International Community

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Columbia University in the City of New York enrolls students from all 50 states and over 140 countries. Over 4,600 international students and over 2,100 international faculty, researchers, and visiting scholars and scientists are engaged in academic inquiry at Columbia. Columbia ranks second among the more than 2,000 US colleges and universities reporting international enrollments according to the most recent national data available. The importance of the international community and the global reach of research and scholarship is paramount at Columbia.

  • The top five countries of origin are China, South Korea, India, Canada, and Taiwan.
  • The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is host to the largest numbers of international students - over 1,300 students, nearly one-third of Columbia's international student enrollment.
  • Columbia's international students choose engineering, public affairs, business, and social sciences as their most popular fields of study.
  • Three-quarters of international enrollment is at the graduate and professional level; 11% enroll at the undergraduate level; 8% enroll in the American Language Program, Columbia's world-renowned center for instruction in English as a second language; and the balance enroll as special students throughout the University's 15 schools.
  • Columbia hosts 107 student Fulbright Scholars.

International Research and Centers

Discover Columbia’s international scope and how our faculty, students and research are making a difference all over the world through groundbreaking initiatives such as the Earth Institute, the Committee on Global Thought, The Center for International History, The Institute for War and Peace Studies, The Center for the Study of Human Rights and the World Leaders Forum. The University supports dozens of research centers all over the world and on every continent including Antarctica. Award winning faculty teach our students, serve as mentors and advisors and are world renowned intellectuals, visionaries, researchers, artists, and public figures.

Faculty Facts:

  • Columbia faculty supervise more than $530 million in sponsored research;
  • 8 current faculty are Nobel Laureates, part of a cumulative total of 76 Nobel Prize winners in the Columbia family, past and present (including faculty and alumni);
  • 143 are members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • 38 are members of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies;
  • 20 of the National Academy of Engineering;
  • 41 of the National Academy of Sciences;
  • 4 have won the National Medal of Science;
  • 28 have won a MacArthur Foundation Award, popularly known as the “genius grant.”

Additionally, Columbia boasts the most comprehensive area-studies program in the country. There are more than ten regional institutes and centers and our students benefit from their academic programs and discourse.

Study Abroad

Even many of our domestic students have had significant experience living or studying abroad before their time at Columbia and a high percentage of students choose to study abroad as part of their educational experience while here. More than 150 study abroad programs are available to our students including opportunities at Reid Hall, our campus in Paris, as well as several university-sponsored study centers in locations including Beijing, Berlin, Barcelona and Kyoto. The Center for Career Education also sponsors summer internship programs in London, Hong Kong, Glasgow, and Guatemala. Columbia students realize that career opportunities continue to expand internationally, and experience gained through study abroad is critical in their educational and pre-professional development. Through study abroad opportunities our students gain a global perspective, deepen their understanding of their own society and increase their cultural knowledge of others.

Foreign Language Study

While national trends demonstrate a decrease of student interest in and academic options for the study of foreign languages at the nation’s colleges and universities, the study of foreign languages thrives at Columbia. In fact, Columbia provides academic opportunities to students in over 40 foreign languages, including some which are not available at any other institution in the United States. Undergraduate students are required to study a foreign language through the successful completion of a second semester of an intermediate language sequence. Many of our students are proficient or fluent in multiple languages. Our students are prepared to be leaders in the global marketplace, are knowledgeable of world cultures, and are conscientious and informed international citizens.