Carefully read the requirements for your specific program.
Fee payment must accompany the online application. The fee depends on your specific program.
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).
Be sure to write a statement that responds to the specific prompt provided by your program.
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.
You should request letters of recommendation as early as possible. To avoid any delay in the review of your materials, we urge you to verify that all your letters have been submitted by the time you submit your application. You may submit your application even if all of your letters have not yet been received, but your application will not be considered complete until the letters have arrived. After submitting your application, you may monitor receipt of recommendations by viewing your Applicant Status page. In addition, you will be notified via email when a recommendation has been submitted.
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.
Standardized exam requirements vary by program. Some programs require your official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Please be sure to carefully review your specific program's application requirements.
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.
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.
An additional admissions interview may be required.
English Language Proficiency
Students whose native language is not English must include proof of English proficiency
To be considered for admission, you must be comfortable with rapid and idiomatic spoken English. The English language proficiency requirement varies by program so please carefully review your program’s specific requirements. Applicants whose native 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.
To be considered for admission, applicants required to provide test scores must have a minimum TOEFL score of 100 (600 paper based) or receive a 7.0 or higher on the IELTS. 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.)
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