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Columbia University

the basics
Location
2960 Broadway
New York NY 10027
Undergrad Enrollment
5,500
Type
Private
Setting
Urban
Tuition
$ 37,500
Room & Board
$ 10,000
5 reasons it’s cool
  • Hello, diversity! More than 40 percent of Columbia students identify them­selves as students of color.
  • The Manhattan location means the greatest restaurants, theater, concerts, shops, bars, and clubs in the world.
  • Columbia holds the nation’s Nobel record: Seventy-three alumni and current or former faculty are Nobel Prize winners.
  • The university meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted freshmen.
  • Dual degrees are available from Julliard and Columbia, as are bachelor’s/graduate programs in law or international affairs.

Big ideas begin here.

As Good as It Gets

Columbia expects a lot of its students and in return gives them the best education possible for their hard work. Most students enroll in either Columbia College (CC) or the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). CC offers about ninety majors, the most popular of which are English and economics. All CC students must complete the Core Curriculum, a set of small, discussion-based classes that use important texts in literature, philosophy, science, art, music, and history. SEAS offers sixteen majors, including the popular biomedical/medical engineering, and has its own Core Curriculum. In addition to classes in literature or history, music or art, and university writing, SEAS Core classes include chemistry, physics, calculus, computer science, and a professional-level course that gives students hands-on experience. A renowned research university, Columbia offers all undergrads opportunities to work on groundbreaking research projects. And with an impressive 5:1 student-to-faculty ratio in CC and a 7:1 ratio in SEAS, students get lots of personal attention.

Strike Up a Tune

The night before the organic chemistry final exam—an evening known as Orgo Night—the Columbia University Marching Band stomps into Butler Library to distract studiers. It then travels around bothering—er, serenading—students studying in their rooms. Among the stops is the residential quad of Barnard, where women merrily throw trash at band members from their dorm windows.

Live and Learn

Whether on campus or off, you’re likely to find Columbia students engaged in spirited debates about everything from hip-hop to the classics. But don’t mistake Lions for nerds. While students here are devoted to their studies, they also know how to balance work with play and tend to wear their love for their school on their chests. During the week, students—almost all of whom live in campus housing—usually limit their socializing to the student union, the site of many meetings and events, or the dorms, where many students make their closest friends. But on the weekends (which sometimes begin on Thursday), students take advantage of the millions of different activities the city has to offer. About 10 percent to 15 percent of students go Greek, and just about everyone gets involved in at least one or two of the campus’s more than four hundred student organizations and clubs.

Big City Campus, College Town Feel

Columbia is one of Manhattan’s gems. Unlike most schools in the city, Columbia actually has a campus—and a beautiful one at that. Situated in the Upper West Side’s Morningside Heights neighborhood, the main campus harks back to nineteenth-century Paris with its Beaux Arts architecture. Currently, the campus takes up more than thirty-two acres on six blocks, but there are plans to expand to Manhattanville, the neighborhood just to the north. With Columbia, Barnard, the Union Theological Seminary, and the Jewish Theological Seminary all within a few blocks, Morningside Heights feels like its own college town, packed with restaurants, bars, and bookstores. Lions can also be found checking out lectures, performances, and parties on campus or in the dorms. On the weekends, students often venture out farther, enjoying concerts, cultural events, bars, clubs, restaurants, or museum exhibits in other parts of the city, which are easily accessible by the subway (there’s a 1/9 stop right in front of the main campus gates).

The data presented here refers to Columbia College. For more stats on SEAS and other colleges at Columbia University, check out http://college.sparknotes.com.