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Reviews 1050 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Only 10% of Columbia students are Greek. They throw several parties. No pressure for getting into one.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Good Enough – There are choices of getting a suite, single room, walk through double (a room split in half by a door or wall for two people), double, or suite. There are nice options on and off campus. Columbia tries to renovate the housing as much as possible and keep a social environment in them.

2 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Technology: Plenty of Labs – A lot of labs and a lot of computers in them. Always a computer available.

4 Recent Alumnus

Majors: The education I received and the relationships I forged are priceless. Columbia University's School of the Arts Theater Department gave me the opportunity to collaborate with exciting and talented artists - both students and faculty. I grew as an artist and a person. However, in terms of getting a job...not very helpful. But that's just the nature of art school.

1 Recent Alumnus

Parking: Cars are unnecessary and often a burden in New York City. In the ten years I lived there, I believe I only knew one person who had a car. I certainly never met a student with a car - it's just not a car-culture-city. There is no parking on campus and while there is street parking in the surrounding area, it can be incredibly difficult and frustrating to snag!

5 Recent Alumnus

Majors: The Playwriting MFA program accepts around ten students per year. To apply, you must submit two playwriting samples (one full-length and another full-length or one-act), a statement of artistic purpose and letters of recommendations from theater professionals. After your submission packet is received, an interview is scheduled with the head of the Playwriting Department.

5 Recent Alumnus

Majors: Ample Opportunity – Columbia University's School of the Arts internship program is excellent - if mostly due to the ample opportunities New York City affords. The school does have good connections and will help get your foot in the door.

3 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Smart but Hard to Find a Relationship – Girls here are very smart, but their intensity and focus makes it really hard to find one who has the time to date. Also, tensions between Barnard and Columbia girls complicate the whole dating scene.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: Professors Are Great – Top schools have top professors. As long as you get one who is willing to teach, there is a high probability that he/she will be amazing. Though there are mediocre professors as well, watching the reviews will help you find good professors. Those professors are amazing and can make class a joy. It's amazing how much you can learn in a week here.

4 College Sophomore

Weather: Other Than Rain and the Cold, Campus Is Beautiful – Columbia's campus is what really made me want to go. The hot summers and cold winters of NYC is not the best, but it does do wonders to the landscape. Inside campus, it can be like a wonderland in winter and a scenic park in summer. The only draw back is the rain. Whenever it rains, it floods the streets so that everyone wears rain boots. Umbrellas and rain boots are a must.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Ivy League Professors Tend to Be Very Smart but Also Very Busy – Columbia is an amazing school academically. This comes without saying since it is one of the top 5 schools in the US. I came to Columbia because I thought the professors were great. However, getting famous professors who are at the forefront of their specialty comes with some drawbacks. They often have their own research and priorities that may interfere with how often they are around. Of course, this depends on what major you are. History professors for example, would contribute more to the class when they are doing their own research. Environmental Science professors on the other hand, may be flying out to do research and give talks at various times throughout the year.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: You Have Everything You Need – The gym can get a little packed at typical hours of the afternoon, but there are all of the weights, machines, and activities you need. There are many libraries on campus, and they have many computers, scanners and photo copy machines at your disposal. Columbia has great events like StressBusters, where students give your free massage and cookies so you can feel less stressed from the assignments and upcoming exams.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: All Right – Since people are moving around, you can finds a parking spot. But again, in the city it's difficult to find one for your car. Having a car isn't necessary in the city since there are buses and trains that can take you anywhere you want at a good price.

4 College Sophomore

Local Area: The campus has a nice scenery and outside there are farmer's markets, diverse restaurants, and the school's theater to take advantage of. Riverside Park is a great place to run and experience nature at its finest in New York City. Columbia has a nice balance of the city life and nature if you need it.

1 College Freshman

Parking: It's NYC – Really, you don't need a car. Student parking doesn't really exist in NYC. Public transit or just walking is the way to go!

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Pretty Great! Columbia is hands down one of the most diverse colleges in the country. I've met people who are rich and poor, young and old, of all sorts of religions and sexual orientations, and from nearly every continent (sorry, Antarctica). The only area that isn't quite as diverse as the others, I'd say, is political beliefs, as the school attracts a slightly more liberal crowd. However, that doesn't mean that there isn't a solid group of conservatives, independents, etc. on campus.

4 Recent Alumnus

Administration: Don't Mess up and You Wont Have Problems – you decide how much this impacts you. certain dorms are harder than others and second/third time offenders will suffer the consequences.

4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Quality: Beautiful, but It's a Small Campus – columbia has a stunning campus. libraries are great. student center - is okay. there is always too little space on campus for student actitivies. and there is a sports center on campus, but the main one is 200 blocks away (ie subway trip away)

3 Recent Alumnus

Weather: Rain in Ny Sucks – buy boots, umbrella, rain coat. it will rain. it will be freezing. you will have to walk 10-15 minutes in such weather to get to class.

4 Recent Alumnus

Drug Safety: Normal Usage, No Pressure – Like most schools people use drugs. But, if you don't want to, there is plenty of room for socializing and ignoring the scene.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Campus Quality: Good but Not Great – The athletic center has a small track, basketball courts, weight rooms and a large gym for basketball, soccer, volleyball or any sport. However, the facility as a whole is a little too small and you will need to compete for space and workout machines.
The libraries are great and huge but their size is misleading. During exams, just study in your room and skip the 30 minute search for a seat in the library.
The campus is beautiful but Columbia cares too much about its grass. Consequently, you will not be able to play on the lawns often.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Good but Expensive – The dining around Columbia is diverse and delicious but will take a large bite out of your wallet.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Parking: Students can choose to take their chances on the street, but risk being towed or they can pay an obscene amount of money for a parking garage.

5 College Student

Transportation: The Subway Is the Best Way to Get Around – Public transportation is the best way to get around New York City. There is no necessary transportation to get around campus itself.

2 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: History Phd - Really Supportive and Warm Department. I am going to be getting my degree in History. Columbia has one of the best departments for the study of History in the country.

All of Columbia's humanities departments offer various fellowship opportunities for both grad and undergrad students. Search for the various "institutes" at Columbia to find hidden caches of money to fund a trip to Europe, Asia or elsewhere to do research. Or, work under a faculty member to help them publish an article.


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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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