Columbia University, New York City

4.5
Educational Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. Columbia has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.
Columbia was established as King's College by royal charter of George II of Great Britain in reaction to the founding of Princeton College. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the American Revolution, and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University.
Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in scientific breakthroughs including: brain-computer interface; the laser and maser; nuclear magnetic resonance; the first nuclear pile; the first nuclear fission reaction in the Americas; the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drift; and much of the initial research and planning for the Manhattan Project during World War II. 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 Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as IBM. Columbia is a founding member of the Association of American Universities 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. Admissions is highly selective, with an overall acceptance rate of 6.1%, making Columbia the third most selective college in the United States behind Stanford and Harvard.
The university's endowment stood at $10.9 billion in 2019, among the largest of any academic institution. As of 2018, Columbia's alumni, faculty, and staff have included: five Founding Fathers of the United States—among them a co-author of the United States Constitution and a co-author of the Declaration of Independence; three U.S. presidents; 29 foreign heads of state; ten justices of the United States Supreme Court, two of whom currently serve; 96 Nobel laureates; five Fields Medalists; 101 National Academy of Sciences members; 53 living billionaires; eleven Olympic medalists; 33 Academy Award winners; and 125 Pulitzer Prize recipients.

Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Columbia University by using our New York City itinerary planner.
Source
Create an itinerary including Columbia University
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Columbia University reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
577 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • My visit to Columbia University as a part of the Indian Delegation to GSAPP was the high point. The walk from 46th Street 9th Avenue to Columbia University juxtaposed by Central Park to my right and.....  more »
  • A wonderful university campus to visit and walk through. Plenty of green space and food options in the area.  more »
Google
  • Campus is well worth a visit even just to take in the scenery. Try to spot the subtle differences between the four main buildings that sit in the center, on either side of the street that crosses the campus. Great bookstore
  • This university is a very interesting university and it seems very nice and have great student life. Personally it's the university I want to apply for in the near future. ❤

Plan your trip to New York City

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in New York City

See all ›
©
Scenic Walking Area
Central Park
4.8
Duration: 6 hours
©
Observation Deck
Empire State Building
4.4
Duration: 2 hours
©
Art Museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
4.8
Duration: 4 hours
©
Educational Site
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
4.4
Duration: 1 hour

Hidden gems in New York City

Art Museum
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
4.3
Duration: 3 hours
©
Church
St. Patrick's Cathedral
4.7
Duration: 1 hour
©
Historic Site
Ellis Island
4.4
Duration: 2h 30 min
©
Military Museum
KGB Espionage Museum
4.8
Duration: 1h 30 min

Museums in New York City

See all ›
©
Natural History Museum
American Museum of Natural History
4.2
Duration: 3 hours
©
Specialty Museum
New York Public Library
4.7
Duration: 1 hour
©
World heritage site
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
3.3
Duration: 1h 30 min
©
Art Museum
Rubin Museum of Art
4.7
Duration: 1h 30 min

Side trips from New York City

©
Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Brooklyn
4.6
Duration: 2h 30 min
©
Zoo
Bronx Zoo Bronx
4.2
Duration: 4 hours
©
Pier / Boardwalk
Coney Island Brooklyn
4.0
Duration: 3 hours
©
Park
Wissahickon Valley Park Philadelphia
4.8
Duration: 3 hours

Historic Sites in New York City

See all ›
©
Religious Site
Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine
4.4
Duration: 1 hour
©
Religious Site
Trinity Church
4.6
Duration: 1 hour
©
Religious Site
St. Paul's Chapel
4.6
Duration: 30 minutes

Nearby attractions in New York City

©
World heritage site
Statue of Liberty National Monument
4.5
Duration: 2h 30 min
©
Monument
9/11 Memorial
4.7
Duration: 1h 30 min
©
Observation Deck
Top of the Rock
4.7
Duration: 2h 30 min
©
Scenic Walking Area
The High Line
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
©
Nightlife
Welcome to Harlem
4.5
Duration: 2h 30 min
©
Nightlife
Brazil NY Tour
4.9
Duration: 4 hours
©
Gift & Specialty Shop
Yaf Sparkle Fine Jewelry
4.9
Duration: 30 minutes
©
Architectural Building
Grand Central Terminal
4.7
Duration: 2h 30 min