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 and upload unofficial transcripts for all colleges and universities you have attended for at least one term, regardless of the number of credits received.This includes any summer program(s), study abroad program(s), or transfer coursework (regardless of the number of credits received or whether these credits were transferred to your home institution) including any additional mark sheets, official translations, or degree certificates for international transcripts as needed. You will be asked to upload unofficial transcripts before submitting your application. Students with international transcripts will also be required to provide a course by course evaluation from World Education Services (WES) for your application to be considered complete.
Please note that applicants are required to submit grades for all coursework completed at the time they complete their application. Applicants who are currently enrolled in coursework and who submit transcripts with in-progress fall coursework for admissions consideration (official WES for international and unofficial for domestic) must provide an updated unofficial transcript showing the grades for that completed fall coursework by early February or as soon as one becomes available. Applications completed by February 15 should include transcripts with the final fall grades to be eligible for review.
Official course-by-course evaluation by World Education Services, Inc. (WES), a third-party verification agency, for all post-secondary coursework completed outside of the United States. 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. Please note that applicants who have completed 18 credits or less abroad may submit an unofficial transcript for admissions consideration. If admitted, the applicant must submit an official transcript directly from the prior institution. WES is not required.
Unofficial transcripts for each institution listed. Note: Unofficial transcripts must include both the name of the student and institution to be used for application review.
Requirements for Enrollment:
If offered admission, and before being permitted to enroll, you must request official verified transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended for academic credit in the manner outlined on the Admitted Students page. If you are in the process of completing a degree at the time you apply, final official transcripts with degree conferral (for domestic institutions) or a final official WES evaluation showing degree completion (for international institutions) will be required for enrollment.
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).
Please upload your résumé or CV. Please be sure to include all relevant work experience, professional organizations, or activities that would be relevant to evaluating your candidacy for admission.
English Language Proficiency
If your first and native language is not English, you must provide official scores on the TOEFL or IELTS Academic unless both of the following are true:
- the language of instruction of your undergraduate degree conferring institution is English, and
- you completed two or more years at the institution.
Applicant total scores must meet the Columbia SPS minimum requirement of 100 (TOEFL iBT) or 7.0 (IELTS Academic) to be admissible. 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 Academic 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.
- To submit TOEFL iBT scores: Visit www.ets.org and send your official score to our school code 2594. Please note: we do not accept TOEFL best scores.
- To submit IELTS Academic scores: After you have submitted your application, please upload your unofficial IELTS Academic score report. Alternatively, you can also send us your official score through your testing center.
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