Columbia University in the City of New York

Also known as Columbia University

West 116 St and Broadway, New York, NY

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Campus image of Columbia University in the City of New York

Columbia University in the City of New York is a private research university in Manhattan, New York. Columbia University is the fifth oldest institute of higher learning in the U.S., founded before the American Revolution, and is an "Ivy League" university. A member of the Association of American Universities, Columbia University was the first school in the U.S. to confer an M.D. degree. It was also the first site in the United States where the uranium atom was split. Other "firsts" that came out of Columbia include the birth of FM radio, the laser beam, the first use of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), among many more pioneering inventions and patents.

Columbia offers degrees at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels, as well as professional degrees, in a comprehensive range of academic fields. It is ranked number one as a research university by the Center for Measuring University Performance. It shares first place in rankings with MIT and Stanford University. Columbia University receives fourth ranking overall among other universities in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

Columbia University has a particularly illustrious list of alumni, boasting more Nobel Laureates than any other educational institution in the world. Since 1901, when the Nobel Prizes were first granted, 79 Columbia University alumni, faculty, researchers and administrators have won the Nobel Prize. The first recipient was Theodore Roosevelt in 1901 (Peace), and the most recent was President Barack Obama in 2009 (Peace).

There are renowned Columbia alumni in nearly every career field, including nine Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, 29 Heads of State, 25 Academy Award winners, more than 100 American Academy of Arts and Sciences Award winners, at least 30 MacArthur Foundation Award winners, more than 40 National Academy of Sciences Award winners, and many more.


Columbia University in the City of New York was founded in 1754 by royal charter of England's King George II. It was founded as "King's College." It closed during the American Revolution, and reopened after the war in 1784 as "Columbia College." In 1857, Columbia College moved from its original location at Park Place, to 49th Street and Madison Avenue. It remained in this location for more than 40 years. In 1897, the school moved to its present location in Morningside Heights in Manhattan. Architect Charles Follen McKim designed the buildings at the new Morningside Heights Campus in a Roman classical or Athenian style. Many newer buildings now surround the original buildings on campus.


The academic calendar for Columbia University in the City of New York follows the semester format, with fall and spring "terms." There is also a Summer Study Abroad program in various locations, as well as several "Special Programs" abroad. The academic schedules for these programs vary, and further information should be obtained from the program administrators.

Colleges and Schools

Undergraduate students at Columbia University attend Columbia College (Liberal Arts degrees), The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Engineering and Applied Sciences degrees), or The School of General Studies (nontraditional Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees) on the Morningside Heights campus. Undergraduates will also have access to affiliated institutions such as Teachers College, Barnard College, the Union Theological Seminary, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, as well as the Julliard School.

The colleges and schools of Columbia University in the City of New York include:

  • Columbia College
  • School of General Studies
  • School of the Arts
  • School of Continuing Education
  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • School of International and Public Affairs
  • Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
  • School of Social Work
  • Graduate School of Journalism
  • School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • School of Law
  • Graduate School of Business
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Public Health
  • College of Dental Medicine

Student Life

There are numerous student groups and organizations at Columbia University in the City of New York, including the many fraternities and sororities that are active on campus. There are also many co-educational Greek organizations available. Greek Life has been active on the Columbia campus sine 1836. 

In addition to various academic, social, political, religious and military student organizations, there is a campus organization representing and supporting lesbian, gay and transgender students.

Community Impact (CI) is a non-profit community service organization on campus that involves Columbia students in assisting the disadvantaged communities of Morningside Heights, Washington Heights and Harlem.

On-campus housing is available, guaranteed for enrolled undergraduates. Residence halls are located at Columbia College, Hartley Hall, Wallach Hall, Livingston Hall, John Jay Hall, Furnald Hall and Carman Hall. Apartment-style housing is available in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Students at Columbia can enjoy some of the many performances from campus groups including the Columbia Players, King's Crown Shakespeare Troupe, Columbia Musical Theater Society, Black Theatre Ensemble, and the Columbia University Marching Band, among others.


The Columbia University school colors are blue and white. The blue is a light blue commonly known as "Columbia Blue."

The school mascot is the lion.

An old tradition at Columbia University is "Orgo Night," a custom that involves the Columbia University Marching Band playing music around campus for 45 minutes, beginning at the stroke of midnight, on the eve of final exams to distract students from studying for their Organic Chemistry final exam.

Another old tradition, which began prior to the American Revolution, is the lighting of the Yule Log. A troop of "soldiers" dressed as the Continental Army, carry the Yule Log from the campus Sun Dial to John Jay Hall, where it is lit as people sing Christmas carols and read aloud from traditional Christmas books.


The Columbia University "Lions" athletic teams compete in 29 intercollegiate sports, including:

Men's Sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Football
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Wrestling 

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Satellite Campuses

The Morningside Heights Campus in Manhattan (New York, New York) is the primary campus for most graduate and undergraduate studies. This campus occupies more than six city blocks. The campus will soon expand into "Manhattanville," a neighborhood north of its current location. This new expansion will extend the Columbia campus into West Harlem, with new buildings housing programs for business, arts, and some of the sciences.

Columbia University Medical Center Campus is considered its second campus, and houses all of the health-related schools for the University. The Medical Center Campus is located in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, 50 blocks north of the Morningside Campus. There are many hospitals nationwide and abroad associated with Columbia University's medical-health schools, and in New York these are New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York State Psychiatric Institute, the Payne-Whitney Clinic, and the Payne Whitney Westchester, among others.

A third campus for Columbia University is its Lamont-Doherty Campus, located in Palisades, New York, on the west bank of the Hudson River. This campus supports geologic and oceanic research, including seismic activity.

A fourth campus in Irvington, New York, supports the Nevis Laboratories.

There are additional Columbia University facilities throughout New York, and a satellite learning site in Paris, France, among others.

Community Life

New York City is a world-famous metropolis with many historic landmarks and sites, made up of many communities. Students attending any of the Columbia University campuses in the New York area will have easy access to all that the "Big Apple" has to offer, thanks to an excellent transport system.

Admission Requirements & Details

The admission details below may give an overview of the candidates Columbia University in the City of New York accepts. The details may include admissions application requirements and recommendations, as well as any college credits that may be transferred.

College Credits Accepted

  • AP Course Credits

Student Enrollment

Columbia University in the City of New York has a total student population of about 28,000, where graduate students make up roughly 5% of the student body.

Estimated Costs & Financial Aid

The items listed below are for informational purposes only and may not represent current tuition, fees, and expenses.

Tuition & Fees Information

  • Tuition is estimated to be around $56,000 per year for in-state and nonresident students
  • For part-time students, charges are between $1,600-$2,000 per unit
  • May offer prepaid tuition, allowing students to purchase tuition at current rates for future years.

Financial Aid Details

The information below lists the financial aid types students are receiving. Also shown are the percent of students receiving aid and the average amount of aid per student per year.

 Percent of StudentsAverage Amount
Any Financial Aid58%-
Receiving Grants & Scholarships52%$48,926
Receiving Student Loans14%$8,272

Academics & Student Services

Student Services

To help students and recent graduates, Columbia University in the City of New York may offer services including:

  • Academic counseling for students
  • Student employment
  • Assistance to find work

Graduation Rates

Columbia University in the City of New York has a very high graduation rate when compared to similar schools nearby.

Number of Year to GraduatePercent of Entering Class
Students Graduating in 4 Years86%
Graduating in 5 Years6%
Graduating in 6 Years2%

Specialized Programs & Accreditations

  • Dental Assistant Program
  • Endodontics Program
  • Health Services Administration Program
  • Law Program (more info)
  • Medical (M.D.) Program (more info)
  • Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Program
  • Nurse Midwifery Education Program
  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN) Program (more info)
  • Nursing (MSN, DSN) Program (more info)
  • Occupational Therapy (OT) Program (more info)
  • Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics Program
  • Periodontics Program
  • Prosthodontics Program
  • Master's in Public Health (M.P.H.) Program (more info)

Intercollegiate Athletics

Columbia University in the City of New York is a Member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with many of the sports belonging to the NCAA Division I-AA classification. The most popular sports played are listed below:

  • Baseball (Ivy Group)
  • Basketball (Ivy Group)
  • Track and Field (Ivy Group)
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Football (Ivy Group)
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Other Sports
  • Archery

Programs Offered

The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.

Get more information about the programs offered by Columbia University in the City of New York by clicking the request information to the right.

(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (PhD,...)


Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Business and Marketing Studies

Communications and Journalism

Computer and Information Sciences



English Language and Literature

Ethnic Cultural and Gender Studies

Foreign Languages and Literature

Health and Clinical Professions


Interdisciplinary Studies

Legal Professions and Studies

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mathematics and Statistics

Natural Resources and Conservation

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Physical Sciences


Public Administration and Social Services

Recreation and Fitness Studies

Science Technology

    Social Sciences

    Visual and Performing Arts

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    See a list of all the colleges and universities by clicking on one of the links below:

    Data Disclaimer

    Information displayed on this page has been obtained from Institution, State, and Federal data sources, including the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Survey 2010-2016. Information should be solely used for informational purposes only and may not be accurate for the current year. Contact Columbia University in the City of New York for official up-to-date information.

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