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Reviews 884 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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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.

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.

5 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: Easy as – New York City is the easiest US city to navigate. You can walk, bus, train or taxi. The only option I don't recommend is driving, tickets rack up quite quickly. Columbia is on the 1 local train. It is easy to transfer to the 2 or 3. I don't take the buses on route around campus but that is only because I live about 45 minutes away and take the subway.

2 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: Unless You're Completely Broke, Don't Bother – The title says it all. Unless you AND your family are nearly destitute don't bother applying for financial aid. You're better off looking at private funding and scholarships. Though I've heard you can leverage your offers with other schools to get a better deal when entering.

4 Recent Alumnus

Majors: Great Classes, Make Sure You Have a Game Plan – I graduated with a joint political science and economics degree. The program has great instructors, but classes for those instructors can fill up quickly. It's easy to graduate without a lot of specificity in your courses, but if you want to be prepared for post-university life, you'll want to build that specificity in yourself.

3 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: Good Academics, Not So Good People – Almost all of the people that I encountered at the school were stuck up for one reason or another- they thought they were smarter than everyone else, or richer than everyone else (which is probably true), or prettier/more handsome than everyone else. The sense of entitlement overran the place, so the people, in general, were not to my liking.

With that said, the school had a very good academic environment, if you're goal oriented and know what you want out of school.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Overall Experience: The courses are interesting but they are renewing the curriculum next year so it feels like my class is getting the leftovers.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Academics: Improve the Admin – The class schedule was not up by July 1 when we had to register on July 16. The administration could use some work in order to bring advising, scheduling, financial aid discussions to the standard expected of an Ivy League school.

4 College Senior

Administration: Very Safe Campus – Some people I talk to are concerned with the safety in a big city like New York. Columbia does an excellent job in providing adequate security and a feeling of safety on and around the campus. I never feel unsafe, and they quickly address any issues that present themselves.

5 College Senior

Overall Experience: I really love it here at Columbia. Living in NYC is fantastic, and the school tries to take advantage of the opportunities the location presents as much as possible. The professors are great, and the facilities are impeccable. I would highly recommend it to anyone serious about getting a great education.

5 College Senior

Drug Safety: What If You Don't Drink, Smoke, or Do Drugs? I don't drink, smoke or do drugs, and yet I am thoroughly enjoying my experience at Columbia. If you don't want to participate in those activities, it is still possible to be social and have a good time without feeling pressured.

3 College Junior

Campus Quality: Some Things to Do – Columbia University is an absolutely beautiful campus, and is very well maintained. Dodge Fitness Center is crowded sometimes, but a great place to work out, and Baker Field would be great, if it wasn't so inconvenient to get to. There are campus events sometimes, but the school leaves it up to the students to use New York as their playground.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Party Scene: There are a few bars in the Morningside Heights area, all of which card, and it is very hard to go out without having a fake ID. Even a fake ID is not helpful when it comes to going out in New York City, and it is definitely hard to be under 21. Best bet - find a local bodega that doesn't card and party in your dorm.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Diversity: There are so many different kinds of people at Columbia, from many countries, religious backgrounds, ethnicities, etc. There is an amazing atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance that pervades the majority of the student body, and I personally have had so many interesting experiences with exposure to new cultures and traditions.

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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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