Columbia University in the City of New York
Columbia University in the City of New York - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings|
|Total Grad Surveys||18|
|Avg years at University||1.8|
|Research Quality||B- (6.3)|
|Research Availability||B- (6.2)|
|Research Funding||C (4.5)|
|Graduate Politics||C+ (5.2)|
|Errand Runners||C+ (5.5)|
|Degree Completion||C+ (5.5)|
|Alternative pay [ta/gsi]||B- (5.8)|
|Sufficient Pay||C- (4.0)|
|Education Quality||B- (5.8)|
|Faculty Accessibility||B- (5.9)|
|Useful Research||B (6.8)|
|"Individual" treatment||C+ (5.5)|
|Campus Beauty||B+ (7.6)|
|Campus Maintenance||B+ (7.4)|
|University Resource/spending||B (6.6)|
|Surrounding City||A+ (9.7)|
|Social Life/Environment||B+ (7.6)|
The main reason for failure is that it selects a large number of students that have very little or no experience in the core functions needed to succeed. The class is not made up of policy analysts or environmental scientists or even natural resource economists. Actually the amount of people with the proper mix of core skills are the minority. The typical class includes 30yo people with completely irrelevant backgrounds think art or history and 21yo kids who may have an academic background but no management or work experience.
These large gaps mean that ALL of the course work is done at a VERY basic level more similar to freshmen intro courses than actual 500 level graduate courses. A prepared candidate with a 100-200 level course work of the pre-mentioned above fields could test out of 70-90% of the required coursework. This leads to no real skill development, especially not the level you would expect from a graduate program at an Ivy League school. Because of the lack of skill development you also see very low job placements rates, which the program does a good job of disguising by not providing concentration specific data. Most people go back to the industries they came from and do not transfer into the sustainability or environmental field.
In short this program will not prepare someone to work in the field of environmental science or policy. It does however gain you access to Columbia. Many people do find good employment from the program but that is solely due to networking. If you want to buy a quick, very easy, Ivy League degree and leverage your undergraduate experience into a better paying job this is the right program. If you however, want to actually work in the green space or actually want to learn the skills needed to make big changes then stay the hell away from this program.
For one, its not really about policy, there is only one policy course and its a joke. You do get a fair amount of Env Science but essentially it is into to XYZ (Toxicology, Ecology, Hydrology, etc.) while these courses where fun and interesting and the professors (who are essentially moonlighting from there real work at the Earth Inst.) are great, there is no way that you cal learn enough in one semester to actually use the information properly, its like you learn just enough to make you dangerous. The rest of the program is filled in with courses in management, finance, econ, etc. all in a similar vain, give you just enough information to be able to pick up on a couple buzz words.
Looking back on it I think that the programs problems stem from its facilitators. They strike me as a bunch of snake oil salesmen who are truly think that the way to form the environmental leaders of the future is to make sure they dress well, know enough buzz words to slink by in meetings, and... thats it. That all the world needs is a few more consultants.The program was a joke. DO NOT GO. A waste of time and money.
The housing units are old, with rats and roaches. Students are arrogant, not friendly.
Professors are a total joke. They dont teach a thing but give tones of homework for the NEXT day which often requires library research. So you have to forget about getting sleep at night. That is why the libraries on campus are open at night time.
There are many students who are cheating, dont attend classes and still manage to get A.
Trying to get into financial aid office is a disaster. They make you wait, wait, wait forever. The tuition cost is ridiculously expensive unless your parents are rich folks. I was shocked by the experience I received at this university. DO NOT go to this school. YOU WILL REGRET.
Financial aid at GSAS - horrible!!! They make you wait for 2 hours when you are the only visitor! I tried to complain but managers stick on their subordinates? side. I guess because all of them are lazy and not able to perform any tasks in professional and timely manner.
Housing sucks!!! Most administrative people I had to deal with were rude and disrespectful. I?m happy that I made decision to transfer to another school. Columbia is for losers!!! STAY AWAY from that stinky place!!!
The SW school at CU does not provide various courses to take or choose from when you have an elective slot open. Moreover, cross-registering is not highly advertised. The administration has been very unhelpful in terms of course/class advising. My own "advisor" did not know she was my advisor (I did not blame her because she was new). Moreover, the individual who handles student questions is not very helpful. Again, I do not blame her because she is the only one available for about 800 students.
There is a complete disconnect between administration and students that at times it is very frustrating. So far, my experience at this school has been very negative. I would rather have spent my money elsewhere. They advertise international social welfare but do not have a strong foundation for international courses/nor study abroad programs.They are very helpful when it comes to financial aid. They will answer and loan you money as soon as possible.