Application Instructions

Please review the application instructions below carefully before beginning an application. Candidates may apply either through the Common Application or the Columbia First-Year Application. We have no preference as to which application you choose to use, but applicants must submit only one complete application.

Please also be sure to review What Does Columbia Look For in a Candidate?

The following are required components of a complete application:

  • Secondary School Report
    • An official high school transcript from all high schools attended
    • One high school counselor’s recommendation and school profile
    • The completed Mid-Year Report
    • Note: Students using the Columbia First-Year Application should notify their school counselor as soon as possible.
  • Required Standardized Testing
    • SAT and two SAT Subject Test scores (for Engineering applicants, Math 1 or 2 and Biology, Physics or Chemistry) or the ACT Assessment with Writing
    • The appropriate SAT code is 2116 and the appropriate ACT code is 2717
    • English proficiency examination score (if necessary)
  • Two Teacher Recommendations
    • These recommendations must come from teachers who taught you in academic disciplines
    • For engineering applicants, one must come from a math or science teacher

Additional components of the application which may make it complete:

Please note that Columbia reserves the right to evaluate an application and render a final decision even if all pieces of the application have not been received.

Advice from Students

Columbia is amazing! Don’t worry about fitting in here because even if you stand out, you will find a community.”

I would advise students going through the college application process to trust themselves. I remember when I was applying to schools that everyone had a strong opinion: my parents' friends, my teachers, even my hairdresser. Ultimately, you know best what is right for you. Listen to what people are saying, but if you have a gut feeling that you know what you want, it's okay to ignore everyone else and follow your dreams.”