Five Things To Know About Columbia

So, Columbia high on your list of schools this fall? Looking for some inside information on a top-notch New York school? Here’s some pointers to help you along the way…

  1. Core Curriculum: The “Core” is one the defining aspects a Columbia College education. It is comprised of a set of common discussion-based seminars required of all students, regardless of major. In these classes, students discuss seminal texts in literature, philosophy, history, music, art, writing, and science in classes such as “Contemporary Civilization” and “Music Humanities.” A student’s freshman and sophomore years are typically comprised of the bulk of these courses, so get ready.
  2. Cross-Registration at Barnard: Barnard is one of the country’s oldest women’s colleges, a “sister school” to Columbia akin to what Radcliffe was to Harvard before it was incorporated into the college. This continued partnership makes available to Columbia students an even wider array of courses and courses with typically smaller class sizes. Plus… more women!
  3. Columbia-Julliard Exchange and The Joint Program: Bachelor of Arts in Music. Julliard offers one of the most highly regarded undergraduate music programs in the country—and as a Columbia student, you can take advantage of their courses. A highly selective program, the Exchange admits only 15 students per year… we’re talking EXCLUSIVE, folks. Designed for up to three years of study, juniors may petition to enter for a fourth year of the Exchange or apply for the Joint Program. The Joint Program allows students to gain both an undergraduate degree from Columbia and a Master of Music from Julliard in five years of study (Voice candidates may need six). The ability to apply to Julliard’s Master of Music program early is truly unique—not even Julliard graduates are granted this opportunity.
  4. Music Performance Program: If a Master’s in Music isn’t necessarily your thing, but you’re still planning to be the next Yo-Yo Ma, Columbia has another answer for you. Sponsoring campus groups such as the Columbia Orchestra as well as many student ensembles ranging from bluegrass bands to a Japanese Gagaku ensemble, the MPP also helps to find venues both on campus and off for student composers to get their work played.  With the mission, “to enable students to develop as musicians within the academic setting of Columbia, by providing and facilitating opportunities for musical instruction, participation, and performance,” student musicians are also often asked to play in the core curriculum class, “Masterpieces of Western Music.” Truly, music is integrated into Columbia’s education.
  5. Combined Plan Program: Planning to be an engineer? Columbia offers two five-year plans by which you can graduate with both a B.A. and B.S. degree: the “3-2 plan” and the “4-1 plan.” In the 3-2 plan, you attend the college for three years and then The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science for two additional years. In the 4-1 you spend four years completing the B.S. program at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and then spend an additional year earning your B.A. at Columbia College. For the former plan, you apply directly to Columbia College, for the latter to The School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Need to know more? Here’s our Columbia school profile.

The Tuesday Q&A: Is It Easy To Switch Majors?