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Columbia vs UChicago

bradybestbradybest Registered User Posts: 328 Member
edited January 2014 in Columbia University
It seems to me that Columbia and UChicago are basically the same school except in a different location. Any reason to believe otherwise?
Post edited by bradybest on

Replies to: Columbia vs UChicago

  • yoskisyoskis Registered User Posts: 483 Member
    columbia has neo-classical architecture chicago has gothic.
    Columbia has an engineering school
    to me at least chicago has more of a quirky intellectual vibe where columbia is more traditional
    columbia is a d1 school, chicago is a d3 school
    columbia has more of a downtown location
    columbia has ~3000 more undergrads
    chicago has their institute of politics
    imo
    that was just what popped into my mind initially
    I can see why you would think that tho, the work loads, the core, the urban/residential campuses with similar architecture throughout. But the engineering school is the biggest difference to me. They are definitely different schools
  • UmeedAliUmeedAli Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    I agree with everything yoskis has said and would like to stress that Columbia is more traditional, as opposed to Chicago where people are encourage to channel their inner creativity, however Columbia is much more enriching with its exposure to arrays of subjects. furthermore there are also a plethora of avenues to travel if one wishes to pursue a more creative path at Columbia. If scenery and/or campus feel is a decisive factor, my aunt tells me that UoC is very gritty as apposed to Columbia, which is in the Upper West Side (overlooking the Hudson). Good Luck with your choice but hope to see you at Columbia.
  • phurikuphuriku Registered User Posts: 2,779 Senior Member
    Chicago/Columbia are similar in that they are both intellectually-focused institutions with similar levels of prestige, but there are a lot of differences.

    In addition to what yoskis said, Chicago is probably a bit more theory-oriented than Columbia, has less of the Ivy League vibe (and everything good/bad that comes with that), and is also viewed as the more difficult school (in a class together with MIT and Caltech).

    A lot of people will knock UChicago's neighborhood as gritty, but do you really think President Obama would raise his family there if that were true? Hyde Park is a very high-class neighborhood and one of Chicago's safest, and it's unfortunate that some people choose to deride it as gritty simply because it's majority African-American.
  • UmeedAliUmeedAli Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    More difficult!!!!?????!!!! Are you seriously implying that Chicago is in a higher class that is more difficult!!!???!!! Blasphemy. Columbia's core is known to be unparalleled by most schools due to its rigor yet insight it provides its students. This fosters a more enriched and open minded collegiate atmosphere whilst giving everyone, EVERYONE there something in common, including the students at FU. Furthermore are you trying to imply that undergrads at FU or at the college for that matter is easier? I would argue that it makes it even harder to fulfill your degree requirements whilst still fulfilling the core requirements.

    Finally what a college kid desires to do as apposed to what a married professor wants to do is completely different. That too the privileges(including room and access to facilities) is insanely different when comparing an undergrad to a professor with a family. I was merely trying to imply if surroundings play a decisive factor in your decision, Columbia has the upper hand due to its location in arguably the best city in the world. Ive never been to chicago and I am just relaying what my aunt is telling me, who went to the school. Why the campus is the way it is is unknown to me, so no need to be defensive.
  • cooldra01cooldra01 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    UChicago does have a Core curriculum as well. While the question of whether UChicago's or Columbia's curriculum is more difficult can be debated, UChicago does have a reputation of having very rigorous courses.
  • UmeedAliUmeedAli Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    as it is and by no means am i demeaning or degrading the school, but to insinuate Columbia is somewhat inferior is ridicule. Thats all I'm saying
  • .Masochist.Masochist Registered User Posts: 105 Junior Member
    I think Yoskis makes some good points about the differences (although I never knew UChicago was that much smaller of a school!).

    However, at the end of the day even when two schools seem very similar based on overall personality and big picture characteristics, the differences major to major can be substantial. I can't really speak for UChicago as I don't know all too much about the school, but I imagine Columbia definitely has some strong Engineering programs that distinguishes itself (as Uchicago doesn't have an engineering school). Our IEOR department comes to mind. We also have the relationship with Barnard that AFAIK greatly benefits students interested in the arts (students interested in a more female skewed student body ratio as well...).
    I agree with everything yoskis has said and would like to stress that Columbia is more traditional, as opposed to Chicago where people are encourage to channel their inner creativity, however Columbia is much more enriching with its exposure to arrays of subjects.

    I agree Columbia is a more traditional college, but I think the rest is a bit too much of a generalization. Columbia too fosters creativity, and Chicago has a core as well that exposes their students to a wide array of subjects; both are honestly very individual dependent.
    Columbia, which is in the Upper West Side (overlooking the Hudson).

    Columbia is not considered in the UWS and I think "overlooking the Hudson" paints too rosy a picture. It's north of the UWS in a neighborhood called Morningside Heights, and the Hudson is fairly close, but it's not like you have a constant view of it on campus. I'm surprised at phuriku's characterization of Hyde Park as high-class and safe, as every single Uchicago student I've met has mentioned to some degree the dangers of the campus (or at least how surrounding areas can get very dangerous). Of course, this is all just secondhand. Furthermore, I think to a certain extent the Columbia area can also get pretty 'gritty'. The campus itself is perfectly fine, but outside of the gates Columbia is close to Harlem which can get a bit sketch (although nowadays its more gentrified).
    More difficult!!!!?????!!!! Are you seriously implying that Chicago is in a higher class that is more difficult!!!???!!! Blasphemy. Columbia's core is known to be unparalleled by most schools due to its rigor yet insight it provides its students. This fosters a more enriched and open minded collegiate atmosphere whilst giving everyone, EVERYONE there something in common, including the students at FU. Furthermore are you trying to imply that undergrads at FU or at the college for that matter is easier? I would argue that it makes it even harder to fulfill your degree requirements whilst still fulfilling the core requirements.

    I hope I'm not like misinterpreting sarcasm or something but just in case, i want to make a couple of points about this. Columbia core is rigorous but I wouldn't say its what defines the rigor of our school. First of all, SEAS and CC have different cores; while there is some overlap, is it common that a SEAS student not take both CC and LitHum, the core of our core if you will. SEAS students have a lot more science cores to cover and their core in general has more classes. They take less humanities classes than CC. Because of this, their experiences in the core can vastly differ from a CC student. I also don't think the hardest classes you will take at Columbia will be your core; they're introductory after all.

    In terms of the core adding to the rigor, most people at Columbia aren't taking vastly more classes than other comparable colleges just because they have the core. It's really major dependent. CC in general requires much less credits to graduate than SEAS, and you can get by doing 4-5 classes a semester which compared to similar colleges, isn't that rigorous.

    I don't think anyone here is insinuating Columbia is inferior to Chicago. I think most people have acknowledge that both are similar institutions in quality, and I would agree.
  • International95International95 Registered User Posts: 1,611 Senior Member
    Quarter vs semester system?
  • rhg3rdrhg3rd Registered User Posts: 947 Member
    ^ That's it right there! I graduated from both of these institutions many years ago. Honestly, I never got used to that damn quarter system. Everything happens too fast. Columbia is a little easier than Chicago, but Chicago is a little more friendly. One striking difference between the two is the average age on campus. Columbia is decidedly older. Lastly, if you are a girl watcher, Columbia's where you want to be.
  • UmeedAliUmeedAli Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    "Everything happens too fast. Columbia is a little easier than Chicago, but Chicago is a little more friendly."
    Did you go to both institutions for your undergrad?
  • bradybestbradybest Registered User Posts: 328 Member
    I would imagine that in any given school, easy vs hard depends on the instructor, not the institution.
  • rhg3rdrhg3rd Registered User Posts: 947 Member
    ^That's not true. The libraries are packed on weekends at Chicago. At Columbia, only Sunday afternoons are busy.
This discussion has been closed.