Living in Chicago

Study, live, work, and play in America’s third-largest city—one full of world-class culture and art, creative energy, and professional opportunities. As a Columbia College Chicago student, the city is at your fingertips. Explore, collaborate, and take advantage of Columbia’s connection to the creative industries in Chicago.

Our Urban Campus

This isn't your traditional campus—and we think that's exciting! Columbia occupies more than 15 academic, administrative, and residence life buildings in the South Loop neighborhood, part of the city’s downtown area and central business district. Campus stretches just over a mile from north to south and approximately three blocks wide. You'll find everything you need within walking distance: classes, cultural destinations, grocery stores, restaurants, and more. Check out our tips for things to do near campus.

By the Numbers

  • New Student Convocation
    Student organizations
  • Students on rooftop
    Students live on campus
  • Security Guards
    Security officers posted throughout campus

Getting Around Chicago

Chicago's comprehensive public transportation system, known as the CTA, provides easy access all over the city. Full-time students receive a Ventra U-Pass that provides unlimited rides on the CTA. Visit for more information.

New to public transit? Watch as Columbia College Chicago student Laura Maynard travels from campus to her favorite movie theater using the CTA Red and Brown Lines.

Graphic Designer Erick Morales talks riding in the elements, his favorite spots to bike in the city, and how biking has helped him really get to know Chicago.