Columbia University is New York City’s only Ivy League school. The University’s main campus spreads across six blocks of the upper west side, in the picturesque neighborhood of Morningside Heights. Not surprisingly, Columbia University students typically become engrossed in the myriad of activities associated with living in New York City. Nonetheless, there is a great sense of community on the Columbia campus, particularly among the undergraduate student population of just over 8,000. Worldwide, students can network with over 60,000 alumni.

Columbia College, the undergraduate school of arts and sciences, is the oldest part of the University, founded in 1754. It is committed to providing the best general education curriculum available anywhere in the country, an undergraduate experience that engages students in an ongoing discourse on knowledge and ideas.

The program stresses small seminars in which students read and discuss fundamental works in the arts, humanities, and sciences, and then develop their understanding of them through critical analysis, class discussion, and writing. In many ways, it is students’ interests and ambitions that set the path for coursework and discussions. Columbia University stresses close interaction between professors and students, with the goal of developing students’ abilities to reason, to formulate ideas, and to communicate their thoughts clearly.

Columbia University provides an outstanding undergraduate grounding and is a particularly apt choice for students interested in pursuing graduate academic work, particularly in research-based disciplines. Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. It is the oldest, and one of the best, engineering schools in the U.S. Columbia University is committed to giving all students, even first-years, first-hand research experience. It also gives students a wide range of opportunities to pursue cross-disciplinary studies and to combine a bachelor of science degree with a minor in the liberal arts.

It is hard to conceive of an intellectual interest that could not be pursued at Columbia University. The school offers undergraduate study at Columbia College (formerly known as King’s College), the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of General Studies (which is oriented to the needs of returning and non-traditional students). Graduate and professional programs are offered through Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts, the Graduate School of Business, the School of International and Public Affairs, the Graduate School of Journalism, the School of Law, the School of Nursing, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, and the School of Social Work. The University also has a School of Continuing Studies, and is affiliated with four separate institutions: Barnard College, Teachers College, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary. While each of these schools enjoys a reputation for excellence, Columbia University is particularly renowned for its Graduate School of Business, its School of Law, its School of International and Public Affairs, and its Teachers College.


Acceptance Rate

Columbia acceptance rate

SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

Columbia University SAT score range

ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)

Columbia University ACT test score

Application Deadlines

Early Decision
Early decision application deadline: November 1.
Applicants are notified December 15.

Regular decision
Regular decision deadline: January 1.
The decision is sent by April 1.

Transfer application deadline: March 15.
The decision is sent by Late March/ Early April.

Admissions Criteria

Freshmen Admissions
Number of 2020 (Class of 2024) applicants: 40,203
Enrolled: 1,392
Yield: 62%
Acceptance rate: 6.1%

Early Decision Admissions
Number of 2020 (Class of 2024) applicants: 4,460
Admitted: 650
Acceptance rate: 14.6%

Transfer Admission Statistics
Number of transfer applicants: 3,108
Transfer applicants admitted: 176
Transfer acceptance rate: 5.7%

Middle SAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 700-770
SAT Math: 730-790

Middle ACT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
ACT Composite: 33-35
ACT English: 35-36
ACT Math: 31-35

Standardized Test Requirements

Columbia does not require the SAT/ACT SAT/ACT not required

Columbia does not require the writing portion Writing portion not required

Columbia does not require the SAT subject tests SAT Subject Tests not required

* Student-athletes must still take either the ACT or SAT in accordance with Ivy League recruitment requirements.

Score Card

Graduation Rates

Columbia University graduation rate

Loan Defaults and Rhodes Scholars

Columbia score card

Salary After Attending

R&D Expenditures

Campus Safety

Score Card Information

Graduation Rates
4 years: 87%
5 years: 93%
6 years: 96%

Loan default rate: 1.8%

Total Rhodes Scholars: 28

Salary after attending: $83,300

R&D Expenditures: $947.5 million

Campus Safety
Sex offenses: 10
Robberies: 2
Aggravated assaults: 1
Burglaries: 22
Car thefts: 0

Financial Aid

Net Cost and Total Expected Cost of Attendance

Columbia University financial aid

Average Net Price By Income

Additional Information

Tuition, room and board (2020-2021): $76,340

Total estimated cost of attendance (2020-2021): $79,814

Net Cost
Average: $21,828

By income
$0 to $30,000: $8,916
$30,001 to $48,000: $4,287
$48,001 to $75,000: $5,887
$75,001 to $110,000: $18,637
$110,001 and more: $42,119

Graduates with student debt: Not reported

Average student debt at graduation:  Not reported

Columbia is committed to meeting 100% of each student’s demonstrated need — including international students.

Student Body

Student Residence

Student to Faculty Ratio

Columbia University student to faculty ratio

Student Population

Additional Information

Student to Faculty Ratio: 6 to 1
Women: 47%

Student Population
Total: 31,077
Undergraduate: 8,216

Student Residence
In State: 18%
Out of State: 65%
International: 14%
Unknown: 3%

Columbia student population

Columbia University seal

Columbia University

This page was last updated in November 2020.