Columbia University in the City of New York Reviews

  • 489 Reviews
  • New York (NY)
  • Annual Tuition: $66,139
92% of 489 students said this degree improved their career prospects
92% of 489 students said they would recommend this school to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

  • Reviewed: 11/2/2023
  • Degree: Social Work
"I've been in mid to senior level management for years holding several degrees and five credentials leading audit teams. I thought it time to switch careers and obtain an MSW (original undergrad was social work but switched to business and accounting). I looked at this program and thought it would be a great program to apply to. I grew-up in Foster Care and was looking to learn the best practices to create a non-profit specific to offering guidance/direction to Foster children. I was admitted to this school but left before classes started. The consistent loss of transcripts, inability to obtain correct tuition information from the staff for the VA, me stating that I would need to look for another school without the correct tuition amount because the VA wouldn't approve the incorrect information they gave, and the response "best of luck"-then me having to contact the director to get the correct tuition, lack of concern by staff, and the inexperienced/lack of compassion during onboarding introduction/orientation lead to the school made me realize this was not the school for me. Out of any school in college, I would have expected a school of Social Work to be a bit more concerned with success. There are other options for an MSW and recommend reviewing them before looking at the school "name.""
  • Reviewed: 6/12/2021
  • Degree: Education
"Need to make it clear on all possible social media to help prospective students from a con program, International and Comparative Education at Teachers College of Columbia University. Like the School of Social Work and at many other graduate schools at Columbia, the quality of instruction is extremely low in many departments here, like the International and Comparative Education Dept. Very disappointed. The School is not really Columbia, but afraid to take away the Columbia tag lest they lose students.Teachers College is a completely separate corporate with a few administrative resources shared with Columbia to make the students- their clients- feel that they belong to Columbia--- while classes are huge & of poor quality of instruction. Some professors and PhD students, used as lecturers and TAs, are afraid to even talk and lecture in classes (for lack of English-speaking proficiency/professional experience/lack of confidence in front of mature graduate students/ or simply lack of ideas and new content materials than what's covered in undergraduate studies). So often nowadays, you will meet ESL speakers not able to communicate their ideas in English. It is hard speaking a second language for sure, but if you attend a graduate school of education in the US (not an engineering school or science), you are supposed to speak English more than others. Or you will meet social warriors--- all you hear about is "justice and equality" nowadays--- from not very intellectually-minded individuals from the faculty and staff without a well-reasoned sense of what is right and just. All to promote the quota of diversity and inclusion. The School is not about education anymore, but indoctrination and marketing playing on the image of "Columbia." Feels like a third-rated state-school at the price of a prestigious private school when all they try to teach is "affordability" and "access to education" to students. I got out, and fortunately could do the majority of my classes in another department, which was more caring and had talented, competitive students and faculty, but for a few classes that were required in this department, the horrible reputation of this School lived true."
Social Worker
  • Reviewed: 5/11/2020
  • Degree: Social Work
"The School of Social Work at Columbia is not worth the price tag. The majority of their Full-time, US citizens masters' student graduate 6 figures in debt- no lie just coming out of school. In terms of career services support, all they did was give my graduating class a pamphlet book on how to write resumes. There was also very little assistance for quality of life issues when one moves to New York to go to school. I did not enjoy my experience there, probably because most students are not offered housing on campus. Only students who come from far are offered campu housing. If you come in from even Massachusetts you are expected to find your own housing off campus. Living so far away from campus and commuting did not offer a connection to the school. In terms of academics, the program really lacked stimulation. The majority of the first year is spent regurgitating information that was already read. I have learned more in my field outside of my education than I even did DURING my studies. Coming from Wesleyan, this school was not challenging, or stimulating, or supportive at all. I know other people who also came from strong undergraduate programs who were also not very satisfied with their experiences. I have heard from others that if you want to do a more clinical route, NYU is a way to go that is strong. Also, I have heard great things about the program at UChicago. I have had a successful career, but everyone that I work with went to cheaper schools for Social Work, or got way more financial aid, so it was not worth attending Columbia."
Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Reviewed: 4/3/2020
  • Degree: Psychology
"Let's clear up misconceptions about this program. First, they accept ANYONE. It is a money making program and charges you a lot of money for a sub-par education. Second, it is not really an I/O psychology program. None of the faculty are active scholars in human capital nor are they publishing anything of impact in their field. In fact, most faculty are adjuncts or part-time lecturers. I never once was encouraged to attend SIOP and none of the faculty attended either while my peers at close programs went every year and landed great jobs in DC, Chicago, and Texas. Three, you are not trained well in terms of methods, stats, or critical thinking. I have seen many slides, peers, and even alumni using models which I found out other programs have long discredited, such as proper ways to do group facilitation, motivate individuals, design work spaces, or train leaders. Four, a lot of students naively assume the program is good because it is an ivy-league school. This is not true. Grad education and undergrad institution quality are completely different. Save yourself time and attend a more reputable I/O program in the area."
Shakeem E Holmes
  • Reviewed: 3/14/2020
  • Degree: Social Work - Campus
"In the words of one of my peers at the Columbia School of Social Work, "they are marketing something to us they are not selling." I have heard no truer words spoken. I came to CSSW with grand expectations of receiving a stellar education at a top-rated, Ivy League institution, and all I got instead was a mediocre educational experience. I could have received a far superior social work education at another school for a LOT less than what I am paying for this Columbia education. At the end of the day, all I am really paying for is the name of the school. I honestly feel like CSSW is accepting students just to accept them. The comments, statements, and reactions I have seen and heard from fellow students in and outside of the classroom have, in many cases, left me speechless and thinking hard about how they could have possibly secured a spot at one of the country's supposedly elite social work programs. I was looking to be among an intelligent, mature, brilliant cohort of social work students from around the country and the globe, and instead I found myself immersed in an environment of people who are overly concerned with feelings, emotions, power, race, and privilege. There are way too many people at CSSW who are concerned with racial and ethnic diversity, and not with intellectual diversity, which is even more important for an academic institution. If you are a conservative student, YOU WILL NOT FEEL INCLUDED OR ACCEPTED, and often ostracized. If you alert students to your conservative orientation in the classroom, or offer up an opinion or viewpoint that is consistent with a conservative perspective, you will be attacked! The school speaks of inclusivity, diversity, and acceptance, in theory; but this applies only to those they agree with, in practice. This is nothing more than a liberal indoctrination camp. There is no true education going on at this institution."
  • Reviewed: 2/24/2020
  • Degree: Occupational Therapy
"Main takeaway: spending $50,000 per year on tuition at an ivy league school does equate to a good education and a positive experience. Being extremely unsatisfied with the program is a consensus among the class of 2019, 2020, and 2021. It's important to note that I'm only speaking about my experience in the OT program, and have no idea about the quality of other programs at Columbia. Starting with the professors: I've been very impressed by two professors. The professor of neuroscience and pediatrics are extremely knowledgeable and caring. They are challenging, but in a way that allows you to build a lot of knowledge. That being said, I've learned next to nothing in several other classes. In geriatrics, the PowerPoint slides are usually 50-100 slides long with almost no useful information. They often have spelling mistakes, conflicting statistics, and are filled with common-sense information, such as "older adults have many challenges with technology use". The test questions are purposefully confusing. She justifies this by saying it is to prepare us for the NBCOT exam questions. Unfortunately, they are often confusing in that they can be interpreted in more than one way, or simply don't make sense at all. The same is true with her feedback on assignments. Her comments show she hasn't fully read the paper and often don't make sense at all. They often are written like someone who is trying to learn English, yet she is a completely native speaker. My fieldwork experience has been even worse. The coordinator in charge of placing you at level II fieldwork is completely unconcerned with what you're looking for and doesn't even know our names. With limited choices, you have to create a "wishlist" with ten placements. For example, even if you're looking for an acute care placement, you have to add several other settings to your "wishlist" because there are limited options. From there, you're randomly assigned to a placement from that list. For most students, it isn't what they were hoping for. They tell you that you are not supposed to spend your own money to run groups, but for many placements, it is simply the only option. For one placement, I was told that I'd be reimbursed, which never happened. At another, I was told that there was no budget at all at to "be creative", with no supplies. At another, I was called "unprofessional" by my Columbia supervisor for spending my own money for a group, which I had been led to believe from past fieldwork was the norm. In the same sentence about professionalism, she spoke about how Bernie Sanders was going to ruin the country's healthcare. For many of my fieldwork placements, particularly mental health, the experience was about logging a certain amount of hours, and not at all about how we filled our time. There was often nothing productive for us to be doing and we learned very little."
Sophie Reiser
  • Reviewed: 6/10/2019
  • Degree: Political Science
"Attaining an education in the heart of the world - New York City - is as much a study of oneself as it is about the books in Butler Library. It can be very difficult to begin Columbia's mandatory Core curriculum at age 18. The texts are very dense and can be difficult to truly see the value in the education at that stage. The value of the program is regularly touted as "teaching young people how to think critically and articulate unique thoughts and ideas". In the moment though, this value can be very difficult to quantify for a young student. It is not until later, as my young, malleable brain formed into adult one that I truly began seeing the results of that very liberal arts education. I may not remember the exact passages of Homer's Iliad or Dante's Inferno, but my ability to analyze information and articulate analysis has truly set me apart from my peers. At Columbia, I had the opportunity to pursue every career imaginable. However, understanding what career opportunities existed and how I could utilize my education beyond the traditional doctor, lawyer, banker roles was not always easy to identify. The career center would do well to be much more hands-on with students, especially those on financial aid - who may not have the same family resources pushing students in career directions. Without this support, it can be very easy to get lost from a career perspective and not take as full advantage of all of the resources, both domestically and abroad, available to students."
DNP Psychstudent
  • Reviewed: 4/16/2019
  • Degree: Nursing
"There are many programs because of which Columbia university deserves its IVY League status but definitely not DNP psychiatric program. Its a new program where they are constantly experimenting with schedules, classes and clinical sites. Some teachers have not even practiced in New York and are in high level faculty position. Most of the classes are taught as if its an online program in fact even online programs have more structure. The clinical experience is not up to the level as it should be for the amount of tuition paid. The program director changed as well as many other changes. Other non IVY league programs in city teach better & have more access to sites. I learnt this after spending $32K and eventually transferred to non IVY league & got a good quality education. I was a good student with 3.8 GPA when frustrated with disorganization left."
  • Reviewed: 8/29/2018
  • Degree: Social Work
"I transferred out of this program because of how disappointed I was. CUSSW definitely over-admits students to the point where they do not have enough resources to provide an adequate educational opportunity in this field to everyone there. Furthermore, if you are coming in with prior experience in the field of social work or human services, this program is definitely not for you. I did not feel challenged in any of my classes or my field placement. Faculty and staff, particularly field faculty, were very difficult to get in touch with and I truly felt like a number due to the extremely high amount of students they admit. I love the new program I transferred to and am having the experience I hoped I would have at Columbia. I've never written a review before, but my experience at CUSSW was so negative and disappointing, I think it's important that other people are aware before making the decision to attend."
  • Reviewed: 5/27/2018
  • Degree: History
"I heartily recommend Columbia University. Columbia is a great school, located in Manhattan, and has a lovely campus. It is a sprawling beast of an institution with buildings sprawled across New York City, with the main campus being the Morningside Heights location. Class sizes depend. High demand lectures can have a hundred students of more, while specialized seminars may have as few as 8 students. The curriculum surrounds a basic core of classes that are required, and spreads out from there. I transferred in , and my credits were accepted (save your syllabi for review here if you plan on transferring). The price is high, but the financial-aid is also considerable, and increases each year if your grades stay good. Each department is run differently, of course, and I love mine. The history department is warm and always willing to answer questions, and will do its best to find you courses for your plan of study that fit with your earned credits. I would absolutely recommend this school. The opportunity here is mind-boggling. World leaders, UN delegate, political figures, monsters in their fields of scholarship all speak here. The city is a great place to be a student as well, with all that New York has to offer right on hand. The student body is diverse, with fresh from high school kids, to milvets, and international students, and non-traditional students who went out and lived a little before pursing an education. The classes therefore are full of a wide variety of points of view that enhance the discussions of topics. Columbia is a great school, and I am happy that I came!"
CU Review
  • Reviewed: 3/17/2018
  • Degree: Economics
"Columbia University is a challenging institution to graduate from, but making it through to the end is testimony that you have become well equipped to push through any situation, industry, or challenge in life. The university is known for its stellar and renowned professors who are exceptional in their field, but I oftentimes found that this did not always translate well to how students are taught in the classroom. Much of students' learning will fall onto the student to do that work to get through the material and attain the desired level of understanding. In this regard, it's sometimes difficult to understand the price of the degree from an Ivy League Institution like this one. But the university has a well known reputation and committed alumni who are dedicated to supporting students' endeavors across the different generations. The university invests in career building, professional development, and networking opportunities, so there is no limit to use the school and take advantage of all it has to offer."
Madeleine Young
  • Reviewed: 1/10/2018
  • Degree: Industrial/Organizational Psychology
"Columbia University is a beautiful campus in the city of New York. The Social-Organizational Psychology program is one of the best in the country. The professors in this program are some of the most respected in their field, as both lecturers and academic researchers. Attending Columbia has given me access to a broad and caring alumni network. Almost weekly, alumni send out emails for job openings, which has significantly helped my job outlook. The program has introduced me to both the business and human capital side of consulting, as well as the functions of organizations. Not only have I met great friends and peers, I have a great mentor and alumni network for future years to come ."
SUMA Student
  • Reviewed: 12/28/2017
  • Degree: Environmental Science
"The Sustainability Management program is great for students who already have prior work experience or for students who are working while completing the degree part-time. The sustainability field is very broad and students without relevant work experience might choose classes that seem interesting but aren't necessarily teaching them skills that can be applied in a professional setting. The program also does not place a strong emphasis on recruiting, so students without prior experience with applying for jobs are at a disadvantage. The program is great for students who currently have a job or for students who have at least 1 year of relevant experience. I completed this degree while working full-time during the day, and after a year of classes I advanced within my firm. The program is demanding but is structured so that students can hold a full-time job during the day and attend classes in the evening."
  • Reviewed: 12/6/2017
  • Degree: Environmental Science
"The resources that Columbia university offers is great and the brand really counts.But most of the courses in the Sustainability Management do not go deep into anything and are usually very basic.Would not recommend it to any full time students if you are an international student.I did not see any worth in this degree.The opportunities after you graduate aren't many after you graduate.Each course costs a ridiculous amount and money and mostly isnt even worth it."
  • Reviewed: 11/19/2017
  • Degree: Performing Arts
"This program is led by amazing, Pulitzer prize winning playwrights. Two of them had major plays on Broadway while I was a student, and the resume s of the others was mind blowing. This is a first rate program. Dare I say it, the best in the country at the moment. I grew so much as a writer, as a theatre maker, and as a critical thinker about performance. My time here changed my life."
Amanda Graff
  • Reviewed: 9/7/2017
  • Degree: Cultural Studies
"While the professors are excellent, the courses are meant for students who do not have a background in social justice or human rights. Additionally, the founder of the program is past due for retirement and I question the institution allowing him to remain on campus."
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Public Health
"Columbia University is a top university with a lot of brilliant minds and resources all in one city. However, there can be a lack of community."
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: MBA
"Excellent school. Great resources and good location being in NYC."
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Public Health
"My school prepared me for a career in public health. It was not geared toward part-time students."
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2017
  • Degree: Economics
"Columbia is the third largest business school behind Harvard and Wharton. It has a very large alumni network. The students are excellent because the school is very selective."