March 23, 2018


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School Profile: Columbia University

If you are interested in earning your degree at an Ivy League school, Columbia University might be your niche. Columbia is a private research university that was founded in 1754 as Kings College by King George II of Great Britain. After the Revolutionary War, the school was known as Columbia College. Then, in 1896, it became Columbia University. The university has 20 schools and colleges and offers joint degree programs with some other institutions in the geographic area. More than 100 Nobel laureates have been associated with Columbia. The university has more than 6,000 undergraduate students. The US News and World Report ranks it as #5 of National Universities, #6 of Best Value Schools and #8 for its MS in Nursing program.

Columbia University Accreditation Details

The institution is accredited by the Middle States Association of the Higher Learning Commission.

Nursing programs at Columbia are accredited by the CCNE

The Nursing School is also a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing

Columbia University Application Requirements

If you are applying to Columbia as a freshman, you will need to complete either the Common Application or the Coalition Application. The school does not discriminate between the two applications, but you should be aware that all freshmen must apply online. There are no paper applications. Both of the applications have Columbia-specific questions on them. There is a non-refundable $85 application fee. The applications ask you to list and describe your achievements, your interests, any employment you have had and what you did during the summer months. They also ask you to write a personal essay. Your high school must submit your official transcript and your completed mid-year report. Your counselor will also send a letter of recommendation and your student profile. You will need to have the agency that administered the SAT or ACT test, depending upon which one you took, send your scores to the university. Your degree department may require some additional materials. In addition, you might elect to schedule an optional alumnus interview. If you are a graduate student, you apply to the university online, specifying your degree program. You will send all transcripts of post-secondary coursework. Columbia also asks students applying to graduate programs to complete a statement of academic purpose. You will need to submit your resume and three letters of recommendation. The university also requires graduate students to take the GRE and have that score sent to the university along with a $105 non-refundable application fee.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition at Columbia varies by the program you are entering. If you are earning a degree in General Studies, for example, your tuition would be $28,764 per semester. In addition, your cost of attending must also include housing and food, books, supplies, fees and personal expenses. Housing at Columbia is not dormitory-style, but based on apartment units. The average rent for an apartment shared by two students is $1,100 per month. There are some dining packages available through the school. Graduate programs average $1,640 per credit, but that varies by department as well. Seventy percent of Columbia students receive some type of student aid. If you need help paying for your education, you should first complete a FAFSA form. This is a federal government program that awards grants, loans and work-study opportunities according to financial information you submit. The most frequently-awarded assistance is the student loan or the parent (PLUS) loan. Of these, the student loan carries the lowest interest rate, but both loans have lower interest than that available at a bank or lending institution. In addition, you can opt to delay repayment until after graduation. New York State offers two kinds of financial assistance for students earning college degrees. One of these is called the TAP or Tuition Assistance Program. The amount of this award varies according to financial need, the number of family members enrolled in degree programs and other stipulations. New York also awards assistance to part-time students. Columbia has several fellowships that are granted on the basis of financial need, academic merit, degree program or a combination of these requisites. In addition to interschool fellowships, there are outside financial aid opportunities. These are funded by organizations or private individuals based on your personal information or participation in selected activities or career programs. Corporations often award scholarships as well. The Columbia Financial Aid Office has a list of outside scholarships or you might do an Internet search. If you find you still have a financial obligation after applying awards, you might consider student loans from banks or other lending institutions.

Finding Your Nursing Degree Path at Columbia

The nursing programs at Columbia are highly-rated. The university medical center is nationally and internationally known. In addition, the school is highly-innovative. A new degree program allows candidates who do not have nursing degrees to earn master’s degrees in nursing and become registered nurses in 15 months. The general Master’s Degree in Nursing is being replaced in 2017 with a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. It is a post-baccalaureate degree program, and candidates are designated as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses at graduation. The three-year program includes a clinical residency and offers specialties in HIV/AIDS, Oncology, Palliative Care and in Women’s Health. Another master’s-level nursing degree, the innovative MN/MBA program, allows students to earn a degree that will place them at an administration-level position in nursing. It is intended to serve students who want to be advanced-practice nurses and nursing managers with an educational background in professional management. The degree is offered in a joint effort between the business school and the nursing school. You can complete the program full or part-time. You must apply separately to both schools and be accepted by both. The 75-credit program requires that you complete all courses for an MBA degree and be registered for 45 credits in the business school. You do not have to select a business concentration, but you must declare a clinical nursing specialization. You take a minimum of 30 credit hours of nursing classes, depending upon your specialization. At Columbia, your choice of courses is dependent upon your career plan. Advisors guide students in arranging their degree schedules. Even though the nursing master’s degree programs are in transition, there are excellent advanced nursing programs available at prestigious Columbia University.

Related resource:

Top 20 Programs in Clinical Nurse Leadership and Nursing Administration