Columbia College Chicago
Chicago, IL, USA

Reviews

Columbia College Chicago
3.82 Average Rating

Rey from Nashville, TN

a current student here
71 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I learn from not only my professors but also the fellow students around me. The professors not only work for the school but also have careers in their fields within the city. They all encourage students to seek outside education and experience with their craft.
Am enjoying being here
I love being apart of Columbia. It is a wonderful place where beginning artists all around the world come to learn and hone their craft. The location of the campus is wonderful.
Bang for the buck
As for the education, you do really get the education you want for your money. The room and board is the only thing that is a bit expensive, but it is all understandable because of the campuses location being downtown. Those students who live on campus in the downtown loop are close to everything which makes it all worth it.
Tips for prospective students
Definitely search for internships and other things to gain experience in your profession. This school wants you to get out there and make a name for yourself. Get out of your dorm room work hard and experience the city, the school, and just enjoy your time here. It is up to you if you want your name out there.
Great for these types of students
This school is great for open minded individuals who love the arts and want to pursue a career in the art of your choosing. If you enjoy the fast life of the city and you enjoy the arts then this school is right for you!
Sign in to rate & review

Sarah from Burlington, WI

a current student here
40 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The classes are challenging in a great way. The staff are more than willing to explain complicated concepts in many different ways until students tell them they understand.
Am enjoying being here
I have hardly met anyone that I have not liked and could not see being friends with. I had no trouble making new friends within the first week. We hang out on an almost daily basis, and have not had a dull encounter yet. The staff are inviting, crazy in a good way, and passionate about their individual subject area. Whenever you run into one of them, he or she is happy to get to know you as you, not just as one of their students, but as a future colleague and friend. I am still getting used to calling them by their first name (which they all prefer) after calling all of my teachers in grade/high school by their Mr. and Mrs. titles.
Bang for the buck
The school may seem expensive, but for the private setting and all the resources you have at your disposal, it is well worth it. Every upperclassman that I have talked to already has a job lined up before they graduate. Since the staff are not only educators, but also work in the career paths they preach about, they can use their connections to help their students get their own careers. With the economy the way it is, I would say that any school that practically guarantees employment immediately after graduation is well worth the price.
Tips for prospective students
Make sure to make friends both in and outside of your major. Conferring with other students while doing homework and group study sessions are a great way to understand material and get homework done. Having these connections will not only help getting assignments done, but after you graduate these friends can help get you jobs in your field if you decide to go a more freelance route.
Also, make sure to take advantage of Student Instruction sessions. In these, students who took the class previously go over the same material from a student perspective. Even if you understand everything the teacher said, it's still a great way to get a well-rounded understanding from the basics (and it forces you to study for the tests and quizzes).
Go to the Harold Washington Library near the University Center and CVS. In my opinion, its nine floors are far superior to the school's library. As an added bonus the massive amounts of research material, there are movies and CDs you can check out on the ground level, sheet music and practice rooms on the 8th floor, and a beautiful lounge on the top level if you take the escalator toward the back of the building. It's a great place to study and use the free wifi. Oh, and did I meantion that you can check out the movies and sheet music free of charge with a library card! Just make sure to return them on time.
Great for these types of students
If you have an artistic and open mind. You have to be able to accept every kind of people for who they are and not judge. You won't fit in otherwise. It's such an inviting and accepting atmosphere; I have never found a more accepting place. You have to be willing to do the work and be passionate about what you are studying.
Sign in to rate & review

Laurel from Woodinville, WA

a current student here
18 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
At Columbia you are learning from teachers who are working professionals immersed in the fields that they are teaching. Classes are kept small and students immediately begin developing work.
Am enjoying being here
I am surrounded by people who are passionate about the art that they are producing. Being in the city of Chicago provides many additional opportunities see shows and get involved in work that is happening outside of Columbia.
Bang for the buck
Columbia may seem expensive but the cost is fairly reasonable when compared to other art schools.
Tips for prospective students
On-campus housing is very expensive and not really worth it. No strong community is created in the dorms and I find that you will not really get to know that many more people that way.

Prospective students need to understand that while Columbia is an art school, classes still require a lot of time and energy. Students should not simply choose Columbia because they think that it is going to be easy.
Great for these types of students
Columbia is great for students who love to express themselves creatively and are passionate about their art form but do not necessarily need the strong academic component offered in the more traditional college experience.
Sign in to rate & review

Ariana from Chicago, IL

a current student here
12 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The majority of my classes are filled with information, and have really helped me grow not only as a student but as a person.
Am enjoying being here
The school is so fun, and creative that it is almost impossible not to make friends.
Bang for the buck
Your first year you start off in classes in your major. Although it is expensive, you really do get what you pay for.
Tips for prospective students
Work really hard. I know thats cliche but its for real.
Great for these types of students
misfits, artsy kids, really everyone :D
Sign in to rate & review

Lauren from Chicago, IL

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I have learned so much during the past 3 years at Columbia. The hands on experience instructed by professors who work in your field of work is absolutely amazing. You will not find a better college for hands on learners,
Am enjoying being here
Columbia is far from a dull college. There are always enjoyable events going on and the classes are full of excitement everyday including guest speakers, field trips, and unexpected ways of learning.
Bang for the buck
Columbia is an extremely expensive school. But they do a great job of trying to help their students from work upon graduation. They do this by mandatory internships, counseling, etc. I have one more year until I graduate so I'm not sure if my investment has paid off yet. But I have high hopes that Columbia will take care of me!
Tips for prospective students
Make sure you are serious about the career you intend to pursue. At Columbia the courses are very major-oriented and are difficult to transfer to other major programs.
Great for these types of students
Artsy, independent, hipster, urban, people who aren't traditional learners, fashionable, different, edgy
Sign in to rate & review

Justin from New Orleans, LA

accepted here and planning to attend soon
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Will learn a lot
Not only did I learn stuff from the faculty that work there, but also the students. This college goes through the basics of helping you develop a career in the arts.
Will enjoy being here
One of the great things about Columbia is that it is located in the city of Chicago. There are so many thing to do in Chicago, that you will never get bored.
Great for these types of students
If you love to expand your horizons and art, Then this school is for you.
Sign in to rate & review

Courtney from Saint Louis, MO

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Columbia College Chicago was more than just a great experience for me. I can't even explain how diverse the people are there as far as talent and culture . They really give you a lot of space to embrace who you are and they support you in any way possible !
Tips for prospective students
If you plan on coming to Columbia , be ready to get your eyes opened to more ways to view things and different ways to get people to know who you are and what you do. It has a lot of networking going on in this environment so it is very easy to find people who is really passionate about doing things that you are passionate about and being open to new things. You wont be disappointed !
Academic Rigor
As far as academics Columbia takes it seriously. If you have any trouble understanding any work even the teachers who are not your assigned teacher will do their best to make sure that you get all your questions answered. They are really concerned about your future. Also, the classes are not as big as the average University , there are about 15 to 30 students in each classroom setting and it makes you feel more comfortable to ask questions to get a better understanding of things. I really appreciate that !
Dorm Life
The dorms are THE BEST THING EVER!!! They make room for networking and they have a lot of things you can do for fun. They have four different dorms ; 2east eighth , The Dwight , The Buckingham, and the University Center. The University Center is my FAVORITE because of the diversity and the leniency they have as far as the policies. They allow you to sign in Four guests and As long as you are with them you wont get in trouble . They are so diverse ! 4 different schools live there and it's amazing to not be around the same people all of the time . They have a place where you can practice music, work out , dance , do homework , watch movies and everything . it's awesome !
Food and Dining
The food is great here , especially around the holidays . But you know what they say ! ain't nothing like grandmothers cooking ! They give you a nice time frame to get something to eat and also they give you flex dollars for after hours when you want a late night snack and when you don't have any more flex, you can go downstairs to the 7 eleven to get a snack .
What to do for fun
It is ALWAYS something to do in all of the dorms. I usually go to my friends room, go to the gym, go to the music room, play pool, watch movies in the multimedia room and many other things . you can always do things there.
Great for these types of students
Dancers have the advantage of going to the Dance Center to dance for fun after classes whenever ! And for all the Vocal Performance Majors , they have the Music Center that stays open so that you can sing all night if you want to or record as long as you want to. Film and Photography Majors have Chicago as their playground so they can get as much work done as needed!
Campus Safety
It's always safe at the dorms . The campus security is always watching out for us and telling you how to survive in the streets of Chicago and the best ways to stay safe .
Sign in to rate & review

Stephanie from Brooklyn, NY

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Columbia College is absolutely the best school I could have possibly chosen for enhancing my career. Everyone at this school, whether student or staff, is unquestionably passionate and dedicated to their craft, and always willing to offer a helping hand. This is more than a school, but a community of artists.
Tips for prospective students
Keep an open mind, and don't be deterred by the art school exclusive labeling. Columbia is a college for the public, not just painters and fashion designers. If you dont know what your major is yet, there is time to find out.
Academic Rigor
Do not believe any reviews about this school being full of Easy A's, ESPECIALLY if your'e a film or theatre major, you've got your work cut out for you. There is always enough work to keep me busy, but I have never found myself under unbearable pressure, and even if I do, I know that there is someone around willing to lend an ear, like the on-campus counselors.
Dorm Life
Columbia dorms are modeled after loft style apartments, including kitchens, flat screen TV's, gyms, and other goodies. You get the privileges of living in your own apartment, without the hassle of the tiny cubicle dorm life, but are still connected to your community, your neighbors, and your RA's. Not to mention you can roll out of bed five minutes before class and still make it in time.
Food and Dining
Chicago food goes beyond the deep dish pizza and hot dogs. Columbia is centered in the Loop, surrounded by every type of cuisine from any culture you could think of. Thankfully, there is also a gym to work it all off in.
What to do for fun
Its Chicago, what cant you do for fun? There are tons of on campus clubs, not to mention the nightlife clubs, free art shows, free galas, free concerts, free movie screenings, free ice skating in the winter, etc. We like free.
Bang for the buck
I was considering staying home in New York and attending NYU for film, but I went with my gut and came to Columbia Chicago, and I never doubt that I made the right choice. In less than a year this school has not only given me increased skill and knowledge that I can apply to my every day work, but they have also opened up career and networking opportunities that I never would have gotten in NYC. Columbia is not about isolating who is the most talented, but rather building a creative posse that you will grow in your talents with simultaneously, who you know you can count on for the rest of your working career, and that is true collaboration in art.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Convocation and the Hell Yeah Liturgy, the Blood Ball, the 24 Hour Party Nights, Manifest, Big Mouth, and more.
Great for these types of students
If you are outgoing, you love networking, and collaborating on ideas and artwork, this is the school for you. If you are shy, but you would like to network and collaborate, I guarantee there are other shy individuals here too that would love to work with you. Columbia is for those who can keep an open mind and not be afraid to create change.
Clubs and Activities
There are 1001 clubs at Columbia: the Whovians, the SciFi movie club, the basketball, ultimate frisbee, and baseball clubs, Latino Alliance, Free the Slaves, Second City, etc. If you've got a hobby, they've got a club for it.
Greek Life
There is no Greek Life, which in my mind is an A+++.
Campus Safety
I have never encountered anything even remotely dangerous or scary on campus. The security guards in the buildings are 24 hours, and the campus security patrols around all night in their SUV's and in the summer time, their segways.
Sign in to rate & review

Selena from Orlando, FL

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The phrase you get what you put in is thrown around, and for good reasons. This could be the greatest place in the world, putting you in connection with your industry's greatest innovators, or you could barely float along and graduate not having learned a thing. It's all up to you and your motivations.
Tips for prospective students
Don't buy the administration's pretty presentations. I love Columbia, but make sure you dig deeper and don't fall for anything they might say to get you to attend. Do the research yourself.
Academic Rigor
We're an arts school, so we've heard all the jokes about the education not being quality. We have an honors program, so if you're looking for a challenge, you can get it. Or you can take basic core classes and focus more on your major. Whatever floats your boat.
Dorm Life
With the exception of the University Center, all of the apartment style dorms get little to no complaints. There's wifi, cable, and amenities vary from building to building, like free laundry, printing, gyms, and more. However, the UC has suite style dorms, and therefore feels more like a typical college dorm than an apartment, which may be why there are more complaints there. A lot of people love it, though, for its easy access to food as it comes with a meal plan.
Food and Dining
Columbia is in downtown Chicago, the food is no joke. Whatever you want, you can get. And it's all so good.
What to do for fun
What isn't there to do? On campus, there are clubs for every subject, off campus, we have free entry to the Art Institute, and discounted tickets at other museums. So many bands perform concerts in Chicago, and our newspaper gives us easy access to free advance movie screenings. We're really close to a lot that Chicago has to offer, so you can do whatever you want here.
Greek Life
There is no Greek Life at Columbia, but if you are interested in going Greek, there are city wide chapters of Sororities and Fraternities that you could join.
Sign in to rate & review

Catherine from Oak Park, IL

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
I love Columbia. It's a great environment for artists. I am always getting great opportunities.
Tips for prospective students
Know what you're getting into. You will live and breathe your art. It can be a lot more work than you may think.
Academic Rigor
I'm in the honors program so all of my classes have been difficult.
Dorm Life
Most of the dorms are amazing and it's fun to be right there in the middle of downtown.
Food and Dining
Not everyone is required to have a meal plan so it can get expensive to eat without one. But there's a Trader Joe's and Jewel within walking distance so just get used to cooking for yourself. Toppers every night might be fun for a week but it gets old fast.
What to do for fun
Lots of stuff. Your U-Pass allows the city to be your campus.
Bang for the buck
Columbia is not that expensive and I feel like I am getting so much.
Great for these types of students
those who want to live and breathe their art.
Greek Life
doesn't exist.
Sign in to rate & review