Academics

Location
New York, NY
Undergrads
7,236
Tuition
$47,246
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
More statistics . . .
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Reviews

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College Junior

Academics: I have not started classes yet.

College Junior

Academics: I have not started yet.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: The Core Curriculum is great, it allows you to explore interests without getting in the way of your major or study abroad programs.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Registration is really and fun, in my personal opinion. Professors are great an surprisingly approachable.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: It's exactly what you came here for. World-class academics.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 67th
    Best Course Variety
  • 69th
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 157th
    Smartest Professors
  • 862nd
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 908th
    Best Technology in the Classroom

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

Columbia is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world, and it is easy to see why. The University attracts top-notch professors who are generally knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their chosen fields of study. Most, if not all, professors offer weekly office hours in which the complexities of a lecture or seminar can be clarified and discussed in a friendlier, one-on-one setting. That being said, some faculty members have egos too large to worry about individual undergrads and are generally not concerned with teaching in a comprehensible way. Luckily, these professors are few, as most instructors appreciate genuine interest and perseverance on the part of students.

However, figuring out exactly which professor with which to take a class or even which classes to take can often be a daunting process. Students are often frustrated with the lack of helpfulness coming from advisers, and the task of planning out class schedules and making sure to fulfill all requirements often falls entirely on the students. Resources such as CULPA (Columbia Underground Listing of Professor Ability) are helpful in this process and provide student-written reviews of professors, including teaching styles, descriptions of workloads, and harshness of grading. Columbia is considered very academically rigorous, and students generally have heavier-than-average workloads. This is due in part to the extensive core curriculum which consists of specific required courses and more general requirements. This core curriculum, on top of the requirements for individual majors/concentrations, means students have to take lots of classes in order to graduate in four years (which is necessary at Columbia—rarely will a student be here for more than four years).

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
6:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
1,480
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
1,257
Total FT Faculty
3,617
Faculty with Terminal Degree
100%
Average Faculty Salary
$133,945
Full-Time Retention Rate
96%
Part-Time Retention Rate
97%
Graduation Rate
95%
Programs/Majors Offered
175
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 77%
  • 20 to 49 students: 15%
  • 50 or more students: 8%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • Columbia College
  • The Fu Foundation School for Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • School of General Studies
  • School of Nursing
  • School of the Arts
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 5%
  • Law: 2%
  • Public Administration: 2%
  • Social Work: 2%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • Foreign languages
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
Study abroad
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Cooperative education program
  • Cross-registration
  • Double major
  • Dual enrollment
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Exchange student program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Liberal arts/career combination
  • Student-designed major
Best Places to Study
  • Avery Library
  • Hungarian Pastry Shop, at a corner table
  • Lerner Hall, in a comfy chair
  • Sixth floor of Butler Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Be who you are, and trust that you will find people that you like and who like you. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen-there are all kinds of people at Columbia.
  • Don't be afraid to march into any administrator's office if you need help or guidance. Nobody will ask you if you're doing OK, but they will stand up and listen if you shout that you need help, whether it's with academics, your personal health, your roommate, or your mother.
  • Explore. The more adventurous you are at Columbia and New York, the more little and big gems you'll discover. The city contains lots of thrills and charms, all waiting to be stumbled upon by you.
  • Time management and stress reduction are key, especially at a university as rigorous as Columbia. As inevitable as procrastination is, learning to start early on assignments is crucial in order to avoid panic as deadlines approach. Additionally, managing time leads to reduction of stress, which can affect your mental, emotional, and physical health. It is always important to remember that you are more than just a GPA, and that your well-being should always come first.
Did You Know?
  • Bring your swim shoes because Columbia University requires all of its undergrads to pass a swim test in order to graduate. The test consists of swimming three lengths of the pool without stopping. It is the bane of all seniors trying to fulfill every last requirement.
  • Columbia offers a wide range of classes to satisfy the PE two-class requirement, from scuba diving to skiing.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 42 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 52 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.

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 6 responses

  • 42% Barack Obama - 44th U.S. president
  • 17% Alexander Hamilton - Founding Father
  • 17% James Franco - actor
  • 8% Allen Ginsberg - poet
  • 8% Jack Kerouac - writer
  • 8% John Jay!

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