The Columbia College Visiting Student Program offers undergraduates the opportunity to enhance their current degree programs by taking courses from more than 80 areas of study — taught by 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.
Life at Columbia for Visiting Students
As a Visiting Student, you’ll take advantage of most of the programs and activities available to Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students. You’ll have an Advising Dean through the Berick Center for Student Advising who assists with course selection and connects you with campus resources. You may take advantage of certain resources through the Center for Career Education, such as career fairs, workshops and panels and networking nights (with the exceptions of on-campus recruiting, the national and international internship programs and individual counseling). Visiting Students can participate in any extra-curricular organization with the exception of our Division I athletic teams.
The program is open to students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree-seeking program at another college/university and who 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.
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 also eligible 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 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 Berick 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 18 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
Please note Columbia's School of Professional Studies also offers a Visiting Student Program. The chart below highlights the key differences between the two program experiences.
|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|
|Application process directed by Undergraduate Admissions||Application process directed by School of Professional Studies|
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. Please note that students who are interested in applying for the Combined Plan Program are eligible to apply to and attend the Visiting Student Program.
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 the applicant is enrolled full-time; confirm that the applicant is in good academic and civic standing at their 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. To be official, the transcript must come directly from the institution or from a school official via email, fax or mail. We strongly prefer electronic transcripts for faster processing, sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by a school official. 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:
- Columbia 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.
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 four years, you are required to submit official scores from an English proficiency examination.
- Students must be eligible (see Eligibility section 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 their overall educational experience
Dates & Deadlines
The Visiting Student Program offers rolling admission. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. The earlier students apply, the sooner they will receive their decision, which will be 4-6 weeks after complete application submission.
We encourage applicants to submit their complete applications at their earliest opportunity and before the final deadline. With rolling admission, applicants can find out their admission decision as early as 4 weeks after submission.
Applications for Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 are now available. For entry in Spring 2024, the deadline is Wednesday, November 15, 2023. For entry in Fall 2024, the priority deadline is Monday, April 1, 2024, and the final application deadline is Saturday, June 15, 2024.
|Entry Term||Priority Application Deadline||Final Application Deadline||Admissions Decision Notification|
|Spring 2024||--||November 15, 2023||4-6 weeks after submission|
|Fall 2024||April 1, 2024||June 15, 2024||4-6 weeks after submission|
All applications must be completed online. For additional questions, please visit our online FAQs. Any additional materials, correspondence and questions should be addressed to our mailing address or email@example.com.