Please read the requirements of your program carefully. Each program has a unique prompt for the statement of academic purpose and supplemental essay (where applicable), and other requirements may also differ, such as the need to provide standardized test scores.
Fee payment must accompany the online application.
You are required to disclose and provide official academic transcripts for all post-secondary academic study completed and in progress. This includes individual courses for academic credit, certifications, certificates, transfer coursework, study abroad, second bachelor’s degrees, and advanced degrees. All institutions attended must be listed in the Enrollment History section of the online application.
Official transcripts are required to complete the admissions process for every SPS program, and applicants are therefore strongly encouraged to arrange for the submission of official transcripts at the earliest possible stage. While applicants must upload unofficial transcripts at the time of application, any decision granting admission on the basis of an unofficial transcript will be provisional only, and subject to the receipt of official transcripts directly from the issuing institution.
If your post-secondary credentials are from an institution outside the United States, the Office of Admissions also requires you to submit all post-secondary credentials (undergraduate and graduate) to World Education Services, Inc. (WES), a third-party verification agency for a course-by-course evaluation for admission consideration.
Instructions for Using WES
WES must complete a course-by-course evaluation of all post-secondary 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 School of Professional Studies. The school can be found by searching Columbia University and then selecting School of Professional Studies. The evaluation provided to the School of Professional Studies becomes an official academic record and sole property of the School of Professional Studies upon its receipt.
WES evaluations will be reviewed by the School of Professional Studies administrators and the determination of degree equivalency to U.S. degrees is at the discretion of the School of Professional Studies.
Official Transcript Instructions for Admitted Applicants
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 Domestic Institutions
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
For International Institutions
Official transcripts from prior academic institutions outside the United States must be submitted through World Education Services, Inc. (WES) as a course-by-course evaluation. If a WES transcript was provided reflecting in-progress study, a follow-up WES course-by-course evaluation showing the complete academic record and degree conferral is required.
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.
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.
Standardized exam requirements vary by master's program. Some programs require your official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
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.
- For complete information regarding the GRE go to www.gre.org. School report code: 3602.
- For complete information about the GMAT go to www.mba.com. GMAT school report code: 3831.
- GRE, GMAT, and LSAT scores are considered valid for five years after your test date.
Please be sure to carefully review your specific program's application requirements.
To help us assess your communication skills and your ability to think quickly and effectively, you will record a one-minute video essay as part of your application.
Once the application is submitted and application fee paid, the video essay will be available to you. You will receive a random question from the list of video essay prompts. As soon as you receive your question, you will have one minute to consider your response.
We will not consider your application complete and ready for review until you have completed this requirement.
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 7.5 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: