International Applicants

Columbia’s admissions process is largely the same for everyone, regardless of citizenship or country of residence. Home to one of the most internationally diverse student bodies in the country, Undergraduate Admissions staff have experience evaluating applications from a range of countries, educational backgrounds and school systems. We’re committed to reviewing each application with care, with the goal of selecting the candidates who will most benefit from—and contribute to—the Columbia experience.

A note on international application review

Members of the Undergraduate Admissions staff have read and evaluated applications from all over the world, and we’re familiar with a variety of school systems and transcripts. All applications are reviewed by region. Included with your secondary school report is a "school profile," which includes a description of the school, grading system, curriculum and extracurricular resources. If we need more information to make an informed decision or have any questions, we have the option to contact your school and to do our own research.

Columbia accepts all secondary school curricula (e.g., International Baccalaureate, Cambridge A Levels, National School curricula, etc.), and applications are reviewed within the context of your curriculum. Internal and external exam results—such as A Level, International Baccalaureate, French Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement (AP) exams, and other final national exam results—must be submitted if they are required to complete and graduate from secondary school. If they are not required for the completion of and graduation from secondary school, you are not required to submit results.

Please be aware that Columbia Undergraduate Admissions does not authorize or work with any independent agents anywhere in the world for our recruitment efforts.

Students at non-English speaking schools

Any documents within your application file that are not in English, such as transcripts or recommendations, must be officially translated into English and submitted along with the original documents.

Conversational videos

Applicants to Columbia can elect to send InitialView or Vericant videos to emphasize language fluency. These videos should be scheduled, completed and submitted to Columbia by November 15 for Early Decision, January 15 for Regular Decision or March 1 for Transfer applicants.

English language proficiency requirement

To be considered for admission to Columbia, you must be comfortable with rapid and idiomatic spoken English. Please review our English Proficiency Requirements for more detail.

International transfer students

Columbia welcomes applications from international transfer students. In order to be eligible to apply as a transfer, you must be enrolled in a college in North America or in a US-style college abroad. A college or university is considered "US-style" if: 

  • courses are offered term by term (quarters, semesters, etc)
  • a grade is given for each course in each term
  • your college/university can provide an English-language transcript showing those courses and those grades

Post-secondary work can be considered for possible transfer credit after you are admitted to Columbia and accept our offer.

You must fulfill our English Language Proficiency requirements, in addition to the Transfer Admission requirements to apply for transfer admission.

To apply from abroad if your college is not US-style as defined above, you must apply as a first-year student only in your first year of study. If you have begun your second year of study or beyond, you are no longer eligible to apply to Columbia as an undergraduate.