The heart of the Center is its academic programs, which draw a large and diverse student population. The great majority is enrolled in the Columbia Undergraduate Program, the Columbia MA program, or the GSAPP New York-Paris Architecture Program. Each program has its own administrative team, which ensures that students are immersed in the cosmopolitan, intellectual life that characterizes Paris. Students in each program also benefit from the events hosted at the Center, some of which are co-organized with specific programs and directly relate to coursework.
Columbia University has developed a strong academic footprint in Europe through its distinctive undergraduate programming, which challenges students to step outside the boundaries of a traditional French language program and use French as a means to further their understanding of their own areas of study. Students attend the program during the fall, spring and/or summer terms and some choose a full academic year.
In collaboration with leading institutional partners such as Sciences Po and the universities of Paris 1, Paris 7, and Paris 4, students can study in a broad range of disciplines, from the social sciences and humanities to math and the natural and physical sciences. In addition, CUP values a truly divers and cosmopolitan education and actively engages students in local and global issues. Through its rich on-site course offerings based on regular encounters with local guest speakers, frequent co-curricular excursions, participation in community events, as well as conference and research activities, CUP offers an unparalleled linguistic and cultural immersion.
Students also have rich opportunities in Paris to engage in serious research and writing under the direction of both Columbia and French university faculty. For undergraduates, directed research projects are an essential part of the fall and spring semester. While it is not required, many students take advantage of this remarkably important option and produce exceptional research papers, either in English or in French, in close collaboration with leading French academics.
Since 2015, Columbia College students have been able to enroll in two Core classes while they study in Paris. Courses in Music Humanities and Art Humanities have been taught in English by such important members of faculty as Susan Boynton, Walter Frisch, and Peter Susser from the Music department, and Robert Harrist and Holger Klein, from Art History.
Columbia University's MA in History and Literature (HiLi) is an innovative program that explores the interconnections and intersections between history and literature, both as categories of cultural production and as scholarly disciplines. The strong interdisciplinary component of the program enables students to address new methodological horizons that combine close reading of texts and analyses of visual and experiential material including photographs, paintings, films, and installations, with expansive attention to historical context. Students are introduced to archival , bibliographical, and philological work, with hands-on sessions in libraries and archives. In contrast to many Masters programs that extend over two years, the HiLi program is completed in a calendar year.
Students take classes at the Center, which are taught in English by eminent scholars of Columbia University from numerous departments and research areas. Professors who have recently participated in the program include: Eric Foner, Carol Gluck, Gregory Mann, Carl Wennerlind, all from the Department of History; Elisabeth Ladenson, Emmanuelle Saada, and Joanna Stalnaker from the Department of French; Brent Edwards, Marianne Hirsch, Dorothea von Mücke, and Joseph Slaughter from the Department of Comparative Literature; and Kathy Eden from the Department of Classical Studies. To round out thier academic schedule, students also choose from a vast array of courses offered at France's two top-tier graduate schools in the Humanities and Social Sciences: the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).
The program emphasizes academic rigor while allowing for great flexibility in MA essay research topics. With the support of the Academic Director of the Program, the Director of Studies, Christine Valero, and visiting Columbia faculty, students can choose a research topic with primary sources in any language and originating from any geographical area and are paired with an advisor specialized in the field from a leading French graduate school.
This certificate program offered by the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) is for undergraduate students and recent graduates from colleges and universities from around the country. The program's goals are to introduce the fields of architecture, planning and preservation; encourage their exploration in the contexts of history, theory, and practice; and identify and analyze their relationships, especially in regard to the making of cities. The in-depth course of study is suited to students without previous academic experience in design who are interested in architecture, planning or preservation as a career, students in the liberal arts who are interested in approaching urban and historical issues from an architectural and urban planning perspective, and students with previous design experience who would like to develop additional studio skills in preparation for application to graduate school. All classes are conducted in English. The program offers a two-semester curriculum that immerses participants in the rich physical and intellectual urban environments of New York and Paris. Instruction draws on the resources of Columbia University and its faculty, and the architectural communities of New York and Paris. During the first semester, students live and study in New York and enjoy the resources of Columbia University and GSAPP. The second semester is spent in Paris at Reid Hall
SHORT-TERM RESIDENCIES & NON-CREDIT BEARING PROGRAMS
In addition to its long-term academic offerings, the Center welcomes Columbia students and faculty for intensive seminars and workshops during the year and in the summer months. We have worked with the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), the School of the Arts (SOA), the Alliance group, the Mailman School of Public Health, the School of Professional Studies (SPS), among others. Below are example of recurring programs:
Alliance Summer School in Science and Policy
Created fall 2002, the Alliance Program is non-profit transatlantic joint initiative between Columbia University and three major higher education institutions: the École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, and the University of Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne. The Alliance Summer School at the Center began as a Columbia student-led initiative in Summer 2012, in an effort to promote an innovative and interdisciplinary approach required to address the major sustainable development issues. The Alliance Summer School brings together world-class professors, industry experts and PhD students for the exchange of ideas, research methods, intellectual resources, and joint-learning opportunities through a balanced combination of lectures and hands-on workshops. In 2016, 27 graduate students from France, the U.S., Brazil, Malaysia, Germany and Japan with a wide range of backgrounds attended the school. Scholars are drawn from various fields, including public health, natural resources management, crisis management, and decision-making under uncertainty. Notable speakers from past Summer Schools include Christian Gollier, Professor and Director of Toulouse School of Economics; Eric Maskin, Nobel Laureate and Professor of Economics at Princeton; Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; Bob Watson, former IPCC Chair; Jean Jouzel, IPCC Group Chair; Ruth Defries, professor of Ecology & Sustainable Development at Columbia University; Claude Henry, Professor of Innovation and Sustainable Development at Sciences Po; Laurence Tubiana, Special Representative for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference; John Mutter, Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Department of International and Public Affairs.
Mailman Summer Practica in Paris
Since 2011, students enrolled in the Mailman School's Master in Public Health have been able to engage in an eight-week-long practicum that includes an orientation upon arrival, weekly seminars at the Center, and an internship organized jointly with the École des Hautes Études en Santé Public and the Cochrane Center of the University of Paris V. Students work on a variety of research and intervention projects that may yield publications or support interventions. Some examples include: the association of video game playing and mental health/cognitive skills in young children; a meta-analysis of the benefits of personalized medecine approach in non-small cell lung cancer; and a review of dissemination of health research articles in social media. Upon conclusion, students present their final projects at the Center to a distinguished jury, including not only their French supervisors, but also Mailman representatives such as Associate Deans Marlyn Delva and Linda Kushman, and Moïse Desvarieux, Associate Professor, Epidemiology.
Residencies for the Executive Masters in Technology Management
The Center hosts several multiday residencies per year for the Executive M.S. in Technology Management (School of Professional Studies). Residencies are part of a 16-month program that prepares senior technology professionals to develop a strategic mindset, fine-tune their speaking and presentation skills, and understand core business performance through the use of technology. The program emphasizes the importance of using technology in business for strategic advantage and improved productivity. At the program's core spans a network of more than 150 executive mentors. Students work closely with a C-level tech executive to shape a real-world challenge or objective into a technology solution for their master's projects. Graduates typically assume positions as CIO, CTO, CAO, COO, CEO, or CSO, as entrepreneurs. The program is also ideal for those pursuing CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor). The program is led by Arthur Langer, Director of the Center for Technology Management at Columbia University and Academic Director of Columbia's Executive Master of Science in Technology Management.
In July, the Paris Center hosted a day-long workshop with the Youth Climate Leaders (YCL) program, an initiative developed by SIPA alumna Cassia Moraes.
This fall the Paris Center offers a rich program of cultural events open to students and the public. Organized around the theme “borderline,” the events will challenge our understanding of the boundaries, often subjective, that structure our relationships to each other and the world.
Florian Grosset, SIPA '22, was one of the organizers of the 2018 Alliance Summer School. He shares his experience of the PhD program in Sustainable Development, the Summer School, and his projects on the effects of climate change on migration.
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