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Columbia University in the City of New York (Columbia)

West 116 St and Broadway, New York, NY

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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.

Get More Information About Columbia University in the City of New York

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, SAT/ACT scores of students that were accepted, as well as any college credits that may be transferred. This information can be used to get a better idea of your chances of getting accepted to Columbia.

Admission Requirements & Recommendations

  • High School G.P.A. and School Records are Recommended
  • High School Academic Ranking are Recommended
  • Letters of Recommendation are Required
  • SAT or ACT Test Scores are Required
  • TOEFL for ESL Students are Recommended

College Credits Accepted

  • AP Course Credits

Admissions Test Scores - SAT Exam, ACT Exam, etc...

SAT ® scores for students that were accepted Fall 2010

 Score Range (25th to 75th Percentile)
SAT ® Critical Reading690 - 780
SAT ® Math700 - 790
SAT ® Writing690 - 780
SAT ® Total Score2080 - 2350

ACT ® scores for students that were accepted Fall 2010

 Score Range (25th to 75th Percentile)
ACT ® English30 - 35
ACT ® Math31 - 35
ACT ® Composite Score31 - 34

Acceptance Rate Table - Chances of Getting Into Columbia

The table below lists the chances for admission at Columbia University in the City of New York.

 Number (Percentage)
Granted Admissions2,498 (10%)
Accepted Students That Enrolled1,391 (56%)

Student Enrollment

Columbia University in the City of New York has a total student population of about 25,000, where graduate students make up roughly 68% 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

  • Annual tuition is estimated to range between $45,000-$54,000 for both in-state and out-of-state students
  • Per unit charges are around $1,600 for part time students
  • May offer prepaid tuition, allowing students to purchase tuition at current rates for future years.

Columbia University in the City of New York oversees several professional schools that manage the various programs, curriculums, research facilities, and more. Listed below are the professional schools along with their estimated annual tuition:

  • Dental School (Tuition: $53,000/yr)
  • Medical School (Tuition: $50,000/yr)
  • Law School (Tuition: $54,000/yr)

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 Aid61%-
Receiving Grants & Scholarships53%$37,608
Receiving Student Loans17%$7,208

Note: The estimated default rate of students taking federal student loans in 2009 was around 2%.

Academics & Student Services

Student Services

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

  • Online course work available
  • 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 Years85%
Graduating in 5 Years8%
Graduating in 6 Years0.1%

Specialized Programs & Accreditations

  • Nurse Midwifery Education Program
  • Law Program (more info)
  • Dental Assistant Program (more info)
  • Endodontics Program
  • Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics Program
  • Periodontics Program
  • Prosthodontics Program
  • Occupational Therapy (OT) Program (more info)
  • Physical Therapy (P.T.) Program (more info)
  • Health Services Administration Program
  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN) Program (more info)
  • Nursing (MSN, DSN) Program (more info)
  • Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Program (more info)
  • Master's in Public Health (M.P.H.) Program (more info)
  • Medical (M.D.) Program (more info)

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 (Ph.D.,M.D.,...)

Business and Marketing Studies

Legal Professions and Studies

  • Law (D)
  • Advanced Legal Research (D, M)
  • Legal Professions and Studies

Public Administration and Social Services

Social Sciences

Health and Clinical Professions

Communications and Journalism


Mathematics and Statistics

  • Statistics (B, C, D, M)
  • Mathematical Statistics and Probability (M)
  • Applied Mathematics (B, C, D, M)
  • Math (B, C, D, M)
  • Mathematics and Statistics


Computer and Information Sciences


Liberal Arts and Sciences

English Language and Literature

Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Nutrition (C, D, M)
  • Dispute Resolution (M)
  • Mathematics and Computer Science (B)
  • Sustainability Studies (M)
  • Behavioral Science (C, D)
  • Ancient Civilization Studies

Visual and Performing Arts

  • Cinematography And Film (M)
  • Drama (B, D, M)
  • Visual and Performing Arts (B, M)
  • Art History (B, C, D, M)
  • Film Studies (M)
  • Music (B, C, D, M)
  • Music Theory and Composition (D)
  • Dance (B)
  • Jazz and Jazz Studies
  • Fine Arts and Art Studies

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Epidemiology (C, D, M)
  • Biology (B, C, D, M)
  • Neuroscience (B, C, D, M)
  • Biotechnology (M)
  • Biostatistics (C, D, M)
  • Biochemistry (B, C, D, M)
  • Conservation Biology (M)
  • Molecular Biology (C, D, M)
  • Bioinformatics (C, D, M)
  • Pharmacology (C, D, M)
  • Pathology, Experimental Pathology (C, D, M)
  • Ecology (C, D)
  • Genetics (D, M)
  • Microbiology (C, D, M)
  • Biophysics (B)
  • Anatomy (D)
  • Physiology (D, M)
  • Cell Biology and Anatomical Sciences (M)
  • Biometry, Biometrics
  • Toxicology
  • Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology
  • Animal Genetics
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Philosophy and Religious Studies

Physical Sciences

Natural Resources and Conservation

Foreign Languages and Literature

  • East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics (C, D, M)
  • Spanish Language and Literature (B, C, D, M)
  • Middle Eastern and Semitic Languages, Literatures and Linguistics (B, C, D, M)
  • French Language and Literature (B, C, D, M)
  • Slavic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics (B, C, D, M)
  • Comparative Literature (B, C)
  • Classical Languages, Literatures and Linguistics (B, C, D, M)
  • German Language and Literature (B, C)
  • Italian Language and Literature (B, C, D, M)
  • Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
  • Russian Language and Literature
  • Latin Language and Literature
  • Ancient Greek Language and Literature
  • Portuguese Language and Literature

Recreation and Fitness Studies

Ethnic Cultural and Gender Studies

  • United States Studies (B, M)
  • East Asian Studies (B, M)
  • African-American Studies (B, M)
  • Russian Studies (C)
  • Latin American Studies (B, C, M)
  • Ethnic Studies (B, M)
  • South Asian Studies (M)
  • Western European Studies (M)
  • Central, Middle and Eastern European Studies (C, M)
  • African Studies (B, C)
  • Near and Middle Eastern Studies (C)
  • Regional Studies (B)


  • Mathematics Teacher Education (C, D)
  • Education (C, D, M)
  • Education, Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances (C, D)
  • Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education (C, D)
  • Science Teacher Education (C, D)
  • Education, Teaching Individuals with Orthopedic and Other Physical Impairments (C, D)
  • Educational Leadership and Administration (C, D)
  • Education, Teaching of Individuals with Mental Retardation (C, D)

Science Technology

  • Science Technologies (B)

Library Science

  • Library Science, Librarianship

Other 4-Year Private Colleges Nearby

The list of nearby schools has been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to Columbia University in the City of New York.

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