Course Waivers

Master of Science students may qualify for Course Waivers if they demonstrate subject matter competency for certain courses in the curricula.  Students who have been granted Course Waivers might be exempt from up to (6) units of study. If a student is granted a Course Waiver, he or she must satisfy the unit requirement by identifying and completing courses, with the approval of their program director or advisor.

To determine your eligibility for a Course Waiver, we ask that you submit specific details for evaluation. Your case should present significant academic experiences, which have prepared you to meet the vast majority of the course objectives, concepts, and learning outcomes stated in the course description for the program course that you wish to waive.

Submit the following in order to request a Course Waiver:

  • A completed Course Waiver Form
  • Transcript(s) from your previous institutions
  • Official syllabus, or course description per course
  • A cogent statement which details your academic readiness to waive the course content, and take another approved course in its place.

Here is an overview of the evaluation parameters:

  • Demonstration of academic or professional work that has direct equivalency to an approved program requirement.
  • Course completed at an accredited higher education institution, with a grade of B or better.
  • Course currency demonstrated by taking the course during the last two (2) years. Exceptions to the 2-year limit will be made at the discretion of the Program Director. 

Students may find the Course Waiver request form here: http://sps.columbia.edu/student-life-and-alumni-relations/forms. If your program welcomes Course Waivers, and if your request is approved, you will receive a decision within ten (10) business days from the date of your complete submission. Requests should be submitted after an admitted student confirms his or her enrollment within the online application system and submits the tuition deposit, but no later than the end of the first week of the semester, during the student’s first term of study.

* Students in non-degree programs are not eligible for Course Waivers.

Advanced Standing

Normally, Advanced Standing is granted to students who’ve been accepted into SPS-approved Partner Programs. Students in an approved Partner Program may be exempt from up to (6) units of study within their paired SPS program.

Other than Partner Program enrollment, students enrolled in select Master of Science programs may petition for Advanced Standing. Students who are granted Advanced Standing, but are not part of a Partner Program, might be exempt from completing up to (6) units of study.  If a student is granted Advanced Standing, he or she does not need to satisfy the unit requirements. 

To determine your eligibility for Advanced Standing, you must submit specific details regarding your request. Your petition should present significant academic experiences, which have prepared you to meet course objectives, concepts, and learning outcomes stated in the course description for the program course.

Submit the following in order to request Advanced Standing:

  • A completed Advanced Standing Form
  • Transcript(s) from your previous institutions
  • Official syllabus, or course description per course
  • A cogent statement which details your academic readiness to forgo a current course

Here is an overview of the eligibility parameters:

  • Demonstration of academic work that has direct equivalency to an approved program requirement.
  • Course completed at an accredited higher education institution, at the graduate level, with a grade of B or better.
  • Course cannot be used toward a previously earned degree or credential.
  • Currency is demonstrated by taking the course at some point during the last two (2) years. Exceptions to the 2-year limit will be made at the discretion of the Program Director. 

Students may find the Advanced Standing request form here: http://sps.columbia.edu/student-life-and-alumni-relations/forms. If your program welcomes Advanced Standing, and if you are approved, you will receive a decision within ten (10) business days from the date of your complete submission. Requests should be submitted after an admitted student confirms his or her enrollment within the online application system and submits the tuition deposit, but no later than the end of the first week of the semester, during the student’s first term of study.

 * Students in non-degree programs are not eligible for Advanced Standing.