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undergraduate and graduate students

~90% of Columbia alumni report being employed within a year of graduation

Columbia students come from all and more than

60 countries


average high school GPA

50 states


49% of Fall 2019 freshmen self-identify as students of color

of Fall 2019 freshmen self-identify as LGBTQIA+


of freshmen are first-generation college students

Figures reflect data available at the time of publication. For the most updated data, visit colum.edu/ie.

YOU’RE NOT LOOKING TO SIMPLY MOVE THROUGH THE WORLD— YOU’RE LOOKING TO CHALLENGE IT, AND TO CHANGE IT. With your art, with your music, with your business, with your game design, with your fashion line, and anything in between. You won’t back down from your goals, and you’ll reach every milestone along the way—at Columbia College Chicago, we’re here to foster your journey. Here, you’ll find innovation and artistic practice merge with business expertise, giving you tons of transferable skills. You’ll collaborate with your classmates, making work you’re proud of. And you’ll graduate ready to take on any creative industry you choose. Columbia’s majors and programs consistently receive top rankings and accolades—now’s the time for you to explore them all and find your fit.







Picasso Sculpture Willis Tower

The Chicago River

Theater District

The “L”

Art Institute of Chicago

Wabash Arts Corridor Lyric Opera of Chicago Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

Columbia College Chicago Buckingham Fountain

Museum Campus The Field Museum

EXPLORE CHICAGO FROM THE VERY HEART OF IT. Even under quarantine, Chicago has tons to offer. You’ll find Columbia’s campus right in the middle of it all, and our students take advantage of it—while properly social distancing, of course.

The Second City The Magnificent Mile Chicago History Museum

Lincoln Park

Deep-Dish Pizza

Chicago Cultural Center

Navy Pier

Millennium Park Lake Michigan

Adler Planetarium Shedd Aquarium

‘ FIRST-RATE MUSEUMS (The Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum)

‘ WORLD-CLASS THEATERS (The Chicago Theatre, the Steppenwolf Theatre)

‘ LONGSTANDING MUSIC VENUES (Chicago Symphony Center, Buddy Guy’s Legends)

‘ FUN-FILLED PARKS (Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park)



COLUMBIA’S COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION. At Columbia, we strive to honor and value all ways of being. We believe in the importance of creativity, and we know that the creative process benefits from incorporating a multiplicity of voices, backgrounds, and experiences. No creative process is complete unless those voices are heard and respected. The urgency of the moment we find ourselves in, as an institution and as a nation, underlines just how crucial our students’ work will be in pushing the world to be a more equitable place. The faculty and staff of Columbia College Chicago take very seriously our responsibility to prepare our students for the world beyond our campus and to make them ready to affect change.


ADMISSIONS OFFICE STATEMENT ON ANTI-RACISM Columbia College Chicago is committed to being an actively antiracist institution. The work we’ve done in this regard has led us to reflect on and examine how we offer support to all persons of color in our community. This is challenging work and we are not even close to being finished with it–but it is inherently tied to our mission, and to be frank, our faculty, staff, and students (especially those who claim Black, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, or other historically-disenfranchised identities) deserve to teach, work, and study at an institution that is seeking to correct entrenched and systemic racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination. That’s why we want our prospective students to know that we expect you to become part of that work. It will be your voice, the student voice, that

will help hold this institution—and the world—accountable for taking the steps necessary to become the place we aspire to be. When you join our community, we will ask you to join us in reflecting on how dynamics of oppression and privilege have played out historically, how they’re at work in your own life, and how systems in place serve to perpetuate them even today. We’ll ask you to do this not as a one-off for a specific class or project, but in the hope that it begins to permeate your developing creative practice so that you can become a driver of the change our world so desperately needs. More than any specific bit of knowledge, skill, or discipline, this is at the core of what we want our students to learn.

MEDIA AND DIGITAL ARTS The media industry continues to expand, opening up new pathways for innovative careers—and you’ll get a jump-start in the country’s third-largest media market. Looking to be a user experience or game designer? A screenwriter? A producer? We’ve got you covered. During your first year, you’ll hone your skills with realworld immersion in your field.


Lena Waithe Actress. Writer. Luminary. “I tell my truth. As a writer, that’s my job.” The buzz just keeps on getting bigger for Lena Waithe ’06, writer-actor-producer-award-winner. At Columbia, Lena studied alongside Emmy-nominated professors who pushed her to relocate to Los Angeles and work in television. There, she wrote for the Fox television series Bones and co-produced the critically acclaimed film Dear White People. Since then, Lena has been on a roll. In 2017, she won an Emmy for her writing on Master of None. In 2018, she was listed as one of TIME’s 100 most influential people. And in 2019, her show The Chi was renewed for a third season.

DEGREES Film and Television (BFA)

Interaction Design (BA)

Cinema Visual Effects

Graphic Design


Smart Interfaces


User Experience

Editing and Post-Production

Web and Mobile Development


Interdisciplinary Documentary (BA)

Production Design

Programming (BA | BS)


Application Programming

Sound for Cinema

Game Programming

Film and Television (BA) Game Design (BA)

Television Writing and Business (BFA)

Game Development Sound Design


Film School in the Midwest for eight consecutive years, according to Hollywood Reporter rankings.

VISUAL ARTS Chicago will be more than your home­—it’ll be your inspiration and your canvas while you’re a Columbia student. From the Art Institute of Chicago housed in nearby Grant Park to fashion houses and boutiques dotting the city to vibrant murals everywhere, you’ll find your place in all of it as you build your portfolio and draw from your surroundings.


Jamillah James ’05

Alexander Knox ’15

Curator—Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA)

Fashion designer—Coach

Alex Wroblewski ’16 2016 White House Student Photographer of the Year and freelance photojournalist for The New York Times, Getty Images, Bloomberg News, and Thomson Reuters 8

Finalist—Project Runway season 13

Marlon West ’85 Animator—Frozen, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, and The Princess and the Frog

DEGREES Animation (BA)

Illustration (BA | BFA)

Computer Animation

Interior Architecture (BFA)

Traditional Animation

Photography (BA)

Art History (BA)


Computer Animation (BFA)

Fashion Photography

Fashion Design (BFA)

Fine Art

Fashion Studies (BA)

Photography: General

Fashion Merchandising

Traditional Animation (BFA)

Fashion Product Development Fine Arts (BA | BFA) Game Art (BA) Graphic Design (BA) Graphic Design: General Publication Design Web Design Graphic Design (BFA)

#6 College for Video Game Design 2018 –College Magazine


Animation Schools and Colleges in the U.S. 2017 –Animation Career Review


PERFORMING ARTS They say life’s a stage—and we’ve got plenty of them here. Like our own Getz Theatre Center, or the Theatre District north of campus with Broadway shows, or the independent storefront theaters that fill our city. Whether you’re looking to be a stand-up comedian, a dancer on Broadway, or an actor, director, playwright, and anything in between, we’ll help you get there.


Aidy Bryant Comedian. Actress. Writer. If you’ve watched Saturday Night Live recently, then you’ll know Aidy Bryant ’09: comedian and impersonator extraordinaire. During college, Aidy participated in Columbia’s Comedy Studies program, where she learned from comedy legends at The Second City. “This is where I cut my teeth,” Aidy says. “There and all over Chicago. It helped me discover who I was as a performer.” In 2018, Aidy was nominated for an Emmy for her work on SNL. She also acts, writes, and produces in her hit Hulu show Shrill, which was just renewed for a third season.

DEGREES Acting (BA | BFA) Comedy Writing and Performance (BA) Dance (BA | BFA) Musical Theatre (BA) Musical Theatre Performance (BFA) Theatre (BA) Playwriting Stage Management


Theatre Directing Theatre Design and Technology (BA)


College for Playwriting 2017 –College Magazine College for Aspiring Comedians 2019 –College Magazine

MUSIC AND SOUND At Columbia, we know what it takes to become a musician. The hours upon hours of practice, the collaboration with other artists, and the performances all around town (or online and safely distanced). We also know musicians wouldn’t be able to perfect their craft without those who’ve mastered the science of sound. If you’re looking to perform, compose, produce, or record, we’ll connect you to your ideal career path and a network of people to foster your talent.


Yasmine Mifdal ’18

Jonathan McReynolds ’11

Live sound engineer for NASCAR and House of Blues Chicago

Grammy-nominated gospel musician

Carter Howard ’17

Paul Broucek ’74

Acoustic and vibration consultant—The Papadimos Group, San Francisco

President—Music, Warner Bros. Pictures


DEGREES Acoustics (BS) Audio Arts (BA)

Music Technology (BS) Electroacoustic Composition

Audio and Sound Design

Hardware and Physical Design

Audio Arts: General

Interactive Music Design

Audio Visual Systems Integration

Music Technology: General

Live Sound Reinforcement

Perception and Timbre

Music Recording

Programming Audio

Composition and Production (BMus) Contemporary, Urban, and Popular Music (BMus) Live and Installed Sound (BA) Music (BA)

Renowned Artists-inResidence Program

#3 Music School for Composing for Film and TV 2019 –The Hollywood Reporter

COMMUNICATION AND WRITING Knowing how to use words and images to tell stories, shape experiences, and build brands is essential in today’s world. You’ll learn this at Columbia, whether it’s through honing your journalistic talents at The Chronicle, our awardwinning student newspaper; interning at public relations agencies throughout the city; or broadcasting your talents at WCRX 88.7 FM, our student-run radio station.



Darryl Holliday Innovator. Story-shaper. Educator.

The world of journalism is ever-changing—and Columbia grads are up to the task to adapt. Darryl Holliday ’12 is breaking the mold of traditional journalism with his work at City Bureau, a nonprofit media organization he co-founded here in Chicago that received a $1 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation. From creating a Twitter bot to increase community engagement with hyperlocal politics to educating citizens through the program Documenters, Holliday is changing the game and reshaping our perception of what it means to be a journalist.

DEGREES American Sign LanguageEnglish Interpretation (BA)

Photojournalism (BA)

Communication (BA)


Creative Writing (BA)




Radio (BA)

Nonfiction Poetry Deaf Studies (BA) English (BA) Journalism (BA) Broadcast Journalism: Radio Broadcast Journalism: Television Magazine News and Features

One of only 13 accredited four-year colleges to offer a degree in ASL.


BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT No matter your career, an entrepreneurial mindset will give you an edge. And in a hub for a variety of industries, you’ll flex your business know-how with expertise infused in every major. Write out-of-the-box ad copy. Build a marketing plan from scratch. Learn the ins and outs of artist management. Perfect your social media strategy. And during your time at Columbia, you can gain real-world experience via internships at top companies headquartered throughout Chicago.


Roma Shah ’08

Luis de la Parra ’95

Senior sales manager— Saint Laurent

Senior vice president—Univision

Ben Mills ’10 Head of product—Venmo Freelance production manager—Live Nation


Jennifer Farrington ’93 President—Chicago Children’s Museum

DEGREES Advertising (BA)

Music Business (BA)

Art Direction

Artist Management


Live and Touring


Recorded Music and Publishing

Arts Management (BA)

Public Relations (BA)

Creative Industries

Social Media and Digital Strategy (BA)

Film Business Performing Arts Visual Arts Design Management (BA) Marketing (BA) Digital Media Entertainment Industry

Home to awardwinning, student-run record label AEMMP, founded in 1992.

Sports Management


OUR FACILITIES, AT A GLANCE. At Columbia, you’ll create your work in industry-standard facilities. That way, when you get out into your profession, you’ll be ahead of the game and prepared to work. And what’s more, you’ll collaborate with your fellow classmates and make connections long before graduation day. colum.edu/facilities









STUDENT CENTER Your spot for creativity and collaboration—designed just for you, from the dining hall to the lounge spaces to the practice rooms and presentation areas

2 MEDIA PRODUCTION CENTER 35,500-square-foot space with two film production sound stages, a motion-capture studio, pre- and post-production resources, and classrooms 3

GETZ THEATER CENTER Newly remodeled space featuring the state-of-the-art Courtyard Theater and three black box theater spaces


FABRICATION FACILITY 15,000 square feet of space where students create jewelry, 3D models, furniture, and more


5 MUSIC CENTER More than 50 spaces for rehearsing, composing, recording, and performing 6

NEWSROOM Multimedia spaces for student journalists to build skills in editing audio and video, reporting, and more


DANCE SPACES Eight studios, a sound lab, and the 268-seat Dance Center Stage performance space


WCRX Modern studio for Columbia’s student-run-and-operated FM radio station

Facilities availability for the 2020-21 academic year will be subject to campus-wide distancing protocols.

CREATE YOUR COMMUNITY AND FEEL SUPPORTED FROM DAY ONE. Here, you’ll grow your skillset, collaborate across departments, and be ready to land a job after Commencement. And what’s more, you’ll have access to Columbia’s range of support services to see you through from your arrival on campus to after graduation day. Beyond your talent and perseverance, you’ll have Columbia’s resources and mentors to thank. Whether you live in the heart of our city or commute in from yours nearby, Columbia makes it easy to meet the people who will quickly become your friends, project collaborators, future business partners, you name it. From our student hub to student organizations, the connections are everywhere.


STUDENT LIFE From day one on campus, you’ll begin to find the people you’ll explore the city with, study with, and learn from. Columbia makes it easy for you to form those connections, with residence centers in the heart of campus, an orientation program, and 55+ student organizations. AWARD-WINNING FACULTY Columbia’s faculty is the definition of practicing what you preach; beyond sharing insights with you in class, they’re living their syllabi. They win Grammys and Emmys. They’re MacArthur Fellows. They’ve built their own companies from the ground up. And you’ll learn directly from them, taking their industry experience with you post-graduation. CAREER CENTER You’ll come to know our Career Center as your one-stop shop for professional development. Looking for on-campus employment or jobs in the industry? Need business cards? Want to do a practice interview? The Career Center can help with all of that, with services available your first year as a student.

COUNSELING SERVICES From adjusting to college to going through a variety of life situations, our counseling center is here to help. Students can make an appointment free of charge for individual, couples’, and group therapy. DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION Get involved with the college’s initiatives by joining the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Advisory Board (DEI-SAB). Or, gain direct support via the Student Diversity and Inclusion (SDI) office, with mentorship programs, cultural celebrations, and workshops. SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES The Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office supports programs, activities, and class accommodations for students with disabilities. TRIO CONAWAY ACHIEVEMENT PROJECT Designed for several of our student populations, including first-generation college students, the TRIO Conaway Achievement Project (TCAP) fosters pathways toward students’ personal and academic goals by way of mentorship, advising, and the development of career and leadership skills.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR EDUCATION. We believe learning extends beyond the classroom. Thanks to experiential learning opportunities, you can join a cohort of students who develop their skills in unexpected places around the world.


SEMESTER IN LA Open to Columbia juniors and seniors, Columbia’s 15-week Semester in LA program is an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in the entertainment, media, and communication fields. You’ll take classes on the historic Raleigh Studios lot, right across the street from Paramount Pictures, with industry professionals. Plus, you’ll spend 20 hours per week interning in your field, whether it’s at a studio, gaming company, production company, or casting agency. colum.edu/sila

Interested in a day like this? Monday Sitcom Writing class taught by a showrunner Tuesday HBO internship Wednesday The Art of Pitching class taught by a studio executive Thursday HBO internship, followed by an exclusive movie preview Friday Paramount Pictures tour in the morning, plus a networking event with Columbia alums Saturday Hit the beach, or go hiking Sunday Get ready to do it all over again

EDUCATION ABROAD Earn college credit while discovering more about the world around you with Columbia’s Education Abroad programs. These programs are on hold for the 2020-21 academic year, but we’ll have you ready to take on the world as soon as it opens back up. Exchange Programs Spend a semester in a country that’s always been on your bucket list—we’ve partnered with plenty of institutions that will allow you to fulfill major and liberal arts requirements. Faculty-Led Programs Make the most of your January or summer break, and travel with Columbia faculty and students to complete a course of your choosing. Current examples include “Prague: Writing Abroad,” “Special Topics in History: African Diaspora - Ghana,” and “Cinema and Television Arts in Florence, Italy.” Partner Provider Study Abroad Looking to go somewhere that’s not on our list? We’ve got you covered. Work closely with the college’s partner providers to customize your study abroad experience to a T.



You see the world through a creative lens—we do, too. You crave meaning in everything you do. You’ve got big plans, ideas, dreams. We’re the place where you’ll get your hands dirty, make mistakes, practice until it’s perfect, then tear it all up and try again. We’re here to prepare you for your next steps, whether you embark on a set track or forge a new path, with faculty who live what they teach. So be your authentic self here—or discover who that is—at Columbia. APPLICATION PROCESS When you apply, we look at the whole person.

DECIDING ON A DEGREE When it comes to choosing your degree, you have a few options.

You’re unique, and your application should reflect that. Your completed application may include high school transcripts, college transcripts (for transfer students), your personal and academic profile, a response to a short answer prompt, portfolio/work samples (optional for BA and BS applicants), and a $25 application fee.

With a Bachelor of Arts degree, you’ll have the flexibility to explore beyond your area of study with our unique elective classes. (You could also add a minor, or even a second major!)

Complete application instructions and deadlines are available at colum.edu/apply.

With a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Science degree, you’ll spend more time in specialized coursework. In addition, most of our BFA and BMus programs have extra requirements and earlier application deadlines. You can check colum.edu/bfa for more details and reach out to your admissions representative with any questions. Just remember: No one degree type is “better” than the others. It’s all about choosing what’s right for you and your academic and professional goals.


College is one of the most important investments you’ll ever make. We’re here to make the process easier and help you understand all of the costs upfront, as well as all of the ways Columbia students finance their education. 2020-21 COSTS $28,756 Estimated Annual Tuition and Fees $16,456 Estimated Annual Room and Board $25,849 Average Freshman Financial Aid Package*: (97.4% receive financial aid) $13,164 Average Freshman Institutional Scholarship*: (96.7% received institutional aid) 44 million dollars Total Aid awarded to new Freshmen *Aid and scholarship figures are for the 2019-20 academic year and for full-time domestic students who were eligible for aid. Complete packages include institutional scholarships, grants, remission/ exchange and resident assistant aid, Federal WorkStudy, Stafford Loans, and other Illinois, state, and federal sources. Emergency funds disbursed under the CARES Act are not included in these numbers.

FORMING YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN As you apply, use our net price calculator at colum.edu/netprice to determine all your estimated costs for attending Columbia. Next, assess your financial aid options, including third-party scholarships, college savings plans, or employer tuition plans. Columbia also offers interest-free payment plans. SCHOLARSHIPS Along with your completed application, you’ll be eligible for all merit- and needbased scholarships by taking the following steps: Submit a portfolio or schedule an audition by January 15, 2021. See complete information based on your intended major at colum.edu/ fra. If you’re applying for a BFA or BMus degree, your portfolio/audition requirements and deadlines may vary slightly. Please check colum.edu/bfa for more details. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov, starting October 1, 2020.




Communication (BA) Composition and Production (BMus)

Acoustics (BS)

Computer Animation (BFA)

Acting (BA | BFA)

Contemporary, Urban, and Popular Music (BMus)

Advertising (BA) Art Direction Copywriting Strategy American Sign Language-English Interpretation (BA) Animation (BA) Computer Animation Traditional Animation Art History (BA) Arts Management (BA) Creative Industries Film Business Performing Arts Visual Arts Audio Arts (BA) Audio and Sound Design Audio Arts: General Audio Visual Systems Integration Live Sound Reinforcement Music Recording Comedy Writing and Performance (BA)

Creative Writing (BA) Fiction Nonfiction Poetry Dance (BA | BFA) Deaf Studies (BA) Design Management (BA) English (BA) Fashion Design (BFA) Fashion Studies (BA) Fashion Merchandising Fashion Product Development Film and Television (BFA) Cinema Visual Effects · Cinematography · Directing · Editing and Post-Production · Producing · Production Design · Screenwriting · Sound for Cinema Film and Television (BA) Fine Arts (BA | BFA) Game Art (BA)

Application materials, requirements, and deadlines can vary based on your intended program—specifically, BFA and BMus applicants should be prepared to submit additional materials and meet earlier deadlines than BA or BS applicants.

Game Design (BA) Game Development Sound Design Graphic Design (BA) Graphic Design: General Publication Design Web Design Graphic Design (BFA) Illustration (BA | BFA)

Interaction Design (BA) Graphic Design Smart Interfaces User Experience Web and Mobile Development Interdisciplinary Documentary (BA) Interior Architecture (BFA) Journalism (BA) Broadcast Journalism: Radio Broadcast Journalism: Television Magazine News and Features Marketing (BA) Digital Media Entertainment Industry Sports Management Music (BA) Music Business (BA) Artist Management Live and Touring Recorded Music and Publishing Music Technology (BS) Electroacoustic Composition Hardware and Physical Design Interactive Music Design Music Technology: General Perception and Timbre Programming Audio Musical Theatre (BA) Musical Theatre Performance (BFA) Photography (BA) Commercial Fashion Photography Fine Art Photography: General

Photojournalism (BA) Programming (BA | BS) Application Programming Game Programming Public Relations (BA) Radio (BA) Narrative Production Voiceover Social Media and Digital Strategy (BA) Television (BA) Internet and Mobile Media Post-Production and Effects Production and Directing Writing and Producing Television Writing and Business (BFA) Theatre (BA) Playwriting Stage Management Theatre Directing Theatre Design and Technology (BA) Traditional Animation (BFA) Browse majors by program, subject, or career at colum.edu/majors.

Columbia offers a Combined Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Program that allows students who meet certain requirements to earn graduate credits toward specific master’s degrees. See colum.edu/combined_degree for details.

VISIT US Whether virtual or on-campus, our events offer you the opportunity to get to know Columbia. Sign up for the event that’s the best fit for you. See you soon! colum.edu/visit colum.edu/virtual

APPLY Ready to apply? Get started, or learn more about what’s required. colum.edu/apply

Questions? We’re here to help. admissions@colum.edu 312-369-7130 @ColumAdmit 42228_9/20

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Columbia College Chicago Shape What's Next 2020-21  

Columbia’s majors and programs consistently receive top rankings and accolades—now’s the time for you to explore them all and find your fit.

Columbia College Chicago Shape What's Next 2020-21  

Columbia’s majors and programs consistently receive top rankings and accolades—now’s the time for you to explore them all and find your fit.

Profile for columchi

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