College Factual  by our College Data Analytics Team
       Unbiased Factual Guarantee

Columbia College Chicago Data & Information Overview

184 awards Ranking Badges
Great Price Value for Your Money
96% Acceptance Rate
Want the scoop on Columbia College Chicago? We’ve put together a comprehensive report on the school that covers what majors Columbia offers, how the school ranks, how diverse it is, and much more.
All you need to do to learn more about a stat is click on its tile, and you’ll be taken to another page that analyzes that data more closely. Also, you can use the links below to scroll to any section of this page.

How Well Is Columbia College Chicago Ranked?

#370 Best Colleges in Nation
#16 Best Colleges in IL
Photography Highest Ranked Major

2024 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 184 badges in the 2024 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is photography.

Explore Best Ranked Schools for You

Explore the best ranked schools for the programs you are most interested in.

Overall Quality

According to College Factual's 2024 analysis, Columbia is ranked #370 out of 2,217 schools in the nation that were analyzed for overall quality.

Out of the 85 colleges in Illinois, Columbia is ranked at #16.

See all of the rankings for Columbia College Chicago.

Is It Hard to Get Into Columbia?

96% Acceptance Rate
64% Of Accepted Are Women

Acceptance Rate

With an acceptance rate of 96%, Columbia College Chicago is easier to get into than many other schools. But that doesn't mean you can slack off on your application. Make sure to treat this school like any other when submitting requested materials and documents.

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

62% Freshmen Retention
42% On-Time Graduation Rate

Freshmen Retention Rate

The freshmen retention rate is a sign of how many full-time students like a college or university well enough to come back for their sophomore year. At Columbia College Chicago this rate is 62%, which is a bit lower than the national average of 68%.

Freshmen Retention Rate  62 out of 100

Graduation Rate

The on-time graduation rate for someone pursuing a bachelor's degree is typically four years. This rate at Columbia for first-time, full-time students is 42%, which is better than the national average of 33.3%.

On-Time Graduation Rate  42 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
94% Take Out Loans
$28,808 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 94% of students took out student loans averaging $7,202 a year. That adds up to $28,808 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
1,329 Undergraduate Degrees
61 Graduate Degrees
During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 29 majors graduated from Columbia College Chicago. Of these students, 1,329 received undergraduate degrees and 61 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.

Online Learning at Columbia

19% Take At Least One Class Online
0% Take All Classes Online

Online courses area a great option for busy, working students as well as for those who have scheduling conflicts and want to study on their own time. As time goes by, expect to see more and more online learning options become available.

In 2020-2021, 1,297 students took at least one online class at Columbia College Chicago. This is an increase from the 0 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2020-2021 1,297 14
2019-2020 0 0
2018-2019 32 32
2017-2018 14 14
2016-2017 9 9

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.

Popular Reports

College Rankings
Best by Location
Degree Guides by Major
Graduate Programs

Compare Your School Options