Admission to the Programs for High School Students is selective. The admissions committee looks for academically exceptional, highly motivated students who are interested in attending the program because they have a passion for learning and wish to enrich their knowledge of the particular field for which they are applying.
Students who have attended the program during a previous summer should follow the application procedures for past participants.
Courses frequently fill up before the application deadline, so students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Applications are processed on a rolling basis and will not be reviewed until all application materials have been submitted.
The $80 application fee is waived and priority course selection is given to students who apply by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on this date.
Priority course selection is given to students who apply by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
We are no longer accepting applications for Session 1 or Session 2. We are still accepting applications for our 1-Week NYC commuter-only option, which begins on August 5th.
Though there are no set minimum requirements such as a particular GPA, the application materials should establish that the student has the necessary academic background and level of ability, motivation, and maturity necessary for the curricular option for which he or she is applying. Students must present evidence of the completion of any particular prerequisites identified in the individual program descriptions.
We do not accept applications submitted on the applicant's behalf by parents, guardians, or third parties; the application should be submitted directly by the student. Communications from our Office of Admissions will be sent primarily to the student.
In certain cases, applicants may be required to interview with a member of the admissions committee to determine admission to the program.
International students who are proficient in English are welcome to apply to the program. While applicants are not required to submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores, students' English proficiency should be equivalent to 90 or above on the Internet-based TOEFL or at least 6.5 on the IELTS.
International students should be aware that participation in the Program for High School Students does not constitute the basis for securing a student visa. Past participants have had success in obtaining Visitor (B) visas to participate in our program because the program comprises a short recreational course of study and is not for credit toward a degree or academic certificate. Information on the U.S. Department of State’s policy on short periods of recreational study is available here.
Applications and supporting materials (application fees, the personal essay, unofficial transcripts, letters of recommendation, and writing samples) can be submitted through the online application. Official transcripts must be submitted in sealed envelopes.
All materials submitted by mail should clearly bear the program name, applicant's name, applicant's date of birth and, if available, Columbia University ID number.
Applications are not considered complete until all required materials have been received. Only complete applications are reviewed.
Completed Online Application form.
Nonrefundable application fee. For applications submitted online by January 23, no application fee is required. After Jan. 23, the application fee is $80. Applicants must include credit card information through the online application.
Transcript of applicant's secondary school academic record. We require grades for all secondary school work completed, including current coursework. We strongly recommend submitting unofficial documents through the online application system at the time of application as this will expedite the admissions process. Candidates offered admission will later be required to supply official documents prior to enrollment.
If you are unable to obtain an unofficial copy of your transcript, please request to have an official copy sent from your school to our office at the address listed at the bottom of this page.
If the transcript does not include the most recently completed term, the applicant or school should also submit a copy of the most recent report card.
Transcripts must be in English or come with an official translation. International students not graded according to the U.S. grading system should provide a grading key with the transcript.
Personal Essay submitted through the online application.
Program participants come from over 70 countries and 40 U.S. states, from as far away as China and the Middle East and as near as down the street here in Manhattan. In 600 words or less, tell us about where you're from--country, state, city, town, neighborhood, or even just your family--and how it has shaped you into who you are.
Behavioral Standards Consent Form. Behavioral standards are strictly enforced. Failure to abide by the Behavioral Standards Consent Form will result in dismissal from the program.
Two letters of recommendation. Recommendations must be submitted through the online application. During the application process you will add your recommender's information (name, title and email). Once you add and save their information an email is sent to your recommender with a link to our recommendation form. Applicants may submit their online applications in advance of the recommendations
Letter #1Applicants must submit a letter written by a guidance counselor, principal, or headmaster commenting on the student's intellectual ability, level of maturity, and motivation for participating in the Columbia University Program for High School Students.
Rising juniors and seniors must submit a letter written by an instructor who teaches in a field closely related to the applicant’s chosen curricular option. The letter must describe the student’s knowledge of that field and assess the student’s qualification to engage in concentrated study. The recommendation must come from a teacher who works at the school the applicant is currently attending.
Rising freshmen and sophomores must submit a letter written by a teacher familiar with the student’s work. The letter must describe the student’s academic talents and potential to benefit from the experience at Columbia. The recommendation must come from a teacher who works at the school the applicant is currently attending.
Writing sample (creative writing applicants only).
Required for creative writing applicants only. For specifications, see the course page of each individual creative writing class.
Standardized test scores are not required as part of the application, although they may be submitted if available.
Mailing AddressPrograms for High School Students
Office of Admissions
School of Professional Studies
203 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.