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Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a
private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private", by Dusty Springfield from the 1990 album ''Reputation'' * Private (band), a Denmark-based band * "Private" (Ryōko Hirosue song), from the 1999 album ''Private'', written and also recorded by ...
Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research universities in the Northeastern United States. The term ''Ivy League'' is typically used beyond the sports contex ...
research university A research university is a university that is committed to research as a central part of its mission. They can be public or private, and often have well-known brand names. Undergraduate courses at many research universities are often academic rathe ...
in
New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 distributed over about , New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the Unit ...

New York City
. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in
Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as the City and the urban core of the New York metropolitan area, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City, and coextensive with the County of New York, one of the original counties of t ...

Manhattan
, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the Northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * ''Ne ...
and the fifth-oldest institution of
higher learning ''Higher Learning'' is a 1995 American drama film written and directed by John Singleton and starring an ensemble cast. The film follows the changing lives of three incoming freshmen at the fictional Columbus University: Malik Williams (Omar Epps ...
in the United States. It is one of nine
colonial colleges#REDIRECT Colonial colleges ...
founded prior to the
Declaration of Independence#REDIRECT Declaration of independence#REDIRECT Declaration of independence {{Redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalisation ...

Declaration of Independence
, seven of which belong to the
Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research universities in the Northeastern United States. The term ''Ivy League'' is typically used beyond the sports contex ...
. Columbia is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications. Columbia was established as King's College by
royal charter#REDIRECT Royal charter#REDIRECT Royal charter#REDIRECT Royal charter#REDIRECT Royal charter {{R from other capitalisation ... {{R from other capitalisation ... {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
from
King George II of Great Britain , house = Hanover , religion = Protestant , father = George I of Great Britain , mother = Sophia Dorothea of Celle , birth_date = 30 October / 9 November 1683 , birth_place = Herrenhausen Palace,Cannon. or Leine Palace, Hanover , de ...
in reaction to the founding of
Princeton College Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one o ...
. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), ...
, and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influenti ...

Alexander Hamilton
and
John Jay John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, patriot, diplomat, Founding Father, abolitionist, negotiator, and signatory of the Treaty of Paris of 1783. He served as the second Governor of New York and the first Chief ...
. In 1896, the campus was moved to its current location in
Morningside Heights Morningside Heights is a neighborhood on the West Side of Upper Manhattan in New York City. It is bounded by Morningside Drive to the east, 125th Street to the north, 110th Street to the south, and Riverside Drive to the west. One of the three n ...
and renamed Columbia University. Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in scientific breakthroughs including brain-computer interface; the
laser A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radia ...

laser
and
maser (see description below) A maser (, an acronym for microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) is a device that produces coherence (physics), coherent electromagnetic waves through amplification by stimulated emission. The first ...
;
nuclear magnetic resonance Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a physical phenomenon in which nuclei in a strong constant magnetic field are perturbed by a weak oscillating magnetic field (in the near field) and respond by producing an electromagnetic signal with a freq ...
; the first
nuclear pile#REDIRECT Nuclear reactor {{R from other capitalisation ...
; the first
nuclear fission In nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry, nuclear fission is a nuclear reaction or a radioactive decay process in which the nucleus of an atom splits into two or more smaller, lighter nuclei. The fission process often produces gamma photons, ...

nuclear fission
reaction in the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with their associated i ...
; the first evidence for
plate tectonics upright=1.35, Diagram of the internal layering of Earth showing the lithosphere above the asthenosphere (not to scale) Plate tectonics (from the la, label=Late Latin, tectonicus, from the grc, τεκτονικός, lit=pertaining to building) is a ...
and
continental drift Continental drift is the hypothesis that the Earth's continents have moved over geologic time relative to each other, thus appearing to have "drifted" across the ocean bed. The speculation that continents might have 'drifted' was first put for ...
; and much of the initial research and planning for the
Manhattan Project The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom (which initiated the original Tube Alloys proj ...
during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including four undergraduate schools and 15 graduate schools. The university's research efforts include the
Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory The Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) is the scientific research center of the Columbia Climate School, and a unit of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. It focuses on climate and earth sciences and is located on a 189-acre (64 ha ...
, the
Goddard Institute for Space Studies The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is a laboratory in the Earth Sciences Division of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center affiliated with the Columbia University Earth Institute. The institute is located at Columbia University in New Y ...
, and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as
IBM International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Comput ...
. Columbia is a founding member of the
Association of American Universities The Association of American Universities (AAU) is an organization of American research universities devoted to maintaining a strong system of academic research and education. Founded in 1900, it consists of 63 universities in the United States (b ...
and was the first school in the United States to grant the M.D. degree. With over 14 million volumes, Columbia University Library is the third largest private research library in the United States. The university's endowment stands at $11.26 billion in 2020, among the largest of any academic institution. , Columbia's alumni, faculty, and staff have included: five Founding Fathers of the United States—among them a
co-authorCollaborative writing is a method of group work that takes place in the workplace and in the classroom. Researchers expand the idea of collaborative writing beyond groups working together to complete a writing task. Collaboration can be defined as in ...

co-author
of the United States Constitution and a
co-authorCollaborative writing is a method of group work that takes place in the workplace and in the classroom. Researchers expand the idea of collaborative writing beyond groups working together to complete a writing task. Collaboration can be defined as in ...
of the Declaration of Independence; three U.S. presidents; 29 foreign
heads of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a stateFoakes, pp. 110–11 "he head of statebeing an embodiment of the State itself or representatitve of its international persona." in its unity and legitim ...
; ten justices of the
United States Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America. It has ultimate (and largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal and state court cases that invo ...

United States Supreme Court
, one of whom currently serves; 96 Nobel laureates; five Fields Medalists; 122
National Academy of Sciences The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a United States nonprofit, non-governmental organization. NAS is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, along with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Nation ...
members; 53 living billionaires; eleven Olympic medalists; 33
Academy Award winners An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary or tertiary higher learning, research, or honorary membership. Academia is the worldwide group composed of professors and researchers at in ...
; and 125 Pulitzer Prize recipients.


History


Colonial period

Discussions regarding the founding of a college in the
Province of New York A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outside ...
began as early as 1704, at which time Colonel Lewis Morris wrote to the
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts United Society Partners in the Gospel (USPG) is a United Kingdom-based charitable organization (registered charity no. 234518). It was first incorporated under Royal Charter in 1701 as the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts ...
, the missionary arm of the
Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
, persuading the society that
New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 distributed over about , New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the Unit ...

New York City
was an ideal community in which to establish a college. However, it was not until the founding of the College of New Jersey (renamed
Princeton Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one o ...
) across the
Hudson River The Hudson River is a river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York in the United States. The river originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, flows southward through the Hudson Valley to the Upper New ...
in
New Jersey New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware R ...
that the City of New York seriously considered founding a college. In 1746, an act was passed by the general assembly of New York to raise funds for the foundation of a new college. In 1751, the assembly appointed a commission of ten New York residents, seven of whom were members of the
Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England#REDIRECT Church of England {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
, to direct the funds accrued by the
state lottery In the United States, lotteries are run by 48 jurisdictions: 45 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Lotteries are subject to the laws of and operated independently by each jurisdiction, and there is no na ...
towards the foundation of a college. Classes were initially held in July 1754 and were presided over by the college's first president, Dr. Samuel Johnson. Dr. Johnson was the only instructor of the college's first class, which consisted of a mere eight students. Instruction was held in a new schoolhouse adjoining Trinity Church, located on what is now lower
Broadway Broadway may refer to: Theatre * Broadway Theatre (disambiguation) * Broadway theatre, theatrical productions in professional theatres near Broadway, Manhattan, New York City, U.S. ** Broadway (Manhattan), the street **Broadway Theatre (53rd Str ...
in Manhattan. The college was officially founded on October 31, 1754, as King's College by royal charter of King George II, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in the
State of New York New York is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It was one of the original thirteen colonies forming the United States. With a total area of , New York is the 27th largest state; its population of more tha ...
and the fifth oldest in the United States. In 1763, Dr. Johnson was succeeded in the presidency by
Myles Cooper Myles Cooper (1735 – May 1, 1785) was a figure in colonial New York. An Anglican priest, he served as the President of King's College (predecessor of today's Columbia University) from 1763 to 1775, and was a public opponent of the American Revolu ...
, a graduate of
The Queen's College, Oxford The Queen's College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford, England. The college was founded in 1341 by Robert de Eglesfield in honour of Queen Philippa of Hainault (wife of King Edward III of England). It is distinguished by its p ...
, and an ardent
Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy known as Toryism, based on a British version of traditionalism and conservatism, which upholds the supremacy of social order as it has evolved in the English culture throughout history. The To ...
. In the charged political climate of the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), ...
, his chief opponent in discussions at the college was an undergraduate of the class of 1777,
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influenti ...

Alexander Hamilton
. The
Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North ...
anatomist, Samuel Clossy, was appointed professor of natural philosophy in October 1765 and later the college's first professor of anatomy in 1767. The
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America in Congress against Great Britain over thei ...
broke out in 1776, and was catastrophic for the operation of King's College, which suspended instruction for eight years beginning in 1776 with the arrival of the
Continental Army The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the former thirteen British colonies that later became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the ...
. The suspension continued through the military occupation of New York City by British troops until their departure in 1783. The college's library was looted and its sole building requisitioned for use as a military hospital first by American and then British forces. Loyalists were forced to abandon their King's College in New York, but some led by Bishop Charles Inglis fled to Windsor, Nova Scotia, where they founded King's Collegiate School.


18th century

After the Revolution, the college turned to the
State of New York New York is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It was one of the original thirteen colonies forming the United States. With a total area of , New York is the 27th largest state; its population of more tha ...
in order to restore its vitality, promising to make whatever changes to the school's charter the state might demand. The legislature agreed to assist the college, and on May 1, 1784, it passed "an Act for granting certain privileges to the College heretofore called King's College". The Act created a
Board of Regents In the United States, a board often governs institutions of higher education, including private universities, state universities and community colleges. In each US state, such boards may govern either the state university system, individual colleges ...
to oversee the resuscitation of King's College, and, in an effort to demonstrate its support for the new Republic, the legislature stipulated that "the College within the City of New York heretofore called King's College be forever hereafter called and known by the name of Columbia College", a reference to Columbia, an alternative name for America. The Regents finally became aware of the college's defective constitution in February 1787 and appointed a revision committee, which was headed by
John Jay John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, patriot, diplomat, Founding Father, abolitionist, negotiator, and signatory of the Treaty of Paris of 1783. He served as the second Governor of New York and the first Chief ...
and Alexander Hamilton. In April of that same year, a new charter was adopted for the college granted the power to a separate board of 24 trustees. On May 21, 1787,
William Samuel Johnson William Samuel Johnson (October 7, 1727 – November 14, 1819) was an early American statesman who was notable for signing the United States Constitution, for representing Connecticut in the United States Senate, and for serving as the third presid ...
, the son of Dr. Samuel Johnson, was unanimously elected president of Columbia College. Prior to serving at the university, Johnson had participated in the
First Continental Congress The First Continental Congress was a meeting of delegates from 12 of the 13 British colonies that became the United States. It met from September 5 to October 26, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after the British Navy in ...
and been chosen as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. For a period in the 1790s, with New York City as the federal and state capital and the country under successive
Federalist The term ''federalist'' describes several political beliefs around the world. It may also refer to the concept of parties, whose members or supporters called themselves ''Federalists''.http://m-w.com/dictionary/federalist. History Europe In Eur ...
governments, a revived Columbia thrived under the auspices of Federalists such as Hamilton and Jay. Both President
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American political leader, military general, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Previously, he led Patriot forces to vi ...

George Washington
and Vice President
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. Before his presidency, he was a leader of the ...

John Adams
attended the college's commencement on May 6, 1789, as a tribute of honor to the many alumni of the school who had been involved in the American Revolution.


19th century to present

In November 1813, the college agreed to incorporate its medical school with The College of Physicians and Surgeons, a new school created by the Regents of New York, forming
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) is the graduate medical school of Columbia University, located at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan with its aff ...
. The college's enrollment, structure, and academics stagnated for the majority of the 19th century, with many of the college presidents doing little to change the way that the college functioned. In 1857, the college moved from the King's College campus at Park Place to a primarily
Gothic Revival Gothic Revival (also referred to as Victorian Gothic, neo-Gothic, or Gothick) is an architectural movement that began in the late 1740s in England. Its momentum grew in the early 19th century, when increasingly serious and learned admirers of neo ...
campus on 49th Street and
Madison Avenue Madison Avenue is a north-south avenue in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, United States, that carries northbound one-way traffic. It runs from Madison Square (at 23rd Street) to meet the southbound Harlem River Drive at 142nd Street ...
, where it remained for the next forty years. During the last half of the 19th century, under the leadership of President F.A.P. Barnard, the president that
Barnard College Barnard College of Columbia University is a private women's liberal arts college in New York City. It was founded in 1889 by Annie Nathan Meyer as a response to Columbia University's refusal to admit women and is named after Columbia's 10th presi ...
is named after, the institution rapidly assumed the shape of a modern university. Barnard College was created in 1889 as a response to the university's refusal to accept women. By this time, the college's investments in New York real estate became a primary source of steady income for the school, mainly owing to the city's expanding population. University president
Seth Low Seth Low (January 18, 1850 – September 17, 1916) was an American educator and political figure who served as the 23rd Mayor of Brooklyn, President of Columbia University, diplomatic representative of the United States, and was the 92nd Mayor of ...

Seth Low
moved the campus from 49th Street to its present location, a more spacious campus in the developing neighborhood of
Morningside Heights Morningside Heights is a neighborhood on the West Side of Upper Manhattan in New York City. It is bounded by Morningside Drive to the east, 125th Street to the north, 110th Street to the south, and Riverside Drive to the west. One of the three n ...
. Under the leadership of Low's successor,
Nicholas Murray Butler Nicholas Murray Butler (April 2, 1862 – December 7, 1947) was an American philosopher, diplomat, and educator. Butler was president of Columbia University, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a recipient of the Nobel P ...
, who served for over four decades, Columbia rapidly became the nation's major institution for research, setting the "multiversity" model that later universities would adopt. Prior to becoming the president of Columbia University, Butler founded
Teachers College Teachers College, Columbia University (TC) is a graduate school of education, health, and psychology in New York City. Founded in 1887, it has served as one of the official Faculties and the Department of Education of Columbia University since i ...
, as a school to prepare home economists and manual art teachers for the children of the poor, with philanthropist
Grace Hoadley Dodge Grace Hoadley Dodge (May 21, 1856December 27, 1914) was an American philanthropist who was the first woman appointed a member of the New York Board of Education. Early life Grace was born in Manhattan on May 21, 1856. She was the oldest of six ch ...
. Teachers College is currently affiliated as the university's Graduate School of Education. Research into the atom by faculty members John R. Dunning, ,
Enrico Fermi Enrico Fermi (; 29 September 1901 - 28 November 1954) was an Italian (later naturalized American) physicist and the creator of the world's first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1. He has been called the "architect of the nuclear age" and the ...
and placed Columbia's physics department in the international spotlight in the 1940s after the first nuclear pile was built to start what became the
Manhattan Project The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom (which initiated the original Tube Alloys proj ...
. In 1928,
Seth Low Seth Low (January 18, 1850 – September 17, 1916) was an American educator and political figure who served as the 23rd Mayor of Brooklyn, President of Columbia University, diplomatic representative of the United States, and was the 92nd Mayor of ...

Seth Low
Junior College was established by Columbia University in order to mitigate the number of Jewish applicants to Columbia College. The college was closed in 1936 due to the adverse effects of the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across the world; in most countries, it started in 1929 and las ...
and its students were subsequently taught at Morningside Heights, although they did not belong to any college but to the university at large. There was an evening school called University Extension, which taught night classes, for a fee, to anyone willing to attend. In 1947, the program was reorganized as an undergraduate college and designated the
School of General Studies The School of General Studies, Columbia University (GS) is a liberal arts college and one of the undergraduate colleges of Columbia University, situated on the university's main campus in Morningside Heights, New York City. GS is known primarily fo ...
in response to the return of
GIs A geographic information system (GIS) is a conceptualized framework that provides the ability to capture and analyze spatial and geographic data. GIS applications (or GIS apps) are computer-based tools that allow the user to create interactive qu ...
after World War II. In 1995, the School of General Studies was again reorganized as a full-fledged liberal arts college for
non-traditional students A nontraditional student is a term originating in North America, that refers to a category of students at colleges and universities. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) notes that there are varying definitions of nontraditional st ...
(those who have had an academic break of one year or more, or are pursuing dual-degrees) and was fully integrated into Columbia's traditional undergraduate curriculum. Within the same year, the Division of Special Programs—later the School of Continuing Education, and now the School of Professional Studies—was established to reprise the former role of University Extension. While the School of Professional Studies only offered non-degree programs for lifelong learners and high school students in its earliest stages, it now offers degree programs in a diverse range of professional and inter-disciplinary fields. In the aftermath of World War II, the discipline of international relations became a major scholarly focus of the university, and in response, the
School of International and Public Affairs The School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University (SIPA) is the international affairs and public policy school of Columbia University, a private Ivy League university located in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, New York City. SIP ...
was founded in 1946, drawing upon the resources of the faculties of political science, economics, and history. During the 1960s Columbia experienced large-scale student activism, which reached a climax in the spring of 1968 when hundreds of students occupied buildings on campus. The incident forced the resignation of Columbia's president,
Grayson Kirk Grayson Louis Kirk (October 12, 1903 – November 21, 1997) was president of Columbia University during the Columbia University protests of 1968. He was also a Professor of Government, advisor to the State Department, and instrumental in the ...
and the establishment of the University Senate. Though several schools within the university had admitted women for years, Columbia College first admitted women in the fall of 1983, after a decade of failed negotiations with
Barnard College Barnard College of Columbia University is a private women's liberal arts college in New York City. It was founded in 1889 by Annie Nathan Meyer as a response to Columbia University's refusal to admit women and is named after Columbia's 10th presi ...
, the all-female institution affiliated with the university, to merge the two schools. Barnard College still remains affiliated with Columbia, and all Barnard graduates are issued diplomas signed by the Presidents of Columbia University and Barnard College. During the late 20th century, the university underwent significant academic, structural, and administrative changes as it developed into a major research university. For much of the 19th century, the university consisted of decentralized and separate faculties specializing in Political Science, Philosophy, and Pure Science. In 1979, these faculties were merged into the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In 1991, the faculties of Columbia College, the School of General Studies, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the
School of the ArtsSchool of the Arts may refer to: United States California * Coronado School of the Arts, Coronado * Los Angeles County High School for the Arts * Orange County High School of the Arts, Santa Ana * Roosevelt School of the Arts, Fresno * San Diego Sc ...
, and the School of Professional Studies were merged into the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, leading to the academic integration and centralized governance of these schools. In 2010, the
School of International and Public Affairs The School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University (SIPA) is the international affairs and public policy school of Columbia University, a private Ivy League university located in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, New York City. SIP ...
, which was previously a part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, became an independent faculty.


Campus

According to ''
New York Magazine ''New York'' is an American biweekly magazine concerned with life, culture, politics, and style generally, and with a particular emphasis on New York City. Founded by Milton Glaser and Clay Felker in 1968 as a competitor to ''The New Yorker'', ...
'', Columbia University is the second largest landowner in New York City, after the Catholic Church.


Morningside Heights

The majority of Columbia's graduate and undergraduate studies are conducted in
Morningside Heights Morningside Heights is a neighborhood on the West Side of Upper Manhattan in New York City. It is bounded by Morningside Drive to the east, 125th Street to the north, 110th Street to the south, and Riverside Drive to the west. One of the three n ...
on
Seth Low Seth Low (January 18, 1850 – September 17, 1916) was an American educator and political figure who served as the 23rd Mayor of Brooklyn, President of Columbia University, diplomatic representative of the United States, and was the 92nd Mayor of ...

Seth Low
's late-19th century vision of a university campus where all disciplines could be taught at one location. The campus was designed along Beaux-Arts planning principles by the architects
McKim, Mead & White McKim, Mead & White was an American architectural firm that came to define architectural practice, urbanism, and the ideals of the American Renaissance in fin de siècle New York. The firm's founding partners Charles Follen McKim (1847–1909), W ...
. Columbia's main campus occupies more than six
city block A city block, residential block, urban block or simply block is a central element of urban planning and urban design. A city block is the smallest group of buildings that is surrounded by streets, not counting any type of thoroughfare within the ...

city block
s, or , in
Morningside Heights Morningside Heights is a neighborhood on the West Side of Upper Manhattan in New York City. It is bounded by Morningside Drive to the east, 125th Street to the north, 110th Street to the south, and Riverside Drive to the west. One of the three n ...
, New York City, a neighborhood that contains a number of academic institutions. The university owns over 7,800 apartments in Morningside Heights, housing faculty, graduate students, and staff. Almost two dozen undergraduate dormitories (purpose-built or converted) are located on campus or in Morningside Heights. Columbia University has an extensive tunnel system more than a century old, with the oldest portions predating the present campus. Some of these remain accessible to the public, while others have been cordoned off. The Nicholas Murray Butler Library, known simply as
Butler Library Butler Library is located on the Morningside Heights campus of Columbia University at 535 West 114th Street, in Manhattan, New York City. It is the university's largest single library with over 2million volumes, as well as one of the largest bui ...
, is the largest single library in the
Columbia University Library System Columbia University Libraries is the library system of Columbia University and is one of the top five academic library systems in North America and top ten largest libraries by volumes held. With 11.9 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and se ...
, and is one of the largest buildings on the campus. Proposed as "South Hall" by the university's former president
Nicholas Murray Butler Nicholas Murray Butler (April 2, 1862 – December 7, 1947) was an American philosopher, diplomat, and educator. Butler was president of Columbia University, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a recipient of the Nobel P ...
as expansion plans for
Low Memorial Library The Low Memorial Library is located on the Columbia University campus in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1895 by University President Seth Low as the University's central library. Financed with $1 million of Low's own ...
stalled, the new library was funded by
Edward Harkness Edward Stephen Harkness (January 22, 1874 – January 29, 1940) was an American philanthropist. Given privately and through his family's Commonwealth Fund, Harkness' gifts to private hospitals, art museums, and educational institutions in the Northe ...
, benefactor of Yale's
residential collegeA residential college is a division of a university that places academic activity in a community setting of students and faculty, usually at a residence and with shared meals, the college having a degree of autonomy and a federated relationship with ...
system, and designed by his favorite architect,
James Gamble Rogers James Gamble Rogers (March 3, 1867 — October 1, 1947) was an American architect. He is best known for his academic commissions at Yale University, Columbia University, Northwestern University, and elsewhere. Biography Rogers was born in ...

James Gamble Rogers
. It was completed in 1934 and renamed for Butler in 1946. The library design is neo-classical in style. Its facade features a row of columns in the
Ionic order The Ionic order is one of the three canonic orders of classical architecture, the other two being the Doric and the Corinthian. There are two lesser orders: the Tuscan (a plainer Doric), and the rich variant of Corinthian called the composite orde ...

Ionic order
above which are inscribed the names of great writers, philosophers, and thinkers, most of whom are read by students engaged in the
Core Curriculum In education, a curriculum (; plural curricula or curriculums) is broadly defined as the totality of student experiences that occur in the educational process. The term often refers specifically to a planned sequence of instruction, or to a view ...
of Columbia College. , Columbia's library system includes over 11.9  million volumes, making it the eighth largest library system and fifth largest collegiate library system in the United States. Several buildings on the Morningside Heights campus are listed on the
National Register of Historic Places The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed i ...
.
Low Memorial Library The Low Memorial Library is located on the Columbia University campus in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1895 by University President Seth Low as the University's central library. Financed with $1 million of Low's own ...
, a
National Historic Landmark A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance. Only some 2,500 (~3%) of over 90,000 places listed o ...
and the centerpiece of the campus, is listed for its architectural significance.
Philosophy Hall Philosophy Hall is a building on the campus of Columbia University in New York City. It houses the English, Philosophy, and French departments, along with the university's writing center, part of its registrar's office, and the student lounge of it ...
is listed as the site of the invention of
FM radio in Henderson, Nevada and broadcasts at a frequency of 95.5 MHz. FM broadcasting is a method of radio broadcasting using frequency modulation (FM). Invented in 1933 by American engineer Edwin Armstrong, wide-band FM is used worldwide to provide hig ...
. Also listed is
Pupin Hall Pupin Physics Laboratories , also known as Pupin Hall, is home to the physics and astronomy departments of Columbia University in New York City. The building is located on the south side of 120th Street, just east of Broadway. In 1965, Pupin was nam ...

Pupin Hall
, another
National Historic Landmark A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance. Only some 2,500 (~3%) of over 90,000 places listed o ...
, which houses the physics and astronomy departments. Here the first experiments on the fission of uranium were conducted by
Enrico Fermi Enrico Fermi (; 29 September 1901 - 28 November 1954) was an Italian (later naturalized American) physicist and the creator of the world's first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1. He has been called the "architect of the nuclear age" and the ...
. The uranium atom was split there ten days after the world's first atom-splitting in
Copenhagen, Denmark Copenhagen ( da, København ) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of 1 January 2020, the city had a population of 794,128 with 632,340 in Copenhagen Municipality, 104,305 in Frederiksberg Municipality, 42,989 in Tårnby Municip ...
. A statue by sculptor
Daniel Chester French Daniel Chester French (April 20, 1850 – October 7, 1931) was an American sculptor of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, best known for his design of the monumental statue of Abraham Lincoln (1920) in the Lincoln Memorial ...
called ''
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'' is centered on the front steps of
Low Memorial Library The Low Memorial Library is located on the Columbia University campus in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1895 by University President Seth Low as the University's central library. Financed with $1 million of Low's own ...
. McKim, Mead & White invited French to build the sculpture in order to harmonize with the larger composition of the court and library in the center of the campus. Draped in an academic gown, the female figure of Alma Mater wears a crown of laurels and sits on a throne. The scroll-like arms of the throne end in lamps, representing sapientia and doctrina. A book signifying knowledge, balances on her lap, and an owl, the attribute of wisdom, is hidden in the folds of her gown. Her right hand holds a scepter composed of four sprays of wheat, terminating with a crown of King's College which refers to Columbia's origin as a
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institution in 1754. A local actress named Mary Lawton was said to have posed for parts of the sculpture. The statue was dedicated on September 23, 1903, as a gift of Mr. & Mrs. Robert Goelet, and was originally covered in golden leaf. During the
Columbia University protests of 1968 In 1968, a series of protests at Columbia University in New York City were one among the various student demonstrations that occurred around the globe in that year. The Columbia protests erupted over the spring of that year after students discove ...
a bomb damaged the sculpture, but it has since been repaired. The small hidden owl on the sculpture is also the subject of many Columbia legends, the main legend being that the first student in the freshmen class to find the hidden owl on the statue will be valedictorian, and that any subsequent Columbia male who finds it will marry a Barnard student, given that Barnard is a
women's college Women's colleges in higher education are undergraduate, bachelor's degree-granting institutions, often liberal arts colleges, whose student populations are composed exclusively or almost exclusively of women. Some women's colleges admit male stude ...
. "The Steps", alternatively known as "Low Steps" or the "Urban Beach", are a popular meeting area for Columbia students. The term refers to the long series of granite steps leading from the lower part of campus (South Field) to its upper terrace. With a design inspired by the
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, the steps of Low Library provides Columbia University and Barnard College students, faculty, and staff with a comfortable outdoor platform and space for informal gatherings, events, and ceremonies. McKim's classical facade epitomizes late 19th-century new-classical designs, with its columns and portico marking the entrance to an important structure. On warm days when the weather is favorable, the Low Steps often become a popular gathering place for students to sunbathe, eat lunch, or play frisbee.


Other campuses

In April 2007, the university purchased more than two-thirds of a site for a new campus in
Manhattanville Manhattanville (also known as West Harlem or West Central Harlem) is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan bordered on the north by 135th Street; on the south by 122nd and 125th Streets; on the west by Hudson River; and on the ...
, an industrial neighborhood to the north of the Morningside Heights campus. Stretching from 125th Street to 133rd Street, Columbia Manhattanville houses buildings for Columbia's Business School, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia School of the Arts, and the Jerome L. Greene Center for Mind, Brain, and Behavior, where research will occur on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The $7 billion expansion plan included demolishing all buildings, except three that are historically significant, eliminating the existing light industry and storage warehouses, and relocating tenants in 132 apartments. Replacing these buildings created of space for the university. Community activist groups in West Harlem fought the expansion for reasons ranging from property protection and fair exchange for land, to residents' rights. Subsequent public hearings drew neighborhood opposition. , the State of New York's
Empire State Development Corporation Empire State Development (ESD) is the umbrella organization for New York's two principal economic development public-benefit corporations, the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the New York Job Development Authority (JDA). The ...
approved use of eminent domain, which, through declaration of Manhattanville's "blighted" status, gives governmental bodies the right to appropriate private property for public use. On May 20, 2009, the
New York State Public Authorities Control BoardThe New York State Public Authorities Control Board is composed of five members, appointed by the Governor, some upon the recommendation of members of the Legislature. The five members of PACB are appointed by the Governor to serve one-year terms, wi ...
approved the Manhanttanville expansion plan and the first buildings are under construction.
Columbia Transportation Columbia Transportation is a fare-free bus network providing service to Columbia University campuses. It is operated by Academy Bus Lines and Luxury Transportation to serve employees and students. The buses are open to all Columbia faculty, student ...
is the shuttle bus service of the university, it operates between all campuses. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is affiliated with the medical schools of both Columbia University and Cornell University. According to ''U.S. News & World Report''s "2019–20 Best Hospitals Honor Roll and Medical Specialties Rankings", it is ranked fifth overall and third among university hospitals. Columbia's Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, medical school has a strategic partnership with New York State Psychiatric Institute, and is affiliated with 19 other hospitals in the U.S. and four hospitals overseas. Health-related schools are located at the Columbia University Medical Center, a campus located in the neighborhood of Washington Heights, Manhattan, Washington Heights, fifty blocks uptown. Other teaching hospitals affiliated with Columbia through the NewYork-Presbyterian network include the Payne Whitney Clinic in Manhattan, and the Payne Whitney Westchester, a psychiatric institute located in White Plains, New York. On the northern tip of Manhattan island (in the neighborhood of Inwood, Manhattan, Inwood), Columbia owns Baker Field, which includes the Lawrence A. Wien Stadium as well as facilities for field sports, outdoor track, and tennis. There is a third campus on the west bank of the
Hudson River The Hudson River is a river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York in the United States. The river originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, flows southward through the Hudson Valley to the Upper New ...
, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Earth Institute in Palisades, New York, Palisades, New York. A fourth is the Nevis Laboratories in Irvington, New York, Irvington, New York for the study of particle and motion physics. A satellite site in Paris, France holds classes at Reid Hall.


Sustainability

In 2006, the university established the Office of Environmental Stewardship to initiate, coordinate and implement programs to reduce the university's environmental footprint. The U.S. Green Building Council selected the university's Manhattanville plan for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Neighborhood Design pilot program. The plan commits to incorporating smart growth, new urbanism and "green" building design principles. Columbia is one of the 2030 Challenge Partners, a group of nine universities in the city of New York that have pledged to reduce their greenhouse emissions by 30% within the next ten years. Columbia University adopts LEED standards for all new construction and major renovations. The university requires a minimum of Silver, but through its design and review process seeks to achieve higher levels. This is especially challenging for lab and research buildings with their intensive energy use; however, the university also uses lab design guidelines that seek to maximize energy efficiency while protecting the safety of researchers. Every Thursday and Sunday of the month, Columbia hosts a Farmers' market, greenmarket where local farmers can sell their produce to residents of the city. In addition, from April to November Hodgson's farm, a local New York gardening center, joins the market bringing a large selection of plants and blooming flowers. The market is one of the many operated at different points throughout the city by the non-profit group GrowNYC. Dining services at Columbia spends 36 percent of its food budget on local products, in addition to serving sustainably harvested seafood and fair trade coffee on campus. Columbia has been rated "B+" by the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card for its environmental and sustainability initiatives. According to the A. W. Kuchler U.S. potential natural vegetation types, Columbia University would have a dominant vegetation type of Appalachian Oak (''104'') with a dominant vegetation form of Eastern Hardwood Forest (''25'').


Transportation

Columbia Transportation Columbia Transportation is a fare-free bus network providing service to Columbia University campuses. It is operated by Academy Bus Lines and Luxury Transportation to serve employees and students. The buses are open to all Columbia faculty, student ...
is the bus service of the university, operated by Academy Bus Lines. The buses are open to all Columbia faculty, students, Dodge Fitness Center members, and anyone else who holds a Columbia ID card. In addition, all The School at Columbia, TSC students can ride the buses.


Academics


Undergraduate admissions and financial aid

Columbia University received nearly 40,100 applications for the class of 2024 (entering 2020) and a total of around 2,450 were admitted to the two schools for an overall acceptance rate of 6.1%, making Columbia the third most selective college in the United States behind Stanford University, Stanford and Harvard University, Harvard as well as the second most selective college in the
Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research universities in the Northeastern United States. The term ''Ivy League'' is typically used beyond the sports contex ...
. Columbia is a racially diverse school, with approximately 52% of all students identifying themselves as persons of color. Additionally, 50% of all undergraduates received grants from Columbia. The average grant size awarded to these students is $46,516. In 2015–2016, annual undergraduate tuition at Columbia was $50,526 with a total cost of attendance of $65,860 (including room and board). On April 11, 2007, Columbia University announced a $400 million to $600 million donation from media billionaire alumnus John Kluge to be used exclusively for undergraduate financial aid. The donation is among the largest single gifts to higher education. Its exact value will depend on the eventual value of Kluge's estate at the time of his death; however, the generous donation has helped change financial aid policy at Columbia. Annual gifts, fund-raising, and an increase in spending from the university's endowment have allowed Columbia to extend generous financial aid packages to qualifying students. , undergraduates from families with incomes as high as $60,000 a year will have the projected cost of attending the university, including room, board, and academic fees, fully paid for by the university. That same year, the university ended loans for incoming and then-current students who were on financial aid, replacing loans that were traditionally part of aid packages with grants from the university. However, this does not apply to international students, transfer students, visiting students, or students in the School of General Studies. In the fall of 2010, admission to Columbia's undergraduate colleges Columbia College, Columbia University, Columbia College and the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (also known as SEAS or Columbia Engineering) began accepting the Common Application. The policy change made Columbia one of the last major academic institutions and the last
Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research universities in the Northeastern United States. The term ''Ivy League'' is typically used beyond the sports contex ...
university to switch to the Common Application. Scholarships are also given to undergraduate students by the admissions committee. Designations include John W. Kluge Scholars, John Jay Scholars, C. Prescott Davis Scholars, Global Scholars, Egleston Scholars, and Science Research Fellows. Named scholars are selected by the admission committee from first-year applicants. According to Columbia, the first four designated scholars "distinguish themselves for their remarkable academic and personal achievements, dynamism, intellectual curiosity, the originality and independence of their thinking, and the diversity that stems from their different cultures and their varied educational experiences." In 1919, Columbia established a student application process characterized by The New York Times as "the first modern college application." The application required a photograph of the applicant, the maiden name of the applicant's mother, and the applicant's religious background. Columbia University received $1 million in Hanban funds over five years to begin a Confucius Institute. Professor Robert Barnett (scholar), Robert Barnett, the director of the Modern Tibetan Studies Program, described a "strange silence about Tibet and other sensitive issues when it comes to Columbia, academics, and talks of China."


Organization

Columbia University is an independent, privately supported, nonsectarian institution of higher education. Its official corporate name is "The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York." The university's first charter was granted in 1754 by King George II; however, its modern charter was first enacted in 1787 and last amended in 1810 by the New York State Legislature. The university is governed by 24 trustees, customarily including the president, who serves ''Ex officio member, ex officio''. The trustees themselves are responsible for choosing their successors. Six of the 24 are nominated from a pool of candidates recommended by the Columbia Alumni Association. Another six are nominated by the board in consultation with the executive committee of the University Senate. The remaining 12, including the president, are nominated by the trustees themselves through their internal processes. The term of office for trustees is six years. Generally, they serve for no more than two consecutive terms. The trustees appoint the president and other senior administrative officers of the university, and review and confirm faculty appointments as required. They determine the university's financial and investment policies, authorize the budget, supervise the endowment, direct the management of the university's real estate and other assets, and otherwise oversee the administration and management of the university. The University Senate was established by the trustees after a university-wide referendum in 1969. It succeeded to the powers of the University Council, which was created in 1890 as a body of faculty, deans, and other administrators to regulate inter-Faculty affairs and consider issues of university-wide concern. The University Senate is a unicameral body consisting of 107 members drawn from all constituencies of the university. These include the president of the university, the provost, the deans of Columbia College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, all who serve ex officio, and five additional representatives, appointed by the president, from the university's administration. The president serves as the Senate's presiding officer. The Senate is charged with reviewing the educational policies, physical development, budget, and external relations of the university. It oversees the welfare and academic freedom of the faculty and the welfare of students. List of Presidents of Columbia University, The president of Columbia University, who is selected by the trustees in consultation with the executive committee of the University Senate and who serves at the trustees' pleasure, is the chief executive officer of the university. Assisting the president in administering the university are the provost, the senior executive vice president, the executive vice president for health and biomedical sciences, several other vice presidents, the general counsel, the secretary of the university, and the deans of the faculties, all of whom are appointed by the trustees on the nomination of the president and serve at their pleasure. Lee C. Bollinger became the 19th president of Columbia University on June 1, 2002. A prominent advocate of affirmative action, he played a leading role in the twin Supreme Court cases—Grutter v Bollinger and Gratz v Bollinger—that upheld and clarified the importance of diversity as a compelling justification for affirmative action in higher education. A leading First Amendment scholar, he is widely published on freedom of speech and press, and serves on the faculty of Columbia Law School. Columbia has three official undergraduate colleges: Columbia College of Columbia University, Columbia College (CC), the liberal arts college offering the Bachelor of Arts degree; the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (also known as SEAS or Columbia Engineering), the engineering and applied science school offering the Bachelor of Science degree; and Columbia University School of General Studies, The School of General Studies (GS), the liberal arts college offering the Bachelor of Arts degree to non-traditional students undertaking full- or part-time study.
Barnard College Barnard College of Columbia University is a private women's liberal arts college in New York City. It was founded in 1889 by Annie Nathan Meyer as a response to Columbia University's refusal to admit women and is named after Columbia's 10th presi ...
is a women's liberal arts college and an academic affiliate in which students receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University. Their degrees are signed by the Presidents of Columbia University and Barnard College. Barnard students are also eligible to cross-register classes that are available through the Barnard Catalogue and alumnae can join the Columbia Alumni Association. Joint degree programs are available through Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, Union Theological Seminary, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, as well as through the Juilliard School.
Teachers College Teachers College, Columbia University (TC) is a graduate school of education, health, and psychology in New York City. Founded in 1887, it has served as one of the official Faculties and the Department of Education of Columbia University since i ...
and
Barnard College Barnard College of Columbia University is a private women's liberal arts college in New York City. It was founded in 1889 by Annie Nathan Meyer as a response to Columbia University's refusal to admit women and is named after Columbia's 10th presi ...
are faculties of the university; both colleges' presidents are deans under the university governance structure. The Columbia University Senate includes faculty and student representatives from Teachers College and Barnard College who serve two-year terms; all senators are accorded full voting privileges regarding matters impacting the entire university. Teachers College is an affiliated, financially independent graduate school with their own Board of Trustees. Pursuant to an affiliation agreement, Columbia is given the authority to confer "appropriate degrees and diplomas" to the graduates of Teachers College. The degrees are signed by Presidents of Teachers College and Columbia University. Columbia's General Studies school also has joint undergraduate programs available through University College London, Sciences Po, City University of Hong Kong, Trinity College, Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, and the Juilliard School. The university also has several Columbia Global Centers, in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Asunción and Nairobi. According to ''The Nation'', some American universities "restrict discussions of Human rights in China, Chinese human-rights abuses for fear of losing access to the country. Columbia University, for instance, canceled several talks on topics sensitive to the Chinese Communist Party, Communist Party because it was worried about offending People's Republic of China, Beijing."


International partnerships

Columbia students can study abroad for a semester or a year at partner institutions such as Sciences Po, École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), École normale supérieure (ENS), University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, Panthéon-Sorbonne University, King's College London, London School of Economics, and the University of Warwick. Select students can study at either the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge for a year if approved by both Columbia and either Oxford or Cambridge.


Rankings

Columbia University is ranked 3rd overall among U.S. national universities and 7th globally for 2020 by ''U.S. News & World Report''. QS University Rankings listed Columbia as 5th in the United States. Ranked 15th among U.S. colleges for 2020 by ''The Wall Street Journal'' and ''Times Higher Education'', in recent years it has been ranked as high as 2nd. Individual colleges and schools were also nationally ranked by ''U.S. News & World Report'' for its 2021 edition. Columbia Law School was ranked for 4th, the Mailman School of Public Health 4th, the Columbia University School of Social Work, School of Social Work tied for 3rd, Columbia Business School 8th, the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, College of Physicians and Surgeons tied for 6th for research (and tied for 31st for primary care), the Columbia University School of Nursing, School of Nursing tied for 11th in the master's program and tied for 1st in the doctorate nursing program, and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (graduate) was ranked tied for 14th. In 2019, Columbia was ranked 8th in the world by ''Academic Ranking of World Universities'', 7th in the world by ''U.S. News & World Report'' 18th in the world by ''QS World University Rankings'', and 16th globally by ''Times Higher Education World University Rankings''. Rankings by other organizations include the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation #2, and its Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Graduate School of Journalism #1. Between 1996 and 2008, 18 Columbia affiliates have won Nobel Prizes, of whom nine are faculty members while one is an adjunct senior research scientist (Daniel Tsui) and the other a Global Fellow (Kofi Annan). Columbia faculty awarded the Nobel Prize include Richard Axel, Martin Chalfie, Eric Kandel, Tsung-Dao Lee, Robert Mundell, Orhan Pamuk, Edmund S. Phelps, Joseph Stiglitz, and Horst L. Stormer. Other awards and honors won by faculty include 30 MacArthur Foundation Award winners, 4 National Medal of Science recipients, 43 United States National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences Award winners, 20 National Academy of Engineering Award winners, 38 Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Award recipients and 143 American Academy of Arts and Sciences Award winners. In 2015, Columbia University was ranked the first in the state by average professor salaries. In 2011, the Mines ParisTech : Professional Ranking World Universities ranked Columbia 3rd best university for forming CEOs in the US and 12th worldwide.


Research

Columbia is Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity". Columbia was the first North American site where the uranium atom was split. The College of Physicians and Surgeons played a central role in developing the modern understanding of neuroscience with the publication of ''Principles of Neural Science'', described by historian of science Katja Huenther as the "neuroscience 'bible'". The book was written by a team of Columbia researchers that included Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel, James H. Schwartz (neurobiologist), James H. Schwartz, and Thomas Jessell. Columbia was the birthplace of
FM radio in Henderson, Nevada and broadcasts at a frequency of 95.5 MHz. FM broadcasting is a method of radio broadcasting using frequency modulation (FM). Invented in 1933 by American engineer Edwin Armstrong, wide-band FM is used worldwide to provide hig ...
and the
laser A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radia ...

laser
. The first Brain–computer interface, brain-computer interface capable of translating brain signals into speech was developed by Neural engineering, neuroengineers at Columbia. The MPEG-2 algorithm of transmitting high quality audio and video over limited bandwidth was developed by Dimitris Anastassiou, a Columbia professor of electrical engineering. Biologist Martin Chalfie was the first to introduce the use of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) in labeling cells in intact organisms. Other inventions and products related to Columbia include Sequential Lateral Solidification (SLS) technology for making LCDs, System Management Arts (SMARTS), Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) (which is used for audio, video, chat, instant messaging and whiteboarding), pharmacopeia, Macromodel (software for computational chemistry), a new and better recipe for glass concrete, Blue LEDs, and Beamprop (used in photonics). Columbia scientists have been credited with about 175 new inventions in the health sciences each year. More than 30 pharmaceutical products based on discoveries and inventions made at Columbia reached the market. These include Remicade (for arthritis), Reopro (for blood clot complications), Xalatan (for glaucoma), Benefix, Latanoprost (a glaucoma treatment), shoulder prosthesis, homocysteine (testing for cardiovascular disease), and Zolinza (for cancer therapy). Columbia Technology Ventures (formerly Science and Technology Ventures), , manages some 600 patents and more than 250 active license agreements. Patent-related deals earned Columbia more than $230 million in the 2006 fiscal year, according to the university, more than any university in the world. Columbia owns many unique research facilities, such as the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information dedicated to telecommunications and the
Goddard Institute for Space Studies The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is a laboratory in the Earth Sciences Division of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center affiliated with the Columbia University Earth Institute. The institute is located at Columbia University in New Y ...
, which is an Astronomy, astronomical observatory affiliated with NASA.


Military and veteran enrollment

Columbia is a long-standing participant of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program, allowing eligible veterans to pursue a Columbia undergraduate degree regardless of socioeconomic status for over 70 years. As a part of the Eisenhower Leader Development Program (ELDP) in partnership with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Columbia is the only school in the Ivy League to offer a graduate degree program in organizational psychology to aid military officers in tactical decision making and strategic management.


Student life


Students

In 2017, Columbia University's student population was 32,429 (8,868 students in undergraduate programs and 23,561 in postgraduate programs), with 42% of the student population identifying themselves as a minority and 28% born outside of the United States. Twenty-six percent of students at Columbia have family incomes below $60,000, making it one of the most socioeconomically diverse top-tier colleges. Sixteen percent of students at Columbia receive Federal Pell Grants, which mostly go to students whose family incomes are below $40,000. Seventeen percent of students are the first member of their family to attend a four-year college. On-campus housing is guaranteed for all four years as an undergraduate. Columbia College, Columbia University, Columbia College and the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (also known as SEAS or Columbia Engineering) share housing in the on-campus residence halls. First-year students usually live in one of the large residence halls situated around South Lawn: Hartley Hall, Wallach Hall (originally Livingston Hall), John Jay Hall, Furnald Hall or Harry Carman, Carman Hall. Upperclassmen participate in a room selection process, wherein students can pick to live in a mix of either corridor- or apartment-style housing with their friends. The Columbia University School of General Studies,
Barnard College Barnard College of Columbia University is a private women's liberal arts college in New York City. It was founded in 1889 by Annie Nathan Meyer as a response to Columbia University's refusal to admit women and is named after Columbia's 10th presi ...
and graduate schools have their own apartment-style housing in the surrounding neighborhood. Columbia University is home to many Fraternities and sororities in North America, fraternities, sororities, and co-educational Greek organizations. Approximately 10–15% of undergraduate students are associated with Greek life. Many Barnard women also join Columbia sororities. There has been a Greek presence on campus since the establishment in 1836 of the Delta chapter of Alpha Delta Phi. The InterGreek Council is the self-governing student organization that provides guidelines and support to its member organizations within each of the three councils at Columbia, the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and Multicultural Greek Council. The three council presidents bring their affiliated chapters together once a month to meet as one Greek community. The InterGreek Council meetings provide opportunity for member organizations to learn from each other, work together and advocate for community needs.


Publications

The ''Columbia Daily Spectator'' is the nation's second-oldest student newspaper; and ''The Blue and White'', a monthly literary magazine established in 1890, discusses campus life and local politics in print and on its daily blog, dubbed the ''Bwog''. ''The Morningside Post'' is a student-run multimedia news publication. Its content: student-written investigative news, international affairs analysis, opinion, and satire. Political publications include ''The Current (Columbia University journal), The Current'', a journal of politics, culture and Jewish Affairs; the ''Columbia Political Review'', the multi-partisan political magazine of the Columbia Political Union; and ''AdHoc'', which denotes itself as the "progressive" campus magazine and deals largely with local political issues and arts events. ''Columbia Magazine'' is the alumni magazine of Columbia, serving all 340,000+ of the university's alumni. Arts and literary publications include ''The Columbia Review'', the nation's oldest college literary magazine; ''Columbia'', a nationally regarded literary journal; the ''Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism''; and ''The Mobius Strip'', an online arts and literary magazine. ''Inside New York'' is an annual guidebook to New York City, written, edited, and published by Columbia undergraduates. Through a distribution agreement with Columbia University Press, the book is sold at major retailers and independent bookstores. Columbia is home to numerous undergraduate academic publications. The ''Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal'' prints original science research in its two annual publications. The ''Journal of Politics & Society'' is a journal of undergraduate research in the social sciences, published and distributed nationally by the Helvidius Group; ''Publius'' is an undergraduate journal of politics established in 2008 and published biannually; the ''Columbia East Asia Review'' allows undergraduates throughout the world to publish original work on China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, and Vietnam and is supported by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute; and ''The Birch'', is an undergraduate journal of Eastern European and Eurasian culture that is the first national student-run journal of its kind; the ''Columbia Political Review'', the undergraduate magazine on politics operated by the Columbia Political Union; the ''Columbia Economics Review'', the undergraduate economic journal on research and policy supported by the Columbia Economics Department; and the ''Columbia Science Review'' is a science magazine that prints general interest articles and faculty profiles. ''The Fed (Columbia newspaper), The Fed'' a triweekly satire and investigative newspaper, and the ''Jester of Columbia'', the newly (and frequently) revived campus humor magazine both inject humor into local life. Other publications include ''The Columbian'', the undergraduate colleges' annually published yearbook the ''Gadfly'', a biannual journal of popular philosophy produced by undergraduates; and ''Rhapsody in Blue'', an undergraduate urban studies magazine. Professional journals published by academic departments at Columbia University include ''Current Musicology'' and ''The Journal of Philosophy''. During the spring semester, graduate students in the Journalism School publish ''The Bronx Beat'', a bi-weekly newspaper covering the South Bronx. Founded in 1961 under the auspices of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, the ''Columbia Journalism Review'' (CJR) examines day-to-day press performance as well as the forces that affect that performance. The magazine is published six times a year, and offers a reporting, analysis, criticism, and commentary. CJR.org, its web site, delivers real-time criticism and reporting, giving CJR a presence in the ongoing conversation about the media.


Broadcasting

Columbia is home to two pioneers in undergraduate campus radio broadcasting, WKCR-FM and CTV. Many undergraduates are also involved with Barnard's radio station, WBAR. WKCR, the student run radio station that broadcasts to the Tri-State area, claims to be the oldest FM radio station in the world, owing to the university's affiliation with Edwin Howard Armstrong, Major Edwin Armstrong. The station went operational on July 18, 1939, from a 400-foot antenna tower in Alpine, New Jersey, broadcasting the first FM transmission in the world. Initially, WKCR wasn't a radio station, but an organization concerned with the technology of radio communications. As membership grew, however, the nascent club turned its efforts to broadcasting. Armstrong helped the students in their early efforts, donating a microphone and turntables when they designed their first makeshift studio in a dorm room. The station has its studios on the second floor of Alfred Lerner Hall on the Morningside campus with its main transmitter tower at 4 Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. Columbia Television (CTV) is the nation's second oldest Student television station and home of CTV News, a weekly live news program produced by undergraduate students.


Debate and Model UN

The Philolexian Society is a literary and debating club founded in 1802, making it the oldest student group at Columbia, as well as the third oldest collegiate literary society in the country. The society annually administers the Joyce Kilmer Bad Poetry Contest. The Columbia Parliamentary Debate Team competes in tournaments around the country as part of the American Parliamentary Debate Association, and hosts both high school and college tournaments on Columbia's campus, as well as public debates on issues affecting the university. The Columbia International Relations Council and Association (CIRCA), oversees Columbia's Model United Nations activities. CIRCA hosts college and high school Model UN conferences, hosts speakers influential in international politics to speak on campus, trains students from underprivileged schools in New York in Model UN and oversees a competitive team, which travels to colleges around the country and to an international conference every year. The competitive team consistently wins best and outstanding delegation awards and is considered one of the top teams in the country.


Technology and entrepreneurship

The Columbia University Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs (CORE) was founded in 1999. The student-run group aims to foster entrepreneurship on campus. Each year CORE hosts dozens of events, including talks, #StartupColumbia, a conference and venture competition for $250,000, and Ignite@CU, a weekend for undergrads interested in design, engineering, and entrepreneurship. Notable speakers include Peter Thiel, Jack Dorsey, Alexis Ohanian, Drew Houston, and Mark Cuban. By 2006, CORE had awarded graduate and undergraduate students over $100,000 in seed capital. CampusNetwork, an on-campus social networking site called Campus Network that preceded Facebook, was created and popularized by Columbia engineering student Adam Goldberg in 2003. Mark Zuckerberg later asked Goldberg to join him in Palo Alto to work on Facebook, but Goldberg declined the offer. The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science offers a minor in Technical Entrepreneurship through its Center for Technology, Innovation, and Community Engagement. SEAS' entrepreneurship activities focus on community building initiatives in New York and worldwide, made possible through partners such as Microsoft Corporation. Columbia is a top supplier of young engineering entrepreneurs for New York City. Over the past 20 years, graduates of Columbia established over 100 technology companies. Mayor Bloomberg has provided over $6.7 million towards entrepreneurial programs that partner with Columbia and other universities in New York. Professor Chris Wiggins of the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science is working in conjunction with Professors Evan Korth of New York University and Hilary Mason, chief scientist at bit.ly to facilitate the growth of student tech-startups in an effort to transform a traditionally financially centered New York City into the next Silicon Valley. Their website, hackny.org, is a gathering ground of ideas and discussions for New York's young entrepreneurial community, the Silicon Alley. On June 14, 2010, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg launched the NYC Media Lab to promote innovations in New York's media industry. Situated at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, the lab is a consortium of Columbia University, New York University, and New York City Economic Development Corporation acting to connect companies with universities in new technology research. The Lab is modeled after similar ones at MIT and Stanford. A $250,000 grant from the New York City Economic Development Corporation was used to establish the NYC Media Lab. Each year, the lab will host a range of roundtable discussions between the private sector and academic institutions. It will support research projects on topics of content format, next-generation search technologies, computer animation for film and gaming, emerging marketing techniques, and new devices development. The lab will also create a media research and development database. Columbia University will coordinate the long-term direction of the media lab as well as the involvement of its faculty and those of other universities.


Athletics

A member institution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in NCAA Division I, Division I Football Championship Subdivision, FCS, Columbia fields varsity teams in 29 sports and is a member of the
Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research universities in the Northeastern United States. The term ''Ivy League'' is typically used beyond the sports contex ...
. The football Lions play home games at the 17,000-seat Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. The Baker Athletics Complex also includes facilities for baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, tennis, track, and rowing, as well as the new Campbell Sports Center, opened in January 2013. The basketball, fencing, swimming & diving, volleyball, and wrestling programs are based at the Dodge Physical Fitness Center on the main campus. Former students include Baseball Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig and Eddie Collins, Pro Football Hall of Fame, football Hall of Famer Sid Luckman, Marcellus Wiley, and world champion women's weightlifter Karyn Marshall. On May 17, 1939, fledgling NBC broadcast a doubleheader between the Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers at Columbia's Baker Field, making it the first televised regular athletic event in history. Columbia University athletics has a long history, with many accomplishments in athletic fields. In 1870, Columbia played against Rutgers University in the second intercollegiate rugby football game in the history of the sport. Eight years later, Columbia crew won the famed Henley Royal Regatta in the first-ever defeat for an English crew rowing in English waters. In 1900, Olympian and Columbia College student Maxie Long set the first official world record in the 400 meters with a time of 47.8 seconds. In 1983, Columbia men's soccer went 18–0 and was ranked first in the nation, but lost to Indiana 1–0 in double overtime in the NCAA championship game; nevertheless, the team went further toward the NCAA title than any Ivy League soccer team in history. The football program unfortunately is best known for its record of futility set during the 1980s: between 1983 and 1988, the team lost 44 games in a row, which is still the record for the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. The streak was broken on October 8, 1988, with a 16–13 victory over archrival Princeton University. That was the Lions' first victory at Wien Stadium, which had been opened during the losing streak and was already four years old. A new tradition has developed with the Liberty Cup. The Liberty Cup is awarded annually to the winner of the football game between Fordham and Columbia Universities, two of the only three NCAA Division I football teams in New York City. The tradition began in 2002, a year after the Fordham-Columbia game was postponed due to the September 11 attacks.


World Leaders Forum

Established in 2003 by university president Lee C. Bollinger, the World Leaders Forum at Columbia University provides the opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students alike to listen to world leaders in government, religion, industry, finance, and academia. The World Leaders Forum is a year-around event series that strives to provide a platform for uninhibited speech among nations and cultures, while educating students about problems and progress around the globe. All Columbia undergraduates and graduates, as well as students of
Barnard College Barnard College of Columbia University is a private women's liberal arts college in New York City. It was founded in 1889 by Annie Nathan Meyer as a response to Columbia University's refusal to admit women and is named after Columbia's 10th presi ...
and other Columbia affiliated schools, can register to participate in the World Leaders Forum using their student IDs. Even for individuals who do not have the privilege to attend the event live, they can watch the forum via online videos on Columbia University's website. Past forum speakers include former president of the United States Bill Clinton, the prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former president of Ghana John Agyekum Kufuor, president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, prime minister of Russia Vladimir Putin, president of the Republic of Mozambique Joaquim Alberto Chissano, president of the Republic of Bolivia Carlos Diego Mesa Gisbert, president of the Republic of Romania Ion Iliescu, president of the Republic of Latvia Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, the first female president of Finland Tarja Halonen, President Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Pervez Musharraf of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Iraq President Jalal Talabani, the 14th Dalai Lama, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, financier George Soros, Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg, President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, and Al Gore.


Other

The Columbia University Orchestra was founded by composer Edward MacDowell in 1896, and is the oldest continually operating university orchestra in the United States. Undergraduate student composers at Columbia may choose to become involved with Columbia New Music, which sponsors concerts of music written by undergraduate students from all of Columbia's schools. There are a number of performing arts groups at Columbia dedicated to producing student theater, including the Columbia Players, King's Crown Shakespeare Troupe (KCST), Columbia Musical Theater Society (CMTS), NOMADS (New and Original Material Authored and Directed by Students), LateNite Theatre, Columbia University Performing Arts League (CUPAL), Black Theatre Ensemble (BTE), sketch comedy group Chowdah, and improvisational troupes Alfred and Fruit Paunch. The Columbia University Marching Band tells jokes during the campus tradition of Orgo Night. The Columbia Queer Alliance is the central Columbia student organization that represents the bisexual, lesbian, gay, transgender, and questioning student population. It is the oldest gay student organization in the world, founded as the Student Homophile League in 1967 by students including lifelong activist Stephen Donaldson (activist), Stephen Donaldson. Columbia University campus military groups include the U.S. Military Veterans of Columbia University and Advocates for Columbia ROTC. In the 2005–06 academic year, the Columbia Military Society, Columbia's student group for ROTC cadets and Marine officer candidates, was renamed the Hamilton Society for "students who aspire to serve their nation through the military in the tradition of
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influenti ...

Alexander Hamilton
". The university also houses an independent nonprofit organization, Community Impact, which strives to serve disadvantaged people in the Harlem, Washington Heights, and Morningside Heights communities. From its earliest inception as a single service initiative formed in 1981 by Columbia University undergraduates, Community Impact has grown into Columbia University's largest student service organization. CI provides food, clothing, shelter, education, job training, and companionship for residents in its surrounding communities. CI consists of a dedicated corps of about 950 Columbia University student volunteers participating in 25 community service programs, which serve more than 8,000 people each year.


Student activism


1936 protest against Nazis

In 1936, Robert Burke, CC '38 led a rally outside President Butler's mansion to protest Columbia's friendly relationship with the Nazis. Burke was expelled, and was never readmitted. The university has never apologized for expelling him.


Protests of 1968

Students initiated a major demonstration in 1968 over two main issues. The first was Columbia's proposed gymnasium in neighboring Morningside Park (Manhattan), Morningside Park, perceived as a segregated facility, with limited access by the black residents of neighboring Harlem. A second issue was the Columbia administration's failure to resign its institutional membership in the Pentagon's weapons research think-tank, the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). Students barricaded themselves inside Low Memorial Library, Low Library, Hamilton Hall (Columbia University), Hamilton Hall, and several other university buildings during the protests, and New York City police were called onto the campus to arrest or forcibly remove the students. The protests achieved two of their stated goals. Columbia disaffiliated from the IDA and scrapped the plans for the controversial gym, building a subterranean physical fitness center under the north end of campus instead. A popular myth states that the gym's plans were eventually used by Princeton University for the expansion of its athletic facilities, but as Jadwin Gymnasium was already 50% complete by 1966 (when the Columbia gym was announced) this was clearly not correct. At least 30 Columbia students were suspended by the administration as a result of the protests. Many of the Class of '68 walked out of their graduation and held a countercommencement on Low Plaza with a picnic following at Morningside Park, the place where the protests began. The protests hurt Columbia financially as many potential students chose to attend other universities and some alumni refused to donate money to the school. Allan Bloom, a professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago, believed that the protest efforts at Columbia were responsible for pushing higher education further toward the liberal left. As a result of the protests, Bloom stated, "American universities were no longer places of intellectual and academic debate, but rather places of 'political correctness' and liberalism."


Protests against racism and apartheid

Further student protests, including hunger strike and more barricades of Hamilton Hall (Columbia University), Hamilton Hall and the Business School during the late 1970s and early 1980s, were aimed at convincing the university trustees to divest all of the university's investments in companies that were seen as active or tacit supporters of the History of South Africa in the apartheid era, apartheid regime in South Africa. A notable upsurge in the protests occurred in 1978, when following a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the student uprising in 1968, students marched and rallied in protest of university investments in South Africa. The Committee Against Investment in South Africa (CAISA) and numerous student groups including the Socialist Action Committee, the Black Student Organization and the Gay Students group joined together and succeeded in pressing for the first partial divestment of a U.S. university. The initial (and partial) Columbia divestment, focused largely on bonds and financial institutions directly involved with the South African regime. It followed a year-long campaign first initiated by students who had worked together to block the appointment of former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to an endowed chair at the university in 1977. Broadly backed by student groups and many faculty members the Committee Against Investment in South Africa held teach-ins and demonstrations through the year focused on the trustees ties to the corporations doing business with South Africa. Trustee meetings were picketed and interrupted by demonstrations culminating in May 1978 in the takeover of the Graduate School of Business.


''Columbia Unbecoming''

In the early 2000s, professor Joseph Massad, held an elective course called Palestinian and Israeli Politics and Societies at Columbia. Students felt the views he espoused in the course were anti-Israel and some of them tried to disrupt his class and get him fired. In 2004, students got together with the pro-Israel campus group the David Project and produced a film called ''Columbia Unbecoming'', accusing Massad and two other professors of intimidating or treating unfairly students with pro-Israel views. The film led to a committee being appointed by Bollinger which exonerated the professors in the spring of 2005. However, the committee's report criticized Columbia's inadequate grievance procedures.


Ahmadinejad speech controversy

The School of International and Public Affairs extends invitations to heads of state and heads of government who come to New York City for the opening of the fall session of the United Nations General Assembly. In 2007, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was one of those invited to speak on campus. Ahmadinejad accepted his invitation and spoke on September 24, 2007, as part of Columbia University's World Leaders Forum. The invitation proved to be highly controversial. Hundreds of demonstrators swarmed the campus on September 24 and the speech itself was televised worldwide. University President Lee C. Bollinger tried to allay the controversy by letting Ahmadenijad speak, but with a negative introduction (given personally by Bollinger). This did not mollify those who were displeased with the fact that the Iranian leader had been invited onto the campus. Columbia students, though, turned out en masse to listen to the speech on the South Lawn. An estimated 2,500 undergraduates and graduates came out for the historic occasion. During his speech, Ahmadinejad criticized Israel's policies towards the Palestinian people, Palestinians; called for research on the historical accuracy of the Holocaust; raised questions as to who initiated the September 11, 2001 attacks, 9/11 attacks; defended Iran's Nuclear program of Iran, nuclear power program, criticizing the UN's policy of sanctions on his country; and attacked Foreign policy of the United States, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. In response to a question about Iran's Human rights in Iran, treatment of Women's rights in Iran, women and LGBT rights in Iran, homosexuals, he asserted that women are respected in Iran and that "In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country…In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who told you this." The latter statement drew laughter from the audience. The Manhattan District Attorney's Office accused Columbia of accepting grant money from the Alavi Foundation to support faculty "sympathetic" to Iran's Islamic republic.


ROTC controversy

Beginning in 1969, during the Vietnam War, the university did not allow the U.S. military to have Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs on campus, though Columbia students could participate in ROTC programs at other local colleges and universities. At a forum at the university during the 2008 United States presidential election, 2008 presidential election campaign, both John McCain and Barack Obama said that the university should consider reinstating ROTC on campus. After the debate, the president of the university, Lee C. Bollinger, stated that he did not favor reinstating Columbia's ROTC program, because of the military's anti-gay policies. In November 2008, Columbia's undergraduate student body held a referendum on the question of whether or not to invite ROTC back to campus, and the students who voted were almost evenly divided on the issue. ROTC lost the vote (which would not have been binding on the administration, and did not include graduate students, faculty, or alumni) by a fraction of a percentage point. In April 2010 during Admiral Mike Mullen's address at Columbia, President Lee C. Bollinger stated that the ROTC would be readmitted to campus if the admiral's plans for revoking the don't ask, don't tell policy were successful. In February 2011 during one of three town-hall meetings on the ROTC ban, former Army staff sergeant Anthony Maschek, a Purple Heart recipient for injuries sustained during his service in Iraq, was booed and hissed at by some students during his speech promoting the idea of allowing the ROTC on campus. In April 2011 the Columbia University Senate voted to welcome the ROTC program back on campus. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger signed an agreement to reinstate Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program at Columbia for the first time in more than 40 years on May 26, 2011. The agreement was signed at a ceremony on board the , docked in New York for the Navy's annual Fleet Week.


Divestment from private prisons

In February 2014, after learning that the university had over $10 million invested in the private prison industry, a group of students delivered a letter President Bollinger's office requesting a meeting and officially launching the Columbia Prison Divest (CPD) campaign. , Columbia held investments in CoreCivic, Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison company in the United States, as well as G4S, the largest multinational security firm in the world. Students demanded that the university divest these holdings from the industry and instate a ban on future investments in the private prison industry. Aligning themselves with the growing Black Lives Matter movement and in conversation with the heightened attention on race and the system of mass incarceration, CPD student activists hosted events to raise awareness of the issue and worked to involve large numbers of members of the Columbia and West Harlem community in campaign activities. After eighteen months of student driven organizing, the Board of Trustees of Columbia University voted to support the petition for divestment from private prison companies, which was confirmed to student leaders on June 22, 2015. The Columbia Prison Divest campaign was the first campaign to successfully get a U.S. university to divest from the private prison industry.


Tuition strike

In January 2021, more than 1000 Columbia University students initiated a tuition Strike action, strike, demanding that the university lower its Tuition payments, tuition rates by 10% amid financial burdens and the move to online classes prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tuition for Undergraduate education, undergraduates is $58,920 for an academic year, and the total costs eclipse $80,000 when expenses including fees, room and board, books and travel are factored in. It is the largest tuition strike at the university in nearly 50 years. Students have stated they have won a number of concessions, as the university announced it would freeze tuition, suspend fees on late payments, increase spring Student financial aid (United States), financial aid and provide a limited amount of summer grants. A university spokesperson, however, stated that the decisions occurred several months prior to the strike. Students have also asked the university to end its expansion into and gentrification of Manhattanville, Manhattan, West Harlem, defund its university police force, to divest from its investments in oil and gas companies, and bargain in good faith with campus unions. The university in February 2021 announced that the Board of Trustees had finally formalized its commitment to divest from publicly traded oil and gas companies. The strike had been largely organized by the campus chapter of Young Democratic Socialists of America, which had partnered with other student groups to support the action. Starting in March 2021, members of the Graduate Workers of Columbia–United Auto Workers (a graduate student employee union) have been on strike over issues related to securing a labor contract with the university.


Traditions


Orgo Night

In one of the school's longest-lasting traditions, begun in 1975, at midnight before the Organic Chemistry exam—often the first day of final exams—the Columbia University Marching Band invaded and briefly occupied the main undergraduate reading room in
Butler Library Butler Library is located on the Morningside Heights campus of Columbia University at 535 West 114th Street, in Manhattan, New York City. It is the university's largest single library with over 2million volumes, as well as one of the largest bui ...
to distract and entertain studying students with some forty-five minutes of raucous jokes and music, beginning and ending with the singing of the school's fight song, "Roar, Lion, Roar". After the main show before a crowd that routinely began filling the room well before the announced midnight start time, the Band led a procession to several campus locations, including the residential quadrangle of
Barnard College Barnard College of Columbia University is a private women's liberal arts college in New York City. It was founded in 1889 by Annie Nathan Meyer as a response to Columbia University's refusal to admit women and is named after Columbia's 10th presi ...
for more music and temporary relief from the stress of last-minute studying. In December 2016, following several years of complaints from students who said that some Orgo Night scripts and advertising posters were offensive to minority groups, as well as a ''The New York Times'' article on the Band's crass treatment of sexual assault on campus, University administrators banned the Marching Band from performing its Orgo Night show in the traditional Butler Library location. Protests and allegations of censorship followed, but University President Lee Bollinger said that complaints and publicity about the shows had "nothing to do with" the prohibition. The Band instead performed—at midnight, as usual—outside the main entrance of Butler Library. The Band's official alumni organization, the Columbia University Band Alumni Association, registered protests with the administration, and an ad hoc group of alumni writing under the name "A. Hamiltonius" published a series of pamphlets addressing their dissatisfaction with the ban, but at the end of the spring 2017 semester the university administration held firm, prompting the Marching Band to again stage its show outside the building. For Orgo Night December 2017, Band members quietly infiltrated the library with their musical instruments during the evening and popped up at midnight to perform the show inside despite the ban. Prior to the spring 2018 exam period, the administration warned the group's leaders against a repeat and restated the injunction, warning of sanctions; the Band again staged its Orgo Night show in front of the library.


Tree-Lighting and Yule Log ceremonies

The campus Tree-Lighting Ceremony was inaugurated in 1998. It celebrates the illumination of the medium-sized trees lining College Walk in front of Kent and Hamilton Halls on the east end and Dodge and Journalism Halls on the west, just before finals week in early December. The lights remain on until February 28. Students meet at the sun-dial for free hot chocolate, performances by ''a cappella'' groups, and speeches by the university president and a guest. Immediately following the College Walk festivities is one of Columbia's older holiday traditions, the lighting of the Yule Log. The Christmas ceremony dates to a period prior to the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America in Congress against Great Britain over thei ...
, but lapsed before being revived by University President
Nicholas Murray Butler Nicholas Murray Butler (April 2, 1862 – December 7, 1947) was an American philosopher, diplomat, and educator. Butler was president of Columbia University, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a recipient of the Nobel P ...
in the early 20th century. A troop of students dressed as
Continental Army The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the former thirteen British colonies that later became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the ...
soldiers carry the eponymous log from the sun-dial to the lounge of John Jay Hall, where it is lit amid the singing of seasonal carols. The Christmas ceremony is accompanied by a reading of ''A Visit From St. Nicholas'' by Clement Clarke Moore and ''Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus'' by Francis Pharcellus Church.


The Varsity Show

The Varsity Show is an annual musical written by and for students and was established in 1894, making it one of Columbia's oldest traditions. Past writers and directors have included Columbians Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Oscar Hammerstein, Lorenz Hart, I.A.L. Diamond, Herman Wouk and Eric Garcetti. The show has one of the largest operating budgets of all university events.


Notable people

The university has graduated many notable alumni, including five Founding Fathers of the United States, an Gouverneur Morris, author of the United States Constitution and Robert R. Livingston (chancellor), a member of the Committee of Five; , there were 125 Pulitzer Prize winners and 39 Oscar winners, as well as three United States presidents. , there were 101 National Academy members who were alumni. In a 2016 ranking of universities worldwide with respect to living graduates who are billionaires, Columbia ranked second, after Harvard. Former U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt attended the law school. Other political figures educated at Columbia include former U.S President Barack Obama, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank Alan Greenspan, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. Dwight D. Eisenhower served as the thirteenth president of Columbia University from 1948 to 1953. The university has also educated 26 foreign
heads of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a stateFoakes, pp. 110–11 "he head of statebeing an embodiment of the State itself or representatitve of its international persona." in its unity and legitim ...
, including president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, president of East Timor Jose Ramos Horta, president of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves and other historical figures such as Wellington Koo, Radovan Karadžić, Gaston Eyskens, and T. V. Soong. The author of India's constitution Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was also an alumnus of Columbia. Alumni of Columbia have occupied top positions in Wall Street and the rest of the business world. Notable members of the Astor family attended Columbia, while other business graduates include investor Warren Buffett, former CEO of PBS and NBC Lawrence K. Grossman, Larry Grossman, chairman of Wal-Mart S. Robson Walton and Bain Capital Co-Managing Partner, Jonathan Lavine. CEO's of top Fortune 500 companies include James P. Gorman of Morgan Stanley, Robert J. Stevens of Lockheed Martin, Philippe Dauman of Viacom (2005–present), Viacom, Ursula Burns of Xerox, and Vikram Pandit of Citigroup. Notable labor organizer and women's educator Louise Leonard McLaren received her degree of Master of Arts from Columbia. In science and technology, Columbia alumni include: founder of
IBM International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Comput ...
Herman Hollerith; inventor of FM broadcast, FM radio Edwin Armstrong; Francis Mechner; integral in development of the nuclear submarine Hyman G. Rickover, Hyman Rickover; founder of Google China Kai-Fu Lee; scientists Stephen Jay Gould, Robert Millikan, Helium–neon laser inventor Ali Javan and Mihajlo Pupin; chief-engineer of the New York City Subway, William Barclay Parsons; philosophers Irwin Edman and Robert Nozick; economist Milton Friedman; psychologist Harriet Babcock; and sociologists Lewis A. Coser and Rose Laub Coser. Many Columbia alumni have gone on to renowned careers in the arts, including composers Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Lorenz Hart, and Art Garfunkel. Four United States Poet Laureates received their degrees from Columbia. Columbia alumni have made an indelible mark in the field of American poetry and literature, with such people as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, pioneers of the Beat Generation, and Langston Hughes, a seminal figure in the Harlem Renaissance, all having attended the university. Other notable writers who attended Columbia include authors Isaac Asimov, J.D. Salinger, Upton Sinclair, Danielle Valore Evans, and Hunter S. Thompson. University alumni have also been very prominent in the film industry, with 33 alumni and former students winning a combined 43 Academy Awards (). Some notable Columbia alumni that have gone on to work in film include directors Sidney Lumet (''12 Angry Men (1957 film), 12 Angry Men'') and Kathryn Bigelow (''The Hurt Locker''), screenwriters Howard Koch (screenwriter), Howard Koch (''Casablanca (film), Casablanca'') and Joseph L. Mankiewicz (''All About Eve''), and actors James Cagney and Ed Harris. File:Alexander Hamilton portrait by John Trumbull 1806.jpg,
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influenti ...

Alexander Hamilton
: Founding Father of the United States; author of ''The Federalist Papers''; 1st United States Secretary of the Treasury — King's College File:John Jay (Gilbert Stuart portrait).jpg,
John Jay John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, patriot, diplomat, Founding Father, abolitionist, negotiator, and signatory of the Treaty of Paris of 1783. He served as the second Governor of New York and the first Chief ...
: Founding Father of the United States; author of ''The Federalist Papers''; 1st Chief Justice of the United States; 2nd Governor of New York — King's College File:Gouverneur Morris.jpg, Gouverneur Morris: Founding Father of the United States; author of the United States Constitution; United States Senate, United States Senator from List of United States Senators from New York, New York — King's College File:President Barack Obama.jpg, Barack Obama: 44th President of the United States; United States Senator from List of United States Senators from Illinois, Illinois; List of Nobel laureates, Nobel laureate — Columbia College File:Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar.jpg, B. R. Ambedkar: List of national founders#Modern, Founding Father of India; architect of the Constitution of India; First Ministry of Law and Justice (India), Minister of Law and Justice — Graduate School of Arts and Sciences File:Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch Official Portrait.jpg, Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States — Columbia College File:William Barr.jpg, William Barr: 77th and 85th United States Attorney General – Columbia College, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences File:Eric Holder official portrait.jpg, Eric Holder: 82nd United States Attorney General – Columbia College, Columbia Law School File:President Theodore Roosevelt, 1904.jpg, Theodore Roosevelt: 26th president of the United States; Nobel laureate – Columbia Law School File:FDR in 1933.jpg, Franklin D. Roosevelt: 32nd president of the United States; 44th Governor of New York — Columbia Law School File:Ruth Bader Ginsburg official SCOTUS portrait.jpg, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States — Columbia Law School File:Charles Evans Hughes cph.3b15401.jpg, Charles Evans Hughes: 11th Chief Justice of the United States; 44th United States Secretary of State; 35th Governor of New York — Columbia Law School File:Secalbright.jpg, Madeleine Albright: 64th United States Secretary of State; first female Secretary of State — School of International and Public Affairs File:Schwinger.jpg, Julian S. Schwinger: Nobel laureate; pioneer of quantum field theory; one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century — Columbia College File:Robert Andrews Millikan 1920s.jpg, Robert A. Millikan: Nobel laureate; measured the elementary electric charge — Graduate School of Arts and Sciences File:Portrait of Milton Friedman.jpg, Milton Friedman: Nobel laureate — Graduate School of Arts and Sciences File:Simon Kuznets 1971b.jpg, Simon Kuznets: Nobel laureate; invented concept of Gross domestic product, GDP; Milton Friedman's doctoral advisor — School of General Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences File:Robert Kraft at Patriots at Raiders 12-14-08.JPG, Robert Kraft: billionaire; owner of the New England Patriots; chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group — Columbia College File:Hollerith.jpg, Herman Hollerith: inventor; co-founder of
IBM International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Comput ...
– School of Engineering and Applied Sciences File:Warren Buffett KU Visit.jpg, Warren Buffett: CEO of Berkshire Hathaway; one of the Forbes list of billionaires, world's wealthiest people — Columbia Business School File:S. Robson Walton by Gage Skidmore.jpg, S. Robson Walton: chairman of Walmart; one of the Forbes list of billionaires (2012), world's wealthiest people — Columbia Law School File:1923 Lou Gehrig.png, Lou Gehrig: Triple Crown (baseball), Triple Crown winner; 2x Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award, MLB Most Valuable Player; 6x World Series Champion; member of Baseball Hall of Fame — Columbia College File:Rodgers.jpg, Richard Rodgers: legendary Emmy Award, Emmy, Grammy Award, Grammy, Academy Awards, Oscar, and Tony Award, Tony List of people who have won Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards#Richard Rodgers, award-winning composer; Pulitzer Prize winner — Columbia College File:Hamilton Fish (portrait by Charles Loring Elliott).png, Hamilton Fish: 26th United States Secretary of State; United States Senator from New York; 16th Governor of New York — Columbia College


See also

* The Bancroft Prize * Barnard Center for Research on Women * Columbia/Barnard Hillel, a Jewish student organization at Columbia University * Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning * Columbia–Chicago School of Economics * Columbia Glacier (Alaska), Columbia Glacier, a glacier in Alaska, U.S., named for Columbia University * Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City * Columbia Business Law Review, a monthly journal published by students at Columbia Law School * Columbia Human Rights Law Review, a law review published by students at Columbia Law School * Columbia Law Review, a monthly law review published by students at Columbia Law School * Columbia MM, a text-based mail client developed at Columbia University * Columbia Non-neutral Torus, a small stellarator at the Columbia University Plasma Physics Laboratory * Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center (album), an album of electronic music released in 1961 * Columbia Revolt, a black-and-white 1968 documentary film * Columbia Scholastic Press Association * Columbia Secondary School, a secondary school formed with partnership with Columbia University * Columbia Soccer Stadium at Columbia University * Columbia Spelling Board a historic etymological organization * Columbia University Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies * Columbia University Partnership for International Development * The Strawberry Statement * Columbia Encyclopedia * Conversio Virium * Ditson Conductor's Award * Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University * The Earth Institute * Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize * Mount Columbia (Colorado) * The School at Columbia University, New York City * Columbia University in popular culture


Notes


References


Further reading

* Robert A. McCaughey: ''Stand, Columbia: A History of Columbia University in the City of New York, 1754–2004'', Columbia University Press, 2003, * ''Living Legacies at Columbia'', ed. by Wm Theodore De Bary, Columbia University Press, 2006,


External links

*
Columbia Athletics website
* * {{Authority control Columbia University, 1754 establishments in New York Colonial colleges Educational institutions established in 1754 McKim, Mead & White buildings New York (state) in the American Revolution Private universities and colleges in New York (state) Universities and colleges in Manhattan