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Frequently Asked Questions
To learn more about the admissions process for Master’s degree students at SPS, we encourage you to explore our Frequently Asked Questions. If you would like to contact an Admissions Counselor, please visit our Contact Us page.
Application Process and Materials
The School of Professional Studies is one of the 13 graduate and professional schools at Columbia University. You can find the full list of Columbia University's schools here.
All of our applications for our Master’s programs are submitted online. You can start an application by clicking here.
There is an application fee of $95 USD due upon submission of your application. It is nonrefundable.
Each program has different application deadlines. Please check your program’s website for their deadlines.
Applications submitted on or before the Priority deadline will be reviewed first, then programs will review applications on a rolling basis until the Final application deadline.
After your application is considered complete and has all of the required application materials, please allow at least 6 weeks for your admissions decision to be released. Please check your specific program’s website for more information regarding decision release dates, as this can change.
To monitor your application status, you can log into your application portal. You will receive a notification via email once a decision has been made and updated in your portal.
Materials received will be marked complete on your Application Checklist. However, transcripts and WES evaluations will not be marked complete until we receive the final document with degree conferral (if applicable). If you scroll past the Application Checklist to the “Upload Materials” section, you will see all the materials we have received for your application.
Test scores can take up to two weeks to reflect in your materials checklist after you’ve submitted your application. If it has been more than two weeks after score delivery or application submission (whichever is later), please email apply [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu with your application ID, confirmation number for your test score and the date it was taken.
Once you have submitted your application and paid your non-refundable $95 USD application fee, it could take up to 24 hours to see your video essay loaded into your application portal. If it has been over 24 hours, please reach out to us at apply [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu.
We recommend the following tips to troubleshoot your video essay:
Clear your browser cookies and cache
Use a wired Ethernet connection instead of a wireless internet connection
Use Chrome instead of Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer
Use a different computer
Please write to us at apply [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu letting us know the reason your recommender does not have a professional email address or company letterhead. We will review your case and reply with further instructions if necessary. Please do this before you add the recommender into your application as they will be notified immediately.
Letters should be written by current or former faculty members with whom you have studied in the classroom, who can assess your past academic work, intellectual ability, academic potential for graduate work, suitability for the program, and your ability to commit to our rigorous curriculum. Typically, coach or mentor letters are not eligible as academic recommendations.
Yes, you are able to submit up to three letters of recommendation in your application. Please note that your application will not be reviewed until we have received letters from all the recommenders included in your application. For example, if your program requires two recommendations and you enter three recommenders into the application system, your application will be held for review until all three recommendations have been submitted.
If you studied domestically within the US, we can review your application with unofficial transcripts. If you studied at an international institution, your application requires a WES evaluation and we will need that official evaluation in order to review your application.
No. 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 partner agencies. The use of an agent or consultant for the purposes of creating an application, submitting an application, or creating or submitting any application materials is not permitted. Agent or consultant contact information cannot be listed in place of the student's or emergency contact's information.
No, you can only apply to one program in any one semester. Please carefully review our application policies.
Applicants may apply to the School of Professional studies after one year. For example, if you were denied admission to a program for Fall 2021, you are not eligible to apply again to that same program or another SPS degree program until Fall 2022. If you have been denied admission to the same program three times, you are no longer eligible for admission to that program and any further application will not be considered.
The Admissions Committee reviews each application thoroughly and with great care, but does not discuss individual applicant cases or the reasons behind their decisions. All admissions decisions are final.
Students should contact the International Students and Scholars Office with any Visa questions and concerns. Their website is isso.columbia.edu.
We only accept WES evaluated transcripts at the School of Professional Studies. For more information regarding WES, please visit our How to Apply page.
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. Please visit www.wes.org for more information.
WES should not require you to mail any of your reports to us. We should receive your report digitally if you have correctly selected Columbia University School of Professional Studies as the intended recipient, for report delivery.
We currently have six STEM designated Master's programs at SPS:
This is dependent on the format of the program and your study option. Tuition is based upon how many credits you register for a given term, as well as many other contributing factors. To see more information regarding finances, please visit our Tuition and Financing page.
SPS offers a small number of merit-based fellowships. You may contact the office of Student Financial Services to inquire about other types of financial aid.
If you have already paid your tuition deposit, you should receive this information within 5 business days via email. If you have not paid your tuition deposit, please reach out to your admissions counselor, who can provide you with this information, or reach out to inquire [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu and note into which program you have been admitted.
Across Columbia's many schools and programs, active military members and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces play an integral part in the student life, academic endeavors, and intellectual accomplishments of the University. You can see more information regarding the services, policies, and procedures that affect this group at our Veterans and Service Members website here.
Congratulations! To commit to your program you must submit your non-refundable tuition deposit within your application portal. This deposit will be applied to your first semester’s tuition and will be reflected in your first billing cycle. Once you have submitted your deposit, you will receive your University ID (UNI) and list of next steps in about 5 business days.
Applicants are encouraged to apply for the term they plan to enroll. Many programs will review deferral requests for exceptional circumstances. Please reach out to your program’s admissions counselor for more details on deferral processes. If approved, students may only defer for up to one year after acceptance.
To pay your tuition deposit, please log into your application portal and complete your Offer of Admission Enrollment Form. After this form is submitted, you will be prompted to pay your tuition deposit via credit card.
Your UNI will be emailed to you approximately 5 business days after you have committed to your program. If you have not received your UNI after this time, please reach out to our admissions team at inquire [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu.