Columbia University In The City Of New York Or The University of Pennsylvania

Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania are highly prestigious Ivy League schools, both encompassing amazing programmes that are taught by highly skilled professionals. When it comes to choosing between the two, one should look for which learning environment suits one’s personality better, as both the universities have different ways of learning and teaching. Lets’ start with Columbia University In The City Of New York Or The University of Pennsylvania.

Columbia University In The City Of New York Or The University of Pennsylvania

Why Columbia University?

Columbia University is one of the most prestigious Ivy League schools in New York. There are n numbers of reasons why students are die-hard fans of the university and want to get in. Columbia has an extensively rich history; it was initially called King’s College in 1754 as it was funded by King George II of Great Britain.

Needless to say, Columbia is located in the alluring New York City, where dreams are made, chased and achieved and there is nothing you can’t do! The location of the city helps you to get a lot of amazing internships and set a path for your future self.

Overall, Columbia is the most prominent research university in the world. It ranks number 1 in New York Colleges and number 5 in National Universities. Columbia is partnered up with various non-profit organisations such as – questbridge, which helps low-income students to get admission into prestigious colleges with a full scholarship.


The main objective of having this core curriculum in the university is to acquaint students with wide-ranging subjects that are different from their field of study. For instance, a history student can study any subject from literature, philosophy, art or science.

The core curriculum classes include a maximum of 22 students, the small capacity of the class enables one on one engaging conversations between the student and the teacher. Developing an intellectual relationship with the college professors enables students to get a much clearer perspective on various issues and also helps them navigate their life after college. The classroom is highly inclusive and discussions oriented, students are encouraged to ask questions, and doubts and they can collectively reach a solution through intellectual discussion.

So, if you are someone who is interested in learning from fields that are different from yours then you should definitely opt for Columbia University.

Studying at Columbia will not only get you oriented with New York and the Colombian University but Colombia also funds its students abroad, providing you with all the closure you need. For instance, you can go to Greece to complete a summer internship or for research purposes and all the educational expenses will be funded by Columbia University.

Columbia University is located in close proximity to Harlem, which reminds us of Federico Garcia Lorca, the great poet of New York. Whose poetry tells us not to romanticize New York as it is not all about opportunities and chances, it can sometimes play with the human psyche because of the highly competitive and fast paced atmosphere. The university is star-studded as it educated four presidents, 84 noble prize winners, 46 Olympians and over 90 Pulitzer prize winners other than that it has been a home for many celebrities.

Why the University of Pennsylvania?

Just like the Colombian University of New York, the University of Pennsylvania is also a private Ivy League college highly efficient in research, located in Philadelphia. Even the University of Pennsylvania has an extensively rich history as it was founded by Benjamin Franklin who was a great scientist, diplomat, inventor et cetera and one of the founding fathers of the United States.

Just like Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania also has a considerably small campus; we can say that it is a mid-sized campus, with about 2400 students as their undergraduate size.

The University of Pennsylvania has about 52 undergraduate programmes and 15 postgraduate programmes out of which its four main schools are the most famous and are known for producing highly skilled and hard-working entrepreneurs.

The four main schools are –

  • The School of Nursing, 
  • Business School which is also called Wharton school, 
  • School of Engineering  
  • School of Arts and Sciences.

The students at the University of Pennsylvania are known for doing their own thing, and have what they call a “penn bubble”, it mainly refers to how the students are always engaged in the events and activities that are always happening inside the campus. The students at the University of Pennsylvania have a work hard and play hard attitude which enables them to create a balance between studying academics while also having fun and exploring the city.

The University is famous for its Social Ivy Tag- the students in the university are intelligent social nerds. They are highly focused on learning and getting good grades while also socialising/partying on weekends. If you are also someone who can do both, then University of Pennsylvania is the right choice.

About the location-

The university is about 20 streets away from downtown Philadelphia where you can experience all the fun things at a very affordable rate. Philadelphia is famous for its food trucks which serve extremely delicious and cheap food.

The university also provides its students with a lot of free of cost facilities. For instance, there are centres that help students such as – Writing centre, Tutoring centre where you can get a free tutor to help you with your assignments, health service centre, psychological service centre and career centre etc. 

Numerical comparison of the two universities-

PROGRAMMESUG – 23PG – 59Doctorate Programmes – 7UG – 63PG – 70Doctorate Programmes – 14
2020 Acceptance Rate6%9%
Tuition and fees$63,530$ 61,710
Dorm capacity12,9286,400
Number of faculties62292536
Financial Aid$47,220$42,575

Conclusion –

Both the universities are Ivy League private schools with excellent programmes taught by highly skilled professors. However, both the schools have a very distinguished academic way of teaching and learning and it is this culture and environment that you need to examine while choosing between the two. You should opt for a university that suits your personality and that can help you grow as a professional in your chosen field. The article provided above gives you a deeper understanding of student life, and academic curriculum and also opens up a window to the city life of New York and Pennsylvania.

Pro-tip- the best way to decide which university you really want is to flip a coin and when the coin is rolling up in the air, you will have your answer as you will know at that very moment which university you are craving for!

Frequently Asked Questions –

  1. Columbia University or University of Pennsylvania?

You should choose the university that best suits you personality and learning requirements and most importantly that has the right programme for you. The article above gives you a glimpse of college life and briefly explains their teaching methods.

  1. Which city is more expensive – New York or Philadelphia?

New York is more expensive, if we add up the food, apartment and all the other costs of living.