Columbia University Acceptance Rate 2024, Fees, Ranking & Admission

As one of the most prestigious and selective institutions in the world, Columbia University in the heart of New York City stands as a beacon of academic excellence, innovative research, and cultural diversity.


Gaining admission to this prestigious institution is no easy feat. The university’s low acceptance rate, coupled with its competitive fees and rigorous admissions process, poses a significant challenge for aspiring students.


This figure not only underscores the university’s stringent selection criteria but also its appeal to a vast array of talented and ambitious students worldwide.

Columbia University

About Columbia University

Columbia University, officially Columbia University in the City of New York, is a private Ivy League research university in New York City.

Established in 1754 as King’s College, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.

Columbia is a global center for learning and research, with a strong reputation in the fields of medicine, business, law, engineering, and international affairs.

The university is home to a diverse and accomplished faculty, and its alumni include numerous Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and heads of state.

Columbia University Acceptance Rate

The overall acceptance rate for Columbia University for the academic year 2024 (Class of 2027) is 3.90%.

This rate is indicative of the university’s high selectivity and competitiveness in its admissions process.

Columbia University, as one of the oldest and most prestigious Ivy League institutions, had a large pool of applicants, with 57,129 candidates applying for admission.

Columbia University Acceptance Rate for International Students

The overall acceptance rate for Columbia University for the academic year 2024 (Class of 2027) is 3.90%. This figure reflects the university’s high selectivity and the competitive nature of its application process.

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Columbia University Tuition Fees

For the academic year 2024, the tuition fee at Columbia University is $65,340. This amount is an estimate for a nine-month academic year at Columbia College.

Columbia University Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for Columbia University for the year 2024 include several components:

  • Application Options: Applicants can use the Coalition Application, the Common Application, or the QuestBridge Application for QuestBridge Finalists. These applications require autobiographical information, lists and descriptions of achievements, activities, employment, and summer activities, and a personal essay​​.
  • Columbia-Specific Application Questions: Along with the standard applications, applicants must respond to Columbia-specific questions to give the admissions committee a better understanding of their academic, extracurricular, and intellectual interests​​.
  • Secondary School Report: This includes an official high school transcript from all attended high schools, one high school counselor’s recommendation and school profile, and the completed midyear report​​.
  • Teacher Recommendations: Two recommendations are required from teachers who taught the applicant in academic disciplines. For engineering applicants, one recommendation must come from a math or science teacher​​.
  • Application Fee or Fee Waiver: An $85 nonrefundable application fee is required, or applicants can request a fee waiver if the application fee presents a significant financial burden​​.
  • Standardized Tests: Columbia is test-optional for first-year applicants to both Columbia College and Columbia Engineering. Applicants may choose whether or not to submit standardized test scores​​.
  • Secondary School Course Requirements:
    • For Columbia College: Recommended courses include four years each of English literature and composition, mathematics (up to the highest level offered at the school), three to four years each of history/social studies, laboratory science, and one foreign language. Applicants interested in science, engineering, medicine, or dentistry should have a strong background in mathematics and sciences, ideally through pre-calculus​​.
    • For Columbia Engineering: Suggested courses include four years each of mathematics (through calculus), laboratory science (including chemistry and physics), English literature and composition, three to four years of history/social studies, and two to three years of a foreign language​​.

How to Get Admission into Columbia University

Gaining admission to Columbia University involves several key steps and considerations:

  • Understanding the Admissions Process: It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the admissions process at Columbia and prepare a complete, authentic, and compelling application​​.
  • Holistic Evaluation Criteria: Columbia uses a holistic approach in evaluating applicants. This means that the admissions committee considers each applicant’s academic potential, intellectual strength, independent thinking, general attitudes and character, special abilities and interests, maturity, motivation, curiosity, and the likelihood of making productive use of the four years at Columbia​​.
  • Early Decision Option: If Columbia is your top choice and you’re willing to commit to attending if admitted, you might consider applying through the Early Decision process. This is a binding commitment, meaning that you agree to attend Columbia if accepted​​.
  • Financial Aid Application: For those who need financial assistance, it’s important to understand the financial aid application process, which takes into consideration your family’s income, assets, family composition, and other circumstances. Detailed information on the requirements and how to apply for financial aid is available on Columbia’s website​​.
  • Choice Between Columbia College and Engineering: Applicants must choose to apply either to Columbia College or the School of Engineering and Applied Science. You cannot apply to both​​.

Columbia University Rankings

For the year 2024, Columbia University has achieved the following rankings in various prestigious ranking lists:

  • Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings: Columbia University is ranked 17th in the world according to the THE World University Rankings for 2024. This ranking evaluates universities globally based on various criteria including teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international outlook​​.
  • QS World University Rankings: In the QS World University Rankings for 2024, Columbia University is ranked 23rd globally. This marks a slight decline from the previous year when it was ranked 22nd​​.
  • U.S. News & World Report: According to the U.S. News ranking for its 2024 edition, Columbia University is ranked 12th nationally.

Courses Offered by Columbia University

Columbia University offers a wide range of courses in diverse disciplines through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools.

The university’s curriculum is designed to provide students with a rigorous and enriching academic experience, preparing them for success in their chosen fields and beyond.

Undergraduate Courses

The undergraduate program at Columbia University offers over 80 majors and numerous interdisciplinary options to choose from. Students can explore a broad range of subjects, including:

Arts and Humanities

  • English
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Art History
  • Music
  • Classics
  • Languages and Literatures

Social Sciences

  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Environmental Studies

Natural Sciences

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences


  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Interdisciplinary Programs

  • Data Science
  • Sustainable Development
  • Neuroscience
  • Global Studies
  • Law
  • Business
  • Journalism

Graduate and Professional Courses

Columbia University is renowned for its world-class graduate and professional schools, offering advanced degrees in various fields, including:

Columbia Business School

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Master of Science in Business Analytics
  • Executive MBA

Columbia Law School

  • Juris Doctor (JD)
  • Master of Laws (LL.M.)

Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science

  • Master of Science in Engineering
  • Master of Science in Applied Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering

Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in various disciplines

Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences

Columbia School of Nursing

  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Columbia School of Social Work

  • Master of Social Work
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work

Columbia Journalism School

  • Master of Science in Journalism
  • Master of Arts in Journalism
  • Master of Arts in Documentary Filmmaking

Is It Hard to Get into Columbia University?

Yes, it is hard to get into Columbia University. The university has a highly selective admissions process, and only a small percentage of applicants are admitted each year.

How Prestigious Is Columbia University?

Columbia University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It is a member of the Ivy League, and it consistently ranks among the top universities in the world.

The university has a strong reputation for academic excellence, and its alumni include numerous Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and heads of state.


For those seeking an intellectually stimulating environment that challenges perspectives and broadens horizons, Columbia University presents a world of opportunities.

The university’s emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, its focus on nurturing global citizens, and its commitment to research and innovation prepare students to tackle complex challenges and make meaningful contributions to society.

Embracing the opportunity to join a vibrant community of scholars, where curiosity reigns supreme and the pursuit of knowledge is a lifelong journey, is a decision that opens doors to a future filled with possibilities and achievements.


What is the application process for Columbia University?

  • Applicants can use the Coalition Application, Common Application, or QuestBridge Application. The process includes submitting academic transcripts, teacher recommendations, personal essays, Columbia-specific questions, and standardized test scores (optional).

Does Columbia University offer financial aid?

  • Yes, Columbia University offers financial aid. Applicants seeking financial assistance should complete the financial aid application process, which considers family income, assets, and other circumstances.

What criteria does Columbia University use to evaluate applicants?

  • Columbia uses a holistic approach in assessing candidates, considering academic potential, intellectual strength, character, special abilities and interests, maturity, motivation, and curiosity.

Is there an Early Decision option for Columbia University admissions?

  • Yes, Columbia University offers an Early Decision option for undergraduate admissions. This means that applicants can submit their applications early and receive a decision by December 15.

Can applicants apply to both Columbia College and Columbia Engineering?

  • No, applicants to Columbia must choose either Columbia College or Columbia Engineering. This is because both the College and the School of Engineering offer rigorous academic programs that prepare students for success in their chosen fields. As a result, the admissions committees for both programs are looking for students who have a strong academic record and a demonstrated interest in their respective disciplines.

What are the general admission requirements for Columbia University?

  • General requirements include a strong academic record, personal essays, teacher recommendations, and participation in extracurricular activities. Standardized test scores are optional. Specific course recommendations vary between Columbia College and Columbia Engineering.

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