Advanced Academic Preparation

Available in Summer.

This rigorous eight-week course is designed for students who plan to enter an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a university in the United States. It will prepare students for university-level academic study by:

  • focusing on academic writing skills, including:
    • academic essay format
    • source-based writing assignments 
    • summarizing skills
    • vocabulary building
    • issues related to plagiarism and academic honesty (paraphrasing, citing sources, and using quotations appropriately)
  • introducing research skills, including a presentation by a Columbia University librarian on how to use the library system 
  • improving discussion skills, including fluency and advanced-level vocabulary, thus preparing students for participation in seminar discussions
  • teaching presentation skills, including pronunciation, vocal projection, and appropriate body language
  • building lecture-listening and note-taking skills by drawing on a variety of resources including:
    • live lectures by guest speakers
    • recorded lectures by university professors
    • a Columbia University E-Seminar (an on-line course designed by a Columbia professor)
  • teaching skills for coping with extensive reading

Students in the program will have access to Columbia University facilities, including the university libraries, the language laboratory, computers. Students may access the Dodge Fitness Center (gym) by purchasing membership.

Dates & Prices

All prices are subject to approval by the trustees of Columbia University.
For a full explanation of fees, see below. 

Application Deadline May 19
For late admission please email
Course Dates

June 17 – August 9

Arrival in NYC required on June 14 for testing

Tuition $7,376
Medical $1,093
Activity Fee $50
Instructional Support Fee $60
ALP Student Services Fee $40
Technology Fee $35
Housing $2,744
Living Expenses $5,308
Textbooks $150
Total $14,112

Medical: All ALP students studying for eight points or more (Fall, Spring, Summer A+B, B+C, A+C, A+B+C, AAP) must have Columbia Medical Insurance and pay the Columbia Health and Related Services Fee. It is not possible to waive (= not pay) the Insurance charge and Health Fee. Visit Columbia Health for details. Students studying fewer than eight points (Summer A only, Summer B only, Summer C only) do not have this requirement.
SPS Activity Fee: this covers SPS expenses relating to orientation, handbooks and events. 
Instructional Support Fee: this covers class materials and expenses such as playbooks, novels, newspapers, photocopying, theater tickets, museum or event entry. 
ALP Student Services Fee: this covers internal I-20 processing fees and other SEVIS transactions.
Technology Fee: this covers SPS technology expenses, including access to online course management software, Canvas, and tools used to develop online course content.  
Housing: this is the cost for students in Columbia University Housing. ALP intensive and AAP students are not required to live in Columbia Housing, but can choose to, if available. 
Living Expenses: this includes food, transportation, everyday expenses, and Housing. This gives an idea of how much money is needed to live in New York so you can plan financially. Students are not billed for living expenses, except for any ALP/Columbia Housing. 
Textbooks: this is an estimate. Instructors assign books at the beginning of the session and students must buy them. Students are not billed for textbooks. 
Total: When you apply for an I-20 you must show you have this much money on your financial document. 

Apply to Advanced Academic Preparation


Current ALP students must have reached ALP level 6 to be considered for admission.

New students must submit a minimum TOEFL score of 72 (iBT) with minimum of 18 in both writing and speaking, or 5.0 IELTS with a minimum of 5.0 in both writing and speaking.

On arrival all new students must also sit for the ALP Essay Exam. Those whose scores fall below ALP level 6 must take the ALP Intensive course at the appropriate level, given at the same dates as the AAP course (Session B+C).

Successful applicants will be placed into AAP classes based on their ALP level and TOEFL score. Students will be placed with others of similar ability. 

To submit your official TOEFL score, please request that ETS send your TOEFL score report directly to the ALP admissions office, using DI Code: 2594, "Undergrad."

Application Materials

Applicants must apply online. Only applications submitted from the ALP Web site are accepted.

  1. Completed online application form.

  2. Nonrefundable application fee:   U.S. $150.00 for online applications + $350.00 tuition deposit, payable by credit card only. No application will be processed without this fee.

In general, an F-1 (student visa) is required for study in the US. International applicants are required to request an I-20 in order to obtain the F-1 visa and must enroll in a full-time program (18 hours or more per week).

If you are already holding an F-1 visa and attending another school you must also transfer your SEVIS record from your current school to the ALP. Please speak to your Advisor at your current school.

To receive an I-20, please upload your ALP admission letter with the following documents (see below) to the online I-20 application page (Compass). You will receive your admission letter and I-20 instructions after you are admitted to the program.

  1. Bank statement: this document must be in English and dated within the last three months. It must be from a checking or savings account and must show sufficient available funds to pay the estimated tuition, fees and living expenses.
    • To see required balance for I-20, please see the "Total" amount for your program, above.
  2. Sponsor letter: the letter must be in English and dated within the last three months. It must also be signed by the sponsor. If you are sending your own bank statement you are not required to submit a sponsor letter. The sponsor letter is necessary only if a bank statement will be submitted on your behalf by another person. The person whose bank statement you will submit is your sponsor.

    Your sponsor must submit a letter (sponsor letter) stating that s/he will provide you with full financial support during the period of your study in the ALP. The sponsor letter must be in English and dated within the last three months. It must also be signed by the sponsor.
  3. Photocopy of your passport’s identification page.
    • The page in your passport that shows your photograph, your name and your date of birth.

Once your completed application and accompanying materials and fees have been received and processed, you will receive a US government I-20 A-B form. Bring the I-20 A-B form, along with your letter of acceptance and original financial documents, to a US embassy or consulate in your country to apply for a student (F-1) visa.

Students must apply online.

Commission on English Language Program Accreditation

Accredited by CEA

The Advanced Academic Preparation Program is accredited by the Commission on English Language Accreditation (CEA) for the period of April 2014 through August 2019. For this offering, the American Language Program agrees to uphold the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions. The U.S. Secretary of Education recognizes CEA as a national accrediting agency for English language programs and institutions.