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.
Due to the impact of COVID-19 on institutions of higher education, adjustments to our WES requirements have been made. Applicants who attended an institution outside of the United States will not be required to submit official World Education Services (WES) course-by-course evaluations in order to be evaluated for admission.
Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript from each institution attended for use in review of your application, as well as any degree certificates. For Indian universities, this includes all semester mark sheets. If your university provides transcripts in a language other than English, both the original language document and English translation are required. If admitted, you will be required to provide official WES course-by-course evaluations (international coursework) for all post-secondary academic coursework and credentials. Applicants for the Spring 2021 semester must provide official WES course-by-course evaluations by no later than December 21, 2020. We recommend starting the WES course-by-course evaluation process as soon as possible so that you are able to meet this deadline.
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.
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.
Letters of recommendation should be written by current or former supervisors or by faculty members with whom you have studied, who can assess your academic work, intellectual ability, academic potential for graduate work, address your suitability for the program and your ability to commit to the rigorous curriculum.
All applicants are required to submit at least one academic reference, unless you have received a bachelor’s degree more than 5 years prior to the date of the application. Applicants who received a bachelor’s degree more than 5 years prior to the date of the application are strongly encouraged, but not required, to submit an academic reference.
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.
Recommendations must be submitted through the application system and by the recommender directly. Applicants who have uploaded their own recommendation letters are not admissible.
Information to Share With Your Recommenders
- Before adding their information to the application, please contact your recommenders and inform them that they will receive an email from apply [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu that will provide instructions regarding their letters. They may wish to add apply [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu to their address book or list of contacts to ensure that the message is routed to their inbox.
- Ensure your recommender is aware that they will be asked to complete a brief evaluation form within the application system and upload a letter of recommendation on letterhead (whenever possible). Both components are necessary to fulfill the requirement and must be provided within the application system. We will not accept letters sent via email or post mail.
- Inform your recommender that they should expect to be contacted by a third party verification provider, Re Vera Services, who will reach out to them via email to confirm that they supplied the recommendation.
- We strongly suggest you give your recommender a timeline for providing the recommendation and that you proactively follow-up with them until the letter is submitted.
The statement of academic purpose should address your purpose in pursuing a degree in the Executive Master of Science in Strategic Communication program, the specific skills and attributes that you will contribute to the program, and an aspect of the program that may present the greatest challenge for you.
In no more than 250 words, the supplemental essay should describe a real-life example of how strategic communications was used. The example can either be from your own professional experience or of an organization.
After you have submitted your application and fee, you will be required to submit a 1-minute video essay. 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. You will not be able to re-record your video. Please note that the video essay response should be your own thoughts and should not be rehearsed or prepared beforehand.
English Language Proficiency
Applicants whose native language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting official scores from either the TOEFL or IELTS.
Applicants who are required to provide test scores must submit a current TOEFL iBT or IELTS score report and have a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL iBT or receive a 7.0 or higher on the IELTS. If you have TOEFL paper scores, please contact apply [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu to discuss their use. Applicants receiving scores below the posted minimums may be advised to apply directly to the American Language Program. Unofficial scores should be included as part of your application; however, official test scores 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. (Use school code 2594 to report TOEFL scores.)
If you are unable to provide official scores on the TOEFL or IELTS due to the closing of testing centers, you may submit a request to use the DET Duolingo English Test in order to demonstrate English proficiency. Applicant DET Duolingo English Test scores must meet the Columbia SPS minimum requirement of 120. Applicants may also be asked to complete an interview using a video conferencing tool.
This may be required.