Career Planning

Start Right Away

Planning your future is one of the first steps that you should take as a Columbia student. It is important to ask yourself right away if after graduation you plan to continue the career you have already been cultivating, start a new career, attend graduate or professional school, engage in research opportunities or fellowships, enter the military, or seek a volunteer opportunity such as the Peace Corps or Teach for America.


Planning your future can be daunting. The good news is that you will be supported along the way. Your Columbia education will open many doors for you, and there are many resources on campus and off campus to help you get started.

Your GS Advisor

The GS Dean of Students Office is an excellent resource for learning about what programs and events are being offered to help you explore career paths or prepare for graduate or professional school.

Your advisor will help you navigate the University's many offices such as the Center for Career Education and Graduate School Coaching. It's also important to read the twice-weekly News and Announcements email for news about upcoming deadlines and information sessions. These announcements are also listed on the Undergraduate News and Announcements page.

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The Columbia Alumni Association

As a Columbia University School of General Studies student, you have access to a network of intelligent, sophisticated individuals that spans the globe and has the strong bond of a Columbia education in common. The Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) has chapters all around the world, and the Online Alumni Community allows graduates from all of Columbia's schools to maintain existing relationships and make new contacts anywhere in the world.

In addition to the CAA, you are a member of the General Studies Alumni Association (GSAA), which collectively strives to enhance the GS experience for alumni from the beginning of their Columbia journey as students throughout their lives as members of the worldwide Columbia University community.

There are also great networking opportunities here in New York City. With many of the world's industries, including publishing, fashion, and finance centered here, Columbia students have unique access to countless internships at some of the world's most interesting and innovative companies, as well as the chance to mingle with alumni in professions like law or medicine at monthly dinners sponsored by the GSAA.

Your Professors

As a GS student you will be studying with some of the most respected academics in the world. If you are interested in graduate or professional school, be sure to approach your professor during their office hours and express your interest in pursuing a subject further.

Your professor may be your best resource for learning about which graduate schools specialize in the area that you are most interested in and what steps you should be taking to prepare for graduate study such as research opportunities, independent studies, fellowships, or teaching assistantships. If you have questions about how to approach your professors, please reach out to your advisor.


The Center for Career Education (CCE) helps students develop the key competencies to make informed decisions and take the necessary steps to achieve their career goals. The Center establishes connections and facilitates interaction among undergraduate students, graduate students, alumni, employers, and organizations to generate opportunities that help students pursue their personal and professional objectives.

CCE provides career development opportunities for students beginning their first year at Columbia through externships, internships, resume and interview preparation, site visits to employers, professionals in residence programs, career fairs with more than 130 employers each, and alumni-student networking events.

Career development is a lifelong process of discovery and learning. It may involve self-assessment, curricular exploration through choice of major, competency development, networking, internships, preparation for the job search, and planning for productive careers.


CCE encourages students to register for LionShare, an online database that includes job and internship postings, opportunities to interview with employers on-campus, information on career fairs and other on-campus employer events. It also allows students to schedule an appointment with a career counselor.

Career Counseling

Individual career counseling is available in person or via telephone or Zoom. Counselors are trained to work with students and alumni interested in all fields and industries, and can help students in all phases of career development, from those just starting out to those considering a career change.

CCE also offers Quick Questions, which are 15-minute sessions offered during the academic year to help students learn about CCE's services and answer brief inquiries.

Dossier Service

A dossier is specifically used in applying for teaching positions at either the secondary level or college level and for graduate/professional school and fellowship applications. A dossier consists of letters of reference and other credentials that speak to a candidate’s scholarship, research interests, and teaching experience. For more information about creating a dossier, visit the CCE website.

Learn More

To gain a complete understanding of all CCE programs and resources, and to meet the staff, please visit the Center or call 212-854-5609.

Contact Information

Center for Career Education
Columbia University
East Campus, Lower Level
2960 Broadway, MC 5727
New York, NY 10027

Phone: (212) 854-5609
Fax: (212) 854-5640
[email protected]