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Columbia College Chicago Data & Information Overview

194 awards Ranking Badges
Fair Price Value for Your Money
90% Acceptance Rate
Find out more about how Columbia College Chicago ranks, how diverse it is, what majors it offers, and other essential facts below. If you’re interested in learning more about a particular stat, just click on its tile to go to a new page that covers the topic more in-depth. Also, you can jump to any section of this page by clicking one of the links below.

How Well Is Columbia College Chicago Ranked?

#302 Best Colleges in Nation
#13 Best Colleges in IL
Theatre/Theatre Arts Management Highest Ranked Major
Quality Badge

2023 Rankings

In its yearly rankings, College Factual analyzes over 2,000 colleges and universities to determine which ones are the best in a variety of categories, such as overall value, quality, diversity, which schools are the best for each major, and much more.

Columbia College Chicago was awarded 194 badges in the 2023 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is theatre/theatre arts management.

Overall Quality

Columbia is ranked #302 out of 2,241 schools in the nation for overall quality on College Factual's 2023 Best Colleges list. This puts it in the top 15% of all schools in the nation. This is an improvement over the previous year, when Columbia held the #971 spot on the Best Overall Colleges list.

Columbia is also ranked #13 out of 87 schools in Illinois.

See all of the rankings for Columbia College Chicago.

Is It Hard to Get Into Columbia?

90% Acceptance Rate
63% Of Accepted Are Women

Acceptance Rate

Columbia College Chicago has an acceptance rate of 90%, so it is easier to gain admission to this school than some others. Still, the admissions staff will examine your application closely to make sure you're a good fit for Columbia.

Learn more about Columbia College Chicago admissions.

Columbia College Chicago Faculty

14 to 1 Student to Faculty
33% Full Time Teachers

Student to Faculty Ratio

The student to faculty ratio at Columbia College Chicago is about average at 14 to 1. This ratio is often used to gauge how many students might be in an average class and how much time professors will have to spend with their students on an individual level. The national average for this metric is 15 to 1.

Percent of Full-Time Faculty

When estimating how much access students will have to their teachers, some people like to look at what percentage of faculty members are full time. This is because part-time teachers may not have as much time to spend on campus as their full-time counterparts.

The full-time faculty percentage at Columbia College Chicago is 33%. This is lower than the national average of 47%.

Full-Time Faculty Percent  33 out of 100

Retention and Graduation Rates at Columbia College Chicago

69% Freshmen Retention
38% On-Time Graduation Rate

Freshmen Retention Rate

The freshmen retention rate tells us what percentage of first-year, full-time students choose to continue on to their sophomore year at a particular school. The rate at Columbia College Chicago is 69%, which is about average when compared to the national rate of 68%.

Freshmen Retention Rate  69 out of 100

Graduation Rate

When it comes to finishing their studies on time, those seeking a bachelor's degree from Columbia have a four-year graduation rate of 38%. This is comparable to the national average of 33.3%

On-Time Graduation Rate  38 out of 100

Find out more about the retention and graduation rates at Columbia College Chicago.

Columbia College Chicago Undergraduate Student Diversity

6,117 Full-Time Undergraduates
47.1% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
59.3% Percent Women

During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 6,542 undergraduates at Columbia with 6,117 being full-time and 425 being part-time.

How Much Does Columbia College Chicago Cost?

$26,258 Net Price
62% Take Out Loans
$29,812 Total Student Loans
The overall average net price of Columbia is $26,258. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group. See the table below for the net price for different income groups.

Net Price by Income Group for Columbia

$0-30 K $30K-48K $48-75 $75-110K $110K +
$21,344 $22,304 $26,626 $30,369 $32,511

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.Note that the net price is typically less than the published for a school. For more information on the sticker price of Columbia, see our tuition and fees and room and board pages.

Student Loan Debt

While almost two-thirds of students nationwide take out loans to pay for college, the percentage may be quite different for the school you plan on attending. At Columbia, approximately 62% of students took out student loans averaging $7,453 a year. That adds up to $29,812 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at Columbia is 6.1%. Although this is lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, you'll still want to keep this in mind when taking out student loans.

Get more details about paying for Columbia College Chicago.

How Much Money Do Columbia Graduates Make?

$41,679 Avg Salary of Grads
Average Earnings Boost
The pay for some majors is higher than others, but on average, students who graduate with a bachelor's degree from Columbia make about $41,679 a year during their first few years of employment after graduation. This is in the same neighborhood of the average college graduate's salary of $42,485 per year. However, certain majors may produce higher-paying graduates.


See which majors at Columbia College Chicago make the most money.

Location of Columbia College Chicago

Illinois State
6,117 Full-Time Undergraduates
Large City Campus Setting
Located in Chicago, Illinois, Columbia College Chicago is a private not-for-profit institution. The city atmosphere of Chicago makes it a great place for students who enjoy having lots of educational and entertainment options.

Get more details about the location of Columbia College Chicago.


Contact details for Columbia are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 600 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1996
Phone: 312-369-1000

Columbia College Chicago Majors

29 Majors With Completions
1,335 Undergraduate Degrees
74 Graduate Degrees
During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 29 majors graduated from Columbia College Chicago. Of these students, 1,335 received undergraduate degrees and 74 graduated with a master's or doctor's degree. The following table lists the most popular undergraduate majors along with the average salary graduates from those majors make.

Most Popular Majors Bachelor’s Degrees Average Salary of Graduates
Design & Applied Arts 271 $29,065
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 221 $21,616
Drama & Theater Arts 148 $20,854
Graphic Communications 132 $22,857
Arts & Media Management 96 $26,467
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 64 $29,840
Music 61 $18,502
Audiovisual Communications 59 $23,934
Writing Studies 50 $19,356
Marketing 45 $36,175

Learn more about the majors offered at Columbia College Chicago along with which ones have the highest average starting salaries.

This is a decrease from the 32 students who took online classes the previous year.

Learn more about online learning at Columbia College Chicago.

If you’re considering Columbia College Chicago, here are some more schools you may be interested in knowing more about.

Curious on how these schools stack up against Columbia? Pit them head to head with College Combat, our free interactive tool that lets you compare college on the features that matter most to you!

Notes and References


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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