StudentsReview :: Columbia University in the City of New York - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings
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Columbia University in the City of New York

Total Grad Surveys 20
Females 9
Males 11
Avg years at University 1.8
Research Quality C+ (5.4)
Research Availability B- (5.9)
Research Funding C+ (5.4)
Graduate Politics C+ (5.1)
Not Errand Runners B- (6.1)
Degree Completion C+ (5.5)
Alternative pay [ta/gsi] C+ (5.3)
Sufficient Pay C (4.4)
Competitiveness B- (6.4)
Education Quality C+ (5.4)
Faculty Accessibility C+ (5.1)
Useful Research C+ (5.7)
"Individual" treatment B- (6.0)
Friendliness C (4.7)
Safety B+ (7.4)
Campus Beauty B (7.3)
Campus Maintenance B (7.1)
University Spending B (7.2)
Extracurriculars C (5.0)
Scholastic Success C+ (5.7)
Surrounding City A (9.2)
Social Life/ Environment B (7.0)
Sufficient PayC
Surrounding CityA
Don't even bother applying unless you are oneJan 30 2018Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
Don't even bother applying unless you are one of them: i.e. trustfund holder or you have a spouse or partner who's a hardworking individual who can support you and who makes a lot of money. The draw of Colubia's MFA program is getting to hang out with the once famous, semi-famous, and occasionally, the actually famous in the art world. The students are dicks and not particularly talented. Its a very competitive and backbiting environment. If you are comfortable and good at slandering someone behind their back you'll fit right in. Professors only care about their own art careers and look for the wealthy students who can help further their own agenda.
Columbia University's School of International and Public AffAug 14 2014Public Policy
Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs graduate school, which covers degrees ranging from international security to international development policy, is a tough school to rate simplistically. On the positive side, it is a globally renowned center for international affairs. As a result, the faculty on average is incredibly prestigious, with many of them being Nobel Laureates and highly regarded practitioners or scholars in their field. Therefore, if one wants access and exposure to leading minds in these fields, then just like Harvard Kennedy School, London School of Economics, or Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, you will have unparalleled access to professors, research, and connections for internships, projects, and jobs. Moreover, SIPA is very connected to major multi laterals such as the UN, with both established pipelines and extensive alumni there and also many professors working at the UN. Another positive of SIPA is the student body, with many people having very high level experience in a variety of fields, from politics to military to banking. There are a lot of brilliant people at SIPA. However, I will not speak to the negatives of my SIPA experience. First, although many professors are highly regarded practitioners in their fields, many don't know anything about teaching and one could find better teaching quality at much less prestigious universities, including community colleges. My Stats III professor simply made an outline on Word and read off of it in class. Rubbish. Also, the nature of students is 50/50, meaning that maybe half of them are humble, friendly, collaborative, respectful, while the other half I realized by the end are uber-competitive, back-stabbing, ladder-climbing, and elitist. They will do anything it takes to get ahead, including throw you under the bus. Perhaps this is the nature of any high level political school or setting.
it has some niceMay 15 2014Unknown
it has some nice things but overall at least at the graduate level, you are paying for the BRAND. by the way, if you are going to pay for the real deal, go to the real deal. don't attend the affiliate unless your interested or they have an academic program.
The Master of Public Administration in Environmental ScienceOct 04 2013Public Policy
The Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy program?s objective is to create environmental leaders of the future. It attempts to mix, science, econ, policy and management in a one year intensive program with the ultimate goal of creating a well-rounded leader able to take on challenges like climate change. However it utterly fails at this.

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.

Aug 16 2012Business - Management and Administration
If you are interested in environmental issues andAug 16 2011Public Policy
If you are interested in environmental issues and the political context in which they are famed and you want to actually further your understanding of them. By all means go to an environmental policy program but DO NOT go to Columbia's Environmental Science and Policy program. After spending a year in this program I look back and have a hard time justifying the time effort and money I spent on the 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 campus looks very niceAug 04 2011Unknown
The campus looks very nice. But that is the only good thing about this university.
The gym facility always packed above its capacity. The gym always smells NASTY and there is no air to breath.

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.

I came into the film school after workingDec 09 2010Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
I came into the film school after working for nearly 10 years in the film industry. Like any graduate program you take out what you put in. The issue is that there are limited resources and you must compete to get them. Students complain because they don't get fair treatment. The real issue is that they let 60 people into the school and only 5 to 10 from each class will actually work in some significant way in the film industry. This is actually much higher than most film schools and the reality of all of them. So there are a lot of people who will never make it. And its clear in film school where they spend more time complaining than actually being productive. That said--- IF you are willing to go all out, this program is one of the best in the country. The students are smart (and by the way, its MORE about your colleagues than your teachers as you really learn from MAKING films not talking about them and you MAKE films with your colleagues). New York is a great place to be for filmmaking and the resources are sufficient to get where you need to go. The strongest part about the Columbia program is its liberal arts approach. in the first year you really learn every aspect of filmmaking. Producers learn to direct, directors learn to produce, etc. Then in your second year you concentrate in directing, writing, producing or theory/criticism. This is an important distinction from other film schools. A good producer doesnt need to be a good director but he needs to understand what a director does. This school is one of the top five in the country and I would argue its the first for serious filmmakers. Being in LA definitely positions you to enter the job market more easily and that is one of the disadvantages of studying in NY but its the ONLY one. Columbia has a great reputation. Worth it if you have the cojones to make it to the top.
Besides the famous nameApr 24 2010Other
Besides the famous name Columbia has nothing else to offer. Most of the Professors I knew were there just to get their paycheck. The classes were boring. Some of the professors were around 30 y.o. with no experience of teaching. Other professors were regular employees of the private companies and worked as a ?Professors? by contract. TA sessions were scheduled when most of the students had another classes ? so we always were facing the choice ? either to go to TA session and miss a class or miss a TA session and go to class.

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!!!

If you are interested in obtaining a mastersOct 02 2009Public Policy
If you are interested in obtaining a masters in environmental science and policy, do NOT attend Columbia University. The curriculum for the MPA in Env. Sci. & Policy is very poor. There is virtually no "environmental science" component, and the management classes are a joke. Other than coming out in one year with an Ivy Leauge degree, it is not at all worth your money. Lots of busy work, but no substance. The stated goal of the program is to churn out "environmental policy leaders". In reality, the students are ill-prepared to lead anything -e.g.- the program offers only one, seven week course in climate change, and absolutely nothing on energy issues. Academically, I excelled in the program. So, this rant is not out of spite. We need good environmetal leaders - but you won't find them coming out of this program.
While the professors and classes at Columbia areDec 04 2008History/Histories (art history/etc.)
While the professors and classes at Columbia are both outstanding, the bureaucracy makes it almost impossible to enjoy studying here. The financial aid office is unhelpful and dismissive, and trying to get any help with advising or funding is virtually impossible. Master's students are treated horrible, shunted off to figure things out themselves with little or no guidance, despite spending over $30,000 a year on tuition only, not to mention cost of living in NYC. If I did not want the name of Columbia on my Master's Degree so much, I would have transferred after my first semester.
School is what you make of itFeb 17 2008Computer Science
School is what you make of it. There's a lot of opportunity at Columbia if you reach out and make good connections with people. Investing in your education is the best investment you'll ever make. That said, CU may not be for everyone. It's in a big city, for one. But the research opportunities are good, and you can get involved in sponsored research. Take a project course with a professor, show them that you can do the work on your own tab, then they may offer to sponsor your next project.
The School of Social Work at CU isJul 09 2007Social Work
The School of Social Work at CU is a collection of administration, faculty and students, with more emphasis put on funding and more funding for the school. Hence, the large student body at about $33,000/head.

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.

I graduate from the MSRED program and IMay 02 2007Unknown
I graduate from the MSRED program and I would highly advice anyone thinking about spending 48k to reconsider the investment. I didn't find a job for 5 months and when I did it didn't pay much more than when I had graduated with my undergrad degree. The faculty were all adjunct and basically spewed worthless war stories from days long gone. In the end all you're paying for is a piece of paper with the name Columbia on it. Many of the other students felt the same way , the student body made Columbia what it not the faculty.
Columbia is all about brand protectionNov 25 2005Social Work
Columbia is all about brand protection. Social work is not a real academic field. Combine those two factors and you have a recipe for disaster. I got my PhD solely because I made no waves while a student. Ironically, students who were advocates were treated like crap. I subsequently went to law school where I got a real education.
Columbia is one of the finest universities inFeb 18 2004English
Columbia is one of the finest universities in the country and the experience of being in new york city if you know how to take advantage of it makes the educational attributes of even the best ivy league schools look grossly inferior by comparison; however; columbia is extremely expensive and not demonstrably better than the city university of new york which arguably has the finest faculty in the world and costs one eighth the price; i would question now looking back if i would want to incur 150k - 200k worth of debt when the programs at cuny are quite comparable and will not leave you in the poorhouse; i would reccomend columbia; the education is superlative and for all that money they treat you very very well; lots of plush perks and facilities and the connections are invaluable; but i would think in todays market/world etc columbia is only for the very very rich for whom money does not matter in the least; they have the finest ba program for returning adults arguably in the country
Columbia University in the City of New York
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