Location
New York, NY
Undergrads
7,236
Tuition
$47,246
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 999 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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Niche User

Academics: Use your own discretion. One student's heartless wench is another's ultimate educator.

3 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: The good things about most of Columbia's teaching assistants (TAs) are that they are easily accessible to their students, and they will try to work with students who are having problems in class. The bad news is that they are notoriously hard graders who are difficult to please, and they tend to be petty.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: There is a core curriculum that will take up about two years of your studies. Although the classes are helpful, if you aren't so sure what you want to do with your life, the core could also hurt you because it prevents you from being able to try out a lot of different things with your credits. No matter what you think, don't take more than 19 credits in one semester. It is not worth it; trust me.

5 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: A great Web site is http://culpa.info (CULPA Web site). You have to have the professor's name, but it will give you a review of that prof. It can be really helpful in picking classes. Be sure not to base all of your decisions on it, because sometimes, you may totally disagree. But if 10 people say that if they had a choice between lighting their hair on fire or taking some guy's class, and they pick the fire, I'd say steer clear if you can.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: The teachers are excellent, but you have to make sure by doing research before taking a class. There are some teachers that are definitely not worth spending your money on. Also, there are many brilliant graduate students who've taught the best classes that I have ever had. However, be wary of the graduate students who are tough graders, arrogant, and frankly, a waste of your tuition. Why do you want to come to Columbia to take a class with a graduate student, who, although may have excellent grades, has very little experience teaching?

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: Adjuncts are swell. The prestigious ones are a bunch of windbags held afloat by their egos alone.

3 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: The academics are intense. At Columbia, the teachers are uniquely committed to shaping the minds of all of their students.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: All of my teachers at Columbia have been truly excellent. However, this past semester, I had an amazing, fascinating, mesmerizing teacher who taught me the philosophy of aesthetics. I also had her for another class, and believe me when I say that this woman made me want to major in philosophy. All of my instructors have been real professors, with the exception of my teacher for a mandatory freshman writing class; that one was taught by a great teaching assistant.

2 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: Teachers are excellent. Even though you are placed in a big class, you have to make time to get to know the teacher so that you can have a good semester.

Niche User

Academics: Most of my experiences with teachers have been great. Columbia has a lot of grad students and TAs, but you would never know it. They are brilliant, young, and entertaining. Most of the time, all of my teachers have been accessible and approachable.

Niche User

Academics: Professors here are intelligent, provocative, and well-connected in their respective fields.

Niche User

Academics: There are some good and some bad, but as a warning, there's a wide range of teaching skills within the core itself. Some are awesome professors, and some are very poor. My freshman year, I had the ideal professor, the kind you dream of. He took us out for pastries and coffee. We went on a search for beauty in New York City, took walks in Central Park, and visited the Met and a modern gallery.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: I guess the teachers are like anywhere else. You have those who are so amazing that you can't believe you're in their class, and you'll have those that you won't be able to believe Columbia hired. That's college life, but there is a cool Web page that you can access through the Columbia Web site called `CULPA' that allows you to read students opinions on teachers. It helped me a lot second semester.

2 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: The teachers can really vary. I've had some excellent teachers, but plenty of mediocre ones, as well. In some math- and science-type areas, there are lots of unintelligible, foreign professors. Overall, I'd say the professors are pretty good, and they are more or less what you'd expect from a big research university. Most are pretty accessible. However, in some popular majors, the classes can be really large, so there's little interaction with them.

Niche User

Academics: The professors here are generally great. They are very knowledgeable. They all have high degrees and come from top institutions. There are some, however, that can be really smart but can't teach. But overall, professors are great. Take advantage of them. They're really interesting! They're always willing to meet up with students outside of class. Their availability is pretty good, depending on the professors. Most of them live nearby, so they're on campus pretty late.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Local Atmosphere: Manhattan is a vast playground with hip jazz clubs, trendy bars, low-key coffee shops, and charming restaurants featuring every imaginable type of cuisine. And then there is the typical New York touristy stuff like the museums, Times Square, and Central Park.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: I do not like the atmosphere of Morningside Heights. It is stuffy and overcrowded with too many screaming children and stroller moms. Get out into the real New York, away from the Upper West Side or Morningside Heights. Alphabet City, St. Mark's Place, the NYU area, Greenwich Village, TriBeCa, and Soho, all make up a thriving, exciting, diverse atmosphere. You can see all of the movies, concerts, ballets, dance performances-anything you can imagine. It's a wonderful city; and there is nothing like New York.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: New York of the hottest cities in the world. Stuff to stay away from: homeless people that don't perform on subway. We are in a recession, after all. Give your money to the talented bums.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: New York has got to be one of the greatest cities on Earth. There are several other universities in Manhattan, and thousands of other young people also populate the surrounding areas. Columbia is located in an exciting city that has a lot to offer. Steer clear of the trends and try to visit the Met as often as possible.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: Here's a valuable New York survival tip: if you ever see a crowd running away from something, don't be an individual; join the crowd, get out of the street, and run away with them!

4 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Local Atmosphere: New York City? Figure it out for yourself, it is what you make of it, and that takes effort, but it's all worth it.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: Columbia is located in the relatively quiet Morningside Heights neighborhood of NYC. It is a great place to sleep and study before heading downtown on the weekend!

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: You really need to do research if you don't know what is available in New York City. It is truly an amazing city! There are Broadway shows, museums, and great people.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: It's New York City. Isn't that enough said? There's New York University downtown, and there are tons of things to do over there in the village such as museums and clubs. You name it; New York has it.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: The campus is beautiful, and you will have so much fun on and off campus. You have the whole city to travel.

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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Sara Cervantes
Hometown
Austin, TX
Major
English and American Studies
Grad Year
2014
View all previous student authors

Columbia has a unique culture and school spirit. The intense workload and level of academic rigor bring students together in a culture of cozy complaint. Columbians constantly whine about their amount of work, but they also find a way to come together and persevere, and friendships are formed in this shared struggle.

Columbia is not for the faint of heart or those who need their hand to be held every step of the way through their college career. If you need help and seek it out, you will find it. But no one is going to sit down and explain everything to you, and Columbia can be pretty intimidating for that reason. However, this means that students are given the opportunity from the get-go to be independent and to decide for themselves what their college experience will mean for them. Columbia provides amazing resources and can help you achieve just about anything, or will at the very least encourage you to pursue whatever it is you want. The academics are amazing, and the Core Curriculum gives students a shared knowledge of Western thought, which is hugely influential in the way students will approach academics, careers, and life in general. The Columbia experience is an incredible one, and any student lucky enough to get in should definitely take advantage of such a wonderful, rare opportunity!

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