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Reviews 1056 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Student

Guys & Girls: Lots of Bookworms – Since everyone at Columbia is so intelligent and have their own opinions, it does pose some conflicts. However, for the most part everyone is repsectful, kind and personable. There are a lot of bookworms though.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Student

Diversity: At Columbia University, diversity is huge. In one class you could have twenty different races alone. It's great to be able to meet people of such different backgrounds.

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: Greeks Are Here... but No One Really Notices/Cares – Unless they're hunting for a party. But then again, the parties in East Campus are usually better than the frat parties.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: We recruit plenty of people, but clearly our sports aren't what attract people to this school... I hear that our fencing team isn't too shabby though, along with our basketball teams.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Morningside Heights – We've got a lot of good options right in Mo-Hi. For example, Artopolis has amazing crepes for under ten dollars, which if you split with a friend (they are enormous), is a pretty good deal. Crumbs recently opened if you need a cupcake fix, there's a Pinkberry, Chipotle, and 5 Guys if you crave fast-food and fro-yo. Head to Tom's for a delicious Broadway Shake and to Koronet's for a big slice of cheap pizza. There are numerous ethnic choices as well, try Massawa for a unique Ethiopian/Eritrean dining experience, as well as the Mill for tasty Korean options. Then again, there is always Westside Market with delicious and tasty salads and sandwiches. Prices are great if you know what to get and where to go.

2 College Junior

Greek Life: Summary of the Frats – Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) -- Quite diverse, but chill in general. they know how to have a good time.

Phi Iota Alpha -- Mostly Hispanic. Nice guys.

Sigma Nu -- swimmers, and increasingly, fencers. Pretty cool guys in general.

Sigma Chi -- mostly Jewish. Join if you are Jewish. You will fit in and make cool friends. Some non-Jewish members are in the frat, though.

Lambda Phi Epsilon -- mostly a gay frat. Many crossovers from the LGBTQ community. Very tight-knit. Many Asians who are rather effeminate. They know each other well in all aspects. Join if you are gay and Asian.

Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) -- pretty cool guys. Had some problems with daterape/roofiesing people a couple years ago. Girls, be careful at their parties.

6 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Majors: The Excellent Journalism Program – Columbia University has the best journalism school in the country. If you have your heart set out to be a reporter, this school is the place to be. Some may say it is not worth the tuition and I would agree if you do not intend to pursue journalism upon graduation. However, listing Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in your resume helps to establish your career and/or solidify it. Also, the networking that the school provides with its' extensive alumni and many speakers who come to the school on a weekly basis provides the exposure needed by the students. The program is very compact, intense and demanding but if you can survive it, you have what it takes to be a professional journalist.

5 College Senior

Overall Experience: Besides stating the obvious about Columbia's Ivy League status, the campus environment gives students a sense of campus pride. The presence of the Low Library, Butler Library and Alma Mater statue right in the heart of the campus etches loyalty into students' hearts. The school fees is incredibly steep but the experience is worth the price you are paying. The staffs are always helpful and most professors have open door policies, making it easier for students to approach and ask questions. Classes are usually small, allowing added attention to be given to each student and professors are always happy to answer questions. In fact, if there are no questions asked, professors end up looking disappointed instead! If you can afford it or get a scholarship, Columbia University is a good choice.

5 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Health & Safety: Personal Safety – In general, students at Columbia University are very well sheltered within the university and in the surrounding area especially on Broadway street. There has been news of some thefts within campus and off-campus but it is not frequent. Students just need to be careful of their belongings, that is all. Other than that, walking alone back to dormitory late at night is still safe on Broadway street.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: ... but hard to get if you're not truly needy. If you are, it's a free ride (or close to it) for you.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Transportation: You Can Go Anywhere! MTA local service (subway, bus, rail) is reliable and well-planned, and goes all through the city. Greyhound and Amtrak, and all the major airline carriers, can get you anywhere in the country in the world.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Solid Safety – Crimes happen, but they would on any major college campus in a big city. Public Safety works hard to keep everyone safe, alert, and secure. School provides anti-theft software services for laptops, as well as escort and evening shuttle services.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Very Diverse – You honestly get all kinds of political opinions, religious beliefs, and ethnicity.

1 College Junior

Parking: there isn't a designated parking lot for students or faculty, therefore being located in NYC, across from a major hospital makes finding parking a nightmare. Aside from this problem there are also many areas where parking is strictly with parking meters.

4 College Sophomore

Local Area: Can't Beat New York – Being in New York City is awesome--never a lack of things to do. That can also be a problem when you really want to go out and do something, but also really need to get homework done. It is a tricky balance, but definitely worth it. NYC has something for everyone, whether it's Broadway, museums, parks, clubs-- you name it. And it's pretty easy to find student discounts for most stuff.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Overall Experience: Good, Sometimes Lonely – Columbia is good. You get here what you ask of it. NYC is fun and exciting but can be lonely. Especially at a school like Columbia. Its fun but can be overbearing. Balance is key.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: Best Security in the States – Everyone gets freaked out about NYC, but per capita NYC is the safest city in the States. While there are some people who steal in the nearby area, nobody steals on campus. To the point that you can leave your computer unattended (not advisable) in the library and it will be there 3 hours later!

4 College Junior

Academics: You Get What You Came for – Columbia is intense, though diverse. We all came here for a good education that is challenging and demanding, you defintely get that. Depending on the class, teachers grade hard or easy. Its nearly impossible to fail a core class but very easy with other classes. Your peers are who fuel the competition of grades. Everyone is out for their own.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: The Ivy League experience! Core curriculum! New York connections! Everything!

5 College Sophomore

Technology: Mac, Windows, Linux available - mostly Windows. Printers all over campus, 100 free pages a week. Network is usually good. Wi-Fi in most of the building, access growing. Most students have a laptop, usually a Mac. You could have either and do fine here. Few students have a printer.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Workload is tough and challenging but one learns a lot. Facilities are excellent. Unique student centered research and engagement curriculum. Excellent career and education office support.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Not Very Much at All. Apart from the odd cocaine snorter (it is an Ivy league school after all), drugs are confined to only a few people. Many smoked weed in high school and might smoke again if they come across people with it, and some really really like weed and get high several times a week, but about 70% of the people I know don't touch drugs and that rises to about 95% when you exclude the part-time and full-time weed smokers. Alcohol, obviously is not included.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: DON't LISTEN TO THE MYTH – So many people avoid Columbia because they have the illogical thought process of: Columbia is in New York. Furthermore, it is in Harlem. Harlem is poor. If I go to Columbia I will get stabbed.

New York has improved by leaps and bounds, especially under Bloomberg's tenure, and crime is really not an issue at Columbia. I've never felt unsafe, even at 3 or 4 am around campus. There are a few isolated incidents, a mugging here or there, but these are usually confined to people being unwise with their possessions.

For most people, as long as they aren't idiots about showing off their latest iPod or swinging around their laptop with a big sign saying "Look at me, I'm rich!", crime isn't an issue at all.

Also, campus police are big guys and quick to react for the most part.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Surprisingly Good, but Only for Some. I came to Columbia not expecting to have anything to do with Greek life - in fact, I think many of the people in the system believed the same. Actually, Greek life is a little bigger than most people imagined. The percentages cited here are wrong, its a bit more like 10-15% now of the total (read CC, SEAS and Barnard) population (smaller for Columbia girls because Barnard girls take up a lot of the spots) due to the war on fun in other areas, such as crackdowns on dorms.

In fact, many (most? probably not) of the most outgoing people are Greek, which creates a nice little community that you always see when out. It's not only meatheads that are Greek here either - while yes, some of the athletes may have slipped by the admissions process somehow, most athletes are nice guys and there are three non-athlete associated fraternities. I'd say a large proportion of the attractive girls here are in sororities (maybe not most, but definitely heavily overrepresented).

Downsides are that its a little shallow at times, and some non-Greek people snort at it but really this is not Animal House - it's still Columbia, and it allows some people to get more of a college experience while still enjoying everything Columbia has to offer.

Housing consists entirely of smallish brownstones that are still large enough to have decent parties at times (mainly in basements etc) which sometimes sprawl several floors. You don't have to live in the house.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Party Scene: Varied, Lots of Options – This varies whether you are Greek, rich or friends with a lot of upperclassmen. If you are not Greek, there are a few open parties available, with usually at least one open party during non-exam season (though this might decrease now that Pike and AEPi are shut, no one went to Psi U anyway).

For those who know people in upperclass dorms, East Campus is a common destination though the parties there tend to be a little cramped at times.

If you are rich and have a good fake ID (and I mean, really good, scannable and blacklight compatible) then you can venture downtown to the clubs which obviously are incredible, if a little pretentious at times. However, this requires people who are similarly wealthy/ID holding. The latter is obviously irrelevant when you turn 21.

There are several bars around campus that are relatively easy on ID (though you will still need one, it just means they don't have to be very good, photocopies sometimes work). These include Mels, 1020, the Heights (bouncer here stricter than most), and Cannons to name a few, each attracting their own kind of crowd.

Finally, if you are Greek, if you're a guy you often hold things (mixers, informal gatherings) at the house, and then usually end up at a bar afterwards.

So, overall you have a lot of choices, and often you'll have to pick whether to go to EC, frats, Mels etc etc in one night. Fake ID is a must though.


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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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