Columbia’s Rankings and Awards in 2022

Columbia College Chicago, community excellence recognized around the world

Columbia College Chicago’s excellent education, engaged student body, and talented community of creatives on and off campus gained worthy recognition in 2022. Here are just some of the rankings and awards that their talent earned.


Music Composition for the Screen MFA Program Named #1 Worldwide by 'The Hollywood Reporter'
Columbia College Chicago earned the top spot on The Hollywood Reporter’s list of the world’s best music schools. The list recognized programs that offer exceptional educations that help take students from the classroom to the scoring stage. The list specifically recognized Columbia’s MFA program in Music Composition for the Screen.

Columbia Named One of the Best U.S. Colleges for Student Voting
Columbia was named one of America’s Best Colleges for Student Voting by Washington Monthly. To make the list, schools needed to demonstrate a repeated commitment to increasing student voting and have been transparent about the results. The rise is due in part to the hard work of the Columbia Votes! Initiative, which aims to help students learn about the electoral process, assist them with registering, and increase student voting.

Columbia College Chicago Earns Spot on List of Top Photography Schools in the U.S.
The Art Career Project, an online education and career development resource ranked Columbia College Chicago #8 on their annual list of the Best Photography Schools in the U.S.. Columbia was recognized for its strength in the following categories; Post-Graduate Success, Faculty Resources, Graduation Rate Performance, Student Selectivity, Financial Aid, Early Career Success, Academic Experience, and Value.

Hollywood Reporter Lists Columbia Among Top U.S. Film Schools
The Hollywood Reporter ranked Columbia College Chicago #12 on their 2022 list of top U.S. film schools. The annual list showcases programs that are setting up students for success in the ever-changing film industry.

Columbia College Chicago Earns Spot on List of Top Graphic Design Schools in the Midwest
Animation Career Review ranked Columbia College Chicago #13 on their list of Top Graphic Design Schools in the Midwest.

‘Variety’ Names Columbia College Chicago Among Top 30 Film Schools in North America
Variety has recognized Columbia College Chicago as one of the top 30 film schools in North America in 2022. The publication cited Columbia for its digital cinematography capabilities, internship programs, multidisciplinary Semester in LA program, and location in one of the country’s largest media markets.

Columbia College Chicago Named to MovieMaker Magazine's List of the 40 Best Film Schools of 2022
Columbia College Chicago has been named one of MovieMaker’s 40 Best Film Schools in the U.S. and Canada of 2022. The annual list recognizes schools that prepare students for every aspect of moviemaking — spanning world-renowned universities as well as rising institutions.

Columbia Ranks Among Best Animation Schools in the Midwest, Illinois, and U.S.
The Animation Career Review announced its 11th annual rankings of animation schools, with Columbia College Chicago ranking No. 4 in the Midwest and No. 3 in Illinois. Nationally, Columbia placed in the top 15 percent of animation schools at No. 27. The criteria used in determining the rankings included academic reputation, depth and breadth of the program faculty, admission selectivity, and graduation rate.

Columbia College Chicago Recognized as a 2022 ALL IN Most Engaged Campus for College Student Voting
Columbia College Chicago was recognized by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (ALL IN) as a 2022 ALL IN Most Engaged Campuses for College Student Voting. The ALL IN Most Engaged Campuses for College Student Voting recognizes colleges and universities for making intentional efforts to increase student voter participation.


Columbia Alums Among NAACP Image Award Winners and Nominees
Columbia Alum Angel Kristi Williams MFA ’15 won the Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television) category for “Colin in Black & White” during the 2022 NAACP Image Awards.

Additional Columbia alumni nominated in 2022 include: the late Diane Weyermann ’92 for Outstanding Documentary (My Name is Pauli Murray); adjunct faculty member Jonathan McReynolds ’11 for Outstanding Gospel/Christian Album (Jonny x Mali: Live in LA); and Ray Nowosielski ’03 for Outstanding News and Information Podcast (“After the Uprising: The Death of Danyé Dion Jones”). Carl Seaton ’94 was remarkably nominated twice in the same category: Outstanding Directing for both Snowfall, Fight or Flight and Godfather of Harlem - The Bonanno Split.

The Columbia Chronicle Wins Big at Illinois College Press Association Awards Ceremony
The student staff of the Columbia Chronicle earned 29 awards at the Illinois College Press Association’s annual convention. The Chronicle won first place in seven categories, including the Sweepstakes award, for points earned across all contest categories.

Kelli Connell Awarded 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship for Photography
Kelli Connell, Professor and Graduate Program Director of Columbia’s Photography Department, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2022. Connell was recognized for this fellowship for her latest project, “Pictures for Charis,” as well as her on-going project “Double Life,” currently celebrating its 20-year anniversary.

For Second Consecutive Year, a Columbia Student Wins NRF Foundation's Next Generation Award
Columbia junior Robert Davison Long won the 2022 National Retail Federation (NRF) Foundation Next Generation Award. The NRF Foundation Next Generation Award is the highest honor that the NRF Foundation bestows upon a student and recognizes the winner as an emerging leader in retail. It also features a top scholarship award of $25,000.

Also recognized were two Columbia teams who competed for the NRF Foundation Student Challenge: Team OXBOW, which came in second, and Team GenYou, which placed third.

Google Play Names Mental Health App Developed by Columbia Team 'Best App for Good'
The STIGMA app, created by a team that includes Associate Professor Bill Guschwan and past and present Columbia students, made Google Play’s "Best of 2022" list. The mental health app aims to reduce loneliness and break down the stigma surrounding mental health and connects people who are struggling to strangers who share their lived experience.

Art Institute Contest Awards Columbia’s Cezanne Window Exhibit
Columbia College Chicago Fashion Studies window exhibit “Cezanne Undone: Another PerRetrospective” won "Best Design" in the Art Institute of Chicago’s Project Windows contest. The Fashion Studies Department created it in response to the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition “Cezanne” as a tribute to the French painter Paul Cezanne.

Stunned or Just Really Happy? Alum Christian Sprenger '07 Wins Emmy, Other Columbia Alums Earn Nominations
Several Columbia alumni were recognized for their outstanding work in television at the 74th Emmy Awards, with cinematographer Christian Sprenger ’07 winning an Emmy for his work on Atlanta and Columbia alums receiving twelve total nominations.

Dr. Yonty Friesem Awarded Illinoisan of the Year by the Illinois News Broadcasters Association
Dr. Yonty Friesem, Associate Professor of civic media in the Communication Department, was given the Illinoisan of the Year award by the Illinois News Broadcasters Association. He received the award for his civic media work that helped facilitate the passing of Illinois Public Act 102-055, which amends the school code to require media literacy to be taught in public high schools in Illinois.

Audiobook Produced and Directed by Columbia Adjunct Faculty Member Wins Top Prize
AudioFile magazine recently honored Winnie-the-Pooh, an audiobook directed and produced by Communication adjunct faculty member George Zarr, with its top prize—the Earphones Award.

Civic Media Students Win Top Honors in the 2022 AEJMC Student Magazine Contest
Francia Garcia Hernandez and Jordyn Harrison, students in the Civic Media Master of Arts program at Columbia College Chicago, won competitive awards in the 2022 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) Student Magazine Contest.

Columbia Faculty Member Receives Teaching Award
Associate Professor Elio Leturia received the 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award for ‘The Latinx Word,’ a collaborative magazine project produced by Columbia students from two of his courses.