Columbia College Visiting Student Program

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.

Eligibility

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.

Courses

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.

Visiting Student Program Comparison

Columbia College

School of Professional Studies

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

Application process directed by Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Application process directed by School of Professional Studies

Admissions Information

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), pending approval by Columbia.  

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 verify that an applicant is enrolled full-time; confirm that the applicant is in good academic and civic standing at his or her university/college; and verify that the applicant is permitted to study elsewhere as part of 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.

Admissions Requirements

  • 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.