Information for starting and completing your application

Applicant Qualifications

Space is limited, and admission to the program is competitive. Applicants must have:

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3
  • Two strong letters of recommendation
  • Strong writing ability as evidenced in a statement of purpose and a writing sample that each showcase intellectual and academic strength and promise for continued growth and achievement
  • Scores in the 85th percentile or better in all subjects on the PSAT, SAT, PACT, or ACT

High school students who have been accepted by Columbia College as a student for the Fall 2018 term must contact their adviser at the College for approval to register for Columbia Summer courses.

Application Deadlines

Summer Sessions
February 1: Enrollment Priority
March 1: Application Fee Waiver
April 1: Deadline

Fall Term
August 1

Spring Term
December 1

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Application Requirements

Completed application form
$80.00 nonrefundable application fee payment in U.S. currency must accompany the application.

Writing sample (no more than 10 pages)*
The writing sample must be a graded assignment from your high school that showcases your best work.
Statement of Purpose (600–800 words)*
The statement should address the following:
  1. A brief summary of your academic background and your personal and academic goals.
  2. Clearly articulated ideas regarding why the High School Visiting Student program appeals to you and how participation in the program will help you realize your academic and personal goals.
  3. A description of a situation in which you contributed to the learning of your fellow students in the classroom that will allow the admissions committee to consider how you would fit into a learning experience at the university level.

Official transcripts must arrive in envelopes sealed by the issuing institutions. Copies, opened or unsealed envelopes, unofficial printouts, or facsimiles will not be accepted. Many schools take a number of weeks to fulfill transcript requests; please plan accordingly.

Official scores*
On either the PSAT, SAT, or the ACT (SAT school code:2594; ACT school code: 2721)
Two letters of recommendation*

Attesting to your intellectual strengths and commitment to personal and academic growth. One letter must be from your school principal or guidance counselor and must include an approval of the courses you have selected for study. The second letter must be from a teacher.

Applicants must list recommenders and their contact information within the online application. Please provide your recommender’s professional email address and note that your recommender will receive an email requesting the recommendation upon your completion of the recommendation section of the application. Your recommender will be asked to log into the online application system, answer a few questions, and upload a letter of recommendation typed on professional letterhead. Recommendations must be submitted within the online application system. We strongly suggest notifying your recommender of these requirements prior to entering their information into the application system. You have the ability within the application system to re-notify your recommender of the request, and change your recommender if necessary. Apart from the initial notification sent through the application system, applicants are responsible for notifying and reminding the recommender about the request.

English language requirement

This requirement is only for non-native English speakers who are not currently enrolled in a high school program at a U.S. school or at a school where the language of instruction is English.
Read conditions and details.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting official scores from one of the tests listed below. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit unofficial documents through the online application system at the time of application. Candidates offered admission will be required to send official scores directly from the test provider prior to enrollment; these scores will be verified before the admission offer is considered official.

English Language Proficiency Test Minimum Required Score
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBt* 100+
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 7.0+
Pearson Test of English-Academic (PTE-A) 72+
Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) Grade C or better
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) C1 Certificate or higher
Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE) Grade A (low C1)
Cambridge Business Higher Grade C or better
DAAD Grade B

* Use school code 2594 to report TOEFL scores.

This requirement is only waived if the applicant is currently enrolled in a high school program at a U.S. school or at a school where the language of instruction is English.

Mailing Address

Office of Enrollment Management
School of Professional Studies
203 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902

Contact Information

Phone 212-854-9666

Office hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Notification of Admissions Decision

Decision notifications are sent via email. Admission decisions are typically communicated 5–7 business days after an application is complete.

Start Your Application