Columbia College

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Columbia College
Established 1754
President None
Dean James Valentini
Degrees BA
Enrollment 4,550 students (2011)

Columbia College (CC) is the undergraduate liberal arts college of Columbia University for 'traditional' students (usually no more than one year out of high school) wishing to pursue a BA in the humanities, social sciences, and/or natural sciences. It is the historical nucleus of the university, tracing its history back to the foundation of King's College in 1754, and one of the six schools of the University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The current Dean of Columbia College is James Valentini. The college offices are located in Hamilton Hall.


See History of Columbia College.


Admission rates from 2000 onward for both Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science can be found here.

Since 2000, the admission rate for CC has fallen from 13% to 7%. Additionally, the yield rate has risen from 58% to 64%. According to an unnamed Blue and White editor, this makes Columbia "hot shit."


Core Curriculum

Columbia College students must suffer through/enjoy (depending on one's perspective) the Core Curriculum. The college once had its own faculty to teach Core classes, but this no longer exists, having been subsumed under the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Majors and concentrations

In addition, College students must choose at least one concentration with which to graduate. Although this is the minimum requirement, most students choose to deal with the more arduous requirements of a major, a major plus a concentration, or a double major. Different requirements exist for each major and concentration, usually involving some combination of lecture classes, seminars, and (in the hard sciences) lab work. Occasionally final projects such as a senior thesis may be required for graduation. Students may create their own majors, although this is rarely undertaken, and, given Columbia's labyrinthine bureaucracy, notoriously difficult.

Progress to degree

Students can check their progress toward the Core and class points requirements via the Degree Audit Report feature on SSOL.

Residential life

Columbia College students live in the same residence halls as students in SEAS, and may under certain circumstances live in Barnard residence halls. Barnard and Columbia students, however, do not have mutual swipe access to each others' residence halls.

Student government



The mission of Columbia College actually comprises three objectives:[1]

  • Intellectual Mobility
  • Social Mobility
  • Career Mobility

In 2011, Professor Andrew Delbanco said that “A college, [unlike a university], is about transmitting knowledge of and from the past so they may draw upon it as a living resource in the future"[2].


Columbia University Schools
Architecture, Planning and PreservationArtsArts and Sciences (Graduate School)BusinessColumbia CollegeDentistryContinuing EducationEngineeringGeneral StudiesInternational and Public AffairsJournalismLawMedicineNursingPublic HealthSocial Work
Affiliated Institutions
BarnardJewish Theological SeminaryTeachers CollegeUnion Theological Seminary
Defunct Schools
PharmacyLibrary Service