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Columbia University

Columbia University is also featured in our ranking Top 50 Bachelor's Degree Programs in Psychology.

Columbia University Bachelor's in Psychology

The major in psychology through Columbia College, a division of Columbia University, prepares students for professional and educational endeavors in every area of psychology. Students are advised to take the required introductory psychology, statistics, and research methodology courses early in their program because these provide a foundation for more advanced topics and participation in research projects. In addition, all psychology majors need to take one course in each of the following areas:

  • Perception and Cognition
  • Psychobiology and Neuroscience
  • Social, Personality, and Abnormal

This provides students the needed background to then choose their electives for a total of 30 psychology points which equals roughly 10 classes. Advisers are always available to help students plan the best course of study for their individual academic and career goals. Students are encouraged to get involved in on-campus research projects as soon as possible in order to experience the experimental process and possibly be included on a published psychological paper.

One of the trademarks of the Columbia University undergraduate experience is the Core Curriculum. This consists of a series of courses that are required for all undergraduate degrees, regardless of specific major. During these courses, students are expected to question everything on a fundamental level and are encouraged to discuss and debate topics ranging from philosophy to space exploration.

About Columbia University

One of the Ivy League Schools, Columbia University is well known throughout the world as a top-tier educational institution. Located in the Upper Manhattan area of New York City, the school first opened in 1754 as King's College which makes it the 5th oldest university in the United States. It later was a powerful influence in the Revolutionary War and the founding of America, after which the name was changed to Columbia University. CU currently enrolls about 8,500 students each semester and offers 374 different programs of study organized into 114 departments and 20 schools. Research and innovation are the emphases of every discipline, and the faculty at Columbia University hold tremendous influence in areas ranging from politics to nanoscience and climate change to brain health. Columbia College, the portion of the university that offers the bachelor's in psychology, is the oldest division, opening with the university. Almost all undergraduates enroll in this College except engineering students, and they have the opportunity to choose between 73 different majors, in contrast to the 13 available programs in 1754.

The university is well renowned, being named the 6th Best Value School in the country and tied for #5 on a ranked list of all National Universities by the U.S. News and World Report. Also, CU alumni include at least 125 Pulitzer Prize winners and three United States presidents.

Columbia University Accreditation Details

Even with its prestigious reputation, Columbia University participates in evaluations by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) every 10 years for accreditation, next scheduled for the 2024/2025 school year. The MSCHE works with educational institutions in 7 eastern states around and including Washington, D.C., as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to ensure that students are receiving an adequate education. During this process, the school needs to demonstrate that it meets certain standards in 14 key areas such as Leadership and Governance, Student Admissions, Assessment of Student Learning, Faculty, and Planning, Resource Allocation,

and Institutional Renewal. Accreditation is important for both students and their future employers because it certifies that students have learned the necessary material to be successful in their chosen fields. In addition, credits transfer more easily between accredited schools, and graduate schools look more positively on these degrees.

Columbia University Application Requirements

Columbia University has a rigorous admissions process and is an extremely selective school, accepting only about six percent of all applicants. The school accepts either The Coalition Application or The Common Application, complete with a detailed list of extracurricular activities, a personal essay, and $85 fee. With this, students also need to complete the supplemental questions specifically related to Columbia University. These responses can help provide a complete picture of each candidate. Required supplemental materials include official high school transcripts as well as mid-year report, a recommendation letter from a high school counselor, scores from either the ACT or SAT exam, and two letters of recommendation from recent teachers. Applicants are welcome to submit other works to better demonstrate specific academic pursuits or talents including a professional resume and abstract from a significant research experience. When available, based on schedules and geographic locations, high school seniors may be invited to interview with Columbia University alumni. This is optional, though, and students will not be penalized if an interview is not attainable in their location.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For the 2018/2019 school year, tuition for the bachelor's in psychology program at Columbia University is $28,304 per semester for all students. When applying for admission, students are also encouraged to complete a FAFSA to help determine their expected family contribution. This information is not available to the admissions board and will not affect their decision. Once admitted, staff in the Financial Aid and Educational Financing Office use this information to help students fund their education, regardless of family economic situation. Utilizing a combination of grants, scholarships, and work-study programs, all students have the opportunity to graduate from Columbia University debt-free.

There are also opportunities for students to work part-time on campus to help pay for personal and living expenses, and some choose to serve as a Resident Advisor in the dorms which provides free room and board in addition to a $600 stipend. The Deans' Student Assistance Fund helps low-income students with unforeseen expenses that are not otherwise included in their financial aid package. This includes things like medical bills, airfare for family emergencies, and even a winter coat. Additionally, students are encouraged to apply for scholarships from outside agencies, both on the basis of need and academic merit.

Psychology students have many options upon graduation from college including graduate school, academic research, or entrance into the professional world. The undergraduate psychology program at Columbia University prepares students for all tracks by providing a comprehensive curriculum and teaching students to continually work toward increased knowledge and understanding of their field.