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Global Opportunities

Columbia University

As an exchange student, there are a few things you need to know about going to Columbia University. Learn more about the location, the courses and student life!


Columbia University is one of the world's most important centres of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It expects all areas of the University to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.

Columbia University is ranked #19 in QS Global World Rankings 2021.


Columbia University's main campus is located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, situated in the Morningside Heights neighbourhood. 

Take a virtual tour of Columbia University's campus

Level of competitiveness

Very competitive ***

The level of competitiveness (Less competitive * / Competitive ** / Very competitive ***) refers to one's chances of being allocated an exchange space at this partner. This is an approximation determined by the number of applications received for this destination during the last academic year versus the total number of exchange spaces available to Queen Mary students. 

Academic Calendar

  • Semester 1: August to December
  • Semester 2: January to May

For more information, visit Columbia University's academic calendar


Students may NOT take courses from any of the professional schools at Columbia: Graduate School of Architecture, School of the Arts, Continuing Education, Dental Medicine, School of International and Public Affairs, Jewish Theological Seminary, Columbia Journalism School, Columbia Law School, College of Physicians and Surgeons, School of Nursing, Mailman School of Public Health, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary.

Access to courses at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Columbia Business School are limited.


Students need to take 4-5 courses per semester (12-18 points per semester).

Find out more about credit transfer and grade conversions.


Information on housing can be found on Columbia University's housing page.

Support Services

For information on accessibility, please visit Columbia University's Disability Services webpage

Cost of Living 

Find out more about the cost of living.

Campus Life

Find out more about Columbia University's Campus Life

Social Media

Columbia University: