Majestic and insulated were the words that came to mind as I walked through the gates of Columbia University. Located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan, Columbia University has an expansive quad, which is lined with stately buildings and dotted with green space. Overall, the city campus is inviting and secure.
Columbia is a medium size research university with approximately 6,000 undergraduates. Students enroll in either Columbia College or the College of Engineering. The University is proud of its long-standing, core curriculum. Whether enrolled in Columbia College or the College of Engineering, all students at Columbia are required to study the same “Core,” which accounts for up to 1/3 of their graduation requirements. With its small discussion based classes, the Core promotes collaborative learning, critical reasoning and strong writing skills. Students say that the Core sets the foundation and tone for their education: highly academic and mind broadening.
Our tour guide, an engineering major, told us that she was drawn to Columbia because she wanted to study engineering, but did not want a technical school. Columbia gives her the ability to explore other disciplines outside the engineering field. Like many students, she takes advantage of experiential learning and internship opportunities, both in the summer and during the school year. Since most classes are offered Monday-Thursday, students intern at Manhattan museums, TV studios, financial firms and other businesses on Fridays.
Outside the Classroom
Columbia is a residential campus; 95 percent of all students live on campus all four years. Students are involved on campus and feel a strong sense of community. Students consider Manhattan to be an extension of campus, and the University wants students to make the most of their city location.
Unique Academic Opportunities
Admissions and Financial Aid
Columbia is a Common Application School and takes a holistic approach when reviewing applications. Students must submit the SAT plus two subject tests or the ACT. The University does not Superscore. Three letters of recommendation are required. Students must apply to either the Columbia College or the College of Engineering. Columbia is need blind and meets full demonstrated need.
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