Admissions Expert on Columbia University: Ivy League Education in the Big Apple


Hi, Mark Montgomery coming to you
with more Great College Advice and today we’re going to talk about Columbia
University. There are two things that you need to remember about Columbia
University if you’re trying to figure out whether that’s the school you want
to attend. Two things: the first is the core curriculum. The core curriculum, well
it could be really summed up by thinking about the old dead white guys. Columbia
maintains this core curriculum that is grounded in the great books of Western
civilization. The two courses that you take, it really takes up about a
third of all the classes you will take in the first couple of years, they
are composed of basically two components. One is contemporary civilization known
as CC and this is political and moral philosophy. You read a lot of those
classics of political philosophy and moral philosophy to help understand what
makes a good society and how to move that society forward. The second thing is
literature and Humanities, which is again more of the great books in literature
and, is more philosophy but still more grounded in the literary
tradition. So, these are classes that every single Columbia University student
must take. It’s a little bit less rigorous if you’re an engineering
student, but generally everybody else has got to take this core, so if that’s
something that excites you and really makes you want to jump up and
down when you go to class every day, Columbia is perhaps the school
for you. I think it’s great. I did this when I was in college and I don’t regret
it a bit. I think this grounding in the Western tradition is fantastic, but it is
not for everyone. The second thing you have to think about is pretty obvious:
New York City. It’s what attracts students to Columbia,
but there are a couple of things that you need to think about in terms of
that city location. The first is that the
university is almost 100% residential. 95% percent or so of students
live on campus all four years in the residence halls and, while they’re small,
it’s really the best way to forge a community with the people that you will
be going to school with. So that’s a great thing, but the other thing about
New York City is that it does tend to weaken some of the bonds that many
other colleges are able to forge. So it’s not got the spirited rah-rah kind of
fierce loyalty that other schools like say a Notre Dame, maybe a Georgetown, a
Dartmouth, will create because you’ve got the city there, and so instead of
necessarily being involved in the campus community, where that may be the only
thing there is for you to do, some place like South Bend Indiana, the city is your world, right? So you can go out with other students and participate
and enjoy the Big Apple. And that becomes part of the whole campus
experience, the whole student experience of going to Columbia. You can think of
it this way too: whereas most other Ivy League schools have the
playing fields right on the campus or adjacent to it, some of the
playing fields are a hundred blocks away and you’re going to take public
transportation, or some sort of a shuttle or a bus, to get to those fields. So it’s
not forging the same kind of intense community that some of the other
Ivies, and some of the other top universities of the United States, will
create. So again, Columbia: core curriculum, New York City. If you’re trying to figure
out which Ivy League school is best for you, give me a call. I’d be happy to try
to help. Or take a look at some of the other articles about Ivy League schools
here on the blog. Thanks very much!

13 thoughts on “Admissions Expert on Columbia University: Ivy League Education in the Big Apple”

  1. hey, i love your videos! I'm a student at Brown and the PLME. I'm planning on making videos to help high schoolers understand more about college life and the entire college application process – check out my channel if you have the chance! 🙂

  2. Hey! Do you have any recommendations if I'm considering pursuing my graduate education at Columbia? Particularly my PhD in public health

  3. Gr8 advice sir
    Please let us know about other ivy league universities.
    Also if u have videos about how to write essay. I am from India Mumbai good to see these videos.

  4. Sir, I got admit from Columbia University for MS in Electrical & Electronic Engineering for fall 2019. Could you please advise if It's worth taking admission. I am from India

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