Students and professor in room with large window looking at art

Columbia Summer Core in Paris: Art Humanities and Music Humanities

Language of Instruction: English
Term: Summer

Learn how to look and listen more deeply by simultaneously taking Art Humanities and Music Humanities together in one of the foundational artistic cities of Western culture.

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For general questions about the Summer Core in Paris program, please attend an upcoming GROUP ADVISING SESSION.

Combining these two Core courses into a single experience offers the opportunity for a rich exchange between the multiple contexts of Western artistic and musical creation. Open to Columbia undergraduate students, this is a special opportunity to take the courses in Columbia’s Core that pertain to the arts while studying abroad in a city particularly suited to artistic investigation.

This summer was a dream! One of the best parts of my Columbia experiences so far. It brings one's appreciation of art and music to a completely different level by not just teaching you the skills to interpret works but also the love for them. -- Summer 2019 participant

Program Overview

  • Take both Art Humanities and Music Humanities in 6 weeks
  • Distinct disciplinary focus with overlapping emphasis on Parisian musical and visual cultures
  • Shared concerts, museum visits, and trips to important sites in the region
  • Live and study with other Columbia undergraduates in a Parisian student residence
  • 3 points of credit for each course appearing on Columbia transcript

The museum visits and trips to Amiens, Giverny, Amsterdam, the opera and others enhanced my learning experience and engagement with the material. Not only could we apply classroom knowledge to the real pieces of art and music, but the lectures given on sight were incredible. In no other setting could I have learned so much in such depth. -- Summer 2019 participant

Eligibility and Application

  • Must be a currently enrolled student in Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, or the School of General Studies
  • May not have taken Art Humanities or Music Humanities
  • Students may apply to only one Summer Core program, either Paris or Berlin
  • All students must meet the basic requirements for studying abroad: a 3.0 cumulative GPA and good academic and disciplinary standing in their home school
  • Although knowledge of French is not required, some study of the language will be useful for students living in Paris

How to Apply

Want to apply? Click the “Start Your Application” button above. If the button doesn't appear above, the program is not yet accepting applications. You will be asked to set up a short profile, which will allow us to send you relevant information about your application. Once you’ve created a profile, you will see a checklist of items that you will need to submit. These generally include:​

  • Transcript
  • Application questionnaire(s)
    • Personal Statement: students will be asked to write 400-500 words on the following topics:
      • Why do you want to take these two courses together in the city you've chosen?
      • What personal skills and/or experiences do you think will contribute to your success in an intensive program away from the Morningside campus?
      • What aspects of your Core experience would you like to see continued and/or challenged in studying Music and Art Humanities abroad?
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
    • Students will submit the name and contact information via our online system. Recommenders will receive an email with a recommendation questionnaire. If preferred, recommenders may also write a letter and submit it to

NOTE: This program includes an interview process for admission. Selected applicants are invited to interview with the faculty directors.


Note: The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.

Humanities O1121. Masterpieces of Western Art. 3 points
Art Humanities teaches students how to look at, think about, and engage in critical discussion of the visual arts. The course focuses on the formal structure of works of architecture, painting, and other media, as well as the historical context in which these works were made and understood. In addition to discussion-based classes like those held in New York, Art Humanities in Paris will make extensive use of the city through field trips to museums, buildings, and monuments.

Humanities O1123. Masterpieces of Western Music. 3 points
The focus of Music Humanities is the masterpieces of Western art music in their historical and cultural contexts. The specific goals of the course are to awaken and encourage an appreciation of Western music, to help the student learn to respond intelligently to a variety of musical idioms, and to engage the student in the issues of various debates about the character and purposes of music that have occupied composers and musical thinkers since ancient times. Students become actively involved in the process of critical listening both in the classroom and in the live performances that are as central to the course in Paris as in New York. Using a “great works” approach, the course will look at the changing genres and styles of music, examining composers’ choices and assumptions, as well as those of their patrons and audiences, as it moves chronologically from the Middle Ages to the present.

**Please note that attendance at all class meetings, concerts, and excursions, unless otherwise indicated, is mandatory.

Grades and Transcripts

Grading Policy

Click here for the Columbia summer program grading policies.


Upon successful completion of the program, grades are entered into SSOL as Columbia grades and are calculated as part of your GPA.

No credit is granted to students who do not complete the full program

Life in Paris

I would definitely recommend this program to other students due to the strong sense of community that was established between the students, professors, and program assistants. Just being together in another country and having an extremely packed and intense schedule made us a lot closer. In addition, I think the professors did a very good job of integrating the established course material with the city of Paris itself. -- Summer 2019 participant


All students will be housed together in double rooms at a residence in Paris. It is required that you live in the program housing.

The quality of the dormitory wasn't what I was used to back on New York campus in the Columbia dorms, but the friendly staff, quiet floors, and INCREDIBLE location completely make up for everything else. The Luxembourg subway stop right outside the door was invaluable. The Foyer really became a home towards the end, and I will miss it a lot. -- Summer 2019 participant


No meals are included and there is no meal plan. However, there are grocery stores, boulangeries, fromageries, and charcuteries where students can buy food for casual dining.

There are several low-budget travel guides that give information about where to eat in Paris, as well as many blogs devoted to eating in Paris. We recommend taking the time to do some research beforehand if you are unsure about what to expect.


The program already has many course-related activities that will help students engage with the cultural life of Paris. Instructors will also organize a few social events. However, students are encouraged to take advantage of the many student discounts available to them and to explore Paris on their own. In addition, the Columbia Global Center has many activities throughout the summer that are open to students on the program free of charge.

Daily Living and Schedule

This program has a very full schedule and students should expect to devote most of their time in Paris to the program and complementary activities. Classes meet Monday through Thursday; most Fridays and weekends are reserved for excursions. Students will spend a lot of time with each other and the instructors of the course.


Columbia Global Centers|Paris at Reid Hall is the home base of the program and where you will take all of your classes. Reid Hall is a small group of buildings owned and administered by Columbia. It also serves as an educational center for other American universities and for scholars from around the world. For over a century, its long and distinguished past of intellectual, artistic, and cultural exchange has made it significant to the relationship between France and the United States.

Located in the lively Montparnasse (sixth) district of Paris, near the Luxembourg Gardens and within walking distance of the Latin Quarter and several branches of the University of Paris, Reid Hall was constructed in the early 18th century, before the French Revolution. Modern additions have enlarged the facility, creating an interior courtyard and private garden. Reid Hall primarily houses administrative offices and classrooms and also has a small reference library, a reading room, lounges, a multimedia lab, and two large conference rooms. Students have access to WiFi in all common areas of Reid Hall.

Frequently Asked Questions

How competitive is this program?

This program is very competitive. You are encouraged to have a back up study abroad program in mind if applying.

Can first-year students apply? Will upperclassman get priority?

All students are welcome to apply. No preference is given to upperclassman or students with a certain major.

If I was rejected last year, can I apply again?

If interested, students are encouraged to apply again, any previous applications are not taken into account.

I am interested in the program but would need financial assistance in order to attend.

Please carefully read the Financial Considerations page which includes a list of different websites to search for external scholarships. While UGE does offer a limited number of Global Learning Scholarships, these are typically small grants that cover only a small portion of your program tuition. If you would like to apply for additional summer scholarships you should start researching and applying as early as possible.



The faculty and program are supported by the staff of the Columbia Undergraduate Programs in Paris and the Columbia Global Centers: Paris. While you may encounter any number of staff members onsite, you will mostly interact with the Columbia Undergraduate Programs director, Séverine Martin-Hartenstein and the Administrative Assistant, Lucille Lancry.


Summer 2022

Born in Poland, Magdalena Baczewska [baCHEVska] has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as a pianist, harpsichordist, educator, recording artist, producer, and an administrator, currently serving as Director of the Music Performance Program and Lecturer in Music at Columbia University. The press describes her as a “world-class” musician (The American Record Guide), and a “player of taste and admirable sensitivity” (Palm Beach Arts Paper). Her performances have been praised as “eloquent & technically flawless” (The Washington Post), “highly sophisticated and truly admirable” (The Weekend, New York). She has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, China National Symphony, and Macao Symphony, among others. She has appeared in concert with violinist Joshua Bell, as well as with maestro Tan Dun, with whom she has enjoyed an extensive collaboration. Magdalena has toured Europe and the US with double performances of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which she performed twice in one evening, on the harpsichord, then on piano (this has not been done since Rosalyn Tureck’s 1977 double-bill performance at Carnegie Hall). Magdalena has also performed throughout Europe, China, and the US, appearing in Carnegie Hall (NYC), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), National Center for Performing Arts (Beijing), Guangzhou Opera House (Guangzhou), Shenzhen Polytheater (Shenzhen), and Salle Cortot (Paris), among others. More information at​.

Lindsay Cook is Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Vassar College, where she teaches medieval art and architecture. She earned her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from the Department of Art History & Archaeology at Columbia and her B.A. in Art History and French from Vassar. Her research focuses on the intersection of medieval architectural and institutional history in Paris and its environs, particularly centered on Notre-Dame of Paris. Invested in the digital humanities, she has contributed to Mapping Gothic France, Chant Manuscripts, Life of a Cathedral: Notre-Dame of Amiens, and she is a project member of FAB-Musiconis, an interdisciplinary three-year grant project in medieval musical iconography based at Columbia and the Sorbonne. As a complement to her research, she has coordinated undergraduate study trips to Amiens and Jerusalem for art history travel seminars. She has previously taught Art Humanities, and she has had the pleasure of working in the Art and Music Humanities summer program in Paris since its inaugural year.

Robert E. Harrist, Jr. is the Jane and Leopold Swergold Professor of Chinese Art. A former Chairman of the Department of Art History and Archaeology and former Director of Art Humanities, he is the recipient of a Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award. He has published books and articles on Chinese painting, calligraphy, and gardens, as well as on topics such as replicas in Chinese art, clothing in 20th-century China, and contemporary artists such as Xu Bing. Harrist's most recent book, The Landscape of Words, which studies the role of language in shaping perceptions of the natural world, was awarded the Joseph Levenson Prize in 2010.

Elaine Sisman is Anne Parsons Bender Professor of Music and Chair of Music Humanities. Her research interests are the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, issues of musical meaning and persuasion, biography and late style, and the Enlightenment imagination; her most recent publications are “Music and the Labyrinth of Melancholy” in the Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies and “Is Don Giovanni Evil?” in Evil: A Philosophical History (Oxford Philosophical Concepts series). She has served as department chair and president of the American Musicological Society, and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014. At Columbia, she has received the Award for Distinguished Service to the Core Curriculum and the Great Teacher Award.

Program Assistants

Audrey Amsellem is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at Columbia. Originally from Paris, France, she began her undergraduate studies at community college before transferring to Columbia University to pursue a B.A in Music. She graduated cum laude and received Departmental Honors for her thesis “Songs of Dreams of Mankind” in 2015, and received her M.A in 2017 with her thesis "Noise of Silent Machines: A Case Study of LinkNYC." Her research interests include: music and property, copyright law, archival practices, politics of access to music, music in the digital age, sound and surveillance, and decolonial pedagogy.

This is her second year as a program assistant for the program.

Barthélemy Glama joined the PhD program in Art History in 2017. A native of the French Basque Country, he earned an MA with distinction from the École normale supérieure in Paris, France, where he was a fellow, and a BA cum laude from Paris-Sorbonne University, both in Art History. Specializing in the history of museums and collecting in 19th-century Europe, he focuses on the intersections between museums and empire in France and Great Britain. Barthélemy is the author of two guide books for the Louvre museum.
This is his second year as a program assistant for the program.

Financial Considerations

*Summer 2023 Tuition & Fees

Please see our cost breakdown for detailed information on additional estimated expenses.

*Tuition and fees are subject to the Board of Trustees' approval and may change.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

If you are on financial aid, check to see if it can be applied to your study abroad. In general, summer financial aid is not available to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering students, but may be available to School of General Studies students.

Funding Your Summer in Paris

Global Learning Scholarship (GLS)

The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement is pleased to announce Global Learning Scholarships to help students fund their participation in this program. If awarded, these partial scholarships will be applied toward tuition charges for this program.


  • Open to Columbia University and non-Columbia undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need

  • Recipients must be accepted to this Columbia-led program

To Apply:

After starting a program application, complete the “Global Learning Scholarship” questionnaire in your UGE account.

Scholarship Applications Due:

March 7 (closes at 11:59 pm EST) or program deadline, whichever occurs first.

Read more about the GLS here.

Withdrawal PolicY

To learn about the financial consequences for withdrawing from the program, please read the Withdrawal and Refund policy.

Resources for Accepted Students

Fact Sheet

Arts and Architecture, Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM
Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies
Language of Instruction:

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, January 30, 2022
Program Dates: 
Friday, June 17, 2022 to Saturday, July 30, 2022
These dates are confirmed.
Application Deadline: 
Monday, February 13, 2023
Admissions Decision Date: 
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Program Dates: 
Saturday, June 17, 2023 to Saturday, July 29, 2023