Columbia University (officially known as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a private, Ivey League research university located in New York, New York in Upper Manhattan. The oldest institution of higher learning in New York and the fifth oldest in the United States, Columbia was established in 1754 as the Kings College by royal charter of King George II of England. Columbia’s most notable alumni include five Founding Fathers; several justices of the United States Supreme; nearly thirty heads of state, including three United States Presidents; Academy Award winners; and at least twenty living billionaires. Approximately 100 Nobel laureates have also been affiliated with the university as students, faculty, or staff.
Academic ProgramsOne of the world’s most important centers for research, Columbia is also known for its distinctive learning environment for undergraduate and graduate students in several scholarly and professional fields. Columbia University is made up of approximately twenty schools, including the school of Architecture, Planning & Preservation; Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; Barnard College; School of Business; College of Physicians and Surgeons; Columbia College; College of Dental Medicine; Engineering; Faculty of Arts & Sciences; General Studies; International & Public Affairs; Jewish Theological Seminary; Journalism; Columbia Law School; School of Nursing; Professional Studies; Public Health; Social Work; Teachers College; and Union Theological Seminary. The university also has a number of research outposts located in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Asunción, and Nairobi.
Through its vast number of colleges departments, students of Columbia University’s academic options are nearly endless. Columbia College alone offers upwards of 73 majors with over 50 concentrations and hundreds of electives. Students also have access to Columbia’s many libraries which hold over 12 million volumes, 160,000 current journals and serials, and an extensive collection of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, maps, and more.
Student LifeColumbia has a total enrollment of more than 27,000, including just over 8,000 undergraduates. Made up of an extremely diverse student body, nearly 40% of students belong to a minority group, approximately 30% were born outside of the United States, and over 50% identify themselves as persons of color. Columbia is also one of the most socioeconomically diverse top-tier colleges, with over 25% of students coming from families whose annual income is less than $60,000. On-campus housing is guaranteed for all four years and first-year students live in one of the large residence halls situated around the South Lawn, including Hartley Hall, Wallach Hall, John Jay Hall, Furnald Hall, and Carman Hall.
Home to several fraternities, sororities and co-educational Greek organizations, approximately 10-15% of students associate themselves with Greek life. A myriad of student-led clubs and organizations also exist for students to connect and become involved in the student community. As an NCAA Division I-AA school, Columbia sponsors nearly 30 sports teams and has a long history of athletic accomplishments.