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Columbia University

Columbia University

About Columbia University

Established in 1754, Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. The university is comprised of three undergraduate schools – Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of General Studies – as well as a number of graduate and professional schools, including the highly ranked Business School, Teachers College, Law School and College of Physicians and Surgeons.

A Brief History

A brief history

Columbia University was established as King's College by royal charter of George II of Great Britain and renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the American Revolutionary War.

General info

General information

Columbia is a medium-sized, 4-year, private university. The New York City-based college is primarily a residential campus and offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.

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          3.7%                    1450 - 1560                   32 - 35                            3.7 - 4.0
Acceptance Rate   Average SAT Score   Average ACT Score   GPA Aim (top of class)

Quick facts about Columbia

  • Undergrad degree: 4 year liberal arts
  • Public or Private: Private
  • Setting: Urban
  • Residential Status: Primarily on campus
  • Number of Undergraduates: 6,298 (approx)
  • Number of Freshman: 1,392 (approx)
  • Acceptance Rate: 3.7%

Columbia By The Numbers


What is Columbia's QS World University Ranking? 18

What is Columbia's US News Ranking? 3

How many undergraduate fields of study does Columbia have? 80

What is Columbia's Student-Faculty Ratio? 6:1

What percentage of Columbia students are international students? 16%

What percentage of Columbia students live on campus? 92%

What is the median starting salary of Columbia graduates? $60,000 USD

How many varsity sports teams are there at Columbia? 31

How hard is it to get into Columbia? Very! The acceptance rate is below 6%.

Social Sciences
21% Social Sciences

Columbia's departments of Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, and Sociology are steeped in a tradition of intellectual distinction and social inquiry.

Social Sciences
15% Engineering

Columbia Engineering offers an unparalleled breadth of majors and minors, professional-level courses, hands-on design projects, and research and internships both in New York City and around the world.

Social Sciences
11% Computer Information and Sciences

Computer Science majors at Columbia study an integrated curriculum including areas with an immediate relationship to the computer, such as programming languages, operating systems and mathematics.

Social Sciences
6% Biology

Biology majors are offered a plethora of choice including study in molecular biology, neurobiology, developmental biology, cell biology, structural biology, biophysics and chemical biology.

Social Sciences
5% English

Columbia's Department of English and Comparative Literature offers offers a wide range of courses recognising traditional values in the discipline yet reflecting its changing shape.

Social Sciences
5% Mathematics

Maths majors are exposed to all the main branches of modern mathematics; algebra, analysis, and geometry, as well as their subdivisions and hybrids such a number theory and differential geometry.

Notable alumni

The exclusive Ivy League university has produced Supreme Court Justices, Oscar winners, billionaires and world leaders. Nobel-winning graduates include current U.S. president Barack Obama, physicist Isidor Isaac Rabi and biologist Richard Axel and economist Alvin E. Roth. Former US vice-president Al Gore (Peace Prize winner in 2007) attended Columbia as did acting siblings Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

US Supreme Court Justice

Initially a student at Harvard Law School, where she was one of nine women in a class of five hundred, Bader Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School where she graduated at the top of her class in 1959. At Columbia Bader Ginsburg made a name for herself as a quiet yet stalwart courtroom advocate for gender equality. In 1972, she co-founded the  American Civil Liberties Union’s women’s rights project and became the first female tenured professor at Columbia Law School.