Columbia-Specific Application Questions

Columbia-specific questions, also known as the writing supplement, tell the Admissions Committee more about your academic, extracurricular and intellectual interests. These questions provide insight to your intellectual curiosity, habits of mind, love of learning and sense of self. They also allow the Admissions Committee to learn more about you in your current community and why you feel Columbia’s distinctive experiences in and out of the classroom would be a good fit for your undergraduate education. We review your responses to these questions as an essential part of our holistic and contextual review, in order to get a fuller sense of you as a unique individual beyond the standard parts of the application.

A Columbia admissions officer talks about the Columbia-specific application questions, also known as the writing supplement.

2022-2023 Columbia-Specific Questions

List questions

For the following questions, we ask that you list each individual response using commas or semicolons; the items do not have to be numbered or in any specific order. No explanatory text or formatting is needed. (For example, it is not necessary to italicize or underline titles of books or other publications. No author names, subtitles or explanatory remarks are needed.)

  • List the titles of the books, essays, poetry, short stories or plays you read outside of academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school. (75 words or fewer)
  • We’re interested in learning about some of the ways that you explore your interests. List some resources and outlets that you enjoy, including but not limited to websites, publications,  journals, podcasts, social media accounts, lectures, museums, movies, music, or other content with which you regularly engage. (125 words or fewer) 

Short answer questions

Please answer the following questions. 

  • A hallmark of the Columbia experience is being able to learn and thrive in an equitable and inclusive community with a wide range of perspectives. Tell us about an aspect of your own perspective, viewpoint or lived experience that is important to you, and describe how it has shaped the way you would learn from and contribute to Columbia's diverse and collaborative community. (200 words or fewer)
  • Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? We encourage you to consider the aspect(s) that you find unique and compelling about Columbia. (200 words or fewer)
  • Please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the areas of study that you noted in the application. (200 words or fewer)
  • In Columbia’s admissions process, we value who you are as a unique individual, distinct from your goals and achievements. In the last words of this writing supplement, we would like you to reflect on a source of happiness. Help us get to know you further by describing the first thing that comes to mind when you consider what simply brings you joy. (35 words or fewer)