First-Year Admissions

We accept first-year applications for Columbia College and Columbia Engineering, undergraduate divisions of Columbia University; both serve full-time students only.

Current college students are encouraged to explore our Transfer, Combined Plan and Visiting Student programs. Potential applicants to Columbia College who have taken a break of more than a year in their educations (with the exception of those in mandatory military service) should consider instead Columbia University's School of General Studies; the same is true for all students who wish to attend a part-time program because of personal or professional reasons.

See revised testing policy for the 2021-2022 application cycle.

Application Requirements


Columbia accepts either the Coalition Application or the Common Application. We will also accept the QuestBridge Application from QuestBridge Finalists. The applications include:

  • Autobiographical information
  • Lists and descriptions of a student’s achievements, activities, employment and summer activities
  • Personal essay

Columbia-Specific Application Questions

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

Standardized tests

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

Application Fee or Fee Waiver


Dates & Deadlines

November 1
Deadline for Early Decision applications
Deadline for QuestBridge National College Match applicants
November 15
Deadline for Early Decision financial aid applications
Admissions and financial aid decisions released online to Early Decision candidates
January 1
Deadline for Regular Decision applications 
Early January 
Early Decision response deadline
February 15
Deadline for Regular Decision financial aid applications
Early April
Admissions and financial aid decisions released online to Regular Decision candidates
May 1
Regular Decision response deadline
May 15
Enrollment deferral request deadline
Late June
Final transcript due for incoming students

Supplementary Materials

Supplements are not a required part of our admissions process; however, there may be occasions when supplementary materials can enhance our understanding of a student's application. 


Volunteer members of Columbia’s Alumni Representative Committee, in addition to select Student Interviewers, conduct interviews on behalf of Undergraduate AdmissionsDue to the ever-evolving impacts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, interviews will only be offered virtually (via phone or video chat) for the 2021-22 application cycle.  Members of the Alumni Representative Committee will only contact you after you have submitted your application materials to Columbia. If an interviewer is able to connect with you, you will be contacted directly by email or phone. Because we have a finite number of volunteers to interview many thousands of candidates, we are unable to grant interviews to all of our applicants and cannot guarantee that an interview will be. Candidates who are not offered an interview are not at any disadvantage in the admissions process.  


Accuracy and Authenticity

Note that all materials, unless otherwise stated, must be official and sent directly to the University or the University’s designated application platform from an official source (e.g., high school), not through an agent or third-party vendor, with the following exceptions: submissions by the US Department of State’s Fulbright Program and its partner agencies IIE, LASPAU, EducationUSA and AMIDEAST; submissions by the Danish-American Fulbright Commission (DAF); submissions by Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD); and submissions by non-profit, community-based organizations when schools are unable to provide this information on behalf of the student. In addition, the applicant will be required to attest to the accuracy and authenticity of all information and documents submitted to Columbia. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact Undergraduate Admissions at Failure to submit complete, accurate, and authentic application documents consistent with these instructions may result in denial or revocation of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, expulsion, or eventual revocation of degree. Applicants may be required to assist admissions staff and faculty involved in admission reviews in the verification of all documents and statements made in documents submitted by students as part of the application review process.  

All applicants to Columbia University must confirm on their application that they understand and agree to adhere to the above expectations.



For questions about undergraduate admission and the application process, please visit our online FAQs. If you have additional questions, you may email or call 212-854-2522. Mail should be sent to Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia Undergraduate Admissions, 212 Hamilton Hall, Mail Code 2807, 1130 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027.