Diversity and Multiculturalism

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Columbia's community is a rich mosaic of individuals, personalities, and interests learning and living together on campus in one of the world’s great cities. Students are encouraged to share their voice and learn from their peers cultivating an eclectic environment on campus.

Responding to the needs of Columbia University’s diverse undergraduate student body is the Columbia College & The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science Office of Multicultural Affairs. The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) aims to promote an inclusive university climate by acting as an educational resource that prepares students to succeed in a heterogeneous and ever-changing society. The Office provides a supportive environment for intercultural communication, constructive interaction and mutual understanding. OMA’s goal is to create a greater sense of community and improve the quality of life for Columbia students.

Columbia University’s Center for Career Education has partnered with the Office of Multicultural Affairs to sponsor on-campus programming which engages Columbia’s diverse community of scholars in developing successful strategies for career planning.  Specially designed seminars, workshops, and lectures help prepare future leaders for a variety of industries through leadership development, mentoring, and multicultural awareness.

The Center for Career Education’s most recent collaboration with the Office of Multicultural Affairs was “Getting Your Foot in the Door,” a special career education series for multicultural and non-traditional students, which featured the following panels and workshops:

  • Recognizing Racial Stereotypes and Their Impact on the Workplace
  • Alumni Panel: Reaching Success in the Job Search
  • Job Search Techniques for Career Transitioners and Non-traditional Students

CCE remains committed to offering a range of programming providing Columbia University students the opportunity to explore diverse industries and experience the global economy firsthand. In doing so, we work towards fulfilling our mission of helping students pursue their personal and professional objectives. The following CCE programs provide an example of some of these distinct and varied opportunities for professional and personal exploration:

  • "Beyond the Gates: After Community Impact” (in conjunction with Columbia University Community Impact)
  • “Careers In…” series highlights careers in a number of traditional industries as well as careers in: Human Rights, International Development, NFP and Public Sector.
  • International internship opportunities in several cities around the world including London, Shanghai, Amman Hong Kong (CEO program)
  • Participation in the National Diversity E-fair featuring employers from all across the nation who value and focus on diversity.

Beyond the programming offered by CCE, Columbia University students participate in close to 500 student clubs, organizations, and initiatives. Students hold monthly celebrations of different heritages where the entire community is invited to learn about various cultures, traditions, and backgrounds. Columbia students celebrate their heritage, faith, and identity by participating in the University’s nearly 100 religious and cultural groups including: Black Organization of Soul Sisters, Brazilian Society, Columbia por Colombia, Columbia Iranian Students Association, French Cultural Society, Native American Council, and United Students of Color Council.

Illustrating their commitment to academic excellence CU students pursue additional research and educational opportunities through organizations such as the Columbia Forum for Society, Science and Religion (CFSSR), the Education Society, and the Political Science Students Association (PSSA.)

Furthering their professional interests and preparing for careers post-graduation, students are members of pre-professional organizations including: American Societies of Chemical and Civil Engineers, Columbia-China Law and Business Association, CU American Medical Students Association, Multicultural Business Association (MBA), and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE.)

Columbia University also has a tradition of cultivating students who understand the importance of giving back to the community. Several university and student-sponsored, organizations provide the experience and knowledge essential for careers in public service, education and international work. A sampling of our student service organizations include: America Reads, Artists Reaching out (ARO), Columbia Community Outreach (CCO), Columbia Engineers Without Borders, CU Smile, Harlem Restoration Project, Health Education Awareness League (HEAL).

A complete list of all Columbia University student organizations by organization type 

An alphabetical listing of student organizations