Columbia First-Year Application

The Columbia First-Year Application is an option for students who wish to apply to Columbia. Please review the application instructions below carefully before beginning your application. Applicants must submit only one complete application, using either the Common or the Columbia First-Year Application. There is no advantage or disadvantage to using the Columbia First-Year Application instead of the Common Application.

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

The following are required components of a complete application:

  • The Columbia First-Year Application, which includes:
    • Autobiographical information
    • $85 application fee or fee waiver request
    • Lists and descriptions of a student’s achievements, activities, employment and summer activities
      • Students should list their activities in order of importance, and include the full name of each organization.
    • Personal essay
      • Students who have already written an essay for the Common Application Personal Essay may use the same essay here.
    • Columbia-specific questions
      • Students do not need to fill the entire space or use the maximum number of words; there is no minimum word count in this section.
      • In the four questions that ask applicants to provide their responses as lists, it is acceptable to use commas or semicolons instead of line breaks to separate items. The items do not have to be full sentences or numbered or in any specific order.
      • It is not necessary to italicize or underline titles of books or other publications. Author names may be included but are not required.
  • 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.
      • Students attending a school that uses Naviance should indicate on their school list that they are not using the Common Application to apply to Columbia.
  • 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
    • While you can self-report your scores on the admission application, you must also send official score reports from the testing agency.
    • 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.