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Reviews 1207 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There Will Always Be White People – Columbia is perhaps the most "diverse" ivy, but is is still mostly white, wealthy, moderate kids. Furthermore, as an elite school, the culture tends to be rather homogeneous, even among non-white, non-national students. Politics vary, mostly siting in the moderate to liberal range. Shout out to my leftists, and there are some ultra conservatives around too.

Multiple religions are represented on campus, but not all religions are treated with respect. Judaism probably garners the most tolerance with its seemly both exotic and ubiquitous nature. Christianity is next, though people will still snicker about the more extreme campus ministries (the ones with plans for infiltration and global domination) and you will be stopped on the street and told that Jesus loves you at least 10 times during your freshman year. Hindu and Sikh students are present, but religiously very secluded, but do host events on holidays that are significant for these traditions. Muslims, in true American fashion, have been the target of school and state sponsored monitoring during times when members of these communities, particularly students, were organizing politically.

There are plenty of gays, though again most are white and fall into the moderate-liberal range. There is a small bunch of radical POC (people of color) queers I roll with sometimes, but the campus climate toward reservation and prep preclude gayness from being broadcast on a day to day basis (which isn't a bad thing). Again, the majority of the people at Columbia are straight and are either bro-ish (and thus have immature understanding of sex and sexuality, particularly about respect and consent) or prudish when it comes to sexuality. Don't get me started on the whole Columbia/Barnard thing. You will be devastated by the amount of concentrated immaturity and lack of consciousness in some of our "future leaders."

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: Hard Classes but Lackluster Professors – During lectures, most professors come off very boring, but only if you go to office hours and really get to know them, do thing become slightly more interesting. Also, classes are pretty tough since everyone here is an overachiever. Competition is stiff.

3 College Junior

Health & Safety: Average Safety Environment – During the school year, there is typically a crime (usually robbery) that occurs every two weeks. Though suspects are not students, it still makes me wary when when walking by myself.

4 College Junior

Diversity: Very Diverse – Columbia gathers students from all over the world from all backgrounds. People here are very open-minded from being exposed to all these different opinions.

3 College Junior

Weather: Gets All Four Seasons – At Columbia, it rains a lot in the spring, gets really hot in the summer, is windy in the fall, and snows a fair amount in the winter.

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: The More Subdued, the Better – Some places, especially in Union Square, the Lower East Side and Brooklyn, are best when not many people appear to frequent the place. The more subdued a shop appears to be, the better the atmosphere for studying and enjoying a meal with friends.

Nearest to campus, there is Smoke, El Porton and Max Cafe/Max Soha. Each of these places offer a chill atmosphere and awesome food.

5 College Senior

Health & Safety: Security Environment Review – Campus police are very visible, helpful, and professional.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I REALLY Enjoy It – Columbia is located in one of, if not the best, city in the US; however, the work load is so tough that I rarely get to explore the city. The small trips I do get are amazing, and even though the work load is tough, I love a challenge.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Food: I Expected More – With high tuition costs, I expected more out of Columbia dining. The food eventually becomes repetitive, so I resorted to cooking. Honestly, it's only a little better than cafeteria food.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Weather: The weather in NYC is crazy, but the proximity of dorms to classes makes it bearable. Classes are NEVER cancelled though. Rain, snow, or shine, classes are still held.

4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: I feel like almost everyone I know has some sort of interest of joining a frat/sorority; however, you're not judged if you don't join.

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: Extremely Diverse – Since Columbia is located in NYC, they do their best to accept the most possible diverse community that they can each year. There is a little bit of everything on campus; however, there does seem to be a somewhat prevalent Jewish presence.

3 College Sophomore

Majors: I'm Studying Economics – There are a couple of prerequisites to major in Economics at Columbia, but none of them have been to hard so far. I know that they will be come progressively more difficult, but I think I'll stick with it. I have to declare my major by the end of my sophomore year, and I'm pretty sure it will be Economics.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Too Nerdy for Sports. The fan support is absolutely terrible at Columbia. Everyone stopped supporting the football team halfway through the season (primarily because they ended up going 1-10). The basketball stands are relatively empty on a regular basis, and no one travels to cheer on any other sports teams because they play so far away. (Our home fields are a 30 minute subway ride away). Our running teams are good, just like our fencing team - but no one wants to brag about that.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Administration: Depends on the Area – In regards to the academic sphere at Columbia, policies are very strict for cheating and plagiarism. People can drink and smoke in the dorms though because most of the RAs don't care enough to make sure the rules are followed 100% of the time.

5 College Sophomore

Majors: My Potential Internships – I plan on having an internship next summer in the city of Chicago. I plan on interning with Northwestern Mutual because my father sells life insurance.

2 College Junior

Parking: Good luck finding parking on the surrounding streets. I'd say about 99% of students don't bring cars. It's New York City, what do you expect?

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Academics: It's Ivy League, and the professors are at the top of their respective fields. If you're intellectually curious and interested in academics, you'll have a great time.
The Core Curriculum can be hit or miss. It really is an amazing experience, but it doesn't always seem so at the time. Once you're done with it, though, you'll be nostalgic.

3 College Junior

Campus Quality: Interesting People, but Not Much Community – Columbia is a full of individualistic students, so there aren't that many school-wide events that everyone goes to or tons of rah-rah school spirit. Instead, it's a lot like the city: you meet people and then go out to dinner or to smaller parties (in dorms, bars, frats, or downtown). Some people hate how broken up the community is, but a lot of people like it.

5 College Junior

Academics: Small Seminars for Humanities Majors – I'm an Anthro major, and I've found the academic experience at Columbia to be amazing. The major is extremely flexible: just 3 medium-sized intro classes, and then 7 or 8 anthro electives. I've been able to take small seminars and lectures with professors who are the top in their field!

I'm sure it's different if you're majoring in one of the sciences, but humanities and social sciences majors (anthro, sociology, english, history, etc.) definitely have a lot of access to top professors.

5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Columbia has a postbaccalaureate program, which isn't as common as one would imagine. It is wonderful because they understand that as time goes on things change. Students may need other courses before applying to graduate school. The workload is hard when coming back after taking six years off from university, but it is doable.

5 Recent Alumnus

Majors: It is so nice to have a university that devotes faculty to postbaccalaureate students. A number of universities I considered were unresponsive and disinterested. I really love Columbia for this.

3 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: I Don't Have the Full Picture – There are security guards at the entrances to the university. They are helpful when asking for directions but I haven't seen them do anything besides sit there. The area surrounding the campus is much safer than it used to be. I have also never seen a campus with better security.

Recent Alumnus

Campus Food: I Don't Use – I don't use the dining halls. There are a few places on campus for postbaccalaureate students such as Brads. Outside of campus are a number of options as well as grocery stores for fresh food.

5 Recent Alumnus

Local Area: It's NYC – New York is the cultural hub of the United States and as a Columbia student you gain free access to museums like the MET and MOMA and discount tickets to places such as Carnegie Hall. If museums and classical music aren't your thing, there are more than enough sports teams in just about every sport, some of the locations are a bit more difficult to reach but others are just a train ride away. There are concert venues, parks, and free events throughout the city. You just have to be willing and able.

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Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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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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