formal grievance hearing. They may also seek a grievance hearing if informal mediation fails.

    Issues that are subject to grievance under these procedures include:

    1. Failure to show appropriate respect in an instructional setting for the rights of others to hold opinions differing from their own;
    2. Misuse of faculty authority in an instructional setting to pressure students to support a political or social cause; and
    3. Personal conduct in the classroom or another instructional setting that adversely affects the learning environment.

    These procedures do not take the place of the grievance procedures already established to address disputes over grades. Students should also use alternative procedures in the following situations:

    1. If the alleged misconduct involves discrimination and sexual harassment, a student should refer to this document
    2. Complaints against the School’s faculty that allege scientific or scholarly misconduct are also evaluated using other procedures. These may be contained in the Statement on Professional Ethics and Faculty Obligations and Guidelines for Review of Professional Misconduct.

    Any student currently enrolled in the University and directly affected by the behavior of a faculty member of the School may ask for a grievance hearing under the procedures in this statement.

    The student initiates the hearing by submitting a written statement to the Dean for Academic Affairs documenting the grievance. The request must be submitted no later than 30 days after the end of the semester within which the misconduct was supposed to have occurred.

    The Dean for Academic Affairs will review the complaint to determine if there are sufficient grounds to proceed with a hearing or if the issues raised by the student can be resolved in another manner. If the Dean for Academic Affairs determines that a hearing is warranted, he or she will appoint an ad hoc committee to operate as a fact-finding body and report back on whether the complaint is justified.

    When appropriate, the committee may also recommend remedies to the student’s complaint and disciplinary action against the faculty member.

    The composition of such an ad hoc committee cannot be determined before the event. It is selected by the Dean for Academic Affairs for its expertise in meeting the issues raised. The membership will normally consist of faculty members, and, at the discretion of the Dean for Academic Affairs, could include a student, and/or senior administrator.

    The faculty member is given the student’s letter of complaint and invited to provide the ad hoc committee with a written response. The committee reviews both statements and is given access to any other written documents relevant to the complaint. It will normally interview both the grievant and the faculty member and may, at its discretion, ask others to provide testimony.

    The investigative committee serves in an advisory capacity to the Dean for Academic Affairs. It is expected to complete its investigation in a timely manner and submit a written report to the Dean for Academic Affairs who may accept or modify its findings and recommendations. The Dean for Academic Affairs will inform the student, the faculty member and the Dean of the School of his/her decision in writing.

    The Committee ordinarily convenes within 10 working days of being appointed by the Dean for Academic Affairs and ordinarily completes its investigation and sends the Dean for Academic Affairs its report within 30 working days of convening. The Dean for Academic Affairs normally issues his or her decision within 30 working days of receiving the committee’s report.

    The Dean for Academic Affairs may discipline faculty members who are found to have committed professional misconduct. Any sanctions will be imposed in a manner that is consistent with the University’s policies and procedures on faculty discipline. In particular, if the Dean for Academic Affairs believes that the offense is sufficiently serious to merit dismissal, he or she will initiate the procedures in Section 75 of the University Statutes for terminating tenured appointments, and non-tenured appointments before the end of their stated term, for cause.

    Appeal 

    Either the student or the faculty member may appeal the decision of the Dean for Academic Affairs to the Provost. Findings of fact, remedies granted the student and penalties imposed on the faculty member are all subject to appeal. A written appeal must be submitted to the Provost a written request within 15 working days of the date of the letter informing them of the Dean for Academic Affairs decision.

    Normally, the Provost takes no longer than 30 working days to evaluate an appeal. The Provost usually confines his or her review to the written record but reserves the right to collect information in any manner that will help to make his or her decision on the appeal.

    The Provost will inform both the student and the faculty member of his or her decision in writing. If the Provost decides that the faculty member should be dismissed for cause, the case is subject to further review according to the procedures in Section 75 of the University Statutes, as noted above. Otherwise, the decision of the Provost is final and not subject to further appeal.

    Confidentiality 

    All aspects of investigations of a student grievance are confidential. The proceedings of the grievance committee are not open to the public. Only the student complainant and the faculty member accused of misconduct receive copies of the decisions of the Dean for Academic Affairs and the Provost. Everyone who is involved with the investigation of a grievance is expected to respect the confidentiality of the process.

     

    Graduate School of Journalism students traveling abroad for class trips or to do project/thesis reporting are required to do the following prior to departure:

    Required

    International SOS (ISOS) Travel Assistance Program
    With well-being of travelers as a top priority, Columbia University has retained International SOS (I-SOS) to provide worldwide travel assistance services for all faculty, staff and students.  International SOS provides 24-hour, worldwide emergency medical care and security evacuation services when traveling abroad. Personal travel, including vacations or travel home to visit family is not covered.

    For general guidelines on I-SOS for Columbia students please refer to the Columbia International SOS Travel Assistant Program website.

    Journalism students need to do the following well before their scheduled departure:

    • Print an I-SOS card to have with you during the trip.
    • Register your travel itinerary, personal contact information and emergency contacts using the ISOS MyTrips travel registry.   You must also update your travel information (flight, hotel, country, etc.) in ISOS Travel Locator if it changes during your trip.  If this is not possible, you should notify the Journalism School’s Dean of Students Office of any change of plans. This allows us and ISOS to reach you in case of an emergency and to reach out to your emergency contacts.

    Health Insurance

    I-SOS is not health insurance.  If you are enrolled in the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan, your travel insurance benefits, including medical evacuation, are provided by On Call International (Travel Assistance Program).  For information on coverage and exclusions, see the Student Health Insurance Plan brochure.

    If you are enrolled in another health insurance plan you should become familiar with its policies on overseas coverage and payment requirements.

    Before departure, make sure you visit a travel health clinic or meet with a doctor to ensure that all immunizations, vaccinations, prescriptions and preventative health needs are taken care of.  Columbia offers these services on campus for students paying the Health Services fee.  For information on Columbia health services please refer to the Columbia University Medical Services website.

    Visa Requirements

    Check and verify visa requirements for each destination country and plan ahead as visa procurement can take several weeks.   Visit the host country’s Office of the Consulate General website for information on visa requirements. US citizens may refer to the US State Department’s general visa information service website.

    International students must verify with the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) that travel meets the condition of their student visa.  Please visit the Columbia University International Programs and Services website.

    Reporting Grants

    If you were approved for a reporting grant (M.A. Thesis/M.S. Stabile), you may not submit receipts for reimbursement or otherwise receive funding unless you have registered with I-SOS per the instructions in this document.

    Other Useful Resources

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides helpful tips for travelers as well as health information specific to the country you will be visiting.

    For background information on your destination(s) visit the U.S. State Department website.  Keep the US or your home country’s in-country embassy address and contact information with you when you travel.

    The International SOS/Columbia University portal also houses helpful pre-travel information in the form of Country Guides and E-mail Alerts.

    For additional resources on Health & Safety and General Travel, please consult Columbia’s Office of Global Programming.  The site contains passport and travel agency information for students and has a link to an on-line training course for travel abroad called “What’s Up with Culture?”

    For information about data security during international travel, please review the Security Guidelines Presentation (PDF).

    Students who need to take a leave for a physical or psychological illness should refer to the Medical Leave policy for information and instructions.

    Students looking to withdraw should visit this page.

    General Information

    Students who must interrupt their studies for a compelling reason may be granted a Leave of Absence for a stated period of no more than a year. Approved leaves are entered on a student's permanent academic record. The period of a Leave of Absence is not counted as part of the time allowed for the completion of degree requirements.

    Process

    1. Meet with Dean Huff as soon as possible to discuss the leave; please bring your laptop with you.
    2. During the meeting, if it is determined that a leave is warranted, you will be asked to complete Columbia’s Withdrawal & Leave of Absence Preliminary Review as well as the Journalism School’s LOA/Withdrawal Exit Interview form (before leaving the meeting with Dean Huff).
    3. Immediately notify Tarin Almanzar, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. She will review your finances and the refund rates as they apply to you
    4. Contact Health Services at 212-854-7210 to discuss health insurance options outside of Columbia for the duration of your leave.
    5. If you are an international student, consult with the International Students and Scholars Office about the impact of the leave on your visa.
    6. If you are in Columbia Housing, make plans to vacate housing within 48 hours of the beginning of the leave. 
    7. Columbia University will send you an official notification that your leave has been processed and will inform you whether or not you will be receiving a refund.
    8. To confirm your return, please notify Dean Huff by March 1 for a summer semester return, May 1 for a fall semester return, and October 1 for a January return.  You cannot be on personal leave for more than a calendar year.

    Academic Standing

    Students who are granted authorized Incompletes in the last semester before their Personal Leave will be expected to complete the work before their return to campus. If the work is not completed within a year, the grade will convert to an F.  Due dates of incomplete work should be determined in consultation with the relevant professors.

    Financial Aid

    It is vital that students direct all financial aid questions to the Journalism Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. A student who is out of school for more than a semester may be required to begin loan repayments. Therefore, it is important to schedule an exit interview with Journalism Financial Aid to discuss the options for a particular loan before leaving. A student who defaults on a loan will be unable to receive any further aid until appropriate payments are made.  A student who owes money to Columbia will not be able to register for classes; it is the student's responsibility to be aware of any debts that could prevent registration.

    Campus Involvement

    It is expected that students will remove themselves from the Columbia community and not spend time on campus during a personal leave. A student on leave may not use University facilities, including libraries, housing, the fitness center, health services, the student center, nor receive financial aid. University housing must be vacated promptly by students on leave.

    Questions

    If you have any questions regarding your personal leave or reinstatement, please email Dean Huff or call her a 212-854-3861.

    Students looking to withdraw should visit this page.

    General Information

    A medical leave is granted to a student whose health prevents successful study and is normally granted for a minimum of one full calendar year, but may not extend longer than two years.  It is mandatory that students on a medical leave be actively engaged in a course of treatment that leads to recovery. Documentation of treatment will be essential prior to readmission.   

    The following information applies to leaves taken for any health issues. Please pay particular attention to the deadlines for requesting readmission. We strongly suggest you continue to check your Columbia email while you are on leave as this is the official means of communication used by the University. Please contact Dean Huff with any questions.

    Process

    • Meet with Dean Huff as soon as possible to discuss the leave; please bring your laptop with you. During the meeting, you will be asked to complete Columbia’s Withdrawal & Leave of Absence Preliminary Review as well as the Journalism School’s LOA/Withdrawal Exit Interview form (before leaving the meeting with Dean Huff).
    • Submit supporting documentation from a physician or therapist, normally in consultation with University Health Services. The documentation cannot be more than two years old and must be signed by a licensed healthcare provider whose specialty is appropriate to the associated condition that includes the following;
      • Specific diagnosis of condition or treatment which contraindicates an immunization
      • Duration of condition/treatment
      • Any medications or other conditions that preclude further immunizations

    This information will be used to determine if you can remain on Columbia’s health insurance for the duration of your medical leave.

    • Immediately notify Tarin Almanzar, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. She will review your finances and the refund rates as they apply to you
    • Contact Health Services at 212-854-7210 to discuss health insurance options outside of Columbia for the duration of your leave.
    • If you are covered by the Columbia Health Insurance Plan, contact the insurance office at 212-854-7210 to complete the process to ensure full coverage while on leave. If you have waived Columbia insurance, you must contact your own insurance provider for details on coverage.
    • If you are an international student, consult with the International Students and Scholars Office about the impact of the leave on your visa.
    • If you are in Columbia Housing, make plans to vacate housing within 48 hours of the beginning of the leave.

    Columbia University will send you an official notification that your leave has been processed and will inform you whether or not you will be receiving a refund.

    Academic Standing

    Students who are granted authorized incompletes in the last semester before their Medical Leave will be expected to complete the work before their return to campus. If the work is not completed within a year, the grade will convert to an F. Due dates of incomplete work should be determined in consultation with the relevant professors.

    Financial Aid

    It is vital that students direct all financial aid questions to the Journalism Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. A student who is out of school for more than a semester may be required to begin loan repayments. Therefore, it is important to schedule an exit interview with Journalism Financial Aid to discuss the options for a particular loan before leaving. A student who defaults on a loan will be unable to receive any further aid until appropriate payments are made. A student who owes money to Columbia will not be able to register for classes; it is the student's responsibility to be aware of any debts that could prevent registration.

    Campus Involvement While On Leave

    It is expected that students will remove themselves from the Columbia community and not spend time on campus during a medical leave. Participating in university events and remaining part of the physical campus community often prevents students from gaining the benefits that ordinarily accompany a leave of absence. To reinforce this expectation, the student ID and swipe access are deactivated during the leave.

    Reinstatement

    Following is the procedure for requesting reinstatement from medical leave. You must complete all parts of the following reinstatement procedures by May 1 for a fall semester return and October 1 for a January return.

    All financial obligations to the University must be cleared before reinstatement.

    No student will be reinstated who has not met the following requirements:

    1. Submit a letter to Dean Huff requesting reinstatement by the above deadline. The letter should review the circumstances that led to the leave, describe in detail any activities pursued while away, explain why you now feel able to resume studies successfully, and outline a plan for continued support. You should also indicate whether or not you plan to apply for housing.
    2. Submit a letter from the medical professional(s) with whom you have been working by the above deadline to Dean Huff. The letter should describe the treatment, progress made, and an evaluation of your readiness to return to full-time study at Columbia. The letter must also address the continued care plan recommended for your return.
    3. Arrange to meet with an appropriate clinician at Health Services to review your treatment plan for while you are enrolled. If you have questions about the appropriate Health Services representative, please reach out to Dean Huff.
       

    Questions

    If you have any questions regarding your medical leave or reinstatement please contact Dean Melanie Huff at 212-854-3861 or [email protected].