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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 in a city whose artistic resources are particularly rich in the visual and musical arts.

I would absolutely recommend this program. Berlin is a city that offers so much, and the cultural offerings are really good AND the museums are not crowded. I really felt like we had a exclusive ticket to see everything by ourselves. -- Summer 2019 participant

Program Overview

  • Take both Art Humanities and Music Humanities in 6 weeks
  • Distinct disciplinary focus with overlapping emphasis on German 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 student residence in the heart of Kreuzberg
  • 3 points of credit for each course appearing on Columbia transcript

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; and
  • Although knowledge of German is not required, some study of the language may be useful for students living in Berlin


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?

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 Berlin 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 Berlin 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.

If you have the opportunity to go on this program—do! Of course you can take these classes at home in NYC but when taken together and when only focusing on these two classes, you can really engage in the subjects and explore them. Plus everyone (faculty and students) are phenomenal and all eager, curious, and willing to engage. - Summer 2019 participant

Academic Schedule

For each section, Art and Music courses will alternate from Monday-Thursday. All classes meet in the morning.

Required site visits will take place on several days per week in the late afternoon and evening, and on some Fridays and Saturdays. In addition, the Music Humanities class will attend two evening musical performances together. Because of the intensive nature of the course and the number of excursions outside of class, students should not plan any weekend travel in advance.

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 Berlin


Students will be housed in doubles at at the Global Institute of our partner in Berlin, CIEE. The residence at the Global Institute is equipped with shared kitchens on each floor and laundry facilities in the basement. You may read more about the CIEE residence here.

It is required that all students live in program housing on the program.


No meals are included and there is no meal plan. However, cost of food in Berlin is generally affordable with grocery stores, kebab shops, cafes, and other restaurants in the neighborhood.

There are several low-budget travel guides that give information about where to eat in Berlin, as well as many sites online devoted to eating in Berlin. In general, it is easy to accommodate food restrictions in Berlin. 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 Berlin. Instructors may also organize additional events at their discretion. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the many student discounts available to them and to explore Berlin on their own when there is free time. The program includes two overnight excursions to sites in Germany.

Daily Living and Schedule

This program has a very full schedule and students should expect to devote most of their time in Berlin 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.


The CIEE's Berlin Global Institute in Berlin is the home base of the program and where you will live and take all of your classes. The Global Institute is a group of buildings owned and administered by CIEE, a program provider in study abroad. It also serves as a center for other programs. Conveniently located near both bus and subway stops, the Institute has been recently renovated and features state-of-the-art facilities. There is public cafe on the premises as well as common areas and study spaces.

Located in the multicultural neighborhood of Kreuzberg, there are many nightlife,food, and music opportunities just outside the front gate. Berlin itself is well-served by public transportation and easy to navigate. Known for it's sense tolerance, laid-back vibe, and thriving local communities, Berlin is perhaps one of the best cities in Europe for young people. A world-class city for the arts, Berlin provides a stimulating and rich environment for study ad personal exploration.

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.



More information will be added to this section shortly.

Leah E. Werier is a lecturer in the Discipline of Art History and Archaeology and Acting Director of MA in Modern and Contemporary Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies (MODA).

Walter M. Frisch is H. Harold Gumm/Harry and Albert von Tilzer Professor of Music at Columbia University in New York, where he has taught since 1982. He has also been a guest professor at the University of Freiburg in Germany, Yale University, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has lectured on music throughout the United States, and in England, France, Spain, Germany, and China. His writings have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese. Professor Frisch is a specialist in the music of composers from the Austro-German sphere in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ranging from Schubert to Schoenberg.

Irina Oryshkevich

Mariusz Kozak joined Columbia University in 2013. His research focuses on the emergence of musical meaning in contemporary art music, the development and cognitive bases of musical experience, and the phenomenology of bodily interactions in musical behavior. In his work, he bridges experimental approaches from embodied cognition with phenomenology and music analysis, in particular using motion-capture technology to study the movements of performers and listeners.

Financial Considerations

*Summer 2024 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.


If you receive financial aid during the academic year, you may remain eligible for financial aid when you attend a summer Columbia-Led Program as long as you take a minimum of 6 points.

CC/SEAS: Contact the CC/SEAS Financial Aid & Educational Planning to understand if any of your federal financial aid may cover enrollment costs for a summer program. Please note the Columbia Grant is not available for summer studies.

General Studies: Contact the GS Office of Educational Financing to understand if any of your financial aid may cover participation in a summer program.


The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement (UGE) offers the Global Learning Scholarship (GLS) to support Columbia students so they may enhance their undergraduate education by participating in a summer global learning opportunity.


You are eligible for the Global Learning Scholarships (GLS) if you are:

  • A Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, or General Studies student who demonstrates financial need

  • All other students are not eligible for the GLS

Application and Timeline:

Students apply for the Global Learning Scholarship and the Columbia-Led summer program with two separate applications.

Scholarship applications are due: February 15, 2024 (closes at 11:59 pm EST)

GLS applicants must also submit a completed program application by the program application deadline.

To apply to the Global Learning Scholarship, please click here.


For a list of other scholarships specific to study abroad, please visit the Scholarships for Study Abroad for more information.

Withdrawal PolicY

If you decide to withdraw from the program after it has already started, please be aware of the financial consequences and office policies by clicking here.

Resources for Accepted Students