What Is Columbia University Known For? Ranking & Acceptance Rate

Columbia University which is colloquially known as Columbia, and officially known as Columbia University in the City of New York is a private Ivy League research institution in New York city founded in 1754 as King’s College. It was built on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan.

It was established by a gubernatorial charter from James DeLancey, who was the Lieutenant governor of New York under Great Britain’s George II. In 1784 it was renamed Columbia College, following the American Revolution and later placed under a private board of trustees headed by John Jay and Alexander Hamilton (former students of the Institution) in 1787. It was not until 1896 that the campus was moved to its current location in Morningside Heights and finally renamed Columbia University.

Columbia University is the oldest university in New York and the Fifth oldest in the United States. Columbia University also boasts as one of the nine colonial colleges established before the declaration of America’s independence.

Columbia is one of the best scientific universities the United States has to offer, playing a crucial role in scientific breakthroughs like nuclear magnetic resonance, brain-computer interface, the first nuclear pile, the first nuclear fission reactions in America, the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drifts. The University also contributed to much of the planning and research for the Manhattan Project during World War II.

The great University has an urban setting and a campus size spanning well across 36 acres. It uses a semester-based academic calendar. Columbia University was ranked 18th in the 2022-23 edition of the Best Colleges in National University. The school has a wide array of over 100 majors and concentrations to select from, including a wide range of Interdisciplinary options, joint programs, and various academic and research opportunities through its affiliated graduate schools and institutions.

The beautiful academic setting of the school allows it to pair its scientific expertise with art colleges and well-appraised extracurricular activities. With accessible and friendly staff and faculty members always ready to lend a helping hand. Columbia University has about 8,148 undergraduate students on campus. The University prides itself on a small class size of an average of 20 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1.

Admission into the University gives you automatic acceptance into any of its associate institutes, without any other further application or screening process, as there’s enough room in any of its majors with an open chance to declare a major during the second semester of your sophomore year. The School is against early major declarations, as it believes students should be given proper time and chance to select a suitable major.

The 100+ majors are spread across Columbia College, Dental Medicine College of Columbia, Columbia Business School, Architecture, Planning & Preservation Graduate School of Columbia, Art and Sciences Graduate School of Columbia, Barnard College, School of the Arts, Columbia Climate School, Columbia Journalism School,  Columbia Law School, Dental Medicine College of Columbia, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of General Studies, School of International and Public Affairs, Jewish Theological Seminary, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, School of Nursing, School of Professional Studies, Mailman School of Public Health, School of Social Works and Union Theological Seminary.

Columbia University Ranking

Columbia University Ranking
Columbia University Ranking

As a top institution in the country, Columbia University has a higher ranking and tops annual University ratings thanks to its academic excellence and undisputed educational standards. Columbia University is the top university in New York, ranking the highest in all rating data.

In recent years, Columbia university has continued to rank high and recently ranked top in U.S. News and the Princeton Review. According to U.S News rankings, Columbia University ranked #18 among the country’s top university list, and #22 in the QS World University Ranking list.

The school was also ranked #197 in Top Performer for Social Mobility ranking, sealing its place as an all-rounder School, with strength in science, engineering and Arts. Some of its other rankings include:

  • Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs – #16
  • Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects – #46
  • Best University with Writing in Discipline – #11 University

Columbia University Acceptance Rate

Columbia University Acceptance Rate

As one of the leading universities in the United States, getting into Columbia University can be very tough with high competition considering its level of academic standards and an impressive pedigree of alumni network. The University expects the very best in SAT/ACT in order for applicants to qualify for the next level of acceptance screening.

Columbia University has an acceptance rate of 6%, making it one of the hardest Ivy League to get into. Since it is also one of the only Ivy League located in a major city, the second being Harvard, it is one of the most sought-after institutions.

To get into Columbia University, applicants must strongly aim for the 75 percentile and above with an SAT score between 1460 and 1570, and an average ACT score of 33 to 35. Earlier applicants have a higher chance of getting accepted, as early applications have to enjoy a lot of admission advantages which is why it’s advisable to apply early. The School offers early admission applications which should be submitted before the deadline of November 1.

Columbia University Admission Requirements

Columbia University Admission Requirements

It cannot be overstretched how stressful getting into Columbia University can be and therefore should warn you it’s not for the faint-hearted. With the lowest acceptance rate in New York and the top five lowest in the country at a 6% acceptance rate, the chances just keep getting slimmer.

The schools expect its students to boast of a 3.9 GPA and above, and an average of B+ high school students who would likely keep up or improve their grades in higher institutions. Columbia University has placed extremely high requirements for admission, generally admitting students who finish in the top quarter of their high school.

ACT Scores Requirement

According to the school’s website, Columbia University accepts students with ACT Scores between 33 and 35. Reports show that the school naturally accepts students with ACT scores in the top 7 per cent nationally. This automatically raised the bar, putting candidates submitting an ACT score of 33 in the lower application half, while those with 35 and above ACT scores in the upper application half. Although we have seen cases of students with 30 to 32 ACT Scores being admitted.

SAT Scores Requirement

Columbia University naturally expects top students within the top 3 per cent of the nation’s SAT result to apply, with an impressive score of 1460 and 1570. Colbie is normally considered the best Ivy league second only to Harvard and this has widely boosted its yearly application, with even higher standards each year.

On average the school would admit an average score of 1400 out of 1600. Being in a major city, Columbia had the highest application rate in the city, and the lowest acceptance rate too, and has always been ranked #1 in average SAT composite score in the city.

Curriculum Requirements

Applicants are expected to submit a strong high school program result, consisting of over 18 academic courses taken over 4 years. We recommend the following secondary school program for US citizens/residents with minimum preparation in the following subject areas:

  • Mathematics: At least 3 years
  • English: 4 years with reading and writing abilities
  • Science: At least 3 years of laboratory science
  • Foreign Language: At least 2 years of a preferable classical or modern language

Columbia University Location

Columbia University graduate and undergraduate school is mostly located in Morningside Heights which was designed by architects Mckim, Meads & White along Beaux-Art planning principles. Its main campus occupies approximately 32 acres which are well more than six city blocks in Morningside Heights, New York City.

Several buildings on the campus are listed on the National Register of historic places. A National Historic Landmark, Low Memorial Library and the centre pieces of the campus are also listed for their architectural significance.

In April 2007, Columbia University purchased two-thirds of 17 acres of land for a new campus in Manhattanville, which is just north of the Morningside Heights campus. The new site houses building for the Columbia School of the Arts,  Columbia Business School, School of International and Public Affairs, and Jerome L Greene centre for the Brain, Mind and Behaviours where research work on neurodegenerative diseases are being carried out.

Columbia University Notable Alumni

As one of the oldest universities in the United States and a proud member of the Ivy League, Columbia University has produced a lot of Notable people, who have positively impacted the society and nation at large.

The university has graduated a lot of Notable alumni, it would be almost impossible to list, with some of the most notable being five founding fathers of the nation, an author of the United States Constitution, three United States presidents and ten Justices of the Supreme Court of the United State. The list just goes on and on. Some of the notable alumni include:

  • Theodore Rosevelt: Former president of the United States of America
  • Franklin Delano Rosevelt: Former President of the United States
  • Barack Obama: Former president of the United States
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Associate Justice of the U.S Supreme Court
  • Alan Greenspan: Former chairman of the U.S Reserve Bank

Columbia University Undergraduate Tuition and Fees

What Is Columbia University Known For? Ranking & Acceptance Rate
What Is Columbia University Known For? Ranking & Acceptance Rate

Columbia University has always tried and will continue to help students and applicants seeking financial aid. The university has guaranteed to meet 100 per cent of first-year students’ financial requirements.

Below is a breakdown of the cost of attending Columbia University for undergraduate students enrolling full-time:

Freshman ResidentContinuing Resident
Tuition and Fees$65,524$65,524
Room$10,000$11,000
Board$6,156$6,100
Books$3,672$3,672
TransportationVariableVariable
Miscellaneous$1,143$1,143
TOTAL$86,495$87,439

Columbia University Scholarships

This prestigious University very well understands how difficult it can sometimes to financially to attend Columbia University, therefore it’s provide for various scholarship award programs to aid local and international students.

Columbia University Scholarships are available to every student, cutting across all academic levels exceeding a record of $202 million in grants. These grants, Scholarships and fellowships are usually referred to as gifts by the university, as they do not need to be repaired. These gifts are usually need-based and usually apply to but are not limited to students with special athleticism, or good social and volunteer workability records.

The Institution also offer gifts to merit students, with impressive records to help cover part or full of their academic cost during their stay at the school. Some of the academic scholarships offered by the university to look out for include:

  • Columbia University Undergraduate Scholarship
  • Columbia University Graduate Scholarships
  • Columbia University External Scholarship

If you are looking for a school with the most outstanding academic blend, that stands out in a Notable its surrounded by all the right ingredients to produce a perfect graduate that can stand anywhere in the world and uniquely shine just as others have, then Columbia University is the perfect place to be, I’d advice to start getting your application ready right away.