Columbia University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn about Columbia University in New York City, NY. Read about its admission info, financial aid and degree programs to see if this is the right school for you.

About Columbia University

Founded in 1754 as King's College, Columbia University is the fifth-oldest higher learning institution in the nation. The university's main campus is located on Manhattan's Upper West Side and houses 3 undergraduate schools. Widely known for its research, Columbia University has more than 200 research centers and a current count of 600 patents.

There are a number of notable alumni among Columbia's graduates. An overview of these includes 5 U.S. Founding Fathers, 93 Pulitzer Prize winners, 34 presidents and prime ministers, and a number of Nobel Prize winners.


Columbia University offers more than 200 degree programs through its 16 schools and colleges. The majority of these schools and colleges are focused on graduate-level degree programs. Undergraduates can gain admittance one of three ways: through Columbia College, a very selective institution focused on undergraduate studies; through the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, which is the third-oldest engineering school in the nation; and through the School of General Studies, which is tailored toward nontraditional undergraduate students.

In addition, Columbia is partnered with 4 affiliate schools including Barnard College, Teachers College, The Jewish Theological Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary. This allows students to enroll in dual-degree programs with these schools and have access to resources available on these campuses.


The application process for prospective undergraduate is extensive. Applicants are required to submit the Common Application, an $80 application fee, and a Columbia-specific application supplement that requires short answer responses regarding interest in Columbia University and the selection of either Columbia College or Columbia Engineering.

In addition, the application packet requires a high school transcript, a recommendation from a high school counselor, and either SAT or ACT test scores, plus 2 teacher recommendations. In 2010, Columbia University had more than 26,000 applicants.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition costs vary by degree level. For the 2012 - 2013 academic year, tuition costs for undergraduates were $22,514 per term. Additional costs to consider include those for books and supplies, housing, and transportation.

Financial aid options range from federal grants to student loans. Columbia offers a payment plan option that is administered through the Sallie Mae Foundation, allowing students to make payment installments on tuition and fees.

School Type Private, 4-year**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, doctorates**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semester***
School Setting Large city**
Student Body In Fall 2011: 8,127 undergraduate and 17,923 graduate students**
Student Housing More than 20 on campus residence halls
Incoming students are guaranteed 4 years of on campus housing based on eligibility criteria*
Schools and Programs 16 schools and colleges offering approximately 200 degree programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 6-to-1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010 - 2011:
Bachelor's: Social Sciences (470)
Master's: Business, Management, and Marketing (1,278)
Doctorates: Legal Professions and Studies (462)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 85% in four years
93% in six years**
Admission Rate 10% in Fall 2011**
Entering Class Size in Fall 2010 1,419***
First-Year Retention Rates 96%**
Average SAT Combined Critical Reading and Math Scores of Admitted Students Middle 50% SAT range between: 1390 - 1570 in Fall 2010**
Undergraduate Application Due Date January 1*
Decision Notification Date 4 - 6 weeks after application submission*
Undergraduate Tuition (2012 - 2013) $22,514 per term*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010: federal grants (18%), Pell grants (18%), other federal grants (17%), state and local grants/scholarships (8%), institutional grants/scholarships (52%), federal loans (15%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 61%**

Sources: *Columbia University, **College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, ***IPEDS, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 212 Hamilton Hall, Mail Code 2807, New York, NY 10027
  • Phone: (212) 854-2522
  • Website:

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path, Executive Leader Specialization
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path
    • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
    • Master of Science in Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology
    • MBA
    • Master of Public Health
    • MBA - Human Resources
    • BS in Liberal Studies
    • BS in Business Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Investment Career Focus Area
    • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
    • BS in Nutrition Science
    • BSFIN in Accelerated MS Finance
    • AAS in Business Administration - Business
    • AAS in Legal Support and Services
    • AAS in Business Administration
    • AAS in Business Administration - Food & Hotel Management
    • AAS in Business Admin-Office Management
    • AAS in Criminal Justice

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • DCJ: Education
    • DBA: Business Administration
    • DCJ: Homeland Security
    • EDD: School Leadership
    • BA: Criminal Justice
    • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
    • BA: Liberal Studies
    • BA: Psychology
    • BA: Psychology - General
    • BS: Computer Science
    • AA: Criminal Justice
    • AA: Liberal Arts
    • AA: Business Administration
    • AA: Information Technology
    • AA: Cybersecurity

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • MBA in Healthcare Management
    • MBA in Accounting
    • MBA in Human Resources
    • MBA in International Business
    • MBA in Operations Management
    • Master of Accountancy

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Accounting
    • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
    • Master of Business Administration - Finance
    • Master of Business Administration - Marketing

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master's in Business Administration/Management
    • MA in Organizational Leadership
    • MS in Information Technology/Database Administration
    • Master's in Business Administration
    • Master's in Business Administration/Accounting
    • Master's in Business Administration/Accounting & Finance

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
    • Master of Arts in Economics
    • Master of Public Administration and Policy
    • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
    • Master of Science in Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Arts - Communication and Media Studies
    • Master of Education - Middle Grades
    • Master of Science - Entrepreneurship
    • Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
    • Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Communication Management
    • Master of Science in Organizational Leadership -Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
    • Bachelor of Science - Psychology
    • Bachelor in Business Adminstration
    • Bachelor in Business Adminstration - Accounting
    • Bachelor in Business Adminstration - Financial Economics
    • Bachelor in Business Adminstration - Human Resource Management
    • Bachelor in Business Adminstration - Marketing
    • Associate of Arts - Liberal Studies
    • Education Specialist - Middle Grade Education
    • Education Specialist - Special Education
    • Post Graduate Certificate - Communication Management
    • Post Graduate Certificate - Finance
    • Post Graduate Certificate - Health Care Management
    • Post Graduate Certificate - Human Resource Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?