Columbia University: A Brief Overview


Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university located in New York City. It was founded in 1754 as King’s College and is the oldest institution of higher learning in New York. With an acceptance rate of only 5.3%, Columbia University is one of the most selective universities in the United States.

Columbia University is renowned for its academic rigor and excellence, with highly ranked programs in fields such as law, business, engineering, journalism, and medicine. The university is also home to a number of prestigious research centers and institutes, including the Earth Institute, the Zuckerman Institute for Mind, Brain, and Behavior, and the Data Science Institute. Columbia University has produced numerous Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and other distinguished alumni who have made significant contributions to their respective fields.

Columbia University is also known for its beautiful campus, which features a mix of historic and modern architecture. The university’s Morningside Heights campus is located in a vibrant neighborhood on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and is easily accessible by public transportation. With its rich academic tradition, outstanding faculty, and diverse student body, Columbia University is a top choice for students seeking a world-class education.


Columbia University's iconic Low Memorial Library stands tall, surrounded by lush greenery and historic architecture. The grand building exudes a sense of academic prestige and rich history

Founding and Early Years

Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of Great Britain. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, and the fifth oldest in the United States. The college was renamed Columbia College in 1784 after the American Revolution.

The college’s early curriculum was based on the classical liberal arts and sciences, and its mission was to prepare young men for leadership in church and state. The college’s first president, Samuel Johnson, was a clergyman and scholar who had previously served as the first president of King’s College in Connecticut.

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Expansion and Development

In the early 19th century, Columbia College began to expand its curriculum and facilities. In 1810, the college moved from its original location in lower Manhattan to a new campus in Morningside Heights. The new campus was designed by the renowned architect James Renwick, Jr., and included several new buildings and a large central green.

During the 19th century, Columbia College became a leading center of scholarship and research, attracting many distinguished scholars and scientists to its faculty. The college also established several new departments and programs, including the School of Mines, the first engineering school in the United States.

Modern Era

In the 20th century, Columbia University continued to expand and develop, becoming one of the world’s leading research institutions. The university established several new schools and departments, including the Graduate School of Journalism, the School of Social Work, and the School of International and Public Affairs.

Columbia University has also played a prominent role in American politics and culture. The university has produced many distinguished alumni, including three U.S. presidents, several Supreme Court justices, and numerous Nobel laureates. The university has also been the site of many important events in American history, including the founding of the NAACP and the protests against the Vietnam War in the 1960s.


Columbia University offers a diverse range of academic programs across its undergraduate and graduate schools. The university has three undergraduate schools, fifteen graduate and professional schools, four affiliated colleges and seminaries, and more than one hundred research centers and institutes.

Undergraduate Programs

Columbia College and Columbia Engineering are the two undergraduate schools at Columbia University, both of which offer a rigorous liberal arts education. Columbia College offers more than eighty areas of study, including majors in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Columbia Engineering offers majors in areas such as applied mathematics, computer science, and mechanical engineering.

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Graduate and Professional Schools

Columbia University’s graduate and professional schools offer a wide range of programs in fields such as law, business, journalism, public health, and social work. The university’s graduate schools include the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of International and Public Affairs, and the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Columbia Business School and Columbia Law School are among the university’s most well-known professional schools.

Research and Innovation

Columbia University is a world-renowned research institution, and its faculty and students are engaged in cutting-edge research across a wide range of fields. The university has more than one hundred research centers and institutes, including the Earth Institute, the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, and the Data Science Institute. Columbia’s research efforts are supported by state-of-the-art facilities and resources, including twenty-five libraries and a world-renowned medical center.

Overall, Columbia University’s academic programs are designed to challenge and inspire students, and to prepare them for successful careers and fulfilling lives.


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