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 under 7,000. 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.