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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5 College Freshman

Academics: Ivy experience, with LOTS of program and personal support networks in place

4 College Junior

Academics: It's one of the best nursing programs in the nation. It puts a lot of emphasis on clinical experience and real-life practice.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Academics: Academics depends on what department you are in.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: The academics are stellar and the work is rigorous. But the culture of stress on this campus is sometimes overwhelming.

6 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: I find my major incredibly fascinating and the community is small. I like that my major is unique and stands out among the many students who are political science or economics majors. I have only met a few other students who are my specific major, as it is under another bigger umbrella major.

1 person found this useful Report
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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

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 42 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Academic advisers
  • Class availability
  • Consistency in grading
  • Course subject variety
  • Curriculum flexibility
  • Gen-Ed requirements
  • Manageability of workload
  • Online course options
  • Quality of teaching assistants (TAs)
  • Scheduling/registration process
  • Technology in the classroom

Rate your school's professors on the following topics    Based on 52 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Accessibility
  • Communication skills
  • General knowledge
  • Interest in class subjects
  • Interest in students
  • Time spent in classroom
  • Use of teaching assistants

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