Specific Program Qualifications and Application Requirements
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 apply [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu.
Fee payment must accompany the online application.
In the Academic History section of the online application, applicants must list and upload unofficial transcripts for all post-secondary institutions you have attended full-time for at least one term. This includes any summer program(s), study abroad program(s), or transfer coursework including any additional mark sheets, official translations, or degree certificates for international transcripts as needed with the exception of:
- Coursework where no credits are earned,
- Institutions where you completed a total of 11 credits or less (on a traditional U.S. credit system) outside of your degree granting institution and those credits appear on your degree granting institution transcript.
If requested, applicants may be required to provide transcripts from any and all post-secondary institutions.
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 coursework for admissions consideration (official WES for international and unofficial for domestic) must provide an updated unofficial transcript showing the grades for that completed semester’s coursework as soon as one becomes available.
For Domestic Institutions
Unofficial transcripts for each institution listed are sufficient for the admissions review process. Note: Unofficial transcripts must include both the name of the student and the institution to be used for application review.
For International Institutions
Official ICAP 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 is required for your application to be reviewed. 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 for a total of 18 credits or less completed outside the United States.
Instructions for using WES
WES must complete a course-by-course evaluation of all international post-secondary coursework and credentials. Please select the WES ICAP course-by-course evaluation (with GPA and course levels) for the United States 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 the 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.
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. Applicants would not be entitled to request any refund of the application fee, enrollment deposit, or tuition in the case that the official transcript deviates from the unofficial.
Requirements for Enrollment:
If offered admission, and before being permitted to enroll, you must submit official verified transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended for academic credit in the manner outlined under Policies in the Application Instructions section of this application.
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 conferral, including your degree certificate (for international institutions) will be required for enrollment. If you have completed your studies at the time of your application, we strongly recommend you submit your final official transcripts as soon as possible. Failure to submit an official transcript or WES within 30 days following the start of your first semester will result in a hold on your account and, if not remedied, can result in dismissal from the program.
Please upload your resume or CV. Be sure to include all work experience, professional certifications and activities that would be relevant to evaluating your candidacy for admission. Ideal applicants meet the following criteria:
Employment Experience: Include the positions you hold or have held in the past. Preference will be given to individuals with 2+ years of work experience in the insurance industry. However, given the breadth of the industry's impact on life and business, applicants who exhibit relatable, diverse expertise and skills are welcome to apply. If you do not have professional experience in insurance, please highlight the transferable skills you have acquired and explain how you will utilize them to succeed as an insurance professional.
We seek applicants who:
- Demonstrate a commitment to the insurance industry, and are eager to advance the industry's role as innovators and collaborative business partners
- Have career goals aligned with the Insurance Management program's goals and learning objectives
- Are participants in management training or other employer-sponsored career development programs
Special Projects, Volunteer and Public Service Activities: Provide details about your involvement in any special projects, volunteer and public service activities, and leadership roles--work or non-work related. They may involve industry associations, charitable organizations or other communities in which you have an interest.
Two recommendations are required as part of your application. Recommendations should be submitted from academic and/or professional sources. Please note:
- If you are in your last year of undergraduate study at the time of applying, you are required to submit at least one academic recommendation from a faculty member at your undergraduate institution. The second recommendation may be academic or professional;
- If you received a bachelor’s degree within 2 years of the date of the application, you are strongly encouraged, but not required, to submit an academic recommendation;
- If you received a bachelor’s degree more than 2 years prior to the date of the application, you are not required to submit an academic recommendation.
Recommendations should be submitted by:
a) a faculty member with whom you have studied at your undergraduate degree-conferring institution who can assess your academic work, intellectual ability, and academic potential for graduate work. The recommender should have instructed you directly, academic advisors are not appropriate.
b) a current or former supervisor (preferred) or work associate/project leader who can attest to your professional abilities. If you manage your own business and are your own supervisor, you may select a client as your recommender. Personal references are not appropriate.
IMPORTANT NOTE: All recommendations must be submitted using a professional or academic email domain. References submitted from personal or anonymous email domains (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, 123.com, 163.com, qq.com etc.) may result in your application being considered ineligible for admission. If you are unable to provide a professional email address for your recommender, please email us at apply [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu () with an explanation of why a professional email address cannot be provided.
The statement of academic purpose (500–750 words) should clearly and concisely address the following:
- Your current role and your area of insurance interest (if different from your current role), and why this is an area of interest.
- Describe how this Program complements your career goals and interests.
- Discuss a trend that you see that will drive change in the insurance industry, describe the possible change(s), and address how this program could help you convert it into an insurance-related opportunity.
In no more than 250 words, please answer one of the following prompts.
- What are your strongest attributes and how will they enable you to be a successful leader? OR
- If you could acquire an attribute or skill, what would it be and why?
Once the application and fee are submitted, the video essay section will become available. You will be given time to create test videos to ensure that your system is working properly. When you are ready, you will be given a randomly selected prompt for which you will have one minute to prepare and one minute to record a response. Please note that the video essay response should be your own thoughts and should not be rehearsed or prepared beforehand.
If your first or 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
- and you completed your entire undergraduate degree in English.
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 scores: Please include your TRF number on the English Language Requirements section of the application. Alternatively, you can also send us your official score through your testing center.
Applicants whose primary language is not English may be required to complete an intensive course with the American Language Program (ALP) prior to beginning their studies in the degree program as a condition for admission.
Applicants may also be asked to complete an interview using a video conferencing tool.
While standardized exams are not required upon application submission, applicants are strongly encouraged to consider submitting scores to further support their candidacy and strengthen their application.
The admissions committee pays particular attention to the quantitative reasoning score of the GRE.
GRE test scores can be ordered at www.gre.org. Our school report code is 3602.
For complete information regarding the GMAT, go to www.mba.com/exams/gmat. To send your scores, please choose "Columbia University - School of Professional Studies.
This may be required.