The Columbia College Visiting Student Program offers undergraduates the opportunity to enhance their current degree programs with the opportunity to take courses in over 80 areas of study from prizewinning, pathbreaking faculty in a renowned college of arts and sciences. With a vibrant campus community and connections to the vast cultural and intellectual resources of New York City, Visiting Students can have an unparalleled semester or year at Columbia College.
The program is open to students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree-seeking program at another college/university and will have completed at least one full year of college credit by the time of enrollment. While the program is designed for sophomore and junior undergraduate students, senior (or fourth-year) students may be considered.
Students who attend institutions outside of the United States are eligible to apply.
Visiting Students may be eligible to take any course in Columbia College excluding the courses in the Core Curriculum and select courses in our economics and business management fields of study. Visiting Students are eligible also to enroll in select courses in Columbia Engineering and Barnard College, as long as those courses are open to Columbia College students.
Columbia does not guarantee that Visiting Students will be able to enroll in any specific class until the time of registration, and we therefore encourage students to have a wide selection of courses ready at the time of registration. Visiting Students may not enroll in any of Columbia’s graduate schools (including Columbia Business School) without first consulting their Advising Dean in the James H. and Christine Turk Center for Student Advising.
Visiting Students must maintain full-time status by registering for a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester and may take a maximum of 22 credit hours. Most students schedule 15-18 credit hours (approximately 5 classes) per semester. We recommend that you consult with your dean/academic advisor at your home institution to help plan your curriculum at Columbia and ensure that Columbia credits will transfer.
Life at Columbia
Visiting Students may take advantage of most of the programs and activities available to Columbia College students. They have an Advising Dean through the Center for Student Advising who assists with course selection and connects them with campus resources. In addition, they may take advantage of certain resources through the Center for Career Education (such as career fairs, workshops and panels and networking nights) with the exceptions of on-campus recruiting, the national and international internship programs and individual counseling. Visiting Students can participate in any extra-curricular organization with the exception of our Division I athletic teams.
Eligibility: only undergraduates in degree-seeking programs
Eligibility: high school students, undergraduates and graduate students
Classes primarily in Columbia College
Classes available across multiple University divisions (including graduate-level courses)
Students must study full-time
Students may study part-time
Tuition is charged per semester (plus mandatory fees and, if applicable, room/board)
Tuition is charged per class
Program is available during the academic year only
Program is available during academic year and summer term
Campus housing may be available
Campus housing is typically not available during the academic year
Please note that Visiting Students to Columbia College are not permitted to apply for transfer admission. Prospective Visiting Students cannot apply to both Columbia College and Columbia Engineering at the same time.
The Visiting Student Program accepts students to enter in either fall (September) or spring (January) semesters; students may enroll for a maximum of two semesters (either consecutive fall/spring semesters or spring/fall semesters).
Please note that a complete application includes:
- The Visiting Student Application, which includes short answer questions, submitted electronically
- A signed Statement of Eligibility from the applicant’s academic advisor or an equivalent official (such as university registrar) who can attest to the fact that the student is in good academic standing at her or his university/college and is eligible to participate in the Visiting Student Program. This statement should not be a letter of recommendation from an instructor.
- An official transcript from your current institution and/or school official is required. To be official, the transcript must come from directly from your institution or from a school official via email, fax or mail. We strongly prefer electronic transcripts for faster processing. We cannot accept transcripts submitted by candidates as official. Any documents that are part of your application file and are not in English, such as transcripts or recommendations, need to be officially translated into English and submitted along with the original documents. If mail is the only option available to you, please send materials to the following address:
- Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Attn: Visiting Student Program
212 Hamilton Hall, Mail Code 2807
1130 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027
- An official score report of English language proficiency testing, if applicable.
- A non-refundable $85 application fee, submitted electronically
SAT or ACT test scores are not required for admission to the Visiting Student Program. However, to be considered for admission to Columbia, you must be comfortable with rapid and idiomatic spoken English. If your home language is not English and if your primary language of instruction has not been English for at least five years, you are required to submit official scores from an English proficiency examination. For scores to be official, they must be reported directly to Columbia by the testing service; students cannot provide their own copies of score reports.
- Students must be eligible (see above).
- Students should have a minimum 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) and be in good standing at their home institutions
- The responses to the short answer questions should clearly express an applicant’s knowledge of Columbia and how the Visiting Student Program will help enhance his/her overall educational experience
These requirements are important, as the admissions process is competitive.