You must submit all materials directly, not through an agent or third-party vendor, with the sole exception of submissions by the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program and its three partner agencies IIE, LASPAU and AMIDEAST, and by the Danish-American Fulbright Commission (DAF), Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), and Vietnam Education Fund (VEF). If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact the admissions office at apply [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu.
Fee payment must accompany the online application.
In the Academic History section of your online application, you must list all institutions attended for at least one term, regardless of the number of credits received. This includes individual courses for academic credit, certifications, certificates, transfer coursework, study abroad, second bachelor’s degrees, and advanced degrees.
Instructions for Submitting Transcripts When Applying
Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript from each institution attended for use in review of their application. Falsification, forgery, and misrepresentation of any type will risk forfeiture of admissions and/or enrollment. Forfeiture may occur whenever an integrity lapse is discovered, and may include admissions revocation, expulsion, or another sanction outlined within the Student Conduct and Community Standards.
If any of your post-secondary coursework is from an institution outside of the United States, the Office of Admissions also requires you to submit all international post-secondary coursework (undergraduate and graduate) to World Education Services, Inc. (WES), a third-party verification agency for a course-by-course evaluation. The official WES evaluation is required for your application to be reviewed for admission consideration.
When you submit a completed WES course-by-course evaluation for an international institution, we will review and verify its contents. If the WES evaluation meets our requirements, we will not require a separate official transcript from that school. If your academic study is in progress, you will be required to provide an updated WES evaluation prior to enrollment if you are admitted to the program.
Instructions for using WES
WES must complete a course-by-course evaluation of all international post-secondary coursework and credentials. Please select the WES basic course-by-course evaluation (with GPA and course-levels) and request to have WES send your evaluation to Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. The school can be found by searching Columbia University and then selecting School of Professional Studies.
WES evaluations will be reviewed, and the determination of degree equivalency to U.S. degrees is at the discretion of the School of Professional Studies.
Instructions for Submitting Official Transcripts (Admitted Students Only)
If admitted, you will be required to provide official academic transcripts (domestic coursework) and/or WES course-by-course evaluations (international coursework) for all post-secondary academic coursework and credentials.
All students who have attended a college or university in the United States must submit certified and secure electronic transcripts directly from their school or via the vendor that provides that service for their institution to transcripts [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu.
If a school does not offer electronic delivery, you must write to transcripts [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu to provide us with the link to your institution’s webpage regarding transcript orders. After verification, we will respond with further instructions.
If any of your post-secondary coursework is from an institution outside of the United States, and you have completed additional international coursework since the initial WES evaluation was provided, you must request an updated report and have WES send your updated course-by-course evaluation to Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.
When you submit a completed WES course-by-course evaluation for an international institution, we will review and verify its contents. If the WES evaluation meets our requirements, we will not require a separate official transcript from that school.
The statement of academic purpose should address your purpose and interest in pursuing the program, how the program fits into your overall academic and/or professional goals, focusing in particular on the connection between the program and your academic and/or professional experience.
Some applicants use their statements as an opportunity to amplify information contained on the application or academic transcripts. The statement provides an excellent forum for explaining any weaknesses that may appear on the transcript or to highlight any strengths that may not be evident elsewhere.
If your intentions include graduate school preparation, please indicate the graduate program(s) to which you intend to apply, cite the specific courses you plan to take, and discuss how that course plan will prepare you for admission to the program(s).
Include a copy of your most recent résumé.
The letter of recommendation from your dean of students should attest to your good academic and disciplinary standing and approving study at Columbia as an Undergraduate Visiting student. (Summer Sessions students are not required to submit a letter of recommendation.)
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 Proficiency
To be considered for admission, you must be comfortable with rapid and idiomatic spoken English. If you have completed or are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program that was/is conducted in English, you do not need to provide proof of English proficiency. However, if your undergraduate education was not conducted in English, you must provide official scores on the TOEFL or IELTS.
Applicant total scores must meet the Columbia SPS minimum requirement of 100 (TOEFL iBT), 600 (TOEFL pBT), or 7.0 (IELTS). You will be required to enter your test scores or your anticipated testing date within the online application, and official test score reports will be required for your application to be considered complete and ready for admission review. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years after your test date. Applicants receiving scores below the posted minimums may be advised to apply directly to the American Language Program. (Use school code 2594 to report TOEFL scores.)
International students are responsible for ensuring they have read and understand the University’s student visa application eligibility and requirements. Please note that it is not permissible to enroll while in B-1/B-2 status. In addition, if studying on a student visa, you must enroll full-time (12 credits per term) and study on campus.
Eligible international students who wish to apply for an F-1 visa should do so immediately after they have received their letter of admission to the School of Professional Studies by contacting the International Students and Scholars Office at Columbia (below) at least three months before the first day of class. Students will then be sent information about obtaining an F-1 visa. Once in the United States in F-1 status, students must register for at least 12 points of credit-bearing courses, during the registration period, and remain so registered throughout the course of the session. If a student neglects to do this, or if a student falls below the 12-point minimum during the course of a session, the student will be reported in violation of F-1 regulations to the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Visitors to the United States in B-1, B-2, WB or WT status are not allowed to enroll in classes at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies.
International students who require a student (F-1) visa to study at Columbia are required to pay an International Services fee.
You can find the online application for visa certificate by clicking here: http://isso.columbia.edu/. While you are not permitted to submit the application until you have gained admission, we strongly encourage you to read the instructional information provided.
For questions about individual cases, please contact:
International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO)
isso [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu