Science in Columbia College

It is an exciting time to study science at Columbia. Our faculty work at the frontiers of science and have been responsible for many of the most significant scientific discoveries in all branches of the biological, natural and physical sciences. They are internationally recognized for their contributions, with seven Nobel Laureates among the current faculty and 84 total Nobel Laureates including past Columbia professors and alumni. Faculty have received other prestigious recognitions such as The Kavli Prize, The Crafoord Prize and the National Medal of Science.

Science Research at Columbia

Science undergraduates at Columbia enjoy a 3:1 student-faculty ratio and therefore have direct access to some of the greatest scientific minds in the world. They have an almost unlimited range of opportunities to undertake cutting-edge research in research facilities both at the Morningside Heights campus and at the University’s Medical Center, as well as at Columbia-affiliated research centers including:

Opportunities to engage with research also exist across undergraduate departments, New York City, and even globally. Examples include the Biology department's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, internship opportunities at the American Museum of Natural History, and the opportunity to study psychology in the UK with the Global Behavioral Science (GLOBES) program.

Learn more about science research directly from our students!

student:
Columbia student Riley sitting on the lawn in front of Butler Library

Learning beyond the classroom at Columbia: "I got involved with biology research during the summer following my first year at Columbia. I worked in the Kelley Lab on frog behavior and vocalizations, and I had the chance to present my research at an undergraduate research symposium the following winter. I learned so much from my peers and supervisors in the lab."

Riley
S.
Port Saint Lucie, FL
Psychology

Science Departments

There are 10 major departments which include 23 science-related majors, 8 of which are interdisciplinary:

Aerial shot of the New York City skyline featuring the Empire State Building

Science and the Core

Science students at Columbia benefit from the Core Curriculum. Every first-year Columbia College student takes "Frontiers of Science," which introduces students to ideas at the forefront of scientific research. Additionally, the centrality of the Core Curriculum is emphasized by the recognition that scientific and technical knowledge most be supported and directed by ideas and values. The Core teaches students to think about complexity and ambiguity in a way that is conscious of these values, and in a world where science and technology continually deliver innovation, no individual is better prepared to take a leadership role in science than one who has spent time weighing the great humanistic questions that have shaped our civilization.

fact:

8

scientific habits of mind taught in Frontiers of Science

fact:

350+

new inventions from Columbia Research each year

fact:

200+

world-class laboratories, institutes and research centers

fact:

1000+

active patents across the full spectrum of research areas

Legacy of Science at Columbia

Pupin Hall was built in 1927 and has housed famous physicists such as Enrico Fermi, Wallace Eckert and I.I. Rabi. The tradition of science at Columbia is rich with discoveries and innovations that have changed history and our understanding of the world. Home of the science behind the X-ray, MRI, modern genetics, plate tectonics and modern robotics, Columbia has been educating students in "the liberal arts and sciences" since our original charter in 1754. This legacy is the foundation to the continued leadership in all of the science disciplines.

Headshot of Martin Chalfie from the shoulders up

Professor Martin Chalfie, Winner of Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008

Chair of the Biology Department