New York, NY
Columbia University in the City of New York


113 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Olga
Describe the students at your school.

Dedicated and study-oriented students with very clear stated life position, overachievers in multipal areas of their lives.Mo...

Describe the students at your school.

Dedicated and study-oriented students with very clear stated life position, overachievers in multipal areas of their lives.Moreover, as good as their best opportunities.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

To imagine my ideal career and put all my efforts in order to succeed and to reach my desired life and fullfilling career.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

The sence of constant competition which stimulates the surpass of your own limits and shows that everything is possible, even though students should sacrifice sleep or personal time in order to present their best results.

Denis
Describe the students at your school.

Most of the other newly admitted students that I have met so far were very nice, however, a little bit shy. Nevertheless, I a...

Describe the students at your school.

Most of the other newly admitted students that I have met so far were very nice, however, a little bit shy. Nevertheless, I am sure everybody will loosen up a bit once the school year starts.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Dear Denis, I know you are utterly confused right now. Having spent the first seventeen years of your life in a country where education is neglected by a corrupt government, you have not realized yet how hungry you have grown for knowledge and for the real challenges of learning. There is no reason to worry, however. You will soon leave Russia and start a new life in America where countless educational and other important opportunities will begin to unravel before you. When you decide to enroll in community college and then become insecure because you are in a foreign country speaking a foreign language, try to stay confident. Do not run away from your fears because, let me tell you, by finding the courage to face them, you will step upon a road that will lead you to an Ivy League college in New York City -- a dream you cannot even imagine right now! As your future self, I promise you, you will regret not having addressed your fears early on. You are capable of achieving your dreams. Never cease to believe in yourself.

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

The most frustrating aspect right now is due to all the amazing resources and extracurricular activities offered by the school. I simply cannot choose which ones I will participate in -- there are just so many absolutely incredible opportunities!

Jay
Describe the students at your school.

The students for the most part are all very chill (at least with my experience). Love the mix of CC, GS, SEAS and the other s...

Describe the students at your school.

The students for the most part are all very chill (at least with my experience). Love the mix of CC, GS, SEAS and the other schools here. They each bring something new to the table and makes for a diverse and interesting student body.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

Brilliant, quirky, diverse, Type A personalities, Unpretentious nerds

Henry
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

I beleieve that Columbia University is an amazing institution with its ability to offer unparalleled internship opportunities...

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

I beleieve that Columbia University is an amazing institution with its ability to offer unparalleled internship opportunities in the heart of New York, a highly intelligent and diverse class, and world-renowned faculty that helps cultivate an engaging atmosphere of both real-world and academic achievement.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

As a high school senior, you're probably wondering what college is going to be like, curiuos about the amazingly talented friends you'll meet, and somewhat worried about classes and getting a good GPA. Rest assured that the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy has been a wonderful tool to help prepare you to deal with any academic difficulties and stresses that you may encounter. I'd even go so far to say that the workload at IMSA was more difficult than what you'll experience in college. Instead, focus on the incredibly diverse and multi-faceted array of individuals you'll meet during orientation week and throughout the semester. The true learning and fun you'll have in college will be through interacting with these students and faculty and discovering their pool of knowledge that will help you mature and gain a more comprehensive worldview. While Columbia University or any other school you apply to may be prestigious and filled with expensive labs and famous professors, the true value of a college education lies in the students who make up and define the university itself. Never forget that and always seek to branch out and meet more such individuals.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

As a freshman student, its easy to get lost in the sea of possibilities and the freshman residence set-up makes it somewhat difficult to expand your network and meet others.

Duo
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Columbia University in the City of New York offers countless opportunities for students of all backgrounds. The diversity of ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Columbia University in the City of New York offers countless opportunities for students of all backgrounds. The diversity of the campus is its initial draw; afterwards, you find that many of your peers may share the same interests as you. There are countless opportunities both on campus and around the city that caters to almost everything, from finance to scientific research to interior design. Columbia University is known not only for its groundbreaking research (it has more Nobel laureates than any other university in America), but also for the strength of its undergraduate program, defined by the well-known Core Curriculum that exposes students to a wide range of studies meant to widen the student's academic horizon.

What are the academics like at your school?

The academics at Columbia are challenging, but definitely doable. Classes are generally graded on a curve, and sometimes curves are very generous. What it all comes down to, however, is hard-work; even the brightest must study in order to maintain a good standing. Course difficulty also correspond with particular departments and majors; computer science and various fields of engineering, for example, are comparatively hard majors, and, as a result, the average GPA in these fields may be lower than a student majoring in Art History, for example.

Describe the students at your school.

The students at Columbia University come from all backgrounds; the diversity extends beyond that of religion and race. Columbia usually has an incoming class with students from all 50 states and over 90 countries; each student brings unique talents and attributes to a particular class. Columbia is also very generous in its financial aid policies, allowing students with an underprivileged background to attend without going into debt. Each individual is able to learn a lot from his or her peers; the diversity at Columbia is truly astonishing and only paralleled by a few other colleges and universities.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

One stereotype that is often held against Columbia (and other top notch ivy league colleges) is that students are cut-throat and the competitiveness of its student body often gets out of hand. I find that, while this may be true in very rare and individual cases, the student body in general is very caring and respectful. There are multiple tutoring stations on campus, many ran by Columbia students helping out their peers. Furthermore, even in classes where the grading is curved, you can almost always find a fellow student willing to extend a hand and help out whenever possible. Furthermore, few students "brag" or "show-off;" most are humble and realize that each student has his or her unique talents.

Elaine
Tell us about the sports scene on campus.

Sports are not a huge part of Columbia. The main sports center is uptown, so it is rather inconvenient to get there. Columbia...

Tell us about the sports scene on campus.

Sports are not a huge part of Columbia. The main sports center is uptown, so it is rather inconvenient to get there. Columbia doesn't have that much sports pride, but going to games to cheer for your friends can be a lot of fun.

What's the Greek scene like?

The Greek scene is not a huge part of Columbia. The sororities aren't very predominant. The fraternities are slightly more active on campus. Occasionally, they have parties or fundraisers. However, since the frat houses are brownstones, there is very little room so that parties are often regulated based on size and thus hard to get into. If you choose not to be a part of Greek life, you definitely will not miss out on the social scene. Even if you do choose to rush a fraternity or sorority, you can choose how involved you want to be with it.

Describe the students at your school.

Columbia students are extremely diverse and extremely open-minded about race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. You can always meet someone new and, after a conversation with that person, see the world from a whole new perspective. You will meet people who think in a completely different way than you. Most students are extremely politically active, predominantly liberal.

What are the academics like at your school?

Columbia's academics are very strong. Many of the intro classes are lecture based, but there are recitation sections that have only around 20 people. Also, professors always have office hours. I was actually surprised that some of my lecture professors knew my name, where I liked to sit, and what grade I had. Students study quite a lot. The main library is often full, but there are many other places to study. The academics are definitely geared towards learning for its own sake. The core requirements give you a wide range of knowledge. A well-rounded education is really emphasized, even in the engineering school.

Ingra
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell myself that college is a little more complicated than high school so just commit and stay focused, because that'...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell myself that college is a little more complicated than high school so just commit and stay focused, because that's all it takes. Keep your eye on the prize which is my degree leading to my career.

Alexis
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Columbia provides an Ivy League education, right in the middle of one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Columbia provides an Ivy League education, right in the middle of one of the most exciting cities in the world.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell myself not to try to take six classes every semester, because there just isn't enough time to do that and other things. I would say to take more math classes earlier, because it definitely does help in chemistry and physics later on, and to start going to the library to study freshman year, and not wait until junior year, because it really is easier to study there. Lastly, I would say to get out and do more fun things, because college isn't just about studying. Yes, classes are important, but that doesn't mean that they have to take over your life. Especially because I go to school in New York City, I would tell myself as a senior to really take advantage of that, and to get out and explore more - leave campus occasionally!

What's unique about your campus?

The best thing about Columbia is that there is the opportunity to learn so much. There is a core curriculum that everyone has to take, no matter what their major, and it's a great chance to study subjects that would otherwise be neglected.

Matthew
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Columbia provides one of the best college experiences in the nation, and that begins with New York City. I simply cannot comp...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Columbia provides one of the best college experiences in the nation, and that begins with New York City. I simply cannot comprehend spending my four years in another place. When you combine the greatest city in the world with one of the best universities in the world, you simply cannot go wrong. A great example of this is Kenneth Jackson's "History of the City of New York" class. Not only are you studying with a world-renowned scholar of New York, but you are also going into the city, as you are required to go on eight field trips with your professor! The same thing goes for other classes, such as Masterpieces of Western Music, where you are required to go to the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center. These opportunities do not exist at any other top quality institution. All that being said, there clearly are some negative aspects of the school. First, the administration (including the advising deans) are not helpful or intelligent. You pretty much have to figure out your own way through the Core and your major. Also, the university is not focused on generating school pride for its undergraduates. Our sports teams are terrible, and hardly anyone turns out for games. One thing that actually generates some fun on campus is Greek life, but after the recent Columbia drug bust, the university has cracked down on that aspect of the school. Being a member of the Greek community, it has been hard to deal with this, but we continue to carry on. One experience that I love every year though is tree-lighting. At the beginning of December on College Walk (the walking street that runs through the middle of campus), all of the trees are wrapped in white holiday lights, and are lit every evening. When they are lit for the first time, the entire school comes out to watch, and a number of a cappella groups sing holiday classics and the student councils pass out hot chocolate. It's wonderful to see the entire school come together before finals and break.

When you step off campus what do you see?

New. York. City. There is nothing else that needs to be said.

What do students complain about most?

The workload, the housing, and the advising are the biggest complaints.

What's the Greek scene like?

There are 13 fraternities and 4 sororities, but 2 more sororities are coming to campus next year. Greek life has doubled in size in the last 5 years, but still makes up only about 10% of the population. New rules on Greek organizations have reduced the number of house parties, but fraternities and sororities are still very active in off-campus events, intramural sports, and philanthropy and community service. The people who are in it generally love it, those who are not generally despise it.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

While the academics are outstanding, the simple truth can be summed up in three words: New York City. And everyone you will talk to says the same thing. There is no better place to go to school (or to live for that matter), and I knew I needed to be here for college.

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Tree lighting is by far my favorite tradition. College walk (the walkway that runs through campus) has trees lining the path, and on December 1st they are covered in white holiday lights and lit up as a capella groups sing. The student councils give out hot chocolate and cookies, and everyone takes a nice holiday break before finals.

Describe the dorms.

The dorms get better as you get older. Freshman dorms are either small singles (John Jay mostly) or medium-sized doubles (Carman and others). Upperclassman dorms, like EC and Ruggles, and suite-style.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Columbia is beautiful, and looks like a real campus than just happens to be in New York City. Old style buildings (ask an art history major for a better description) with turquoise roofs, and a fairly ugly student center.

What are your classes like?

Most of my classes are lecture style, and meet twice a week. A few are seminar style, and meet once a week. The lecture classes usually have a weekly discussion section, and your grade is made up of a midterm, term paper, and a final. Some classes may have two shorter papers.

Describe a typical weekend.

Because there are virtually no classes here on Fridays, Thursday nights are the big party nights. Greek organizations usually have small, closed parties, and many students head to the local bars, including Amsterdam Cafe, the Heights, and Mel's. Friday's are relatively dead, as most students catch up on sleep, intern, or do some work. Saturday nights are when Greeks have open parties, and many students hit the bars afterwards. Sundays are work, all day long.

Where is the best place to get work done on campus?

There are many different libraries on campus, the biggest and most popular being Butler Library. This is the most intense place to study, especially Room 209. People sleep there. There are a number of smaller libraries around campus that offer a more relaxed feel, including Avery, Northwest Corner (NoCo), and Kent (my personal favorite).

What are the most popular classes offered?

Some of the most popular classes offered are Principles of Economics with Sunil Gulati (President of U.S. Soccer), History of the Civil War and Reconstruction with Eric Foner, History of the City of New York with Kenneth Jackson, History of the Modern Middle East with Rashid Khalidi, and A Free Press for a Global Society with Lee Bollinger (President of Columbia University)

Tell us about your professors.

At Columbia, there is the expectation that every professor is brilliant. This, unfortunately, is not true. While many professors are brillant and at the top of their fields (see Eric Foner and Peter Awn), others are awful lecturers and seem to be here just for the research opportunities. I feel that the main divide is between the tenured professors and the associate professors. Those who have been at Columbia for many years tend to be tremendous, and their classes are the most popular. Those who are younger and have yet to prove themselves are often terrible - they grade harder, give way more to TAs, and are less approachable. My word of advice: take the classes with the big-name professors. They really are the best classes here.

Tell us about the sports scene on campus.

The sports scene is essentially non-existant here. People will occasionally go to football or basketball games, but because those teams have a tradition of losing (and losing big), most students do not care at all. I personally like to go to the games because I have friends on the team, all the events are free, and they give out tons of stuff (t-shirts, etc.). However, most people choose to avoid the teams at all costs.

What are the academics like at your school?

I tend to believe that Columbia offers the most challenging academic program of any school in the nation. I have friends at top schools all over the country, and no one's workload compares to mine. The reason for this starts with the Core. Every undergraduate is required to take a number of classes specializing in Western civilization, aimed at making students well-rounded intellectuals. The classes include Masterpieces of Western Literature, Contemporary Western Civilization, Masterpieces of Western Music, Masterpieces of Western Art, University Writing, Frontiers of Science, and Global Core (classes outside of the Western realm). These classes are capped at roughly 20 students, and are each a healthy amount of work. Most students who come to Columbia want to do the Core, and it is extremely rewarding. That being said, if you have no interest in doing it, you will hate your life, and I advise you to look at Brown or some other school that has no requirements. Most students spend their first two years completing the Core, and then they choose a major. The most popular departments here are Economics, Political Science, History, and Psychology. Often it seems like everyone is majoring in Econ! I started off as a Political Science major, but after taking a class with Eric Foner, I switched to History. The History department here is tremendous, boasting such luminaries as Foner, Barbara Fields, Ken Jackson, Alan Brinkley, Rashid Khalidi, and Richard Billows. American history is the most popular specialization, and the 19th and 20th century programs are the best. Since most classes here are small, most of the professors will learn their students' names (especially in Core classes). Most of the professors are approachable, and many are willing to help you with whatever you need. They all live in the city, so it is never hard to meet up with them if you need something. Because this school is, at its core, a liberal arts college, classes are not geared necessarily towards finding a job. That being said, it is not hard to get a job after college. Most people I know plan on going into the financial industry, and major investment banks and firms are always on campus recruiting. Surprisingly, you don't have to be an Econ major to work for them, but many people here are. Past that, a number of students are pre-law (like myself) and pre-med, and virtually everyone gets into top ranked programs across the country upon graduation.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

One of the things that sets Columbia apart is its diversity. We have students from all over the country, all over the world, and from all different socio-economic backgrounds. That being said, one of the common stereotypes about our students is that we are all crazy workaholics, and in a lot of ways this is true. Columbia does not hold your hand, and you have to work hard to succeed here. Students will spend hours in the library on any given weekend, and one midterms come around, the social scene basically shuts down. Also, we are known to all be overachievers, and this is also pretty true. Every student here did something remarkable in high school beyond getting stellar grades. Some students started their own companies, some are published authors, and others are even math or science prodigies. However, not many people here are great at everything. Everyone is essentially good at everything, but each student has one thing that sets them apart from the crowd.

Molly
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Instead of taking a year off before college, if I could speak to myself as a senior, I would say, “Have courage. Do not let y...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Instead of taking a year off before college, if I could speak to myself as a senior, I would say, “Have courage. Do not let your fears discourage you.” I have learned that procrastination is dangerous because it gets in the way of progress; without it, I may have had an Associate’s Degree in Nursing today. This period in my life was very difficult because going to college seemed to be an impossible feat: I was afraid. It’s hard to know what to expect, because some people portray college as a colossal task. Although it is challenging, it has brought about positive changes in my life that I never anticipated. Had I not taken that bold step to begin attending college, I may not have discovered what I wanted to do with my life: help others. I have surprised myself by exceeding my academic expectations and maintaining a 3.8 GPA. College has made me a more knowledgeable person, formed character in my life, merged my path with that of new friends, and implemented in me a passion for learning that I never possessed. Most of all, I know now that people should welcome frightening learning experiences ahead.

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  • Tuition & Fees
  • $49,973
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  • 7%

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