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.
$80.00 nonrefundable application fee (U.S. currency)
Fee payment must accompany the online application.
All certification and certificate applicants are required to include a statement of academic purpose; this requirement is optional for individuals who are applying to take one or more individual courses.
The statement of academic purpose should address the following:
- The subjects and course topics to 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)
This information is not required. However, if you feel it important to provide a letter of recommendation to support your candidacy, you may submit a letter.
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.
This information is not required. However, if you feel it important to provide your résumé to support your candidacy, you may submit a résumé.
English Language Proficiency
To be considered for admission, you must be comfortable with rapid and idiomatic spoken English. If you have completed or are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program that was/is conducted in English, you do not need to provide proof of English proficiency. However, if your undergraduate education was not conducted in English, you must provide official scores on the TOEFL or IELTS.
Applicants taking the TOEFL must have a score of at least 100 on the Internet-based version (600 paper based). Applicants taking the IELTS must receive a score of 7.5 or higher. Applicants receiving scores below the posted minimums may be advised to apply directly to the American Language Program.
Applicants required to submit English proficiency scores should enter the date the test was or will be taken and the test registration number on the online application for admission, and are strongly encouraged to submit unofficial documents through the online application system at the time of application. Candidates offered admission will later be required to supply official scores sent directly from either TOEFL or IELTS prior to enrollment for verification before the admission offer is considered official. (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. In addition, if studying on a student visa, you must study on campus and enroll full-time; 12 points per term during the academic year and six points per each six week session in the summer.
Eligible international students who wish to apply for an F-1 visa should do so immediately after they have received their letter of admission to the School of Continuing Education by contacting the International Students and Scholars Office at Columbia (below) at least three months before the first day of class. Students will then be sent information about obtaining an F-1 visa. Once in the United States in F-1 status, students must register for at least 12 points of credit-bearing courses (six points per each six week session in the summer), during the registration period, and remain so registered throughout the course of the session. If a student neglects to do this, or if a student falls below the 12-point minimum (six points per each six week session in the summer) during the course of a session, the student will be reported in violation of F-1 regulations to the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Visitors to the United States in B-1, B-2, WB or WT status are not allowed to enroll in classes at Columbia’s School of Continuing Education.
International students who require a student (F-1) visa to study at Columbia are required to pay an International Services fee.
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