How Is Student Life At Columbia University School of Professional Studies?

What comes to mind when considering Ivy League, like Columbia, Harvard, or Yale?

Perhaps statistics, ranking, location, program…

But what about the quality of student life on campus.

What about the quality of life as a student at Columbia University School of Professional Studies?

In this guide, we’ll answer – among others – the following questions:

  1. Do students have a good social life at Columbia?
  2. How are the opportunities?
  3. What’s the allure of Columbia University?

Let’s explore.

  1. New York and its culture

New York needs no introduction. It’s a city that speaks over 800 languages. The good news is Columbia is one of the few Ivy League schools in the heart of New York.

Other Ivy Leagues are located in half-urban, half-rural settings. New York City has a lot to offer with so many mixed cultures, and it’s one of the best cities to experience student life.

New York gives students access to the most extensive library with over 50 million books, museums, music shows etc. It’s also home to 50 Fortune 500 companies and offers you many opportunities elsewhere.

  1. Privileges

Not a shocker. But yes, Columbia University students get privileges within and outside the campus.

For example, with Columbia ID, students can access 22 libraries, dining halls, 3 floors, sports centers, swimming pools etc.

One Columbia student noted that they also had discounted or free visits to museums and access to Broadway shows.

  • Students can access these opportunities here
  • Use Peqod To Check Professor’s Ratings: Columbia University students can see the ratings of professors through a tool called Peqod. Students share their experiences with the professors, which is good if you want to stay away from “iffy” professors.
  1.  Community

Although Greek Life is not much active here, it’s easily compensated by the presence of around 500 active student-run clubs and organizations.

The community is pretty diverse, and you will find all kinds of students, such as legacy students, military veterans, travel volunteers, exchange students, etc.

From fashion, entrepreneurship, and politics, students can find clubs in any area of interest and join them. Students can also establish their clubs!

The community here is vibrant. A student described Columbia’s community as loud and proud. So, these are great opportunities for students to leave their shells and shine their personalities.

Another good thing about the community here is that many Columbia students will stay in New York for years after graduation. This makes it easy to remain in touch and creates a long-lasting bond.

However, this is not true for Ivy League located in half urban and half rural areas, where students will leave the town after graduation and most likely won’t return.

  1. Safety

Safety is an aspect that every student needs to consider. Overall, Columbia is safe due to its enclosed campus and safety officers touring it for crimes or mischief.

However, during the research, we found multiple students and nearby residents suggesting to be away from Morningside park after evenings. Anyway, no matter the area, it’s good to stay alert.

  1. The ‘Ivy League’ Effect

Recognition comes easily with the Ivy League. You tell people you are from Ivy League and all eyes will turn around. It just comes naturally, and for good reasons.

Being a Columbia student will naturally open many doors or opportunities for you that may otherwise not open if you come from local colleges.

  1. Rich educational resources

Columbia has one of the best research opportunities in the world, with hundreds of labs and research centers available to students.

1000+ active patents across all the research areas

200+ class laboratories, and research centers

350+ new inventions from students each year.

It also receives a whopping $1 billion funding to lead research in humanities, science, and social science.

So, students who always want to be part of a well-funded research community have several opportunities in Columbia to make their wishes come true!

Headed to Columbia University? Prepare well.

With great privilege comes great responsibility. To enjoy your education at Columbia University, be prepared for:

  • The high cost of living: Again, New York may be great, but it’s a costly place. People from poor backgrounds may not be able to enjoy it as much as they want
  • A hectic life: Columbia expects students to be independent in every matter, be it choosing a major or other area. The advising system is not as popular as other Ivy Leagues. The class size is large, anywhere between 50 and 150. So students wanting personal attention may feel neglected.
  • A rigorous course: Columbia’s popular Core Curriculum was founded in 1919. It’s a two-year, rigorous course of study (philosophy, literature, art, music, science, language, global affairs) that every student at Columbia College, Columbia University, must take, regardless of their major.

Now, many students kind of have a love-hate relationship with it. Especially the engineering or science students who are not interested in studying philosophy, humanities, or art. Whereas for liberal arts majors, it’s a good thing. STEM majors find that the core curriculum takes up much of their time and makes it hard to take another major that interests them.

A day in the life of a Columbia University student

Here’s a sneak peek into what an average day at Columbia looks like.

  • Morning at Columbia starts with students rushing to the classes, mainly core curriculum classes.
  • After finishing morning classes, many students opt for extracurricular activities. Some will go to clubs (there are over 500) clubs.
  • Whereas some students have to work on campus as a part of the work-study program at Columbia.
  • There are several events each day in Columbia. It can range from conferences and dance events at Glass House Rocks.
  • Sometimes, notable speakers like DJ Khaled and Bill Gates also visit the campus, but that’s rare.
  • Overall, afternoons are generally filled with events. It’s students who choose whether they want to attend or not.
  • In the evening, the majority of classes and extracurricular activities come to an end. So, few students venture out of the campus to enjoy New York City life. Since the Columbia campus is located near Manhattan, New York is easy to access.
  • Others may return to their housing or dorm.
  • Few students also take advantage of living in New York and apply for internships at reputed firms. Columbia provides a dedicated portal called LionSHARE, where students can research internships. Many students also grab research internships within the campus. Both are good options depending on the choice.
  • Nightlife can be active at Columbia, depending on the situation. For students who are too tired to venture out in New York City, there are several bars to de-stress from the workload.

Many alumni of Columbia may say that their fondest memories were created in the bar nearby..

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  1. Does Columbia University have a good social life?

Yes. Columbia University students have a wonderful social life owing to its location near New York City. Students can always hang out in the city, visit museums, attend Broadway shows, participate in extracurricular activities, and much more. Ultimately, it’s utterly dependent on students to make their social life.

  1. Why Should Students Choose Columbia Over Other Ivy Leagues?

Columbia is known for its research and innovation. It’s proud to host over 10,000 active patents, 90+ Pulitzer Prize recipients, 46 Olympians, etc. I also boast over 84 Nobel Laureates, one of the highest in the Ivy League.

  1. What kind of students does Columbia accept?

Although there are no specific acceptance criteria, students need a solid academic background.

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