4.5 out of 5 Stars
Very challenging academics with a lot of support. Lots of opportunities to do whatever you want.Quality of Life
Now it is on the common app with a supplement. They offer early decision. There are essays, interviews, required tests.Level
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.Quality of Life
The food is pretty bad and housing is mediocre for the most part, but everything else is amazing!Admissions
ED and RD options available. Common application, supplement. Contacted for an interview if necessary.Level
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.Quality of Life
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.Admissions
CommonApp, supplement, early decision and regular decisionLevel
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.Quality of Life
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.Admissions
When I applied - (binding) Early Decision, unique application, 1 essay question and many interesting short answer questions about ourselves.Level
You are required to fulfill the core curriculum. Class are for a grade. It is competitive.Quality of Life
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.Admissions
There is an early decision and regular decision option. It uses the Common Application. There is an interview process however it is not guaranteed. Our school only offers need based financial aid.Level
Core curriculum of humanities, arts
2 semesters science and 2 semesters PE required
supplement to Common Ap
I applied regular decision
Need blind and full need met (no official merit aid)Level
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.Quality of Life
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.Admissions
When I applied the Columbia application was unique and different than the other colleges that I applied to. It asked you questions about why you felt the school was for you and even questions about what types of books and publications you liked to read.Level
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 departmentQuality of Life
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 safeAdmissions
Common Application and supplement
early decision available (I did regular)
need blind admissions
full need met with financial aid
no merit scholarships
alumni / current student interviews availableLevel
The core is large, almost too large. It accounts for at least 1/3 of your total coursework.Quality of Life
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.Admissions
When I applied, there was a unique application, outside of the common ap. Now, Columbia operates on the Common Application, making it all the more difficult to get in. I can only speak for the older application, but it really tries to get to know you personally.Level
The center piece of the Columbia academic experience is the Core Curriculum. The Core takes about 1/3 of total academic time at Columbia. Freshman year, students take Literature Humanities, an all year course, and either Frontiers of Science or University Writing each semester. Literature Humanities serves as an overview of the major works in the western cannon; in the summer before entering Columbia, students are instructed to read Homer's Iliad. Other key works are The Aeneid, Crime and Punishment, Pride and Punishment, and To the Lighthouse. Frontiers of Science is a lecture and small-scale scale course. Notable Columbia professors deliver lectures about what is currently happening in Science; after lecture, PhD. candidates lead seminars with a maximum of 16 students. Similarly, University Writing, the final required core class for first years, ensures that all Columbia freshman, regardless of origin or past academic experiences, learn to write a university level paper. In addition to these courses, the core also contains two physical education requirements, four semesters of foreign language (this can be placed out of with a high AP score), two Global Core classes (courses that focus on a non-western region), two science courses, Art Humanities, Music Humanities, and Contemporary Civilization. Contemporary Civilization is the centerpiece of the Core and, in reality, the Columbia Education. Founded in 1919, Columbia Professors created Contemporary Civilization in the aftermath of the first world war. Originally called Peace Studies, Contemporary Civilization instructed students in the groundbreaking philosophical ideologies that have shaped society. Currently, Contemporary Civilization students begin with Plato's Republic, read many works by Aristotle, Euripidies, Epictitus, St. Augustine, Kant, Rousseau, Hume, Foucault, and many other influential thinkers.
Professors are required to hold office hours twice weekly. In this time, professors are required to be in their office with no obligations; their main duty in this time is to interact with students--whether for academic concerns or other guidance. This has been one of my favorite elements of my Columbia experience. Professors are so accessible, friendly, and eager to help and get to know students.Quality of Life
Housing is great at Columbia, especially as you get older. Many of the upperclassmen dorms are converted New York City Apartments. I will have a single for all four years of college.
Columbia has 25 libraries, and one, if not more, is open at all hours of the day. Moreover, all of the libraries are gorgeous and offer different options as different students have different preferences for studying.Admissions
Columbia has an application independent from the Common Application. There are 2 short answer questions and one essay. The two short answer questions are fairly straight forward; in general, they encourage the applicant to describe what features of Columbia are most enticing. The essay allows the applicant to create something completely unique. For instance,I wrote about how I am a terrible dancer.
Columbia has regular decision and early, binding decision. Alumni interviews are offered if there are alumni living near the applicant.Level