Graduate Student Life
In Columbia, it is easy to live well on a graduate student's budget. Consistently ranked one of the best places to live in the U.S., cost of living in Columbia is below the national average. Columbia is a charming college town with many unique shops, bars, and restaurants. There are many city and state parks nearby with opportunities for hiking, fishing, biking, and canoeing.
The atmosphere in the Department of Psychological Sciences is supportive and friendly. GASP, the Graduate Association of Students in Psychology, organizes social events for students throughout the year, from informal get-togethers to weekend canoeing trips and poker tournaments.
Whether you need to take a quick study break or you are training for a marathon, Columbia has a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities. The 8.9 mile MKT Trail is great for walking, jogging, or biking. The trail runs through Columbia (with a trailhead only blocks from McAlester Hall!) and connects with the 200-mile KATY Trail which extends across the state of Missouri. If you need a day at the park, consider venturing out to Rockbridge State Park, just south of Columbia. Picnic sites, 15 miles of trails, and a unique "rock bridge" make for a relaxing day. Or take a leisurely paddleboat ride in Little Dixie State Park, just east of Columbia. For maps and more information on Columbia's extensive trail and park system, see the website for Columbia's Parks and Recreation Department.
Finally, if being indoors is more your speed check out the Student Recreation Complex, one of the finest in the country. The Student Recreation Complex is equipped with multiple basketball courts, racquetball courts, weight rooms, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool with a lazy river and hot tubs, a climbing wall, and of course treadmills and elliptical machines (a personal television is attached to each one).