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Columbia University located in Manhattan, New York, United States was founded in 1754. CU has global hubs in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, Mumbai, Santiago and Nairobi. The institution runs twenty academic units and is in partnership with several institutions such as Teachers College, Barnard College, Union Theological Seminary, Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Juilliard School. Columbia being an Ivy League university holds pride in administering the Pulitzer Prize every year and has produced the highest number of Nobel Prize winners than any other academic establishment in the whole world. CU was the first academic institute to offer the M.D. degree in the United States. CU has also provided United States with three presidents including the current president Barack Obama.

Columbia University was established in 1754 as King’s College, being the oldest university in the state of New York, while also the fifth oldest in the United States. It is a private research institution now - one of the eight members of the Ivy League, and one of nine colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution.

The current location of the university is in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, where it encompasses more than six blocks. In addition, Columbia University manages four centers overseas: in Beijing, China; Mumbai, India; Amman, Jordan and Paris, France. It is also affiliated with a variety of institutions, some of which are Barnard College, Teachers College, and the Union Theological Seminary; joint undergraduate programs are available through the Jewish Theological Seminary of America as well as the Juilliard School.

Columbia University is the university whose alumni and affiliates have won the greatest number of Nobel Prizes, Pulitzer Prizes, and Academy Awards, compared to any other institution in the world. Former students of the university also include four United States presidents and 20 living billionaires. Being the only university-related research park in New York, it is also greatly contributing to the region’s economic growth by forming various relationships between the research and private sectors, while also creating new biomedically related business. The university has also been continuingly renovating its campus, erecting new buildings, which is a reflection of the constant improvement and development of the university’s programs.

Finally, to give some examples of rankings, Columbia University ranks 18th in the world in the 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 11th in the QS World University Rankings, and 8th in the  Academic Ranking of World Universities. Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism ranks first in the, Columbia Law School is 4th in the U.S. News & World Report, and Columbia Business School is 3rd in the world in The Wall Street Journal.

Columbia University does not simply offer good facilities to students, it also makes constant improvement to satisfy growing needs. There are about 20 libraries on campus that students describe as ‘comfortable, well lit, and plentiful’; they can become quite full during exam time, though, for which reason good planning is required. Classrooms are also very well-equipped, and the gym is probably the most impressive facility the university can boast with. It has a lot of weights, cardio machines, basketball courts, an indoor swimming pool, and so on. The student center is a very well-developed facility, too, with student mail services, restaurants, computer labs, auditoriums, and a movie theatre.

For fifty years Columbia University’s campus was located on Forty-Ninth Street and Madison Avenue, from where it moved in 1897. The campus is currently situated on Morningside Heights, which is a neighborhood housing a few other academic institutions. The aim of the university’s president at the time of the move was to build an academic village with more space, and now the university owns more than 7,800 apartments, occupying more than six city blocks, or 32 acres. Furthermore, the university has an extensive underground tunnel system, portions of which are still accessible to the public.

The university’s central administration offices and visitors’ center are placed in Low Memorial Library, which is considered ‘the architectural centerpiece’ of the campus.  Butler Library, on the other hand, is the largest single library in the Columbia University Library System, and is one of the largest buildings on campus. There are a couple of other buildings on the Morningside Heights campus which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For instance, Philosophy Hall is where FM radio was created, and Pupin Hall houses the physics and astronomy departments - this is where the first experiments on the fission of uranium were conducted by Enrico Fermi.

There are also a lot of newer buildings around the original campus. Some of them are the Sherman Fairchild Center for the Life Sciences and the Morris A. Schapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research. The Columbia University Medical Center is situated two miles away from the main campus, while the institution has recently bought 17 acres for a new campus, which is going to accommodate buildings for Columbia's schools of business and the arts. The Jerome L. Greene Center for Mind, Brain, and Behavior is also going to be built, where research will occur on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

All Programs Available:
  • Architecture, Building and Landscape
    • Architecture
  • Arts, Design and Crafts
    • Theatre
    • Performing Arts
    • Music
  • Business
    • Business Administration
  • Communications
    • Film TV and video
    • Journalism
  • Computing
    • Information Technology
  • Economics
    • Economics
  • Education
    • Secondary Education
  • Engineering
    • Industrial Engineering
    • Engineering Science
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
  • Finance
    • Finance
  • Health
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Health Occupations
    • Medicine
    • Pharmacology
    • Nursing
  • Human Studies and Services
    • Social Work
  • Humanities
    • Philosophy
    • International Relations
    • Art History
    • History
  • Law
    • Law
  • Philology, Languages, Literature
    • Language Courses
    • Literature
    • Language Courses and Cultural Immersion Programs
    • Philology and Linguistics
  • Sciences
    • Environmental Studies
    • Biology
    • Anthropology
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
Language of instruction


Type of school

Private University


+(212) 854-3587


524 Riverside Drive 2960 - Broadway, Code 5724 Suite 200, New York, The United States, 10027

More information about Academic Programs

Columbia University comprises two undergraduate colleges: Columbia College, which offers Bachelor of Arts degrees, and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), which offers Bachelor of Science degrees. The University also has one non-traditional institution, The School of General Studies (GS); it serves returning and nontraditional students, giving them the opportunity to obtain a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science through either full time or part time study. As discussed in the introduction, the University is affiliated with Teachers College, Barnard College, the Union Theological Seminary, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Barnard College and Teachers College are Faculties of the University.

Admission Requirements

Columbia University is the second most selective university by admission rate in the United States, just after Harvard.  Furthermore, Columbia is an extremely racially diverse school, considering that about 52% of students define themselves as persons of color. On top of that, about 50.3% of students receive financial aid.

No matter how selective the university is considered to be, though, they describe their admissions process as ‘holistic’, in which every single application is given a thorough examination. There is no minimum grade point average, class rank or SAT/ACT score one must obtain in order to secure admission at Columbia.

The applicants who have been successful are most likely to have done extremely well during their last four years of education, and are prepared for the challenging environment that Columbia University offers. Extracurricular engagement is of upmost importance, too, together with summer commitments and any other responsibilities and interests the candidate has been pursuing. The personal statement essay, short answer responses, and letters of evaluation also have great influence in the decision process.

Only the Common Application and the Columbia Supplement are accepted for application to the university. All candidates are strongly recommended to apply electronically. For international students, additional requirements are:

  • Minimum TOEFL score of 600 for paper-based, or 100 for new computer test or
  • Minimum score of 7.0 in IELTS or
  • If you have a 650 on the Critical Reasoning or Writing sections of the SAT, you are exempt from taking an English proficiency examination.

Most international students also submit SAT scores. If you take the ACT in place of the SAT, you must take the ACT with writing if possible in your country.

Students who are permanent citizens of the USA are considered in a need-blind manner, which means their application is reviewed without taking into consideration the financial aid they might require. On the contrary, all other students are being evaluated in a need-aware manner. International students are advised to estimate how much their family can afford to pay for tuition, and then apply for financial aid together with the regular application.


If you are an undergraduate, you will be guaranteed on-campus housing for the full four years of your education. Nearly all undergraduate students choose to live in the university’s residence halls, while the first year students are expected to firmly choose on-campus accommodation. Columbia College and SEAS share housing in the on-campus residence halls, which are nearly twenty-four.  First-year students usually live in one of the large residence halls, situated around South Lawn: Hartley Hall, Wallach Hall (originally Livingston Hall), John Jay Hall, Furnald Hall or Carman Hall. Senior students have a greater choice and can pick to live in a mix of either corridor- or apartment-style housing with their friends. On the other hand, the Columbia University School of General Studies and graduate schools have their own apartment-style housing in the surrounding neighborhood.

Here is some more information for the different types of accommodation provided – apartment shares, dormitory-style suit room accommodation, studios, one or two bedroom units. In apartment shares a number of students share an apartment, while each of them has their own room, and they are responsible for cleaning their room and common areas. These types of rooms are paid monthly. Dormitory style rooms can be either private or semi-private, while most floors and suits are mixed sex. Payment is made for the full semester. Studios are very limited and include a private kitchen and bathroom. The same applies for one and two bedroom apartments. Last but not least, there is an international house offered to students.

As far as dining is concerned, the options are extremely varied. First year students who live on campus have two meal options available to them, with each of them including a combination of ‘meals’ and ‘dining dollars’. If this is not enough, there is a substantial number of cafes and restaurants available on campus.

There is a subway station right next to the campus, which gives students access to the city of New York and all of the opportunities that it offers. As already mentioned, the main campus is located in the middle of Manhattan, so everything is extremely accessible and within walking distance.

Services and Activities

Activities students can do on the campus, located in the middle of Manhattan, are extremely diverse. The university boasts nearly 500 clubs and organizations, several dozen community service organizations, a very wide creative and performing arts community, and 31 varsity athletics, about 48 club sports as well as a good number of intramural sports.

Here are some notable categories of clubs and organizations:

Media and publications: The Journal of Politics and Society was the first undergraduate journal in the country to be distributed nationwide for sale at bookstores, and here are some other examples of Columbia University’s Media and Publications clubs: The Birch (Journal of Eastern European Affairs); The Blue and White; The Columbia Daily Spectator; Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism (CJLC); Columbia Political Review (CPR); The Columbia Review (Literary Magazine); The Proxy Magazine; Rhapsody in Blue; Tablet; Tectonic; Triple Helix; WBAR Radio; WKCR-FM.

Student Enterprises – in 1999 was established The Columbia University Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs (CORE) with the aim to encourage entrepreneurship on campus. CORE organizes a number of events, some of which are a business plan competition and seminars on different topics. Speakers have included Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and Blake Ross, inventor of Mozilla Firefox. Over $100,000 of seed capital has been awarded to students by the organization since 2006. CampusNetwork, a social networking site on the campus of Columbia University was created before Facebook existed, and as a final point we can also mention that the university provides New York City with a good number of engineering entrepreneurs. Over 100 technology companies have been established by Columbia University graduates over the past 20 years.

Greek Life is also very popular with 10-15% of students participating in sororities and fraternities. Dance, theatre, and music are very well represented by students, too. There definitely is a sporting club or organization option even for the more choosy ones!

The main gates of the campus are right on Broadway – one of the most famous streets in the world. Theaters, Concert Halls, Museums, Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Times Square, Soho, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Sports arenas are all within easy access for Columbia University’s students. The city undoubtedly offers extremely wide opportunities for enrichment and entertainment.

Furthermore, there are over 5,000 internships offered to undergraduates every year, and opportunities are open all year round. The university has formed strong partnerships with all kinds of institutions in New York City, which opens limitless prospects for the university’s students.

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