Chicago, IL
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4 College Sophomore

Academics: It's great being a fine arts major at an actual art school. The program is so much better and funded. They have you take classes that skill you in many different fields of art.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: The classes here are so unique, while still teaching you exactly what you need. Most of the teacher are part time, and have jobs in their field. So they can bring back up to date industry expectations. All the teachers are extremely helpful.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: it has ups and downs. it depends on the types of dance you want to do. This is a great school for networking, but it is definetly not for everybody.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: It is an art school, so it offers an extremely large variety that formal schools just wont.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: There are so many options and different classes to take at Columbia. you can even take a Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings english class. The possibilities are endless. They really want you to take classes YOU are interested in and classes you feel you will benefit from.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 13th
    Best Course Variety
  • 15th
    Best Student-Faculty Ratio
  • 42nd
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 87th
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 103rd
    Smartest Professors

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Whitney Fox
Topeka, Kansas
Television Writing and Producing
View all previous student authors

Columbia College Chicago offers so much more than boring lectures, stacks of books, and busy work. You'll find every major operates on passion and is run by active professionals. Your academic program will be your solace and creative home—the place where you'll work on your craft, discover yourself, find inspiration, and refuel for further exploration.

You'll learn from the best—Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists, Emmy Award–winning producers, and nationally recognized artists, actors, designers, managers, and musicians. In every class, you'll get the personal attention you need because the average class has fewer than 20 students. And the best part? You'll start building your portfolio from day one. 

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Part-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 74%
  • 20 to 49 students: 26%
  • 50 or more students: 0%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: Yes
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • School of Fine & Performing Arts
  • School of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • School of Media Arts
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Cinematography and Video Production: 8%
  • Fine and Studio Arts Management: 6%
  • Marketing/Marketing Management, General: 4%
  • Photography: 4%
Graduation Requirements
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Cross-registration
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
Online Courses
Columbia offers students online courses in almost every major and also as alternatives to general core classes. Don't be fooled into thinking that online classes are an easier alternative to traditional classes; online classes require that you spend as much time per week as you would for a traditional class. A good rule of thumb is that you should plan to spend a minimum of three hours per week for each hour of credit. That's a minimum of nine hours per week for a three-credit hour class. Traditional courses provide you with a set time and day for class
meetings. Online courses provide great opportunities for the flexibility busy lives sometimes require; however, they also require self-discipline. It will be totally up to the student to login to class, retrieve the necessary information, post assignments, and attend class. Consider self-motivation seriously; the freedom to attend class at your convenience ends up becoming a problem for some online students.
You'll be using Internet, e-mail, and OASIS on a regular basis. You'll feel
more comfortable embarking on an online learning experience if you are
confident in the use of your own computer and other Internet
Best Places to Study
  • 1104, eighth floor - for its view and furnishings
  • The 24-hour Starbucks on North and Wells
  • 33 East Congress, fifth floor - There's a nice view, nice furniture, vending machines, and a new computer lab.
  • 618 South Michigan, basement computer lab
  • 618 South Michigan, fourth floor
  • 618 South Michigan, second floor - Plunk down on the twin-mattress-sized window sills; the marble is warm from the hidden radiators, and there's a great view to stare at.
  • 916 Wabash, fourth floor - If you want to "disappear" from any distractions, go to the second floor of the 618 Michigan building. But, if you don't mind some occasional noise and want to feel comfortable.
  • Caribou Coffee on Michigan and Madison - It's right across from Millennium Park, and the tables right up at the front of the store remind you that you are in one of the greatest cities in the world as you study like crazy.
  • The Field Museum, second floor - It's really quiet, and if you know someone with a membership, it's free.
  • Harold Washington Library -Lots of quiet corners, group study rooms (third floor), and views of Michigan Aveune. Open until 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday with weekend hours, too!
  • Harold Washington Library, ninth floor - The indoor Winter Garden's glass ceiling is beautiful, and it's always quiet. There are never many people up there, and it's so peaceful.
  • The Loft (916 South Wabash, fourth floor) - because there are AMAZING bean bag chairs, couches, a great view, and a microwave
  • The Underground Café - There's plenty of room to spread out homework on a table and get to work. It's usually pretty quiet, but, unlike a library, you don't feel horrible for chatting it up with friends that might wander by.
Tips to Succeed
  • Apply for scholarships, study hard, work harder, and always give your absolute best.
  • Don't be afraid of a challenge, and don't sell yourself short of what you are capable of.
  • Study abroad while you are in college. It's cheaper and the trip of a lifetime.
Did You Know?
  • Columbia College Chicago offers a January session for students to explore a topic in depth! You can earn up to four credit hours during January by doing research, traveling, interning, or doing community service or a workshop, and more.
  • Columbia College Chicago offers a "semester in LA" program for students to study their field of interest on a real Hollywood lot. Each semester is an intensive five-week session worth 12 credit hours.
  • All students at Columbia are invited to check out the new learning space on campus designed to bring together key academic support units into one location. The Conaway Achievement Project, Supplemental Instruction Program, and placement testing offer additional support to students seeking assistance outside of tutoring and other support provided by the Science & Math Learning Center, the Writing Center, accounting tutors, and the Foreign Language Lab.

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 12 responses

  • 18% Andy Richter - actor, co-host of "Conan" on TBS
  • 11% Paul Broucek - president of music, Warner Brothers Pictures
  • 11% Bob McNamara - CBS News senior news correspondent
  • 11% Janusz Kaminski - award-winning cinematographer
  • 7% Melissa Pinney - photographer, Guggenheim Award winner
  • 7% Mauro Fiore - Academy Award-winning cinematographer
  • 4% Bill Phillips - VP of original productions, TBS/TNT
  • 4% Steve Kmetko - former host/reporter, E! network
  • 4% Charles Robert Carner - director/screenwriter
  • 4% Bruce DuMont - broadcaster, political analyst
  • 4% Len Amato (BA ’75) – President, HBO Films
  • 4% Paul Broucek (BA ’74) – President, Music, Warner B
  • 4% Michael Goi (BA '80) – ASC President
  • 4% Tonya Pinkins, Aidy Bryant
  • 4% Kanye West
  • 4% Pat Sajak
  • 0% Pepe Vargas - director, International Latino Cultural Center
  • 0% Chester Gregory - actor in Broadway productions
  • 0% Mary Mitchell - columnist, Chicago Sun-Times
  • 0% Vandell Cobb - photographer, Ebony Magazine

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 83 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 83 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.



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