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

"Why Columbia" is a pretty typical question, and one that deserves a lot of thought as students are beginning to consider the college process. The thing is, you've got to pay a lot of attention, because there are SO MANY excellent colleges and universities in this country and across the world. It's definitely possible to find the place that will suit you, so you have to go with your gut.”

Get to know each school you’re considering inside and out – this includes academics, the student body, the location of the school, and the “vibe” on campus. Interact with the institution – reach the materials, speak with admissions officers, meet with students, and try to visit campus. Do anything you can do to determine if the atmosphere is one in which you can be successful and enjoy your college experience.”