College Spotlight: Columbia University
College Expert at Exploring Educational Excellence
Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown
June 1, 2015
Situated in Morningside Heights, just two blocks from Riverside Park and within easy walking distance to New York City’s Central Park, Columbia University – a member of the Ivy League — is a quiet campus surrounded by hip hustle and bustle. For Columbia students, it’s all about location, location, location. The student body is an eclectic mix of undergraduate, graduate, and medical students.
The undergraduate experience at Columbia revolves around a core curriculum focused on the Great Books. According to Alec Milton of Columbia’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, what every Columbia student has in common is a love of reading. At the center of the core curriculum is a two semester course, taken in the sophomore year, called Contemporary Civilization. Some of the required readings include The Writings of Charles Darwin, The Hebrew Bible, and Plato’s Republic. Columbia undergraduates are privy to a 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio and nearly $1 billion per year for research.
Columbia guarantees housing for all four years; 98% of students choose to remain in university housing during their entire undergraduate experience. No doubt, this close-knit campus feeling has resulted in the creation of 500-plus student clubs and organizations, equally divided amongst those who want to “save the world” and “rule the world.” Almost every month, students have the opportunity to hear world-recognized speakers on campus as part of Columbia’s World Leaders Forum. Past speakers have included President Bill Clinton, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, and the Dalai Lama.