See what students say:

Academics

Columbia University, the Ivy League's New York City office, has been around for more than 250 years, providing prestige, rigorous academics, a strong alumni network, and a multitude of opportunities to its students. As intimate spaces carved out of the larger university, Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science throw a "vast amount of resources" at its students, with benefits that "extend from clubs to study abroad programs [to]…proximity to one of the greatest cities in the world." Columbia is "all about building intelligent [and] confident students who are ready for the workplace," and there are "many opportunities to satiate intellectual curiosity." The school's Core Curriculum ensures students leave with a breadth of knowledge, and "everyone is smart in some way."

Though some students have a bad teacher or two, Columbia professors are "fantastic in both their leadership in their field as well as in their interest in teaching students," and if "students carefully select which classes they will take they can find professors they like." The academics here "are truly great" and students "always know you're being taught by people at the forefront of their fields." Columbia attracts a very specific type of student "who is devoted to receiving a true liberal arts education in a variety of subjects," but those who go here shouldn't expect to have knowledge handed to them on a platter: "It is up to the student to get the most out of a class," says one.

Student Body

This collection of "very ambitious" students "are not only extremely intelligent, but also passionate about everything they do." This group is "diverse in every sense of the word," from race to sexuality to age, and everyone has "a high awareness of the connections between academic, personal, and social issues." People "aren't afraid to speak out against what they think is wrong"; activism is "essential to the Columbia experience" and in fact, "it is encouraged by the school itself." This go-getting crowd tries to do it all, "taking on 5 to 6 classes per semester and holding multiple jobs and internships and leadership positions"; as a result, Columbia does have a bit of a "stress culture," due to the fact that "everyone here really wants to succeed." While it "can be competitive for programs," most students find people here "to be more kind than shrewd."

Campus Life

When it comes to free time, there's no question as to where students turn: New York City, where there are "countless things to do for fun." The "clubs downtown are always a late night option as are the Broadway shows and comedy clubs near Times Square;" and "from shopping in Soho to visiting museums to trying out a new restaurant in Midtown, there's literally nothing you can't do here." That's not to say that students don't stay on campus; people often hang out in dorms and sometimes this turns into a social event itself. "I can walk into my floor lounge at any moment for homework help on anything from Chinese to econometrics, and upon doing so I inevitably wind up having a mind-blowing intellectual discussion of some sort," says a student. The "Monday to Thursday grind is usually pretty tough": people go to classes, do homework and readings, and "try to fit in time with friends in between all the chaos." Weekends are more fun, and Columbia has "a great arts initiative which is perfect for getting [tickets] cheaper" as well as a World Leaders Forum where speakers historically have included "presidents and prime ministers from countries far and wide."

Overview

Applicants
36,292
Acceptance Rate
6%

SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
710 - 800
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
720 - 800
SAT Writing
25th-75th percentile
(enrolled students)
710 - 790

Concordant SAT Scores

SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
740 - 800
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
750 - 800

ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
32 - 35

Testing Policies


ACT Writing Policy
ACT with or without Writing accepted

SAT Essay Policy
SAT with or without Writing accepted

Deadlines

Early Decision — November 1

Regular — January 1


Other Admission Factors

Academic

Rigor of Secondary School Record
Class Rank
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores
Application Essay
Recommendation(s)
Non-Academic

Extracurricular Activities
Character / Personal Qualities

Selectivity Rating


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Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
6:1
Total Faculty
1,693
with Terminal Degree
1,687

1,098
Men
595
Women
409
Minority
128
International

Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
2 - 9


Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
86%
Graduate in 5 years
93%
Graduate in 6 years
96%

Majors

  • Engineering

  • Engineering, General

  • Social Sciences

  • Economics
  • Political Science and Government, General


Degrees

Bachelor's
Doctoral
Doctoral Other
Doctoral/Professional
Doctoral/Research
Master's

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

Notable Faculty


Prominent Alumni


Edwin Armstrong
Inventor, FM Radio

Maggie Gyllenhaal
Actress

Lou Gehrig
Athlete

Jack Kerouac
Novelist

Alexander Hamilton
Founding Father

Barack Obama
President

Joseph Pulitzer
Writer

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
86%
Graduate in 5 years
93%
Graduate in 6 years
96%

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Classes
Interest Inventory
Internships
Opportunities at School

Coop
Experiential
Internship

ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Starting Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)
$60,200

Mid-Career Median Salary (Up to Bachelor's degree completed, only)
$104,000

Starting Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)
$62,000

Mid-Career Median Salary (At least Bachelor's degree)
$109,000

Percent High Job Meaning
56%

Percent STEM
29%


Students Say

The Columbia University brand goes far in this country, even though many students only need it to work downtown. Students are thankful for the wealth of resources (referring primarily to internships) available to a student at Columbia University, as well as the professors that are "keen to let you work with them through research." Internships in New York are an excellent entry point for students trying to make themselves known to employers, and it doesn't hurt that the city is rife with Columbia alumni. The Center for Career Education offers a boatload of resources to get students on their way, including counseling sessions, practice interviews, dossier assessments, and old reliable career fairs. Graduates who visited PayScale.com reported an average starting salary of $59,200; 57 percent of these students said they felt their job had a meaningful impact on the world.

An incredible example of hands-on learning at Columbia, the Columbia Experience Overseas (CEO) program enables students to have summer internship experiences in places like Amman, Mumbai, Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, and London through alumni and employer partnerships. An alumni mentor provides guidance through the summer. One young alumna who traveled to Mumbai and Amman through CEO praised the program's "amazing professional opportunities." She explained, "I felt as though working with organizations in foreign countries exposed me to new (and more extensive) job responsibilities than I would have typically been able to perform in the U.S. as an intern. This experience and skill set strengthened my ability to apply for and secure future internships and eventually after-college jobs. In fact, both my CEO experiences were related to non-profit administration, strategy, and capacity building, which is the field I ultimately entered after graduation." Another alumna, who traveled to Asia with CEO, says: "CEO was my favorite memory from Columbia! It was my first-ever trip to Asia, and I learned so much about the differences in work cultures and attitudes. It further ignited my wanderlust and made me a top candidate at future jobs to travel, because they saw I was able to deliver when stationed abroad."

Dates

Application Deadlines
Feb 15
Notification Date
Mar 30

Required Forms

FAFSA
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$52,073

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$50,733

Average Need-Based Loan
$3,451

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
25%

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$23,463

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package
$55,687

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
$54,504
Required Fees
$2,704
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$1,246

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

On-Campus Room and Board
$13,618
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
No

Financial Aid Rating

Overall


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
6,158
Foreign Countries Represented
90

Demographics

48% female
52% male
76% are out of state
100% are full time
0% are part time

Overview


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
93%
Help finding off-campus housing
Yes

First-Year Students living on campus
100%

Campus Environment
Large Urban

Housing Options

Cooperative
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Frat Sorority
Other
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions


College Entrance Tests Required
No

Interview Required
No

Special Need Services Offered


Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
500
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
11
Number of Religious Organizations
30

18% join a fraternity
16% join a sorority

Sports

Athletic Division
Division I

Men's Sports (Lions)
14 Sports

Baseball
Basketball
Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Diving
Fencing
Football
Golf
Soccer
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Wrestling
Women's Sports (Lions)
16 Sports

Archery
Basketball
Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Diving
Fencing
Field Hockey
Golf
Lacrosse
Soccer
Softball
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball

Student Services

Health
LGBT Support Groups
Minority Support Groups
Army ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: Fordham University
Navy ROTC Offered on-campus
Air Force ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: Manhattan College

Sustainability

Located within walking distance of grassy Central Park, Columbia University’s campus is evolving into one of New York City’s green landmarks in its own right. Surrounded by one of the biggest and densest collections of building in the world, the university has put its location to good use—recently launching the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center in order to promote green building technologies in New York City. The Urban Design Lab has committed to local environmental design and sustainable economic development, combining the vast intellectual and financial resources of the architecture and engineering schools. The challenges of developing sustainable infrastructure in a bustling urban environment are real, which makes Columbia’s recent LEED Platinum for its 17-acre Manhattanville campus plan in West Harlem even more impressive. Leave it to one of the oldest and most historically rooted universities in the world to stake claim to the first Platinum of its kind in New York City. (And the first for a University plan nationally!) This estimable bit of green construction will only add to Columbia’s significant collection of LEED-certified buildings, which welcomed seven LEED Gold or LEED Silver endeavors in the last several years. Of course, construction is just one of many fortunate opportunities to advance sustainability in Manhattan—Columbia has devoted considerable effort to healthy local food, greenmarkets, vegetative roofs, and more efficient water treatment. Always a beacon in academia and leadership, students are offered a choice of twenty-four degrees in environmental study to complement thirty-three environmental research centers, while organizations such as the Earth Institute and Columbia EcoReps contribute to the active presence of the sustainability movement in everyday campus life.

95/99
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

Sustainability-focused degree available
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

Public GHG inventory plan
Yes

% food budget spent on local/organic food
55%

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share
Yes

Car Sharing Program
Yes

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
Yes

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees
Yes

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle
Yes

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus
Yes

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters
Yes

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers
Yes

School Adopted A Policy Prohibiting Idling
Yes

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Yes

School Offers A Telecommute Program For Employees
Yes
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of March, 2017.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

Email and Web Access Available
Yes

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms
45

Average Number of PC's per Lab
8

Network Access in Dorm Rooms
Yes

Network Access in Dorm Lounges
Yes

Fee for Network Use
No

Student Web Pages Permitted
Yes

Student Web Pages Provided
Yes

Partnerships with Technology Companies
No

Online Class Registration Available
Yes

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers
No

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
Yes

Description
Journeyed.com Apple Dell JandR Computer World

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses
Yes

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations
Yes

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Kathryn Saunders
Senior Manager, Visitor Relations

Address
Visitors Center - Columbia University
212 Low Library MC 4318
New York, NY 10027

Phone
212-854-4900


Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Low Library and Plaza
Butler Library
Postcrypt Coffee House
Ferris Booth Commons
Levien Gym
http://undergrad.admissions.columbia.edu/visit/virtual-tours

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Times Square
Greenwich Village
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Chelsea Market
Central Park
www.nycvisit.com/home/index.cfm

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Mon-Fri
9am - 5pm
212-854-4900

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Mon-Fri: 10 and 2; some Saturdays
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
No

Information Sessions
Not Available

Times

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Coach Directly

Advance Notice
2 weeks

Contact Email Address for Visit
ugrad-ask@columbia.edu

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Visiting Center

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available

Arrangements
Other

Transportation



Articles & Advice