We have a fantastic and rigorous Core curriculum - it is the academic trademark of our university. Core class have under 20 people in them. Otherwise, it's pretty typical - you can have a major and/or concentration(s), and take electives.
Great quality of life. The workload can be a little too demanding, but the NYC atmosphere, amazing diversity and general attitude on campus is positive.
There is a Core Curriculum, and a modified Core for the Engineering school. Class sizes vary. Research opportunities are possible, but can be hard to get. Tons of notable faculty. Lots of study abroad opportunities. Workload varies, but is generally pretty intensive.
The food is pretty bad and housing is mediocre for the most part, but everything else is amazing!
There are many general requirements here at Columbia as the Core is the major initiative in academics. There are classes ranging from writing to the study of art and music. Engineering also has its own core that has a focus on the basics in math and the sciences. This is all done to give you a background in whatever field you choose to pursue. The workload is quite large as there is ALWAYS work to be done. But they amount of resources here is incredible and you can always get help if you seek it.
Housing at the school seems very nice for the location and the fact that our school is a bit older than many others. The library system is one of the best and the neighborhood is really calm and had many places to eat. There are even places open late into the night which is excellent for students who work late into the night.
Core Curriculum (taken by all students in Columbia College) - Masterpieces of Western Literature (2 semester Great Books curriculum), Contemporary Western Civilization (two semester Western political philosophy curriculum), Frontiers of Science (plus two more semesters of science), University Writing (one semester writing seminar), Global Core (two semesters of non-Western classes), foreign language (4 semesters)
Has some of the nation's foremost scholars in most disciplines, but notably I have personally worked with Gary Okihiro and Andrew Delbanco.
Research assistantships easily attainable if desired.
Classes range from seminars to 200-person lectures, depending on which classes you sign up for.
Grading is tough, there's a lot of work, but it works out.
Most majors require around 30 credits, concentrations require between 15 and 25 (depending on the course of study).
Few study abroad opportunities through school, but possible through other affiliated programs.
Housing is pretty nice for NYC housing, and the dining halls are relatively decent. Very safe. Overall, very crowded; we don't have much space for each student, in the dining halls, student center, in the dorms, etc.
The core is large, almost too large. It accounts for at least 1/3 of your total coursework.
Housing is okay, but there is not enough of it. The campus, library, neighborhood are all wonderful. I generally feel safe on campus. The one hindrance on my quality of life is community relations. For starters, there's Barnard. I didn't even know the place existed until after I stepped on campus. As an early decision applicant, this is something I would like to know. Columbia advertises its male: female ratio as 50:50. However, factoring in Barnard that becomes 1:2. This is not about dating life, it is about the blurred sense of female identity on this campus. The relationship between Barnard and Columbia is never made clear. Barnard claims to be one of the undergraduate colleges of Columbia University. However, Columbia never lists Barnard ANYWHERE on their website stating that Barnard is an undergraduate college. What are we left with? - Barnard students who claim to be Columbia Students and Columbia Students who look down on Barnard students. It doesn't help that the hierarchy is already set up before we meet the girls at Barnard. They are thrown into our orientation program but after that certain Columbia events are: "for students of Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science." It doesn't help that they have considerably lower admissions statistics either. I don't think that we Columbians would have an issue with the fact that they get to register for OUR classes before we do, or that they get OUR diploma, if they had statistics closer to our own. Again, this is not a comment about Barnard so much as it a comment about the need to clarify what Barnard is. Is it a college of Columbia University? Things need to be clarified, both for Columbia Students and for the students at Barnard. And, if there is uncertainty about this with the Columbia bureaucracy, I have a suggestion: we need to either absorb the school or sever the ties. No more of this messy "affiliated" jargon, because what does that actually mean.
You are required to fulfill the core curriculum. Class are for a grade. It is competitive.
Housing is not great. I think dining should be cheaper and more available to upperclassmen. I think there need to be more University sponsored events.
Core curriculum of humanities, arts
2 semesters science and 2 semesters PE required
Very challenging academics with a lot of support. Lots of opportunities to do whatever you want.
Core Curriculum of classes that all students take
many study abroad opportunities for most majors
access to professors at undergraduate and graduate levels
many students take more credits than minimum 'full time'
major advising depends on department
housing is somewhat expensive but nearby apartments are generally more expensive
great libraries around campus
on-campus dining is ok but most people don't keep meal plan all four years
community relations sometimes tense because of columbia expansion; generally fairly good on a person-to-person level
generally quite safe
There is a core curriculum at Columbia--both for the College and School of Engineering. There is academic advising for everyone, as well as pre-professional advisors and major-specific advisors for upperclassmen. There are study abroad opportunities for everyone, majority of students study abroad at least 1 semester by the time they graduate. 79% of classes are capped at 22 students, all core classes are included in this statistic. Most classes are curved and all professors have office hours for students to attend.
very safe campus, wonderful community relations, all facilities are student-accessible. there is a closed campus, and everything is within walking distance.