Columbia University in the City of New York

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Columbia University - An overview

Columbia University, a prestigious Ivy League private research institution established in 1754, stands as one of the oldest and most distinguished universities in the United States. Located in New York City, its main campus in Morningside Heights showcases a blend of historic and modern architecture, housing 20 schools and colleges offering diverse undergraduate and graduate programs. With a strong emphasis on academic excellence and research, Columbia attracts top-notch faculty and fosters groundbreaking studies across various disciplines, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration through its research centers and global initiatives. Notable alumni, including past US Presidents and influential figures, attest to the university's longstanding tradition of producing leaders and innovators. Columbia's cultural and intellectual environment, coupled with a commitment to diversity, shapes a vibrant community that continues to impact the world through knowledge, innovation, and positive change.

Columbia University Ranking

Various ranking systems may produce slightly different results, but here are some rankings where Columbia has typically performed well:

  • Times Higher Education World University Rankings: In the 2021 edition, Columbia University was ranked 19th globally.
  • QS World University Rankings: In the 2022 edition, Columbia University was ranked 18th globally.
  • Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU): In the 2021 edition, Columbia University was ranked 16th globally.
  • U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities Rankings: In the 2022 edition, Columbia University was ranked 6th globally.

Graduate Schools Under Columbia University

Columbia University is composed of various schools and colleges that offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. Here are the major schools under Columbia University:

  • Columbia College: Columbia College is the undergraduate liberal arts college of Columbia University, offering a comprehensive curriculum in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
  • The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science: Also known as Columbia Engineering, this school provides undergraduate and graduate programs in various engineering disciplines, including biomedical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, and more.
  • School of General Studies: The School of General Studies is specifically designed for non-traditional students, including those who have had a break in their education or are pursuing a second bachelor's degree. It offers rigorous undergraduate programs across a wide range of disciplines.
  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers advanced degree programs in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences at the graduate level. It encompasses numerous departments and interdisciplinary programs.
  • Columbia Business School: The Columbia Business School is renowned for its MBA program and offers various graduate business degrees and executive education programs. It focuses on developing business leaders through a comprehensive curriculum and immersive learning experiences.
  • Columbia Law School: Columbia Law School is one of the most prestigious law schools globally, offering Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), and Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) degrees. It is known for its rigorous legal education and influential faculty.
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons: The College of Physicians and Surgeons is the medical school of Columbia University. It offers programs leading to the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree, as well as dual degree programs and postgraduate training in various medical specialties.
  • School of International and Public Affairs: The School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) focuses on global affairs and public policy. It offers interdisciplinary programs at the graduate level, preparing students for careers in government, international organizations, nonprofits, and more.
  • School of Journalism: The School of Journalism offers graduate programs in journalism, including a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Journalism and a variety of specialized tracks.

Some Notable faculty who had taught at Columbia University

Columbia University has had a rich history of notable faculty members who have made significant contributions to their fields of study. Here are a few examples of renowned individuals who have taught at Columbia:

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Before becoming a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg served as a professor at Columbia Law School, where she specialized in civil procedure, constitutional law, and women's rights.
  • Edward Said: Edward Said was a prominent literary critic, scholar, and public intellectual known for his work on postcolonial theory. He taught English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University for several decades.
  • Joseph Stiglitz: Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, has held various positions at Columbia University, including Professor of Economics and Chair of the Committee on Global Thought. He is known for his research on asymmetric information and the economics of inequality.
  • Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is a renowned literary theorist, philosopher, and feminist scholar. She has taught in the English and Comparative Literature departments at Columbia University, where she is known for her work on postcolonial theory and the subaltern.
  • Eric Foner: Eric Foner is a distinguished historian and expert on American history, particularly the Reconstruction era. He served as a professor in the History department at Columbia University and has authored numerous influential books on the subject.
  • Zora Neale Hurston: Zora Neale Hurston was an influential writer and anthropologist of the Harlem Renaissance. She taught anthropology at Columbia University and conducted groundbreaking research on African-American folklore and culture.
  • Elaine Pagels: Elaine Pagels is a prominent religious historian and scholar of early Christianity. She taught at Columbia University's Department of Religion and has authored several acclaimed books on the subject, including "The Gnostic Gospels."
  • Jeffrey Sachs: Jeffrey Sachs is an economist and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He has played a key role in the field of sustainable development and has advised various international organizations on economic policy and poverty reduction.

Alumni at Columbia University

Columbia University has a large and accomplished alumni network, including notable individuals who have achieved success in various fields. Here are some prominent alumni who have graduated from Columbia:

  • Barack Obama: Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, graduated from Columbia College in 1983 with a degree in political science.
  • Warren Buffett: Warren Buffett, one of the world's most successful investors and chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, earned a Master of Science in Economics from Columbia University in 1951.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a trailblazing U.S. Supreme Court Justice, graduated from Columbia Law School in 1959 and later taught at the school as well.
  • Langston Hughes: Langston Hughes, a renowned poet, novelist, and playwright associated with the Harlem Renaissance, attended Columbia University in the 1920s.
  • Amelia Earhart: Amelia Earhart, a pioneering aviator and the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, attended Columbia University's School of General Studies in the 1920s.
  • Julia Stiles: Julia Stiles, an accomplished actress known for her roles in films like "Save the Last Dance" and "10 Things I Hate About You," graduated from Columbia University with a degree in English in 2005.
  • Jack Kerouac: Jack Kerouac, a prominent figure of the Beat Generation and author of "On the Road," attended Columbia University but did not complete his degree.
  • Art Garfunkel: Art Garfunkel, one half of the legendary folk duo Simon & Garfunkel, graduated from Columbia College in 1965 with a degree in art history.
  • J.D. Salinger: J.D. Salinger, renowned author of "The Catcher in the Rye," attended Columbia University and took writing courses while studying there.
  • Greta Gerwig: Greta Gerwig, a highly regarded actress and filmmaker, graduated from Barnard College, a women's liberal arts college affiliated with Columbia University.

Acceptance Rate at Columbia University

Columbia University's admission rates have fluctuated throughout time, reflecting its standing as one of the most elite universities in the United States. The undergraduate admittance rate reached a historic low of 5.4% in 2016, rebounded somewhat to 6.1% in 2021, but then fell to 3.9% for the Class of 2027, indicating a rise in competitiveness. This is reflected by a considerable increase in applications, from over 36,000 in 2016 to more than 51,000 in 2021.

Statistics for admission to Columbia University for the class of 2021-22 fall semester are:

  • Total number of applicants: 32,033
  • Number of admitted students: 4,645
  • Acceptance rate of graduate: 5.2%
  • Percentage of international students: 16%
  • Percentage of students of color: 43%

The overall acceptance rate for the Class of 2025 is 3.9%, down from 6.1% in the Class of 2024. However, the admission rate for the Class of 2027 has marginally climbed to 3.9% from the previous year's rate of 3.73%.

Graduate Acceptance Rate at Columbia University

Composition of Undergraduate Students

6.66% Acceptance Rate
40462 Students Applied
2695 Students got Accepted

An acceptance rate of 6.66% makes it relatively tough to get admission.

Composition of Graduate Students

21987 Students Enrolled (On-campus & Online)
17834 Students enrolled exclusively in distance education
2195 Students enrolled in at least one distance education course
32 Students enrolled in top 7 Masters degree program
189 Total Graduate Programs Specialization
What is the admission policy at Columbia University in the City of New York?

Columbia University in the City of New York has an open admission policy. It will accept any student who applies.


Columbia University in the City of New York has been ranked 18


Acceptance Rate: 6.66%


Tuition for Graduate Programs: $51,194

Under Graduate Program Tuition: $60,532

Financial Aid

Average Amount of Financial Aid Awarded: $45,881

Average Amount of Institutional Aid Awarded: $55,773

Columbia University in the City of New York most popular Master's Degree programs with respect to student count are

  • Social Work : 502
  • Public Administration : 458
  • Law : 428
  • Computer and Information Sciences : 337
  • Operations Research : 328

Columbia University in the City of New York most popular under graduate programs with respect to student count are

  • Econometrics and Quantitative Economics : 267
  • Political Science and Government : 227
  • History : 112
  • Research and Experimental Psychology : 90
  • English Language and Literature : 84