Dismiss notification

Interested in this school?

Please type at least the first 4 letters of the school name.

Columbia University in the City of New York Reviews

Check out reviews left by other students or leave your own review. You could win a free scholarship.

  • 01/07/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    95 out of 95 people found this review useful. 1 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Columbia is the perfect school for any student that has an interest in diversity. So many different types of people attend Columbia, and they all have their own unique interests and talents, and it is great to see how we can all come together in one classroom. Columbia is the perfect school for anyone who thrives in an urban setting, because no other city can compare to New York. Columbia is great for anyone that is passionate about learning and knowledge. There is nothing better than knowing that you are surrounded by people who love to learn and work hard to achieve their goals, because this only helps make your own goals seem more feasible.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be afraid to take chances. If you're thinking of applying to Columbia, but are hesitant because you don't think you'll have what it takes, apply anyway. You may just surprise yourself. Taking chances is one of the most important actions that has to be taken at a university like Columbia. The work is hard, but you need to be able to take risks and challenge yourself, because it is the only way in which you’ll succeed at Columbia. In connection to taking chances, remember where you are, and take advantage of every opportunity that Columbia has to offer. Columbia has so many different resources for jobs, internships, and research opportunities, and it is so important to put yourself out there and try to make a name for yourself. While a Columbia degree can get you many places, it will only go so far; the career placement opportunities that Columbia has can definitely help you go so much further.

    Bang for the buck

    Everyone always talks about how expensive living in New York City is, but in reality, it doesn't have to be! Columbia is great in the sense that it allows for students to take full advantage of all the cultural opportunities available, whether it comes in the form of free tickets to the best art museums in the world, access to amazing concerts, and more. I was lucky enough to receive a free ticket to see the NYC Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. Not many people can say they had that chance! While Columbia is expensive in regards to tuition and the expenses that come with living in NY, all the opportunities that Columbia provides definitely make up for it!

    Am enjoying being here

    As happy as I am to be home for winter break, I cannot deny how much I miss my life at Columbia. Everything about the college experience at Columbia is amazing. There is something about the atmosphere of Columbia that is indescribable. It's hard to feel angry or upset while there. It's impossible to feel irritated when you walk outside and you see Butler Library, or when you look at all the students congregated on the steps of Low, or when you see all the trees lit up along College Walk. Columbia’s enclosed campus in Morningside Heights truly allows for the development of a sense of community and the creation of a family with your peers. This connection that is felt to the school extends to NYC as well. There are so many things to do on campus, but there is literally an entire world outside the Columbia gates filled with so many things to do. Making midnight runs to Tom’s diner after watching an episode of Seinfeld or grabbing a jumbo slice of Koronet’s pizza are two events that make the Columbia experience unique. Columbia’s incredible atmosphere, in combination with the tremendous amount of freedom and excitement that comes with living in NYC, makes Columbia an amazing place to learn, socialize, and experience life and all its changes.

    Am learning a lot

    The amount of learning that takes place in one semester at Columbia is truly amazing. I have learned more in such a short period of time than I would have ever thought possible. As much as we may all complain about how extensive the Core Curriculum is, it really is one of the aspects that makes a Columbia education so unique. I love sitting in my Lit Hum class, surrounded by students majoring in literature, physics, anthropology, math, and even the engineering students, discussing the literary merits of Lysistrata and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Aside from learning about the great literary works of the ancient world, Columbia has taught me so many other valuable lessons that have nothing to do with academia. Living in Morningside Heights has taught me how to live and function in one of the most urban places in the entire world. I have become an expert at navigating the NYC subway system. I have learned how to walk the streets of NY with the confidence of someone who has lived in the city their entire life. I have learned the location of some of the best places to grab a slice of real NY pizza. Columbia's status as an Ivy League institution is well deserved, in that it provides an excellent education in regards to not only academia, but to life as well.

  • 09/14/2009

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    47 out of 52 people found this review useful. 1 person found this inaccurate. 2 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Anyone who excells both academically and socially. And, it is a perfect match for the urban student looking to live life in the city.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of your environment; there are amazing internship opportunities that aren't available anywhere else in the world. And, try to immerse yourself into the culture of NYC, or even abroad through one of the university's many study-abroad programs.

    Bang for the buck

    It's hard to say that any education is worth almost 50k annually, however, an Ivy League is as close as you'll get.

    Will enjoy being here

    The university is very unique in that it effectively combines a closed-campus environment in the middle of the country's biggest city. Overall, it's a good balance that any urban student will enjoy.

    Will learn a lot

    You can't go wrong academically with an Ivy League. You will get the some of the best education in the entire world at Columbia.

  • 12/07/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    44 out of 44 people found this review useful. 1 person found this inaccurate. 3 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students with great diversity of interest. At Columbia, engineering students dance everything from hip-hop to ballet, wrestlers follow the pre-med track in hopes of becoming pediatricians, college students connect the psychology and astronomy, and everyone has amazing access to the opportunities of New York City.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do understand that you are going to an extremely urban school, which comes with expenses and just an awareness of the city around you. Nothing bad has happened to me or any of my friends, but it is a good idea to know your citysmarts before you attend. But I cannot imagine myself anywhere else.

    Bang for the buck

    At the gates of Columbia: Subway stop - $2.25 subway ride anywhere in Manhattan. Columbia's student ID gives students access to many museums and events for discounted prices or FOR FREE! The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MoMA and many more museums with exquisite exhibits are free anytime. Yes living in NYC can be expensive when trying to eat out, but it was easy to settle into the neighborhood and find places around campus that had food for reasonable prices.

    Am enjoying being here

    Having New York City at your fingertips is such a huge advantage at Columbia. With easy subway access right outside Columbia's gates, a student can go virtually anywhere in Manhattan. And though Columbia is located in the middle of Manhattan, once inside the gates, Columbia has its own campus. Unlike NYU, Columbia has a real campus that instantly feels like home.

    Am learning a lot

    If you choose to take classes that challenge you as a freshman, then you are guaranteed to learn a lot. Along with first year specific courses, I am taking a higher level course that pushes me to continuously learn and challenge myself to new ways of thinking.

  • 01/13/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    27 out of 27 people found this review useful. 4 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    If you are curious, have a variety of interests (both academic and extracurricular), and are independent and self-sufficient enough to fully experience the city of New York, then you will truly benefit from a Columbia education.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you're interested in Columbia, definitely do your research. There are many required courses, which is something that most students have strong feelings about, and there are some aspects of the school (the food, the housing etc.) that don't always live up to people's expectations. But if you want to live in the city, but be on a campus, and have a set of required courses (but have them taught by the world's preeminent scholars), then Columbia would probably be a great school for you.

    Bang for the buck

    Like other reviewers have said, the cost of college is generally obscene. And living New York will always be expensive. But Columbia has many options for financial aid, and if you're going to invest in a college education, you may as well do it at one of the top universities in the world.

    Am enjoying being here

    How is it possible to live in New York City, on a beautiful campus, with 5,600 other intellectually curious students (including SEAS), and not enjoy Columbia? Although an oft circulated complaint is that there is a lack of community within the student body, I would beg to differ. It takes a different form, because there are so many things to do off campus that it would be foolish not to take advantage of, but activities such as the spontaneous school-wide snowball fight that happened during the first blizzard refute that complaint. Like at any college, you'll get more out of your Columbia experience if you reach beyond your previous experience and actively participate in campus life and the city. But if you do that, you will inevitably make great friends and have a spectacular college experience.

    Am learning a lot

    Although I've only attended Columbia for one semester, I have yet to meet any professors or grad students who haven't provided an informative and unique perspective on their chosen field. To me, this is the main benefit of attending an Ivy League institution - the faculty. The Core Curriculum not only guarantees a strong liberal arts foundation for all students, but provides the context for an unusually dynamic intellectual community within the school: everyone will get your references, and discussions become that much more meaningful when everyone in your freshman class has the same intellectual background, but are also able to offer their own meaningful perspective. Also, you have all of New York City to supplement your education with the best of every field imaginable.

  • 08/27/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    18 out of 18 people found this review useful. 5 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    I have often thought that the principal reason that Columbia is unique is not because of its academics, but because of its students. Of course, the students at any good school will be bright and interesting. However, it seems as though many of the highest-ranked Ivy League schools attract a certain type of student: one who takes academics to be of the utmost importance, and anything else as nearly insignificant. Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with this attitude, but such a large population of these students tends to make for a rather serious and homogenous student body. Whether it is because it is not one of the highest-ranked Ivy Leagues, or whether because it is situated in New York City, or perhaps for some other reason entirely, Columbia largely escapes this type of student, and as a result, nearly everybody here is intelligent, well-rounded, friendly, and, above all, different from everyone else.

    Tips for prospective students

    As a freshman, the dorm you live in can have a big impact on your experience at Columbia. Carman and John Jay are often considered the most social dorms. I lived in Carman in my freshman year, and had some wild experiences with my floor. I also made the majority of my close friends there. Wallach, Furnald, and Hartley are generally the quieter places to live, although it’s certainly still possible to have fun while living in any of these three – I knew several people who completed their work in their rooms in Furnald and came to Carman to hang out with friends. Above all, don’t be afraid to meet people and open up to new possibilities. Expanding your worldview is an integral part of being at college, and the only way to do that is to be open to it.

    Bang for the buck

    Columbia certainly has a lot of bang, and in terms of the buck, my experience is that its financial aid has mostly been generous, especially since the Ivy Leagues instituted their expanded financial aid policies. In addition, should you get into other comparable schools that give you better financial aid offers, Columbia will often match them. I certainly have a number of friends for whom attending Columbia would have been impossible, were it not for some generous financial aid packages. However, living in New York City is extremely expensive, and even though there are quite a few opportunities for fairly well-paying internships and jobs on and off campus, simple living expenses can certainly build up.

    Am enjoying being here

    As far as I can tell, college is extraordinary because it is a period of unprecedented – and probably unique – freedom in nearly all aspects of life. Of course, freedom has the potential for both great success and great failure, and so it all depends on how we utilize it. In my time at Columbia, I’ve tried to balance a challenging and engaging courseload with a variety of other pursuits and activities, and have enjoyed my college experience immensely as a result. I’ve found that the secret lies in making time to pursue what interests me most – for instance, I play a lot of music, and so I joined a band that plays all around the city. Of course, the primary goal is to learn, and a boring or overly easy schedule makes for a boring time at college, not to mention a waste of tuition. In addition, there is a neverending stream of possibilities in New York City, and it’s easy to be ceaselessly occupied simply by taking advantage of a small fraction of these.

    Am learning a lot

    In terms of academics, the most interesting and unique part of the Columbia curriculum is the Core, a rigorous group of required classes for all students designed to last throughout all four years of study. It may sound daunting and restrictive -- and, on occasion, it is -- but on the whole, its purpose is to make sure that every student achieves a complete liberal arts education, and it succeeds well. Maybe the most fascinating Core class is Contemporary Civilization, a strangely named philosophical survey course in which you’ll read everything from Plato to Virginia Woolf. Like many Core courses, its effectiveness is largely dependent on your professor, but any class that is essentially an open discussion about fascinating philosophical topics is sure to pique students’ interest. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s Frontiers of Science, a freshman course designed to introduce students to various aspects of modern science. That may sound potentially interesting, but in reality, it’s badly organized and remarkably dull. Maybe the biggest problem is that there’s an enormous gradient across the students in terms of scientific experience, and the course is often too difficult for those with a weak science background and a walk in the park for students more used to academic science. But learning is about more than just academics. Even though the classes are generally fascinating, I have undoubtedly learned the most from other students, extracurricular activities, and simply living in New York City. Columbia is perhaps most remarkable for its diversity of students, opportunities, and experiences. Having friends of many different backgrounds means exposure to a neverending collage of perspectives, which has done as much to expand my own thinking as much as any class. On top of this, living in the City means that the City itself is essentially unavoidable – this can be a hindrance or the greatest resource in the world, and approaching it as the latter as much as possible has led unfailingly to a variety of eye-opening experiences.

  • 12/10/2009

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    15 out of 15 people found this review useful. 6 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    I know this sounds cliched, but do extracurriculars you are passionate about. I had many leadership positions in my activities since I love doing them and work hard for the clubs.

    Bang for the buck

    I think that since Columbia offers great financial aid, especially with the new donation to financial aid, it is economically efficient and you get a good bang for the buck. Most Ivies are a good bang for the buck though since they generally are more generous than schools slightly lower in rankings and are good schools.

    Will enjoy being here

    I love New York City and Columbia's setting in the vibrant Morningside Heights neighborhood. There are plenty of on-campus activities and even more to do just a short subway-ride away. The city pass allows for amazing prices to cultural shows around the city, like broadway shows and museums.

    Will learn a lot

    I feel that Columbia's Core Curriculum provides a nice, well-rounded education that many people pursuing engineering (or specifically strong math and sciences) may lack. A core useful for all students since I feel it could open up your mind about many different issues.

  • 05/12/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    12 out of 13 people found this review useful. 7 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    It's great for those interested in having a broad spectrum of knowledge (for example, if you are an ancient languages major you will still have knowledge of math, biology, major European literature, east Asian history) because you will have to take the core. You can choose various courses to take, so for example you could take a variety of literature classes, you are not limited to major European literature. It is also great for students who love the city because NYC is so much a part of Columbia as Columbia is so much a part of NYC. Neither is complete without the other. Intelligent individuals who are eager to learn from the world's finest.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get those grades and SAT/SAT II scores up. Participate in clubs/sports. Be a leader, challenge yourself and take it upon yourself to put yourself in leadership positions, be it in a school club or in something outside of school. Volunteer and give back to the community. Apply early if you can, your odds are better. Get good recommendations (build relationships with your teachers!) and spend time on your essays, they DO matter. If you can, visit the school, and if offered an interview, TAKE IT. Apply elsewhere too, so this way you won't stress out as much when waiting to hear a reply.

    Bang for the buck

    Columbia does give financial aid but it's need based, so how much you get depends on your family income and situation. But you do get a really good deal, Columbia provides incredible opportunities, an amazing education, and it's in NYC, so it allows you access to all the wonderful things in NYC.

    Will enjoy being here

    It's in NYC, the city that never sleeps. You can't be bored in NYC, there's ALWAYS something to do. Plus, if you want to escape from the chaos of the concrete jungle, just stay on campus. Campus is relatively closed off from the city (campus gates and the way it's designed, with buildings around the perimeter helps to keep out the chaos of the city, unlike NYU campus that is integrated into the city). There's definitely something for everyone.

    Will learn a lot

    You can't go wrong with Columbia, it's a name everyone knows and it's great in everything. You'll be taught by world renown professors even as undergraduates. As much learning occurs inside the classroom as outside. There are too many clubs to count. Being in NYC allows you many internships and opportunities to learn about your future career path.

  • 12/28/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    11 out of 11 people found this review useful. 8 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Columbia's got a myriad of character types, from your bubbly extroverts to your timid introverts to your fanatic hair-dyers to your loud club hoppers to those happy enough to just quietly snuggle with a book--and often, people tend to be a mix of all these, depending on the day! As aforementioned, it's rather easy to find a niche here, even for the socially awkward (possibly because we’re all socially awkward are some inherent intermingling level somewhere?), and often these ‘niches’ overlap. As for personal and intellectual interests, be thankful that Columbia has a diverse community of organizations to cater to your curiosity!

    Tips for prospective students

    The most immediate bit of advice, I'd wager, is to visit the campus if you're able; this often gives students an idea of the ambiance of the place and whether they'd like to genuinely consider the option. (Also, as an aside: you'll hear people complain about the dining hall food quite a bit, but it's honestly exaggerated and more for the sake of Columbia tradition than anything else; and if just so happens that you don’t find the food to your liking, say hello to the cheap supermarkets down the street!) If you do choose Columbia, don't be shy to explore any possible adventures of the Big Apple--being in the heart of New York is part of the perk, after all.

    Bang for the buck

    Columbia's pricey, there's no doubting it; at nearly 60k a year, it’d be fallacious to say that it isn’t. And, sometimes, as a result of the confusing grant packages, this might leave you in some awkward financial situations scrounging up money. Even given that, though, it's really an amazing institution to be for the sake of knowledge, genuinely interesting people, and a fantastic urban setting. People grow at college, it’s inevitable, but you’ll be surprised by how quickly you’ll grow as an individual here; not simply intellectually (though this, too, of course!), but pragmatically as well. It’s what the city teaches you.

    Am enjoying being here

    You might think that, being an Ivy, many of the students here would be snooty or rather pompous, but you'll find fairly quickly that that's not the case. Everyone here is generally rather laidback, amiable, and down to earth. It’s a strongly positive aspect of the Columbia community, as friendships tend to form fast and last long--and you can take my word for it that these friendships keep you afloat during the harrowing occurrence known as finals! The bonus, too, is that many share your value in intellectual pursuits!

    Am learning a lot

    Columbia is easily one of the most intellectually stimulating universities in the north! While the core may seem stifling and constricting at first, you'll undoubtedly learn quite a bit concerning the roots of the Western literary tradition and philosophy; there's also the wide array of tongues available, so if you’re tired of Romance languages give Arabic a try! I personally enjoy it when the different disciplines and schools of thought intersect: sociology, philosophy, and literature your main interests? Feel free to take a class concerning all three in conversation!

  • 11/09/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    9 out of 9 people found this review useful. 9 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    You will find campus security in every corner, they even have shuttles to take you to your room in case you stay studying late.

    Greek Life

    Many sororities and fraternities and they will definitely be helpful since making friends here can be hard and having study groups and support groups will help you achieve much more. Do join if you can!

    Clubs and Activities

    So many so little time to participate in them all. From belly dancing and swing dancing to religious and political, there is something for everyone.

    Great for these types of students

    This is a great school for people who are high achievers and for those who want to be high achievers.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There are so many, you will see something interesting going on every week and you will want to participate in them all but you won't have enough time, don't be discouraged there is always something else.

    Bang for the buck

    The education is so good you WILL learn something and to get a diploma from here is priceless. They offer so many opportunities like study abroad and you will be on the top of most employers lists simply because you graduated from an Ivy league school.

    What to do for fun

    NYC! Anything and everything is available here and you can always find great deals so no need to break your piggy bank. Who is your favorite artist? Yeah, they perform here. Want to watch a movie? Find many that are not available anywhere else, oldies and new ones in theaters too!

    Food and Dining

    Whether you eat healthy or not, you will find anything that pleases you. I am gluten-free and I never have to worry about finding something good. Naked juices, salads and great coffee are available in almost half of the buildings including study areas and libraries. They also provided complete nutritious and delicious meals in cafeterias but if you want more exotic foods then just walk a few steps from your room and you will find anything you want.. NYC, what can you say!

    Dorm Life

    Can't say because I live in my own apartment since I am a military veteran but when I lived on off-campus housing it was very nice. NYC, what can you say!

    Academic Rigor

    There is no room at all for laziness and you will be graded in comparison to some of the best minds in the world by the best minds in the world.

    Tips for prospective students

    Best tips would be keep up with your work and reading. Make sure you attend all classes no matter how tired or busy you are, they are all very important. Do not allow procrastination to bring you down and always keep good communication with your professors.

    In three sentences

    Columbia University is extremely challenging and therefore extremely rewarding. It does not allow you room to be average or mediocre because it encourages excellence. CU will show you what you are made of.

  • 06/10/2009

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    8 out of 31 people found this review useful. 1 person found it offensive. 10 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Student who excel academically and professionally.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study like an Ivy League student, participate in lots of internship opportunities, and maintain a high G.P.A.

  • 12/25/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    8 out of 8 people found this review useful. 11 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    When applying, focus on what makes you special. A lot of people who apply will have grades that are as good or better than yours so academic excellence simply isn't enough. If you have a special talent or are extremely passionate about something, write about it. Showing the school what makes you different from the others who apply is key to getting accepted. Columbia looks for students who are motivated. You don't have to know exactly what you want in life, but you have to be willing to go for whatever interests you.

    Bang for the buck

    Tuition is extremely expensive no matter which undergraduate school you end up going to. Scholarships and financial aid isn't the best compared to other top schools. But if you get in, it is a great place to be.

    Am enjoying being here

    The campus atmosphere is great! Classic architecture and landscaping make the campus beautiful. Everyone is very nice and someone is always ready to help you

    Am learning a lot

    Columbia University, being an Ivy League school, is really a great place for learning. Even if you are taking classes you aren't interested in, you can take part in free lectures on campus every day. There are always guest speakers and world leaders coming to speak. Plus, being in New York city means that there is always somewhere to go.

  • 05/21/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    7 out of 7 people found this review useful. 12 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus safety is constantly patrolling and there is always a guard at dorm buildings and libraries to swipe people in to ensure student safety. There are also shuttle services for getting around at night.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is present for those who wish to participate but there is no social pressure to join whatsoever.

    Clubs and Activities

    Columbia has political organizations, religious organizations, sex ed groups, musical and theater troupes -- if you can imagine it, there is a club for it, and if there isn't you are more than welcome to begin it. There are also great intramural athletic groups as well.

    Great for these types of students

    People who love meeting new people, who are looking to view the world with a completely new perspective, who care about the community and the future and wish to be an active participant in its improvement.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The marching band loves playing in the library as a distraction during reading week, doing comedy and playing their versions of top 40 hits.

    Bang for the buck

    While tuition is expensive, Columbia provides one of the best and most well rounded educations available; the Core Curriculum is integral in shaping students into knowledgeable and active members of whatever community in which they participate.

    What to do for fun

    There are always activities to do on campus -- performances by student groups, conferences to go to for the more intellectually minded, but because it is located in Manhattan there is no end to the ways you can get away and have fun whenever desire strikes.

    Food and Dining

    There is a wide variety of options to choose from; Columbia prides itself on healthy choices and using locally and organically produced food.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms have singles, doubles, suites, any combination that makes sure you are as comfortable as possible living there. The RAs are friendly and care about the wellbeing of each and every one of their charges.

    Academic Rigor

    Columbia expects the best of their students, but this is no drawback; rather it encourages students to be the absolute best they can be.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of opportunities for involvement both on and off campus. Try a bunch of things, but once you find the organizations and groups that you love devote your time to them, and you'll be rewarded for it.

    In three sentences

    Columbia University is an amazing institution that offers some of the best educational opportunities. The student body is incredibly diverse and interesting, and professors are approachable and genuinely care about their pupils. And last but not least, located in Manhattan, Columbia is at the center of the cultural capital of the world, affording students an endless variety of ways to become involved in the community and truly make a difference while learning about themselves.

  • 06/03/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 6 people found this review useful. 13 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    In the time that I have been around Columbia University I've never had one iota or hint of trouble from anyone. The neighborhood is changing about as fast as Oprah puts on weight. Although Morningside Heights used to be a pretty rough neighborhood, it has changed tremendously over even the last several years. In addition, with heads of state coming onto campus from all over the world on a regular basis, Columbia's on-campus security is virtually unparalleled. I've never EVER felt unsafe on or around Columbia's campus.

    Greek Life

    Well, it's around. The Ivy League is pretty great, but appreciate the fact that it isn't for your typical beer-drinking jock jarhead frat boy. Those guys are pretty hard to find.

    Clubs and Activities

    You can find any kind of club and any kind of activity that you could possibly want to find. In fact, if you aren't careful you could easily fill up your schedule with meetings, clubs, and activities that are all great but pull you in different directions. Figure out what you'd like to get yourself involved in and commit to one or two things.

    Great for these types of students

    Serious, motivated students who don't require much hand-holding only need apply here. If you're looking for a big party school with outrageous Greek life then don't go to Columbia. Greek life is on campus without a doubt, but it isn't your typical college experience. If you love urban settings then this is the school for you. If you want to work hard and have big payoff in your career then this is the school for you.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The geology library (shhhh, don't tell) is quiet and not crowded. You'll always be able to find a spot there because NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT IT. During finals week, students walk around the main campus banging pots and pans late at night to distract organic chemistry students... long-standing tradition that doesn't make much sense. The varsity show is a must.

    Bang for the buck

    Lots of buck, but definitely lots of bang.

    What to do for fun

    Three words: New York City. Fun is at your fingertips.

    Food and Dining

    C'mon, Columbia is in one of the food capitals of the United States. On campus food isn't so bad, but it's sometimes easier and better to find GREAT, affordable food within a 2-10 blok radius.

    Dorm Life

    The school could have better undergraduate dorms (especially with a several billion $ endowment), but overall dorm life isn't too bad. Don't expect for it to be party crazy.

    Academic Rigor

    if you've been used to feeling smart and above average your entire life then this is the school that will make you feel average or less than average, but it's also a school that will make you smart and that you will proudly call your alma mater.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be prepared to work hard, meet people who are smarter and more disciplined than you, and receive an outstanding education at a world-class university. Butler Library is open 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week if you ever need place to pull an all-nighter, but get set for finding NO study space during mid-terms and finals. If you need more ambient noise in your study environment then check out Uris Library. Make SURE to get out into the city and have some fun AT LEAST one night every week. Check out Williamsburg, the Lower East Side's speakeasy's, the restaurants in Hell's Kitchen, and THE HEIGHTS rooftop bar.

    In three sentences

    Going to Columbia University has been the the most challenging experience of my life. I love going to school at one of the best universities in the world. getting pushed to realize my potential, and meeting some of the most incredible people. Columbia University is also in one of the greatest (probably THE greatest) city in the world.

  • 06/10/2009

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    5 out of 37 people found this review useful. 4 people found this inaccurate. 14 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Motivated and smart.

  • 12/30/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    4 out of 5 people found this review useful. 15 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    While the price tag is heavy, consider that you are living in NYC, and while the college itself is overpriced, think of the time you will have in NYC while getting a good education.

    Will enjoy being here

    The campus is amazing. Right in the heart of NYC, Columbia provides an awesome experience along with brilliant minds.

    Will learn a lot

    I feel coming to Columbia will greatly influence my life. The programs that they have are amazing, and so hard to pass up. The academic rigor definitely makes me want to apply to Columbia

  • 05/31/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 16 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    You have to scan in to every building, at most you are sixty seconds from a public safety officer, both campus and the surrounding area is well patrolled and well lit.

    Greek Life

    Not that great- we have them, they have brownstones, they are mostly centered around sports.

    Clubs and Activities

    We have almost any you could think of .

    Great for these types of students

    Hardworking, liberal, outgoing, and open

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have the tree lighting ceremony that's really nice near Christmas, Primal Scream and a pillow fight during finals, Orgo night (wikicu it) and a few other things. If you visit campus make sure you find the owl in Alma Mater's Robe!!!

    Bang for the buck

    Besides the fact that Columbia has some of the best financial aid in the country and has need blind admissions, you can't really put a price on the opportunities you'll gain in the city and with our world-class professors. Plus it's an ivy league so yadda yadda yadda

    What to do for fun

    Everything. You are in New York, whether you like arts, sports, music, architecture, you name it and it is here.

    Food and Dining

    Mediocre. Not terrible, not great. There are plenty of schools with worse, but there are way more schools with better.

    Dorm Life

    We work hard, we play hard. Get ready to meet people from all walks of the earth and be open to all perspectives and backgrounds. Everyone is generally friendly and gets along pretty well, but it is a pretty liberal campus so be prepared for that.

    Academic Rigor

    This is not your state school, and even if you, like most students here, took every ap class out there, they really don't prepare you for the amount of work here.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you focus on work, it gets really overwhelming here. Find your own happiness, lots of people complain a lot about how hard it is to be happy, but you just have to find what makes you happy, because whatever it is, it will be more than available at this school!

    In three sentences

    If you want a school with diverse student body, myriad opportunities, and access to the best city in the world this is it. There are of course, high stress levels and pretty mediocre dining hall food, but the amazing student life, including clubs for everyone, more than makes up for it.

  • 05/26/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    3 out of 11 people found this review useful. 17 of 74

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    I practically grew up on this campus. I cannot wait to apply.

  • 06/26/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 18 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Motivated military veterans seeking to transition into an intellectually challenging environment.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you are a military veteran and you want a rigorous education, you should definitely consider Columbia, especially because of the insignificantly low cost of attendance while attending with Post-9/11 GI Bill funds. During the application process, liase with a member of the veterans affairs section. You wouldn't believe how much useful information you can get!

    Bang for the buck

    Columbia's generous Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP) participation makes the cost of attendance (nearly) free for military veterans. Definitely the best school a veteran could possibly attend on the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

    Will enjoy being here

    One of the best schools in the world located in one of the most culturally-relevant cities in the world makes for an exciting environment.

    Will learn a lot

    An atmosphere of high-achieving professors and students provides for unlimited intellectual stimulation.

  • 01/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 3 people found this review useful. 19 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There have been several reports of theft/robberies, however, they are always off campus and they usually occur when students travel alone. For the most part, I always feel comfortable/safe.

    Clubs and Activities

    Plenty of students groups for all of your interest and needs.

    Great for these types of students

    Working parents.

    Bang for the buck

    At Columbia's School of Social Work (CUSSW), there is a free cruise party for all incoming students. In addition, the are tons of free events hosted throughout the semester.... oftentimes you can grab a drink of wine and snacks in the halls between classes. (Wink).

    What to do for fun

    There are plenty of student events offered weekly. The events are held on campus after class.

    Food and Dining

    Great restaurants in the neighborhood. The AppleTree near CUSSW is the best place to grab a bite to ear between classes.

    Dorm Life

    I commute to class so I am unsure.

    Academic Rigor

    Columbia truly does offer the great quality education that it is known for.

    Tips for prospective students

    Enjoy the experience. The time goes by quickly.

    In three sentences

    At columbia university's school of social work i feel that i am gaining a quality education. The academic reading, research and class discussions have prepared me to become a better Social Worker. I know for sure that my clients will benefit from the quality of education that I have received at Columbia.

  • 02/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 20 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    in the past semester, there have been several iphone robbery incidents off-campus at night, but aside from that, campus is usually very safe. the campus feels secure.

    Greek Life

    greek life is not as popular as other campuses, but it is present here. frat row, on 114th street has most of the greek life residences and usually hold rush events at the beginning of semester. some have been associated with drug busts, but for the most part, fraternities and sororities have low to medium campus presence.

    Clubs and Activities

    due to the large population, most interest and activities can be found in a club on campus. interested in the occupy movement? join occupycolumbia. interest in literature from the african diaspora? join adls. interested in theatre? join the varsity show. part of columbia's awesomeness comes from the ability to explore your interests, no matter how obscure.

    Great for these types of students

    columbia is great for intellectual types, open-minded types, politically-aware types, and adventurous types.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    there are several columbia traditions. to name a few, there is primal scream; students all over campus open their windows and burst ear-splitting scream out of their lungs during finals week. there is also orgo night; butler library is invaded by the columbia band for a night of distraction, noise, and laughter, the day before the organic chemistry final. as for unusual locations on campus, lerner hall can be confusing to some at first, due to the seemingly random ramp/stair combinations.

    Bang for the buck

    there is no doubt that the four years i spend here will be well worth it, in terms of the academic challenges, my personal and social growth, my nyc experiences, and the amazing people i meet here.

    What to do for fun

    the obvious fun activities are off-campus, exploring nyc's countless neighborhoods, broadway shows, restaurants and events. columbia regularly offers free or discounted prices for this purpose alone. however, you don't have to go off-campus for fun. student groups host decent-sized parties and events like glass house rocks in lerner hall, give you the chance to be entertained by your talented columbia peers without having to leave 116th street.

    Food and Dining

    food is decent on average. on occasion, dining halls will host event specific dinners such as valentine's day dinner or black history month dinner, which can be hit-or-miss. most options include: pizza, pasta, rice, burgers, and fries with the occasional switch-up.

    Dorm Life

    four year guaranteed housing. the freshman dorms are generally favorable. freshman dorms: furnald, carman, john jay, hartley, and wallach. there are a good variety of options according to your preferences: sociability, noise, cleanliness, etc. however, sophomores tend to be limited to less dorm options. juniors and seniors receive the most favorable housing due to seniority.

    Academic Rigor

    as an engineer, my major requirements and classes are generally demanding, and the same is true of my peers in the college. however, if you enjoy a challenge and are passionate about what you study, the hard work is worth it. professors are top-notch. as a freshman undergrad, i have the opportunity to take physics under the instruction of a cern particle physicist.

    Tips for prospective students

    the core curriculum, for both humanities and engineering students, is the crux of a columbia education. make sure you are aware of this and want to take the core, before you apply. also try to visit campus and get a feel for student life and campus atmosphere. you should explore columbia's campus. it is very different from the rest of new york and it feels like the quintessential college campus.

    In three sentences

    columbia university is a rigorous institution with numerous opportunities for intellectual, social, personal and professional growth. the combination of an ivy league education and its location in the greatest metropolis on the east coast make for a truly fantastic college experience. everything from your interaction with columbia peers to events hosting world-renown leaders will make your four years here very special.

  • 05/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 21 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    although Columbia is located close to Harlem, it is pretty safe, there is security on-campus

    Greek Life

    um.. I am not aware of any

    Clubs and Activities

    everything you can imagine

    Great for these types of students

    The school is very diverse and people are open-minded. I met all kinds of students from all sorts of backgrounds.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    World leaders forum takes place in September. Each school gets to have its own Christmas party, and these are fun.

    Bang for the buck

    The tuition is high, but the quality of education, job opportunities, people at Columbia, make it worth every penny.

    What to do for fun

    clubs, restaurants, rock concerts, broadway shows-whatever suits your mood. Columbia offers discount tickets for students.

    Food and Dining

    sushi and red bull are available in all cafeterias. there is starbucks across the street from the main campus and plenty of delis nearby. its new york-you can have any kind of food you like!

    Dorm Life

    If you ever expected to party throughout college-forget Columbia, this is not a party school

    Academic Rigor

    It is hard work, but you learn a lot and advance quickly. Many students stay in Butler library up until 3 or 4 am.

    Tips for prospective students

    Read about our Core Curriculum before applying. Science courses are especially hard. It also is pretty expensive to live in Manhattan.

    In three sentences

    Columbia University is a fantastic place for driven self-starters who are looking to learn and compete in a stimulating environment. You`ll get out of it what you put in. The professors are never shy about giving lots of work to do.

  • 06/01/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 22 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    They take care of you there, as long as you're aware of your surroundings every once in awhile. But this year, when problems started to arise there were cops/ campus security officers everywhere.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Orgo Night in Butler 209 the night before Organic Chemistry Exams Primal Scream the Sunday night of exam week at midnight. The Pillow Fight the same night of Primal Scream

    Bang for the buck

    New York being New York is expensive. Example: Chiptole Burrito in Maryland $6.30-6.50, in New York $7.10

    What to do for fun

    You're in NYC so almost everything from bars, to clubs, to hanging out, to sports, to Madison Square Garden, to Conney Island, to sight seeing, to movies, to the Apollo, to Harlem Lanes, to Central Park, etc.

    Food and Dining

    Food is ok. With two main all you can eat dining halls, days at those can vary. There is a late night place called JJ's, which you can get fried food, smoothies, and deserts until you're unbuckling your belt. The best food comes from the cafes on camous and the deli's around the campus, like Hamilton Deli on Amsterdam, and Samad's on Broadway, and Westside Markets. That's where you get the best prices for food.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms can vary on how good they are. East Campus for upperclassmen, Carmen for freshman, and McBain for sophomores, are the most social, aka. party dorms, but there are really high quality dorms right around campus because most used to be old apartments. The only problem is that many dorms do not have AC and only have heaters.

    Academic Rigor

    Being a science major and having the core classes to deal with makes the first two years very strenuous. But it gets better over time as you become accustomed to everything

    Tips for prospective students

    Make the most out of every opportunity that New York offers you, because you will regret it if you do not. Do not get CAVA-ed. Join some extracurricular activity you love to do, it will be well worth it.

    In three sentences

    It is a very diverse campus, immersed within a relatively, very calm part of Manhattan. The main campus is surprisingly peaceful compared to outside the gates, and gives students a very homely cozy feeling. This is one of the best ivy leagues because New York provides endless opportunities to enhance one's education.

  • 08/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 23 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    Lots to do to be involved in

    Great for these types of students

    There is something for every student here

    Bang for the buck

    Very expensive but worth the ivy league education!

    What to do for fun

    You're in New York...what's not to do?!

    In three sentences

    I love Columbia! Great teachers, great education, great staff!

  • 11/08/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 24 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Dorm Life

    While I am a future student, I have a fellow friend who is in this program and speaks highly of their dorm experience. Specifically at the School of General Studies, you are able to qualify for student living that is similar to an apartment, giving you the freedom to live within the city and still pursue your education.

    Academic Rigor

    Columbia University is home to a rich diversity of undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students. It has produced prominent business leaders, presidents, scientists, doctors, and soon - you! Their highly esteemed programs will give you the quality education you deserve and expect to receive from an Ivy league institution.

    Tips for prospective students

    Specifically for the School of General Studies, be prepared for an incredible experience. Columbia University has a wide array of students from different walks of life who will inspire you to be the best in your academic and professional career. Get ready to be challenged in the best way possible and achieve huge goals with a degree from Columbia.

    In three sentences

    Columbia University School of General Studies is a unique school dedicated to a quality education for non-traditional students. From the wide variety of quality programs, the inspirational layout of the campus in a dense urban setting, to the number of dedicated students pursuing an ivy league education, Columbia University is a university like no other. This college is one of the top ranking in the country, setting its students apart from the crowd and preparing graduates for a successful future.

  • 05/08/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 25 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    1. Academic/Hard-Working 2. Social

    Tips for prospective students

    Try to have an interesting essay that relates your future at Columbia with your current goals.

    Will learn a lot

    The Core Curriculum ensures that students receive the most comprehensive education possible.

  • 06/21/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 26 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Expensive, but hey, it's a private Ivy League school with great professors and small class sizes.

    Will enjoy being here

    The campus is so beautiful it's like a park, and it's surrounded by parks nearby. You get NYC without all the crazy traffic and loud bustle. There are a lot of shops so shopping should be convenient. If you want to get into downtown NYC, there's always the subway system - there's a stop specifically for Columbia University (the University was there before the subway) and a bus from the front gate goes straight to LaGuardia airport.

  • 02/15/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 27 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    campus police is always around, we get emails and texts warning us about anything and there are emergency poles all over campus in case we need help.

    Greek Life

    columbia's greek life is slightly invisible. they are there however, if you don't go to them you won't know they are there.

    Great for these types of students

    great for all.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    during winter, columbia will light up this tree path on campus, students will come over sing christmas carols and drink hot chocolate provided by the school.

    Bang for the buck

    make sure to be on top of any deadlines for aid applications, always keep a watch on what you are being charged, do your class research before meeting with advisors.

    What to do for fun

    it's new york... what isn't there to do?

    Food and Dining

    i eat at the places outside of campus since i'm not on any meal plan. but the few spots on campus seem to have great food!

    Dorm Life

    i don't dorm can't comment.

    Academic Rigor

    very intense and competitive, but would you expect less from columbia? i like it, because the difficulty makes me think i'm getting my money's worth in this education ( most times).

    Tips for prospective students

    columbia is very expensive and not need blind. so, really really think about how you will feel about potentially taking out loans.

    In three sentences

    great school and teachers, not a typical college experience since the campus is in a city. but, regardless columbia offers so much extra curricular activities and accesibility to jobs.

  • 06/09/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 2 people found this inaccurate. 28 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Columbia is in NYC, so you do need to be careful about safety. The campus itself is safe. Off-campus, it is safe during the day, but you should not be alone at night in any of the nearby parks.

    Bang for the buck

    It is a very expensive school ($62,000/yr), and they only give need-based financial aid (so I got nothing). However, it is a great school and may be worth the high price.

    What to do for fun

    There are many clubs and sports teams at columbia, so they have something for everyone. You could also see shows, go to sports games (Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, etc).

    Food and Dining

    I ate in the dining hall when I visited, and the food was good enough. There are also a huge variety of restaurants near the campus, but they can get expensive. With the meal plan you need to get as a freshman, I do not know how often you would eat off-campus

    Dorm Life

    The rooms looked large when I visited. There are many different options available to freshman (singles, doubles, and suites), and you could either live in an all-freshman dorm or in a dorm with freshman through seniors.

    Academic Rigor

    Columbia is a highly-ranked school, so the classes are going to be tough. The core curriculum could also be challenging if you dislike English class.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do well in your classes and on your exams. Become leaders in one or more clubs or sports. Do something to make you stand out against the thousands of people who apply.

    In three sentences

    Columbia is in NYC, so students there have access (and discounted admission) to the numerous museums and theaters there. There is the core curriculum, which involves specific required courses in literature and history, and I heard that the core classes take up a lot of time. Also, I heard great things about most of the professors.

  • 06/14/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 29 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus itself is very safe, since Columbia values its students safety and have guards at the entrances at all times. Although some caution must be used when walking around outside campus (ie: walking outside at midnight), Columbia feels like a safe haven in NYC.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is not too prominent because of the party scene in New York City itself, but can be found if desired. There are plenty of fraternities/sororities to choose from, and there are a fair number of students involved in Greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are a myriad of clubs that exist on campus; at the beginning of the year, there is a club activities fair that is held on Low Steps to all freshmen that are interested in joining clubs that fits their interests.

    Great for these types of students

    Studious, Academic, Ambitious, Hardworking, loves the city atmosphere

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Primal Scream - On the midnight of the first final (Orgo), students will scream out of their dorm rooms as loudly as they can for a minute.

    Bang for the buck

    The city is definitely more expensive than in the suburbs, but there are also great deals to be found around campus as well. Although it is hard to refrain from spending too much money, the city offers great bargains to those who know where to look in the right places. I recommend using Groupon!

    What to do for fun

    Go downtown to shop and eat, see any attractions or events that are held. If not, hang out in the dorms and talk with friends until 3 in the morning- after all, there is always something fun to do in New York City!

    Food and Dining

    Campus food itself can get very boring after a few months, especially since all freshmen are required to pay for a meal plan. However, the surrounding area around Columbia has a variety of great selections for different cuisines that are both enjoyable and affordable.

    Dorm Life

    A variety of dorms exist on campus, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Some dorms are very social, while others are more quiet for study purposes. It also depends who else is on the same floor or suite, but dorm life can be made very enjoyable.

    Academic Rigor

    Columbia's competitiveness is certainly extremely high, considering the Ivy League standard it holds. It may be daunting at first, but after settling into the college life, studying falls into a pattern that is more manageable than during the beginning of the school year.

    Tips for prospective students

    Work towards your goals, and don't lose sight of what you want from Columbia. Don't stress out during your last year in high school but always stay focused.

    In three sentences

    Columbia University is located in a dream city and offers some of the best education in the country. It is a wonderful school to learn, gain lifelong friends, and provide thrill to those who seek adventure. Columbia can open doors of opportunity to those who may not have thought it was possible.

  • 08/22/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 30 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is extremely safe. It is a gated campus and almost all buildings require card access.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Low Library is actually no longer a library.

    Bang for the buck

    Be prepared to take out loans and apply for scholarships in the university and outside.

    What to do for fun

    Since you are in NYC you can take the subway to hot spots in midtown and downtown. Definitely do not miss the chance to explore the Museum MIle. A little hint--you can donate a nominal fee ($1) to the MET and practically enter the museum for free.

    Food and Dining

    Most cafes on campus require a MealPass card. However one or two cafe/coffeeshops do except cash/card however they are more expensive compared to establishments outside the campus gates.

    Dorm Life

    Not perfectly certain about dorm life since I live off campus. However I have heard from others that dorm life is mostly nonexistent unless you take charge and set up activities for the dorm.

    Academic Rigor

    Be prepared to Read, Read, and Read some more. A lot of text---hundreds to thousand pages of reading in one week for one class. Get ready to be pushed academically and physically to your max.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to by Truthful and Honest in your application. The advisors want to read sincere and true applications that really convey the type of person you are--such as your educational background, family background, and current and future aspirations. They want to see whether you are the right fit to join the vibrant and intellectual community at Columbia.

    In three sentences

    Columbia has a renowned heritage of pragmatism and of approaching the discipline of different subjects not merely as a collection of heady rumblings, but as a conduit for real, comprehensive solutions to problems that plague us all. The professors are the top of their field and have written the text used in class. Atop the Academic Acropolis, one can develop a world perspective by interacting with the diverse and bright community all gathered in the world's melting pot--NYC.

  • 11/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 1 person found this inaccurate. 31 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Safest place in New York

    Greek Life

    Very small

    Clubs and Activities

    Plenty of clubs for everyone

    Great for these types of students

    Self-motivated students who do not need to be coddled.

    Bang for the buck

    Very worthwhile

    What to do for fun

    Go explore New York! There are always events available that suit your interests.

    Food and Dining

    Dining services are impeccable, and Columbia has one of the top rated dining areas.

    Dorm Life

    I've made some of my best friends in my dorm, and my floor was renovated over the summer.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes are tough, but with good time management, you can do well.

    Tips for prospective students

    The opportunities are truly limitless, so stay organized and on top of deadlines.

    In three sentences

    Columbia University has a terrific campus. The professors are fantastic and the students make you feel at home. Columbia has a great community and limitless opportunities.

  • 01/06/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 32 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very safe on campus, with a lot of security guards. they also lock all entrances at night except for one and that is manned by a guard. Never felt anything but safe even very late at night.

    Greek Life

    I am not involved but know several people that are and they love the experience. I am in the band which is very close to the Greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    There care a lot of clubs to get involved with. If you were in the high school band the Columbia Band is a lot of fun without a hug he commitment.

    Great for these types of students

    The university really works with international students and graduate students.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Low library offers a lot of activities. Athletic complex is a subway 20 minute subway ride away but a lot of fun.

    Bang for the buck

    Disappointed with the initial classes and professors. Not many office hours, and had a math professor that fell asleep in lecture.

    What to do for fun

    Access to Mid-Town Manhattan is a quick subway ride away. Pleanty of athletic activities to attend, and several club activities to get involved with. If you are in the High School Band and are looking for some fun the band is a lot of fun.

    Food and Dining

    Food is great and there are many options. there are also a lot of inexpensive options off campus within walking distance.

    Dorm Life

    Definitely apply to live in the learning community suites. You will have your own room but will also have 14 roommates.

    Academic Rigor

    Very stressful, and you are on your own for learning. In most classes your grade is dependent on your final exam, or possibly your final exam and a midterm.

    Tips for prospective students

    Have a major in mind. Do not expect to study with fellow students as they are not willing to share or study together. Get involved in club activities as in the classroom you will not make many friends.

    In three sentences

    The city and campus are terrific. Your are really on your own when it comes to picking classes and navigating towards your major. Very stressful for students.

  • 02/12/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    1 out of 2 people found this review useful. 33 of 74

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Great!

  • 03/07/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 34 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Very expensive, but the location bodes well for internships and future job opportunities.

    What to do for fun

    You have the entirety of New York City at your disposal. Use it as you will.

    Food and Dining

    Three major dining halls with somewhat repetitive menus. Themed nights always have delicious food though!

    Dorm Life

    Dorms can sometimes be hit or miss, but there is a wide range of options for the social environment of your dorm choices.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes can be stressful and difficult, but also a lot of fun if you get involved in the subject. Columbia is great if you love the humanities.

    Tips for prospective students

    You will need an excellent GPA and history of leadership and school involvement. In your essays, talk about what makes you unique and Columbia-specific things that you think would benefit you.

    In three sentences

    Columbia has a very intensive learning environment. The location in New York City is amazing! The Core Curriculum is a great was to get a broad education in all areas of the humanities.

  • 03/29/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 35 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The location of the campus is very safe, I feel very at ease walking across campus whether it is at 12 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning.

    Greek Life

    They are really based on fellowship and service. They aren't the stereotypical frat guys and sorority girls, at least not the majority.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are things for any type of person! The clubs on campus are really active, honestly I don't know how people do everything.

    Great for these types of students

    Competitive and out-spoken students.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The tree lighting ceremony is gorgeous. All along College Walk we have these trees that they cover with lights and ceremoniously light up during the event where everyone comes out in the freezing cold to behold the glory of the twinkling lights. And you can get free hot chocolate. There is a lot of free food given here by the clubs and at all events. Seriously, I'm shocked our campus doesn't have a problem with obesity yet.

    Bang for the buck

    I wouldn't trade my experience for anything! There are so many opportunities that you may find yourself overwhelmed!

    What to do for fun

    Explore New York City! Don't forget to try all the different cuisines, but honestly there are always things going on with clubs on campus. You'll never be bored!

    Food and Dining

    People complain all the time about our dining, but honestly I don't find it too terrible. I'm not a food snob as many people here are, I'm not that big on superior quality of food. It's not home cooking and you'll find that right away, but it's not prison food either. Plus, they are taking feedback and making improvements.

    Dorm Life

    It ranges between loud, obnoxious and gross, to the beautiful, quiet hotel-esque dorms. At least this description holds for first year dorms. However, the cleaning staff comes regularly and cleans up. For living in New York City, I think we have it pretty good.

    Academic Rigor

    This place is ridiculously hard and what makes it even harder is that no one is humble about their obnoxious intelligence. Everyone is competitive, and you can't skate by at this school. Effort is key and some times not only that. Collaboration helps a lot. This may be contradictory that everyone is competitive, but there are still those who are willing to partake in a symbiotic relationship in educational help.

    Tips for prospective students

    It can be very cut throat, especially the engineering classes. Be prepared. Don't be self-conscious of your ideas, express them.

    In three sentences

    Columbia is a definite blow to one's ego; everyone here was the top of their class. Everyone is so different that you can definitely find your best friend in this horde of the student body. Columbia is what you make out of it; there are unlimited resources for anything that you may fancy.

  • 07/17/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 2 people found this review useful. 36 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    they do have these blue lighted boxes all around campuses that you can call from if there is trouble. being a new yorker i'm not worried about safety but you have to be careful at any school that you apply to and attend especially if it is a new setting for a individual.

    Greek Life

    some for honors

    Clubs and Activities

    tons of things to get into especially in relation to a specific interest

    Great for these types of students

    open minded serious students

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    the tradition of a group going through campus to try to ease the tension on campus around the time of finals

    Bang for the buck

    although it is expensive, there is a lot of financial aid especially since it is an ivy league. but they do not offer merit scholarships which is understandable since a lot of its students are top of their class or within the top 15%

    What to do for fun

    there is a great nightlife as well as new york city's underground world. you just have to be open minded and adventurous. coney island in brooklyn, madison square garden, broadway,six flags in new jersey, museums, historical landmarks, times square, SHOPPING

    Food and Dining

    a lot of food options especially because of it's location

    Dorm Life

    the food seems a lot better and unique then other school. because it is in the city they may be a bit smaller then average but very feasible for it's occupants

    Academic Rigor

    the core curriculum is something that a lot of colleges aren't able to compete with, there a tons of majors as well as challenging courses as well as people to push you along the way.

    Tips for prospective students

    columbia university is a great school but in the end you should choose a school that you are comfortable in. there have been a lot of suicides at this school as well as other ones within the ivy league because students get accepted but can not take the pressure

    In three sentences

    great school, opportunities for students no matter what the major. because it is in new york city it is very diverse as well as vast opportunities whether it be for recreational or educational purposes (i was born and raised in new york as well as live less than a mile from campus when i was younger).

  • 10/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 37 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Security guards at every dorm hall to swipe in students and an on-campus police presence. Gated campus makes attending class safe, though there have been muggings on the streets outside.

    Clubs and Activities

    Whether you're looking for a sport, service group, cultural club or whatever, there are a variety of student organizations. And if it doesn't exist it's easy to start your own. In the beginning of the year students can learn about all the various clubs and join email lists.

    Great for these types of students

    Those who like challenging themselves not just academically, but in all aspects. Adventure seekers who like the thrill of living in a large urban area. High achievers that want to accomplish many things in their four years of college. People seeking to meet like-minded peers.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Like any school Columbia has its share of traditions such as Midnight Bike Ride, the World Leaders Forum, Primal Scream during finals, and spring Bacchanal show. Mentioning these online won't do them justice, you simply have to come to campus to see them for yourself.

    Bang for the buck

    Columbia is definitely one of the most expensive schools in the country. It may be well worth it for some, and not for others. However, the experiences and relationships you'll make here are hard to replicate at other schools.

    What to do for fun

    Various student performances and activities on campus as well as everything possible to do in New York City, visit Times Square, shop in 5th Avenue, look at the art in the Met, see a Broadway show, or just people-watch from a coffee shop window.

    Food and Dining

    Your typical mediocre college dining hall food. On holidays the dining halls plan special meals that usually taste a bit better than usual. But if dining hall food isn't your thing you have numerous restaurants right around the corner that can deliver to your dorm.

    Dorm Life

    Considering you are living in New York City, the place infamous for terrible housing, dorms aren't too bad. All dorms are a quick walk to campus and well-maintained. Various buildings have been renovated over the years so living conditions have steadily been increasing. Plus, from some rooms you get an amazing view of the city.

    Academic Rigor

    Professors are open and willing to talk, especially if you are having trouble in class. Coursework is definitely not a breeze, but if you plan your time won't take all night either.

    Tips for prospective students

    Really use your time to explore the city. Be in the habit of budgeting yourself. Put yourself out there and talk to people, be open about new things. Try taking classes in a variety of subjects, not just your intended major. There may be less of a traditional campus feel due to being in crowded Manhattan, but that doesn't make it any less of a college experience if you want to enjoy yourself.

    In three sentences

    The curriculum is challenging, but it's more than that which makes Columbia stand above the crowd. Columbia's biggest resource is New York City, with tons of opportunities for internships, volunteering, education, and just plain fun. You are surrounded by so many amazing people, you can learn a lot about them and from them as well, working together pushes you to better yourself.

  • 12/30/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 38 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Stepping onto the Columbia campus is like stepping into a bubble. Even though it's located in NYC, the environment's very different from the city surrounding it. The campus is very safe. The most prevalent crime is theft, and even then it poses a very mild problem. Campus police are readily available, but they're not overbearing. Columbia has a separate ambulance service, which is available 24/7. The priority is for student safety, so there are very few to no penalties for calling an ambulance for a friend even if the both of you were doing something against school policy.

    Clubs and Activities

    You're in New York City! There's always plenty to do Columbia's in a great place, close enough to the big attractions so that it's convenient to get to them, but far enough away where the noise isn't distracting. The main campus is located between Broadway and Amsterdam, so there are all kinds of stores within walking distance. The 116 Broadway subway stop is right in front the school gates, so transportation's super convenient. Times Square is only a 20 min subway ride away. Museum Mile, on 5th avenue, is only a 30 min bus ride away. The school offers discount tickets to many of the shows, plays, and concerts currently showing, and your student ID lets you get into many museums and similar places for free. There are also lotteries for free tickets to some of these shows. For example, I won a free ticket to see Cinderella on Broadway. If you don't feel like going into the city, there's also frequent shows and events hosted on campus by different student performance groups, like concerts by different singing groups, and cultural festivals hosted by the different cultural associations.

    What to do for fun

    You're in New York City! There's always plenty to do. Columbia's in a great place, close enough to the big attractions so that it's convenient to get to them, but far enough away where the noise isn't distracting. The main campus is located between Broadway and Amsterdam, so there are all kinds of stores within walking distance. The 116 Broadway subway stop is right in front the school gates, so transportation's super convenient. Times Square is only a 20 min subway ride away. Museum Mile, on 5th avenue, is only a 30 min bus ride away. The school offers discount tickets to many of the shows, plays, and concerts currently showing, and your student ID lets you get into many museums and similar places for free. There are also lotteries for free tickets to some of these shows. For example, I won a free ticket to see Cinderella on Broadway. If you don't feel like going into the city, there's also frequent shows and events hosted on campus by different student performance groups, like concerts by different singing groups, and cultural festivals hosted by the different cultural associations.

    Food and Dining

    There are three dining halls: John Jay, JJ's Place, and Ferris Booth. JJ's Place basically serves diner food: burgers, chicken tenders, fries, etc. so I only ever eat at JJ's as an indulgence. There is, however, a Jamba Juice machine, and students are free to take however much they want, so I often go on Jamba Juice runs with some of my friends and load up a couple water bottles with Jamba Juice in order to use up meal swipes. There's also an area where you can use swipe for breakfast food (granola bars, personal cereal packs and orange juice cartons, etc.) so many of the students I know go to JJ's at the end of the week to use up meal swipes. JJâ??s closes at 1:00 am during the week so itâ??s available for late night cravings. I go to John Jay for most of my meals because it's closest to my dorm. John Jay has a greater variety of food than Ferris Booth. Ferris serves pretty much the same thing every single day, but the quality is more consistent at Ferris. There will be days where the food at John Jay is magnificent and then there will be days where it's terrible. John Jay closes on Fridays and Saturdays though, and isn't open until 11:00 am during the other days of the week. So Ferris, which opens at 8:00 am, is best for breakfast. Both Ferris and JJâ??s close at 8:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. There are also cafes scattered around the campus, like Cafe 212 and Cafe East in Lerner Hall, which accept dining dollars (every meal plan comes with a certain amount of dining dollars, which rolls over from year to year, and more can be added over the course of the year). Cafe East has bubble tea and sushi, so that's where all my dining dollars have gone. :P Students can also add flex dollars to their accounts, which can be used at all dining locations on campus, the CU bookstore, and a bunch of different restaurants and stores near campus (there's a list online), as well as for the laundry machines and vending machines on campus.

    Dorm Life

    Columbia offers housing to all its undergraduate students for all four years, so you don't have to try and find an apartment in NYC. As a first year, I'm only familiar with the first year dorms, but it seems to me like there's a dorm to suit anyone's personality. Hartley and Wallach are part of the Living Learning Center (LLC) where first year's live with upperclassmen. I live in Hartley, and the upperclassmen on my floor are all very friendly and helpful. I sometimes get homework help from them. Most of my closest friends are from my floor. My RA's great; he's always willing to help you and he organizes really fun floor activities (pumpkin carving, secret santa, etc.). It's worth it to go to the study breaks each week. The lounges and other common areas, like kitchens, are kept very clean. Some floors in different dorms can get mice, but the risks of that are pretty directly proportional to the residents' efforts to clean up after themselves. It's not a problem on my floor. The bathrooms and kitchens vary from dorm to dorm. I hear Furnald has really nice facilities. Wallach has just been renovated, so their facilities are also very nice. Hartley is the oldest dorm and the bathrooms and kitchens are very small, but they're maintained well. Both Hartley and Wallach have kitchens on each floor (and obviously bathrooms, too). I'm not familiar with Carmen and John Jay's facilities, but there is apparently only one kitchen in Carmen and its located in the basement. Carmen's the party dorm and John Jay is also very social. Furnald is quieter, but my friends who live there are also very close with their floor mates.

    Academic Rigor

    For reference, my courses for the first semester were: Calculus III, Physics I, Intensive General Chemistry I, Engineering in Medicine, Art of Engineering. All the courses I've taken have been suitably challenging, but the workload hasn't been extreme and I've still had plenty of to hang out with friends. The exams are reasonable and the curves are fair. Columbia doesn't inflate grades, but it's still possible to do really well in your classes if you choose the appropriate difficulty. The last two courses in my schedule last semester were introductory classes, so the workload was light, with just a few projects and papers and no exams, but the lectures were very interesting.

    In three sentences

    Columbia's got a great student body that's both highly diverse and extremely accepting. The professors are all well-versed in their course material and willing to help you with any problems you have with the coursework; for more immediate and/or nonacademic help, the upperclassmen are very friendly and willing to offer advice and help with difficult homework problems. As a perk, the school's in a great location, with plenty to do and see, and offers discounted tickets for Broadway shows, plays, and concerts and your ID can get you into museums and similar places for free.

  • 05/22/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 39 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The headquarters for Columbia's Public Safety are on the first floor of Low Library. In most dormitories, there is a guard at the desk to swipe IDs and sign in visitors. Each student is allowed a maximum of 5 guests. Each must provide a form of ID (e.g. school ID, driver's license, etc.), leave it at the desk during their visit, and pick it up when they leave. If you are somewhere in Manhattan and feel unsafe heading home alone or with public transportation, you can call Public Safety and ask them to send an escort or you can catch a Public Safety bus, if you are near a pre-designated stop. Usually during emergencies involving Columbia students, when someone calls 911, the emergency operator might transfer you to the Public Safety office because if something unfortunate happened to you on campus and you need help immediately, the police, who are less familiar with campus buildings/locations than Public Safety is, may take longer to get to you. One assurance is that CAVA (Columbia Area Volunteer Ambulance) has several ambulances stationed on campus and various streets around campus to get to you as quickly as possible. Also, St. Luke's Hospital is literally in Columbia's backyard, right across the street from John Jay (a first-year dormitory) on 114th St & Amsterdam Ave.

    Greek Life

    There are some fraternities and sororities here and some of them have housing near campus. For some students, rush week and pledging are easy ways to make very close friends for a lifetime but some students have had their share of disappointments in the process. It's hard to tell if a certain sorority or fraternity is worth joining, and I would suggest talking to an individual who may have left the one you want to join, but it may not be easy to find someone who has. So the best way to join a fraternity/sorority is by making sure your big brother/sister (assigned to you when you pledge) is truly someone you would count on as a close friend. Or you should join with another close friend whom you've known very well. Greek life can be a blessing, in so far as a student benefiting from relatable and dependable friendships, or a nightmare, in which misunderstandings can cause friendships to fall apart.

    Clubs and Activities

    Because of the diversity of the student body, there are hundreds of clubs and groups to join and Columbia encourages the creation of more student organizations for students who may feel that they aren't represented. There are dance groups, acapella groups, science organizations, engineering and math organizations, debate teams, ethnic organizations and much more. Like I said before, it may take a while, but you'll eventually find your niche here.

    Great for these types of students

    Independent students: One thing I love about Columbia is her location. New York City is littered with train stations and buses. And although any public transportation system is not that reliable in terms of punctuality, I still value my ability to travel to various places and not have to rely on owning a car or begging for a ride. A trip one way, anywhere in NYC is $2.50 and Columbia has a train station (named after her) at 116th St & Broadway. Students who want/love diversity: If there is one thing I was unprepared for before college, it was diversity. All of my schooling prior to college involved mostly interactions with other minorities like me. Upon coming to Columbia, I developed friendships with people of various backgrounds, both nationally and internationally. I've met students from Turkey, China, Florida, Ohio, and many other places, but also found other students with similar backgrounds as mine. It may take a while, but you will eventually find your niche here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    At the end of every semester Columbia's marching band follow a tradition called Orgo night. They play on campus on the way to Butler library on the Thursday before Finals at midnight and deliver a comedy show for students to unwind and laugh before finals begin. Another tradition is Scream night. One night during Finals, students head over to the middle of campus (on Low Library's steps) or just open their windows to lean outside and at midnight, they scream as loud as they possibly can. Both options are nice stress relievers ^_^

    Bang for the buck

    New York City, especially Manhattan, is known for being very expensive, but the benefits of being a Columbia student can be found at the TIC (Ticket and Information Center) and their website at artsinitiative.columbia.edu, where students can access discounts to museums, Broadway shows, and other attractions in the city.

    What to do for fun

    Student Organizations throw parties more so at the beginning of the semester and near the end of the semester. Students can go sight-seeing (at the Brooklyn Bridge, in the Met, etc.) or peruse through nearby Harlem (yes in Harlem, but during the daytime, as I did). Students (of legal age) can visit 1020 or Mel's for a drink and hangout.

    Food and Dining

    The food is great. Anywhere you go will have better or worse amenities. Some students complain the food is not as good as what they eat at home, but the food is fine to me. Columbia has three main places that offer food: for early morning breakfast, late brunch, pizza, salads, stir fries, and pastas head to Ferris; for late brunch and home-cooked dinners head to John Jay dining hall; and for late night/ after midnight snacks, pancakes, omelets, hamburgers, fries, etc. head to JJ's Place. Columbia also has other cafes on campus that offer snacks and cold/hot drinks for purchase with Dining dollars, Flex dollars (both purchased from Columbia and only valid on campus and select locations, such as the 24/7 Morton Williams grocery and Chipotle), or cash/credit card.

    Dorm Life

    During my first year, I dormed in a single in John Jay. There are four options for first-year dorms: very sociable doubles and quads in Carmen; somewhat sociable and more substance-free singles and few doubles in John Jay; quiet singles and doubles in Furnald; and somewhat sociable singles and doubles in the Living and Learning Center (LLC). Most first-years prefer Carmen and John Jay for their social climates. For upperclassmen, there are dorms located nearby, but off the main quad, as it is a bit harder to get housing as an upperclassmen conveniently on campus.

    Academic Rigor

    Keep in mind that I am a Neuroscience and Behavior major (junior) in Columbia College of Columbia University. I have mostly taken science courses, and some literature courses. The coursework at Columbia is fairly difficult. The level of difficulty depends on the professor and class. Some professors teach at a fast pace, forcing the student to rely heavily on self-studying to catch up or understand concepts. Some professors are amazing at explaining concepts with such clarity, but their assignments/exams are difficult and require that the student not recite basics, but apply the concepts they learned in a different context. Some instructors are terrible and have difficult exams, thus making it twice as hard for the student. Some professors are great at teaching and administer exams that are not too difficult, nor too easy. One also has to keep in mind that most professors have teaching assistants (TAs), and those professors who are especially preoccupied with their research tend to rely heavily on their TAs to answer questions, hold office hours, and grade assignments/exams. Be wary of TAs who are power-hungry. Your grade may lie in their hands. If there is anything you must remember, it is that you can see reviews by Columbia students for Columbia students of professors, instructors, and some TAs at www.culpa.info. There you'll see what makes a professor/class good or bad and how heavy the assignments and how many exams that class has.

    Tips for prospective students

    Try to go to office hours. Sometimes that is the difference between you receiving a B- and a B. Don't get caught up in the hype during orientation week, also known as NSOP (New Student Orientation Program). Many students, afraid of not making enough friends, add the phone numbers of almost every student they meet. However, this causes one to lose focus because they become worried about keeping up with acquaintances and hanging out. I follow this rule of thumb: Only add their number after you've had three real conversations. An example of a real conversation is talking about what state/country you guys came from, your family, finding study partners, or a 1-hour non-awkward conversation at Starbucks, not a fake conversation about favorite colors or matching outfits. That way you won't end up with 50 numbers of classmates whom you briefly saw twice at the beginning of the semester. And yes, you will at least meet 50 new students during NSOP.

    In three sentences

    The connections made with professors and instructors are great. The climate (in terms of the resources available) is perfect for the student who is itching to be independent and loves the city. However, it gets cold fast and stays cold for long periods of time - it snowed late April and was cold enough for coats in early May.

  • 06/22/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    40 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Hardworking, ambitious, enthusiastic.

    Tips for prospective students

    Know what the Core means - they will be interesting, but required classes.

    Bang for the buck

    All private colleges are expensive now.... but Columbia will be a great education.

    Will enjoy being here

    I'm not a student on campus yet but I'm looking forward to it.

    Will learn a lot

    When I visited in the Spring, I attended Music Hum class (one of the Core courses for all Columbia students). Very interesting! With the Core, classes, and extracurricular activities it looks like it'll be hard not to learn a lot.

  • 07/30/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    41 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Everyone!

    Tips for prospective students

    Study hard!

  • 08/14/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    42 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Like all Ivy League schools, Columbia is expensive.

    Will enjoy being here

    Campus is very nice. Being in the city, the buildings are very close to each other. I hear the dorm rooms are crappy though.

    Will learn a lot

    World-renown graduate schools.

  • 01/01/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    0 out of 4 people found this review useful. 43 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    I can't wait to be in their writing program :D

  • 05/23/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    44 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    It's NYC so don't be stupid. But, students feel safe everywhere on campus at all hours of the day or night.

    Greek Life

    Columbia is known for having very little greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    Everything from ballroom dancing to hiking to your chemistry club.

    Great for these types of students

    People who are interested in everything - this is a place for well rounded people.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    College Steps - everyone on campus chills out here during the spring.

    Bang for the buck

    it's expensive... and living in NYC is also expensive... but it's not as bad as NYU.

    What to do for fun

    NYC NYC NYC.

    Food and Dining

    Well... the dining at Columbia is probably the same as anywhere else... (although freshman year you will be able to eat in a Hogwarts style cafeteria), but in addition to the normal options offered by Columbia, you can eat out anywhere in NYC that you want to!

    Dorm Life

    All types of options - apartment, single, suites... Just note that sophomore year you will live in awful housing. Besides that, great dorm options!

    Academic Rigor

    It's Columbia. Expect to work - somewhat.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of living in NYC. Some students at Columbia rarely leave campus. Go out. Explore. See a broadway show, an opera, a theater performance... trust me, you will never be able to do these things for such low prices as Columbia letsyou.

    In three sentences

    Amazing place to meet other intellectual students! Great Books Courses! Living in NYC!

  • 06/04/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    45 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The Primal Scream- the midnight before finals every year, all the students open their dorm windows onto the central quad and let out a primal scream to therapeutically reduce the considerable stress leading up to imminent exams.

    What to do for fun

    What isn't there to do for fun. The location says it all. The famous Columbia conundrum faced by generations of students involves the difficult decision of whether to sit in your dorm and write an essay on Williams' Death of a Salesman, or to see the play minutes away on Broadway.

    Food and Dining

    While Columbia's meal plan may not be Zagat-rated, the campus is surrounded by a myriad of local restaurants that are. Tom's Restaurant, made famous as the diner from Seinfeld is across the street from the West Gate.

    Dorm Life

    While space is always an issue in New York City, the Columbia housing office does a relatively good job of making sure that all of their students are comfortably housed in their dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    There isn't much to say about this Ivy League institution that has educated three United States presidents, nine Supreme Court justices, forty Nobel Prize winners, and 26 foreign heads of state over the past 258 years.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be adventurous and fully willing to experience new cultures firsthand through the, at times, overwhelmingly diverse student body. Be ready to learn both inside and outside of the classroom- from nobel laureates in lecture halls and Tony-winning actors a few blocks away on Broadway.

    In three sentences

    One would think that Columbia's academic rigor and sterling reputation as one of the foremost institutions of higher learning in the world would be enough to make it a dream school for any ambitious student. However, its unparalleled cultural diversity and unique location on the upper east side of Manhattan further distinguish it as a university truly apart from those in its cohort. I still cannot believe that I received a letter with the famous light blue crest adorning the header informing me of my admission to the class of 2016 and I will be stepping on campus in the fall following in the footsteps of Presidents Eisenhower and Obama and poets Kerouac and Ginsberg and knowing full well the shoes I must fill.

  • 06/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    46 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Columbia has it's own officiers that patrol the campus and surrounding area. Each dormitory contains one security guard and can only be accessed with a Columbia ID card.

    Greek Life

    Greek life does not play a large role in the Columbia community, however there are several fraternities and sororities to become involved in.

    Clubs and Activities

    With such a diverse student body Columbia boasts more than 100 student groups and sports.

    Great for these types of students

    Columbia is great for students that want to go to a school with a great amount of diversity, excellent academics and students from all walks of life.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Each semester before finals students hold a giant pillow fight on the main law to de-stress before exams begin. During the wintertime there is an annual tree lighting and yule log ceremony to prep for the holidays.

    Bang for the buck

    Ranked at the number four school in the country, Columbia is well worth it's high tuition rate. Especially when taking it's great financial aid into account.

    What to do for fun

    New York City has so many options for fun activities; each area has so much to offer. From restaurants to museums and historical monuments you will never run out of places to explore and things to experience.

    Food and Dining

    There are two options for dining at Columbia: John Jay Dining Hall and Ferris Booth Commons. Both have a variety of dishes, Ferris Booth being the healthier of the two options. For even more options students can go across the street to Barnard College and dine at Hewitt Dining Hall.

    Dorm Life

    Due to the high cost of living in New York City, most students live in on campus housing. This creates a fun and inviting atmosphere where most students live with friends.

    Academic Rigor

    Columbia is a well known for its difficult classes and heavy workload. There is a great amount of competition between students to do well, but despite this there are plenty of resources and classmates that will help you to do well.

    Tips for prospective students

    Become familiar with the admissions process and the types of students that Columbia is looking for. When applying keep these things in mind.

    In three sentences

    Columbia is a great school for students looking to gain a global perspective. There are a plethora of majors, classes and students groups to become involved in and a community that embraces all types of interests.

  • 07/04/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    47 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    I haven't had a chance to eat there, but I hope it's good. If not, I've got all of NYC to choose from.

    Dorm Life

    I'll be living in Carlton Arms. It's the furthest dorm from campus, but that just means I get to see more of the city :-)

    Academic Rigor

    This is IVY!

    In three sentences

    I am really looking forward to attending. I'll be going from a very small school of ~400 students to the largest city in the US. I can't wait.

  • 07/25/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    48 of 74

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    This place is beautiful, and I love the small campus setting jammed into New York City.

  • 07/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    49 of 74

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go out and explore, it NYC there are free and very low-costing stuff for the students to get involved in on and off campus

    Food and Dining

    So many cool restaurants around this campus....make sure you hit the gym after

    Academic Rigor

    Make sure you take classes outside of your comfort zone, you will learn more.

    Tips for prospective students

    Scholarships and Grants, it is very expensive to go here, but you will definitely fall in love with the school.

    In three sentences

    Columbia has a Good Environment, I receive a good vibe when on campus. It is very Resourceful, so many opportunities for students as long as student puts in a little work. Columbia University is highly secured so, I feel safe.

  • 07/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    50 of 74

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    The possibilities are endless in NYC

    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of all the school has to offer, which is a tremendous amount.

    In three sentences

    Tough and competitive. Come here only if you want to be challenged. With that said, very rewarding and it opens the doors to many opportunities.

  • 08/11/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    51 of 74

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    I absolutely LOVE everything about this school. Really considering about applying here though it seems very competitive!

  • 08/19/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    52 of 74

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    THIS IS MY DREAM SCHOOL!

  • 08/30/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    53 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    1. Network and make friends to build yourself a supportive community socially and professionally 2. Balance your studies and work experience with taking care of yourself physically and mentally 3. Strategically plan your classes and study time

    In three sentences

    It's a diverse community of students and professionals who strive for excellence in academics and experience. The campus provides a abundance of resources from within as well as takes advantage of being located in NYC. The curriculum is rigorous and will prepare you for future endeavors.

  • 09/26/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    54 of 74

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    I fell in love with Columbia when I went to visit the campus. Their mission statement and what they stand for, their diversity and dedication to their students is why I want to go here. They also have a plethora of clubs to join.

  • 09/27/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    55 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students who want extremely challenging and well-done courses, and enjoy being in an urban setting.

    Food and Dining

    The food in the surrounding area was quite good, although many restaurants were very busy at the time.

    In three sentences

    Columbia is a beautiful campus, and you feel like it's its own little world, separated from the city outside, in a good way. I can't speak for the academics or facilities, as there were no tours available when I visited. However, I have no reason to think that they are anything less than one would expect from such a school.

  • 10/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    56 of 74

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Hanging out with friends and the bar scene on campus or in the city itself is second to none.

    Food and Dining

    The cafes on campus are what make the dinning experience shine, along with all the other food opportunities around campus.

    Dorm Life

    The dormitories are sub-par because of the expensive nature of New York City I am not very surprised.

    Academic Rigor

    It will push you to strive for more from yourself.

    Tips for prospective students

    You will go as far as the amount of work you do. Essentially any experience you have or go through is only worth the amount of energy and time you place into it.

    In three sentences

    It is one of the most rigorous places for an academic career. It has, however, turned me into a very motivated person; one that I believe I wouldn't have become if I did not attend here.

  • 01/08/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    57 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    If you don't have financial pressure, you'd be happy here.

    In three sentences

    Columbia is a great school in a great city. Both the school and the city offer all kinds of opportunities. But it's very expensive to live and study here.

  • 02/01/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    58 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    yummy food.

    Dorm Life

    great people.

    Academic Rigor

    really excellent.

  • 02/27/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    59 of 74

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Its so big and amazing, very beautiful college

  • 05/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    60 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very safe

    Clubs and Activities

    Tons

    Great for these types of students

    Very diverse

    What to do for fun

    Its New York. Should I say more.

    Food and Dining

    Food is pretty decent. 3 star

    Dorm Life

    Most dorms are ok. They have singles which is really very nice!

    Academic Rigor

    5 star

    Tips for prospective students

    Time management is important

    In three sentences

    CU is an excellent school and they have a lot to offer. However, they need to provide more financial aid to students who are struggling to pay the tuition and their parents cannot assist them with funding.

  • 05/24/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    61 of 74

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    It's New York City - what isn't there to do?

    Academic Rigor

    I went to a middle school partnered with the university for a year and, though I was young, it was already a very rigorous curriculum that wasn't made for the faint hearted. I have friends who still attend that school and are now taking courses at the university that tell me about the course load - it's hard, but not impossible. You need to schedule and not be a procrastinator!

    In three sentences

    It has a beautiful, urban campus and amazing resources. It can be hard to get into, but is definitely worth the risk!

  • 06/18/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    62 of 74

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    I can't wait to visit the campus!

  • 06/27/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    63 of 74

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    I visited this school last month and it was truely amazing. The campus was so large being built within the city, but you feel as if you're within a community. The actual campus is beautifully divided and built, and the area despite being in the busiest city in the U.S is remarkably less croweed compared to the rest of the city.

  • 07/14/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    64 of 74

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Great college with a beautiful campus. Nice people. Nice environment.

  • 07/22/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    65 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Academic Rigor

    This school is really tough. My grandfather attending this school and received a double PhD, however, he worked three times as hard as the average student to do so.

    In three sentences

    Columbia is a gorgeous school. As one walks about the campus, the scholastic vibe is palpable. Even though it's in New York City, it's a school of it's own, feeling more suburban urban than being fully immersed into city life.

  • 10/13/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    66 of 74

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Anything and everything you can think of. Well, except school sports. You may want to sign up for extracurricular activities. It may not have the Division I glamour sports we all love to watch, but it has the educational value NONE of those schools could ever hope to carry.

    Food and Dining

    It's New York! The pinnacle of fashion and cuisine! What else could you expect from this place?

    Dorm Life

    Since New York is such a crowded state, it's best to stay in dorms. It may cost a lot, but you won't find much living space around.

    Academic Rigor

    Oh man. On a scale of 1-10, these classes appear to be at a 50. They're that tough, but that is crucial for your future. Be ready to study hard, no more just highlighting and note taking in your textbooks.

    Tips for prospective students

    Research every single college. I was surprised to find out that even in my current level, I have a very good chance of being admitted into this superior institution. Fulfill as much as you can in high school, because EVERYTHING helps. That club you may find stupid may be the key to getting a full scholarship. You never know.

    In three sentences

    Seems to be a great university. Being one of the top universities on the East Coast, it has an excellent reputation to uphold. I am researching it extensively, and it has many options for majors.

  • 12/11/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    67 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    I am very satisfied with the dining services here! The biggest issue I've found is the lack of open dining halls during breaks, but you can still use dining dollars at restaurants and cafes across the street!

    Dorm Life

    Living in Carman was the best decision I could've made dorm-wise. My floor is very close and my roommate and I are very good friends. But I still have friends in all of the other freshmen dorms. Which building you live in does not necessarily dictate your social life!

    Academic Rigor

    The workload can be significant, but it all depends on how you make your schedule, how many classes you choose to take, and what you major in. The most important thing is to check online for teacher reviews and see what past students have said about their workloads!

  • 01/27/2014

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    68 of 74

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    i know that Columbia is extremely tough to get into but are there any specifics that they search for in students that make it easier to be selected?

  • 04/10/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    69 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    24 hour security in almost every building, required in all dorms.

    Greek Life

    Not big but available.

    Clubs and Activities

    EVERYTHING and ANYTHING... and if you don't find it, you can make it!

    Great for these types of students

    Anyone highly intelligent.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Orgo Night- the band plays at midnight in the library during finals. Primal Scream- you scream at the top of your lungs during finals at midnight.

    Bang for the buck

    The name is helpful, especially outside the city and for graduate schools.

    What to do for fun

    There is SOOOO much going on all the time on campus and obviously in NYC.

    Food and Dining

    The food in the dining hall is horrible but you are only required to buy a meal plan your first year. Off campus options are plentiful and economical.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are terrible. Living conditions are not the strongsuit of the university. They certainly have no concern for comfort or really sanitation.

    Academic Rigor

    Columbia is very stressful and competitive but so are all IVY league institutions. One element though that is unusual is the push for internships during the year as well as a full course load of 5 or more classes. Institutions like Harvard do not have this culture and cap their classes at 4 maximum.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be yourself. If you get in here, you have been chosen because the admissions staff is confident you will be an important and proactive member of university life.

    In three sentences

    Columbia University is a vibrant and diverse community that cultivates a sense of independent thinking as well as preparedness for the world outside of undergraduate education. I am privileged to have been chosen to attend such an institution and will always speak highly of my education at Columbia.

  • 04/16/2014

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    70 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    Very near many inexpensive restaurants.

    Dorm Life

    Various options, both in central campus and around.

    Academic Rigor

    Rigorous school. Good for a student who likes being challenged and will put in the hard work and effort it takes to succeed here.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get involved in things way outside your comfort zone. Really into robotics? Try auditioning for your school's next play!

    In three sentences

    In a fantastic area. Wide variety of major options. Very friendly staff.

  • 05/21/2014

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    71 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Depends what area of social work your going for and what you want to do. For me it fit even though it is expensive but in the long run,I believe it is a good investment considering any grade school will burn a hole I'm your pocket, just done more than others.

    Tips for prospective students

    I'm actually going to Columbia University School of Social Work but can't find a page for that. But be excited, although the hours for field work may seem intense, it's going to be worth it because if the experience as well as being affiliated with an Ivy League school.

    In three sentences

    Educational, exceptional, intensive

  • 06/04/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    72 of 74

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Run when the weather is good!

    Food and Dining

    There is better food in NYCâ??go find it!

    Dorm Life

    People are friendly but not warm.

    Academic Rigor

    We'll see how hard it gets...

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to take advantage of living in New York City!

    In three sentences

    Columbia is supportive of its students. It has a beautiful campus in upper Manhattan. It's very costly though.

  • 06/16/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    73 of 74

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Get out and see NYC!!! Join a club, start a club, play video games with friends, go to plays, go to cultural events, go to parties. You have the college experience at your finger tips and you have NYC. Seriously. There is no reason to be bored.

    Food and Dining

    The food is pretty good but sometimes hit or miss. They try and make meals for people on different diets and there are 3 places that you can use meal swipes. There are also tons of cafes and if you get sick of the food you can always go out in NYC. The meals are tasty for the most part but if you are used to high dining or home cooked meals then you will be disappointed. The only thing I worry about is the food safety. I have become sick from eating in the dining hall (John Jay) on numerous occasions and the school has done badly on some of the food inspections (rat droppings found, food left out too long, food not at the correct temperature).

    Dorm Life

    Dorms at Columbia range from nice to absolutely horrible. There are tons of rats in every dorm (NYC is infested with rats) and most dorms do not have air conditioning. The dorm lottery is pretty iffy and you will end up living in a bad dorm sooner or later... I lived in a quite dorm and it wasn't very social; however, Columbia does have party dorms and frat houses. All in all, I had a place to live that was fairly comfortable. Far better than living on the streets but the dorms are tiny and not fancy. Some rooms are only 80 square feet!

    Academic Rigor

    Columbia is no joke. This school is very hard (especially Computer Science) and you will be forced to work. I am a student at Columbia College and the core curriculum is a beast! However, I have truly become a better writer (no more high school 5 paragraph essays) and I can think more deeply on topics now. I love and hate the core. Going through some of the classes are a serious pain but at the end it is so satisfying and worthwhile!

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you really love New York City before committing to Columbia! I had never visited NYC before attending but after a rough beginning I have learned to like NYC. Columbia is a very independent school in a super independent city. If you're looking for a person to hold your hand, go elsewhere. But if your ready for a challenge and are ready to be tested in all areas of life, then this is the place for you.

    In three sentences

    A school for independent thinkers willing to find opportunities and make a name for themselves. Teachers will not lead students by the hand but they will invest in students that invest in themselves. The student body has people of all walks of life and I've met amazing people here.

  • 07/30/2014

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    74 of 74

    Categories Comments
    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Amsterdam Terrace!

    In three sentences

    Columbia is a beautiful school with an amazing campus. It's urban, with a wonderful combination of cultural diversity and history, with many modern aspects. The only thing I do not love about it is the price tag.