|Mascot||Roar-ee the Lion|
Columbia University, officially Columbia University in the City of New York, is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan, it is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest in the United States.
Columbia was established as a colonial college by royal charter under George II of Great Britain. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the American Revolution, and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University.
Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including four undergraduate schools and 16 graduate schools. The university's research efforts include the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and accelerator laboratories with Big Tech firms such as Amazon and IBM. Columbia is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and was the first school in the United States to grant the MD degree. The university also annually administers the Pulitzer Prize. Its endowment stands at $13.3 billion as of 2022[update], which is among the largest of any academic institution.
Columbia scientists and scholars have played a pivotal role in scientific breakthroughs including
As of December 2021[update], its alumni, faculty, and staff have included
Discussions regarding the founding of a college in the
Classes were initially held in July 1754 and were presided over by the college's first president,
In 1763, Johnson was succeeded in the presidency by Myles Cooper, a graduate of The Queen's College, Oxford, and an ardent Tory. In the charged political climate of the American Revolution, his chief opponent in discussions at the college was an undergraduate of the class of 1777, Alexander Hamilton.: 3 The Irish anatomist, Samuel Clossy, was appointed professor of natural philosophy in October 1765 and later the college's first professor of anatomy in 1767. The American Revolutionary War broke out in 1776, and was catastrophic for the operation of King's College, which suspended instruction for eight years beginning in 1776 with the arrival of the Continental Army. The suspension continued through the military occupation of New York City by British troops until their departure in 1783. The college's library was looted and its sole building requisitioned for use as a military hospital first by American and then British forces.
On May 21, 1787,
In November 1813, the college agreed to incorporate its medical school with The College of Physicians and Surgeons, a new school created by the Regents of New York, forming
During the last half of the 19th century, under the leadership of President
In 1896, university president
Research into the atom by faculty members John R. Dunning, I. I. Rabi, Enrico Fermi and Polykarp Kusch placed Columbia's physics department in the international spotlight in the 1940s after the first nuclear pile was built to start what became the Manhattan Project. In 1928, Seth Low Junior College was established by Columbia University in order to mitigate the number of Jewish applicants to Columbia College. The college was closed in 1936 due to the adverse effects of the Great Depression and its students were subsequently taught at Morningside Heights, although they did not belong to any college but to the university at large. There was an evening school called University Extension, which taught night classes, for a fee, to anyone willing to attend.
In 1947, the program was reorganized as an undergraduate college and designated the
In the aftermath of World War II, the discipline of international relations became a major scholarly focus of the university, and in response, the
During the 1960s
Though several schools within the university had admitted women for years, Columbia College first admitted women in the fall of 1983, after a decade of failed negotiations with Barnard College, the all-female institution affiliated with the university, to merge the two schools. Barnard College still remains affiliated with Columbia, and all Barnard graduates are issued diplomas signed by the presidents of Columbia University and Barnard College.
During the late 20th century, the university underwent significant academic, structural, and administrative changes as it developed into a major research university. For much of the 19th century, the university consisted of decentralized and separate faculties specializing in Political Science, Philosophy, and Pure Science. In 1979, these faculties were merged into the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
In 1991, the faculties of Columbia College, the School of General Studies, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts, and the School of Professional Studies were merged into the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, leading to the academic integration and centralized governance of these schools.
In 2010, the
The majority of Columbia's graduate and undergraduate studies are conducted in the
Several buildings on the Morningside Heights campus are listed on the
A statue by sculptor
"The Steps", alternatively known as "Low Steps" or the "Urban Beach", are a popular meeting area for Columbia students. The term refers to the long series of granite steps leading from the lower part of campus (South Field) to its upper terrace. With a design inspired by the City Beautiful movement, the steps of Low Library provides Columbia University and Barnard College students, faculty, and staff with a comfortable outdoor platform and space for informal gatherings, events, and ceremonies. McKim's classical facade epitomizes late 19th-century new-classical designs, with its columns and portico marking the entrance to an important structure.
In April 2007, the university purchased more than two-thirds of a 17 acres (6.9 ha) site for a new campus in
In 2006, the university established the Office of Environmental Stewardship to initiate, coordinate and implement programs to reduce the university's environmental footprint. The U.S. Green Building Council selected the university's Manhattanville plan for the
Every Thursday and Sunday of the month, Columbia hosts a
According to the A. W. Kuchler U.S. potential natural vegetation types, Columbia University would have a dominant vegetation type of Appalachian Oak (104) with a dominant vegetation form of Eastern Hardwood Forest (25).
Undergraduate admissions and financial aid
|Undergraduate admissions statistics|
|Admit rate||3.9% |
|Yield rate||66.5% |
|Test scores middle 50%|
|SAT Total||1510–1560 |
( −10 median)
Columbia University received 60,551 applications for the class of 2025 (entering 2021) and a total of around 2,218 were admitted to the two schools for an overall acceptance rate of 3.66%.
Annual gifts, fund-raising, and an increase in spending from the university's endowment have allowed Columbia to extend generous financial aid packages to qualifying students. On April 11, 2007, Columbia University announced a $400 million donation from media billionaire alumnus
Scholarships are also given to undergraduate students by the admissions committee. Designations include John W. Kluge Scholars, John Jay Scholars, C. Prescott Davis Scholars, Global Scholars, Egleston Scholars, and Science Research Fellows. Named scholars are selected by the admission committee from first-year applicants. According to Columbia, the first four designated scholars "distinguish themselves for their remarkable academic and personal achievements, dynamism, intellectual curiosity, the originality and independence of their thinking, and the diversity that stems from their different cultures and their varied educational experiences".
In 1919, Columbia established a student application process characterized by The New York Times as "the first modern college application". The application required a photograph of the applicant, the maiden name of the applicant's mother, and the applicant's religious background.
|Columbia Graduate/Professional Schools|
Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
|College of Dental Medicine||1852|
|Columbia Law School||1858|
Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
|Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences||1880|
Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
|Teachers College, Columbia University (affiliate)||1887|
|Columbia University School of Nursing||1892|
|Columbia University School of Social Work||1898|
|Graduate School of Journalism||1912|
|Columbia Business School||1916|
Mailman School of Public Health
School of International and Public Affairs
|School of the Arts||1965|
|School of Professional Studies||1995|
|Columbia Climate School||2021|
|Columbia Undergraduate Schools|
Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
|Barnard College (affiliate)||1889|
|Columbia University School of General Studies||1947|
Columbia University is an independent, privately supported, nonsectarian institution of higher education. Its official corporate name is "The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York". The university's first charter was granted in 1754 by King George II; however, its modern charter was first enacted in 1787 and last amended in 1810 by the New York State Legislature. The university is governed by 24 trustees, customarily including the president, who serves ex officio. The trustees themselves are responsible for choosing their successors. Six of the 24 are nominated from a pool of candidates recommended by the Columbia Alumni Association. Another six are nominated by the board in consultation with the executive committee of the University Senate. The remaining 12, including the president, are nominated by the trustees themselves through their internal processes. The term of office for trustees is six years. Generally, they serve for no more than two consecutive terms. The trustees appoint the president and other senior administrative officers of the university, and review and confirm faculty appointments as required. They determine the university's financial and investment policies, authorize the budget, supervise the endowment, direct the management of the university's real estate and other assets, and otherwise oversee the administration and management of the university.
The University Senate was established by the trustees after a university-wide referendum in 1969. It succeeded to the powers of the University Council, which was created in 1890 as a body of faculty, deans, and other administrators to regulate inter-Faculty affairs and consider issues of university-wide concern. The University Senate is a unicameral body consisting of 107 members drawn from all constituencies of the university. These include the president of the university, the provost, the deans of Columbia College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, all of whom serve ex officio, and five additional representatives, appointed by the president, from the university's administration. The president serves as the Senate's presiding officer. The Senate is charged with reviewing the educational policies, physical development, budget, and external relations of the university. It oversees the welfare and academic freedom of the faculty and the welfare of students.
Columbia has four official undergraduate colleges:
Joint degree programs are available through
Columbia students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as
Columbia University is ranked 12th in the United States and seventh globally for 2023–2024 by
In 2021, Columbia was ranked seventh in the world (sixth in the United States) by Academic Ranking of World Universities, sixth in the world by U.S. News & World Report, 19th in the world by QS World University Rankings, and 11th globally by Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It was ranked in the first tier of American research universities, along with Harvard, MIT, and Stanford, in the 2019 report from the Center for Measuring University Performance. Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation was ranked the second most admired graduate program by Architectural Record in 2020.
In 2011, the
In 2022, Columbia's reporting of metrics used for university ranking was criticized by Professor of Mathematics Michael Thaddeus, who argued key data supporting the ranking was "inaccurate, dubious or highly misleading." Subsequently, U.S. News & World Report "unranked" Columbia from its 2022 list of Best Colleges saying that it could not verify the data submitted by the university. In June 2023, Columbia University announced their undergraduate schools would no longer participate in U.S. News & World Report's rankings, following the lead of its law, medical and nursing schools. A press release cited concerns that such rankings unduly influence applicants and "distill a university's profile into a composite of data categories."
Columbia scientists have been credited with about 175 new inventions in the health sciences each year.
Military and veteran enrollment
Columbia is a long-standing participant of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program, allowing eligible veterans to pursue a Columbia undergraduate degree regardless of socioeconomic status for over 70 years. As a part of the Eisenhower Leader Development Program (ELDP) in partnership with the United States Military Academy at West Point, Columbia is the only school in the Ivy League to offer a graduate degree program in organizational psychology to aid military officers in tactical decision making and strategic management.
Several prestigious awards are administered by Columbia University, most notably the
|Race and ethnicity||Total|
In 2020, Columbia University's student population was 31,455 (8,842 students in undergraduate programs and 22,613 in postgraduate programs), with 45% of the student population identifying themselves as a minority. Twenty-six percent of students at Columbia have family incomes below $60,000. 16% of students at Columbia receive Federal Pell Grants, which mostly go to students whose family incomes are below $40,000. Seventeen percent of students are the first member of their family to attend a four-year college.
On-campus housing is guaranteed for all four years as an undergraduate.
Columbia University is home to many
The Columbia Daily Spectator is the nation's second-oldest continuously operating daily student newspaper. The Blue and White is a monthly literary magazine established in 1890 that discusses campus life and local politics. Bwog, originally an offshoot of The Blue and White but now fully independent, is an online campus news and entertainment source. The Morningside Post is a student-run multimedia news publication.
Political publications include
Columbia Magazine is the alumni magazine of Columbia, serving all 340,000+ of the university's alumni. Arts and literary publications include The Columbia Review, the nation's oldest college literary magazine;
Columbia is home to numerous undergraduate academic publications. The Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal prints original science research in its two annual publications. The Journal of Politics & Society is a journal of undergraduate research in the social sciences; Publius is an undergraduate journal of politics established in 2008 and published biannually; the Columbia East Asia Review allows undergraduates throughout the world to publish original work on China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, and Vietnam and is supported by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute; The Birch is an undergraduate journal of Eastern European and Eurasian culture that is the first national student-run journal of its kind; the Columbia Economics Review is the undergraduate economic journal on research and policy supported by the Columbia Economics Department; and the Columbia Science Review is a science magazine that prints general interest articles and faculty profiles.
Humor publications on Columbia's campus include
Founded in 1961 under the auspices of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) examines day-to-day press performance as well as the forces that affect that performance. The magazine is published six times a year.
Columbia is home to two pioneers in undergraduate
Debate and Model UN
The Philolexian Society is a literary and debating club founded in 1802, making it the oldest student group at Columbia, as well as the third oldest collegiate literary society in the country. The society annually administers the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Bad Poetry Contest. The Columbia Parliamentary Debate Team competes in tournaments around the country as part of the American Parliamentary Debate Association, and hosts both high school and college tournaments on Columbia's campus, as well as public debates on issues affecting the university.
The Columbia International Relations Council and Association (CIRCA), oversees Columbia's Model United Nations activities. CIRCA hosts college and high school Model UN conferences, hosts speakers influential in international politics to speak on campus, and trains students from underprivileged schools in New York in Model UN.
Technology and entrepreneurship
Columbia is a top supplier of young engineering entrepreneurs for New York City. Over the past 20 years, graduates of Columbia established over 100 technology companies.
The Columbia University Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs (CORE) was founded in 1999. The student-run group aims to foster entrepreneurship on campus. Each year CORE hosts dozens of events, including talks, #StartupColumbia, a conference and venture competition for $250,000, and Ignite@CU, a weekend for undergrads interested in design, engineering, and entrepreneurship. Notable speakers include Peter Thiel, Jack Dorsey, Alexis Ohanian, Drew Houston, and Mark Cuban. As of 2006, CORE had awarded graduate and undergraduate students over $100,000 in seed capital.
CampusNetwork, an on-campus social networking site called Campus Network that preceded Facebook, was created and popularized by Columbia engineering student Adam Goldberg in 2003.
On June 14, 2010, Mayor