FAQs: Curricular Changes for Academic Year 2018-19

As with all higher education institutions, every academic year has a new course catalog that reflects the updates to the college’s curriculum. This year’s changes were specifically designed to align with the college’s Universal Learning Outcomes, and to coincide with a new course numbering system. To learn more about program-specific changes, please see the list below. [Note: If you don’t see your program listed below, there are no significant changes to that program for the 2018-19 academic year.]

Catalog Years

Q:        What is a “catalog year”?

A:         A catalog year is set to the academic year you entered Columbia. Degree requirements for academic programs tend to change with each catalog year. Your catalog year tells us which degree requirements you are responsible for and drives the advising guide in OASIS. NOTE: Students have the opportunity to self-select a new catalog year, but cannot self-select a previous catalog year.

Q:        If I stay in my current catalog year, will I still be able to take all of the classes I was planning to take?

A:         Courses that are needed to fulfill your program and degree requirements will continue to be offered. In some cases, appropriate course substitutions that ensure delivery of the content of your program will be made by your academic department. Please meet with your Academic Advisor at the College Advising Center every semester to review degree requirements and available courses.

Q:        When will I be able to view the 2018-2019 Catalog and program requirements?  

A:         The new catalog with program requirements will be available online on May 1, 2018.

Q:        I can’t decide if I want to change to the new catalog year/program. Do I have to decide now?

A:         You do not have to decide now, but if you are considering changing to a new program, you should speak with your Academic Advisor at the College Advising Center. Although the new catalog will not be available until May 2018, seeking guidance sooner rather than later will ensure you are on the appropriate path toward graduation.

Program Changes and Degree Requirements

Q:        I am a current student. Will these changes affect my degree requirements?

A:         Not at all. You will not see any changes unless you request to move to the new catalog year. For example, if you entered Columbia in Fall 2017 (or Spring 2018), you would continue with your requirements as outlined in the 2017-18 catalog. However, if you want to move to the new 2018-19 catalog, please contact your Academic Advisor at the College Advising Center to discuss your options.

Q:        I’m excited about the new program. Can I change to it? And would it impact my degree requirements?

A:         Current students have the opportunity to move into a new program. You should carefully review the new requirements with your Academic Advisor and determine if and how these changes would impact your expected graduation date. Once you make the decision to change to the new program, you cannot change back to your previous program. If you want to move to the new 2018-19 catalog, please contact your Academic Advisor at the College Advising Center to discuss your options.

Q:        I like the new program name. Can I have the new name but keep my current program requirements?

A:         No. Students who want to have the new program name will be responsible for the new program requirements. If you want to move to the new 2018-19 catalog, please contact your Academic Advisor at the College Advising Center to discuss how your degree requirements would change.

Q:        Where do I go to discuss questions about my degree program?

A:         The Academic Advisors in the College Advising Center can assist you with your options and review the pros and cons of changing your catalog year or major. Your assigned advisor in the system is based on your current academic program. You can meet with your assigned advisor, and if additional support is needed, they may refer you to other advisors, or academic department faculty and staff.

Q:        What is the difference between a program and a concentration?

A:         A program is a degree pathway, and a concentration is a focused set of requirements that allow a student to specialize in an area within the program. Not all programs have concentrations. Some programs require you to choose a concentration, while others do not.

Q:        I have heard that there is a new LAS Core. Is that happening now, and does it apply to me?

A:         A new core curriculum, called the Columbia Core, will not launch until Fall 2019. You will continue to be responsible for completing the current LAS Core requirements.

Q:        Where can I search for writing intensive and honors courses?

A:        You can search for writing intensive and honors designations along with the global awareness and US pluralism designations through the OASIS search criteria screen in the course schedule. To access this search, log into the OASIS portal and click on the students tab. Then, click on course schedule and then the search criteria button. You will see the search criteria functionality for honors, global awareness, US pluralism, and writing intensive in the lower right hand corner of your screen. Select the course type you would like to search for from the drop down menu, and hit the execute search button. The search criteria screen is also available directly through the Register for Classes screen.

Course Numbering

Q:        Why were all of the course numbers changed?

A:         Columbia previously used a numerical prefixing system for numbering its courses. Beginning Fall 2018, we are moving to an alphabetical prefixing system, much like the vast majority of higher education institutions. The new alphabetical prefixes make it easier for students to identify and find courses, and allows the college to manage courses by academic discipline. For example, in the new system, Theatre courses will begin with THEA instead of beginning with “31-.”

Q:        Where can I find a list of old course numbers and their new counterparts?

A:         Go to colum.edu/registrar and click on our course renumbering look-up tool. You can search by old or new course numbers and by course title. The tool does not have a login, and it’s very easy to use. 

Q:        Will the new course numbers work in my advising guide?

A:         Yes. Course history is embedded in our course records. When you take a required course under its new course number, the course will automatically populate your advising guide under the old course number. The new course numbers will also recognize old course numbers as prerequisites during registration.

General Questions

Q:        Why did Columbia make changes to the curriculum?

A:         The Office of the Provost has led a collegewide curricular review process over the past two years to meet the goals of the college’s strategic plan. The focus of this process was to better align program learning outcomes with industry standards and to improve navigation through degree requirements to graduation. It is common for program requirements to change from year to year, and in 2018, we have more changes than usual.

Q:        Are these changes consolidating courses and majors?

A:         Not at all. The purpose of curricular change is to better align program learning outcomes with industry standards to improve navigating your pathway to graduation. For additional program-specific changes, please see the charts below.

Q:        What do these changes mean for the reputation of my degree in the industry?

A:         As the college’s curriculum evolves to align with the changing needs of the industry, students will graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to establish successful careers. Maintaining a current and relevant curriculum enhances Columbia’s reputation as a whole and that of its past and future degree recipients.  

Q:        What academic departments have changed and how does this impact me?

A:         Departmental changes do not impact student degree requirements in any way. The college implemented the following department changes over this academic year:

  • The Radio program has moved into the Communication Department.
  • English and Creative Writing have merged into one department, now called English and Creative Writing.
  • Creative Arts Therapies programs have been moved into the Dance Department.
  • Television and Cinema Art and Science have merged into one department, now called Cinema and Television Arts.
  • Animation/Motion Graphics programs have been moved into Interactive Arts and Media.

Here are the 2018 changes listed by department:

All changes are effective for students entering the college in the 2018-19 academic year.

New Academic Programs:

  • Master of Arts in Civic Media
  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • Master of Fine Arts in Fine Arts
  • Minor in Fine Arts
  • Minor in Social Media and Digital Strategy

School of Fine and Performing Arts

BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP  

Check out the Business and Entrepreneurship website to see a full list of 2017-18 programs. The new 2018-19 programs you see below will be shown on the website starting May 1, 2018.

Current 2017-18 Program

New 2018-19 Program

Advanced Management, BA

Arts Management, BA

  •   Creative Industries concentration

Arts Management, BA no concentration

International Arts Management, BA

Arts Management BA

  • Creative Industries concentration

Note:  Foundational coursework in international arts management remains part of the degree requirements, and students completing the new curriculum can still choose to participate in a Study Abroad program.

Visual Arts, BA

Arts Management, BA

  • Visual Arts concentration 

Live and Performing Arts Management, BA

Arts Management, BA

  • Performing Arts concentration

OR

Music Business, BA

  • Live and Touring concentration

 

Note: This degree is turning into two distinct pathways depending on what a student is interested in.

Marketing, BA no concentration

Marketing, BA

  • Entertainment Industry concentration

Media Management, BA

Marketing, BA

  • Digital Media concentration

Sports Management, BA

Marketing, BA

  • Sports Management concentration

Music Business Management, BA

Music Business, BA (NEW)

  • Recorded Music and Publishing concentration
  • Live and Touring concentration
  • Artist Management concentration

MUSIC

Check out the Music website to see a full list of 2017-18 programs. The new 2018-19 programs you see below will be shown on the website starting May 1, 2018.

Current 2017-18 Program

New 2018-19 Program

Performance, BMUS

  • Jazz Studies concentration
  • Instrumental Performance concentration
  • Vocal Performance concentration

Contemporary, Urban, and Popular Music, BMUS

Note:  All BMUS-level performance students will now audition into the Contemporary, Urban, and Popular Music (CUP) program. The CUP curriculum is expanding to address a wider range of instrumental and vocal styles, and all BMUS students with a performance focus will complete advanced coursework in technique, composition/songwriting, recording/technology, and music business.

 

Composition, BMUS

Composition and Production, BMUS

Music, BA

  • Composition concentration

 

Music, BA no concentration

 

Note: The new BA in Music is inclusive of styles and techniques associated with all of the previous concentrations, and students will have more freedom in exploring their musical interests broadly. Students will still be able to focus on a primary instrument or voice type, and all music students will study fundamentals of composition, improvisation, and technology.

 

Music, BA

  • Jazz Studies concentration

Music, BA

  • Instrumental Performance concentration

Music, BA

  • Vocal Performance concentration

Music, BA

  • Contemporary Urban and Popular Music concentration

THEATRE

Check out the Theatre website to see a full list of 2017-18 programs. The new 2018-19 programs you see below will be shown on the website starting May 1, 2018.

Current 2017-18 Program

New 2018-19 Program

Theatre Directing, BFA

Theatre, BA

  • Directing concentration

Note: Directing will be newly available to all Theatre students as a concentration of the BA in Theatre rather than as a selective BFA program. The new BA in Theatre with a Directing concentration provides students with focused coursework and practicum experience in directing, in the context of a broader exploration of stage management and playwriting.

Theatre Design, BA

Theatre Design and Technology, BA

 

Theatre Technology, BA

Writing for Performance, BA

Theatre, BA

  • Playwriting concentration

Theatre, BA no concentration

Theatre, BA (NEW)

  • Directing concentration
  • Stage Management concentration
  • Playwriting concentration

Acting with International Performance Practice, BFA

Acting, BFA

DESIGN

Check out the Design website to see a full list of 2017-18 programs. The new 2018-19 programs you see below will be shown on the website starting May 1, 2018.

Current 2017-18 Program

New 2018-19 Program

Advertising Art Direction, BA

Advertising, BA

  • Art Direction concentration

Note: Effective 2018-19, this program will move into the Communication Department.

FASHION STUDIES

Check out the Fashion website to see a full list of 2017-18 programs. The new 2018-19 program you see below will be shown on the website starting May 1, 2018.

Current 2017-18 Program

New 2018-19 Program

Fashion Business minor

Fashion Studies minor

School of Media Arts

COMMUNICATION

Check out the Communication website to see a full list of 2017-18 programs. The new 2018-19 programs you see below will be shown on the website starting May 1, 2018.

Current 2017-18 Program

New 2018-19 Program

Multimedia Journalism, BA

  • Broadcast Radio concentration

Journalism, BA

  • Broadcast Radio concentration

Multimedia Journalism, BA

  • Broadcast Television concentration

Journalism, BA

  • Broadcast Television concentration

Multimedia Journalism, BA

  • Magazine concentration

Journalism, BA

  • Magazine concentration

Multimedia Journalism, BA

  • News and Features concentration

Journalism, BA

  • News and Features concentration

Multimedia Journalism, BA

  • Sports concentration

Journalism, BA

  • Sports concentration

Multimedia Photojournalism, BA

Photojournalism, BA

Advertising, BA no concentration

Advertising, BA (NEW)

  • Strategy concentration
  • Art Direction concentration
  • Copywriting concentration

INTERACTIVE ARTS AND MEDIA

Check out the Interactive Arts and Media website to see a full list of 2017-18 programs. The new 2018-19 programs you see below will be shown on the website starting May 1, 2018.

Current 2017-18 Program

New 2018-19 Program

Interaction Design, BA no concentration

Interaction Design, BA (NEW)

  • User Experience concentration
  • Web and Mobile Development concentration
  • Graphic Design concentration
  • Smart Interfaces concentration