Columbia College Chicago

Fast Facts

Columbia College Chicago is the largest and most diverse private, nonprofit arts and media college in the nation with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Tuition & Value

  • Columbia’s tuition – $22,884.00 for '14-'15– is among the lowest of all private arts and media colleges in the nation.
  • Columbia has more than 96,000 alumni, making our network among the largest of any arts and media college in the world.


  • More than 100 academic majors or programs – broader and more comprehensive offerings than any other private arts and media college in the nation
  • Emphasis on the body of work: students can develop professional-grade portfolios over their course of study
  • Average class size: fewer than 20
  • Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. 


  • As of Fall '13: 9,671 undergraduate and 471 graduate students come from 50 states and 41 foreign nations.
  • Diversity: One-third of our student body is African American, Latino, Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander, or multi-racial–making Columbia the most diverse of any private arts college. 
  • More about who studies at Columbia…

Student Life

  • Columbia students are passionate and serious about their work and more than anything, this mind-set defines our culture.  We are a community of creatives who live and breathe our work.
  • The city is our campus and a major part of student life at Columbia. Chicago is our laboratory and our playground, and our students spend as much time exploring and sinking their teeth into the vast cultural and professional opportunities that abound in this world-class city.
  • About 2,500 students live in four residence centers - among the most innovative student housing out there - all located steps from our main campus, making Columbia the second largest college for out of state students in Illinois. 
  • More than 85 student organizations – from the Student Dance Organization to Japanese Anime and Manga – express the diversity, interests, and energy of our students.
  • We do it, watch it, support it, applaud it: We are one of the largest presenters of cultural events in the city with hundreds of events crowding our calendar each year–including student performances and gallery showings, faculty and guest lectures, readings, and performances.