Select Non-Degree & Other Certificate Programs to access the application and then select Visiting - Postbaccalaureate as your Program of Study within the online application.
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]] edurel="noreferrer".
Fee payment must accompany the online application.
Documents required at the time of 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.
Note: Unofficial transcripts must include both the name of the student and the institution to be used for application review.
Documents required for review:
For Domestic Institutions:
Unofficial transcripts for each institution listed are sufficient for the admissions review process.
For International Institutions:
The Office of Admissions also requires you to submit official electronic transcripts, including any additional mark sheets, official translations, or degree certificates, for all international post-secondary coursework (undergraduate and graduate) for your application to be reviewed. Paper transcripts will not be considered official. For each institution attended, you must provide an electronic transcript directly from the institution to transcripts [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu. If the Office of Admissions is unable to verify your transcript was sent from the office or party designated to provide official academic records from the institution, you will be required to provide an official course-by-course WES evaluation (see additional instructions below).
If your prior institution does not offer electronic transcript transmission, you must write to transcripts [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu with the link to your prior institution’s webpage concerning transcript orders to confirm that electronic transcript transmission is not available. If you are unable to provide an official electronic transcript, the Office of Admissions requires you to submit the 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 will be 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 ICAP course-by-course evaluation (with GPA and course-levels) and request to have WES send your evaluation electronically 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.
Documents required if admitted:
For Domestic Institutions
If offered admission, before being permitted to enroll, you must provide official verified transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended for academic credit, among these must include a transcript showing the conferral of your bachelor’s degree and the completion of any in-progress study reflected on transcripts provided for admissions consideration. Submission of these documents is required in the manner outlined here.
For each institution attended, you must provide an electronic transcript directly from the institution to transcripts [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu. If your prior institution does not offer electronic transcript transmission, you must write to transcripts [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu with the link to your prior U.S. institution’s webpage concerning transcript orders to confirm that paper is the only option and obtain permission to submit a paper transcript.
If a paper transcript is the only option, it must be sent directly from the institution to Columbia, and not delivered or forwarded by you. Please have the institution send the approved paper transcript to:
Office of Admissions
School of Professional Studies
203 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902
If you are in the process of completing a degree at the time you apply, final official transcripts with degree conferral will be required for enrollment. If you have completed your studies at the time of your application, we strongly recommend you to submit your final official transcripts as soon as possible. Failure to submit an official transcript 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.
For International Institutions:
You will have provided official transcripts or a WES for use in review of your application. No other transcripts are required at this time unless you are in the process of completing a degree or any in-progress study at the time you apply.
If you are in the process of completing a degree or in-progress study at the time you apply, final official transcripts with degree conferral (when applicable) must be sent electronically directly from the institution or, if required, a final official WES evaluation showing degree conferral, including your degree certificate will be required for enrollment. If you have completed your studies at the time of your application, we strongly recommend you to 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.
The statement of academic purpose should address the following:
- The subjects and course topics you intend to study
- Why you feel you are prepared for rigorous academic study at Columbia – for this you may highlight prior coursework completed, work projects and/or your employment history
- How the program fits into your overall academic and/or professional goals
- An explanation for any weaknesses that may appear on your academic transcript or a highlight of any strengths that may not be evident elsewhere (as appropriate)
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. International students enrolled in a full-time course load—registered for at least 12 points of credit-bearing courses a term—are eligible for a student visa.
Eligible international students who wish to apply for a student visa should do so immediately after they have received their letter of admission to Columbia University. This should be done by completing the Application for Visa Certificate (AVC). Applicants should be aware that after admission into a program it may take up to four weeks to receive the documents needed from Columbia to obtain a student visa, so please plan accordingly.
International students who require a student visa to study at Columbia are required to pay an International Services fee. See your program's Tuition and Fees for more information
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