About Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Graduates of Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons dressed in regalia

About Us

Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) is guided by the principle that medical education is university education.

The acquisition of knowledge and skills is important in professional education, but far more vital is a profound understanding of the science, the art, and the ethic within which both knowledge and skill are applied. As a part of Columbia University, the College builds its curriculum, selects its officers of instruction, and marshals its enormous resources of equipment and clinical experience to develop in the student this understanding of medicine.

VP&S is part of a unique collection of health sciences schools that make up the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, an integral part of the Washington Heights community in upper Manhattan—one of New York City's most diverse neighborhoods. Every day VP&S faculty, staff, and students work towards our mission—to care, to discover, to educate, and to make life better for people in need.

VP&S provides international leadership in educating physicians, physician-scientists, and research scientists; in caring for patients ranging from those who can select any physician in the world to our neighborhood's most vulnerable residents; and in conducting basic, translational, and population-based research to improve human health.

One of the nation's most research-intensive medical schools, VP&S is consistently ranked among the best medical schools in the nation. VP&S attracts students with idealistic values and the highest aspirations for excellence. Students have MCAT scores and grade point averages that are among the highest in the nation, and VP&S has one of the most diverse student bodies of any medical school in the U.S. Also, our graduate research programs have been judged among the most productive as measured by their scholarly contributions.

VP&S became part of the nation's first academic medical center in 1928 when VP&S and Presbyterian Hospital (now NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital) moved to a 20-acre campus in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood. The medical school and hospital were soon joined by the New York State Psychiatric Institute, renowned for pioneering treatments for some of humanity's most intractable mental problems.

VP&S is broadly international while also being intensely local. We care for patients from around the world and sponsor multicenter, international clinical trials that change the face of medical care for millions who never step on our campus. At the same time, we are respected within our neighborhood, throughout our city and state, and across the nation for our historic contributions to medical progress and for our continued commitment to improve the health of individuals and populations.