How to Apply

Ready to find out where Columbia Blue might take you? Here, you’ll find all the resources you need to understand the admissions process and to get ready to build a complete, authentic and compelling application. We look forward to getting to know you.

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None of the above? No problem.

You can still apply to Columbia—just apply through these other undergraduate programs instead.

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What matters to Columbia is your abilitynot your ability to pay.

The Columbia experience is open to individuals from every imaginable background. In fact, it depends upon them—and the diverse perspectives they bring to our campus.

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This is a time to discover who you are and who you want to become. It is an exciting adventure. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Relax. Begin. Enjoy.

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid

How to Apply FAQs

What is Columbia looking for when evaluating students for admission? What are the criteria for admission?

The Columbia University first-year class of College and Engineering students is chosen from a large and diverse group of applicants. Columbia employs a holistic approach in assessing candidates in order to evaluate which students are the best matches for Columbia's unique educational experience.

In the process of selection, the Committee on Admissions considers each applicant's academic potential, intellectual strength and ability to think independently. The Committee also considers the general attitudes and character of the applicant, special abilities and interests, maturity, motivation, curiosity and whether they are likely to make productive use of the four years at Columbia.

Should I apply Early Decision?

If Columbia is your first-choice school — and you are willing to make a binding commitment to attend if admitted — we encourage you to consider applying Early Decision. Learn more about the Early Decision process.

Being here

Being at Columbia feels like being at the center of everything. It’s a beautiful, walkable campus in a comfortable, welcoming residential neighborhood, tucked away in a corner of one of the world’s greatest cities.

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A proud tradition of intellectual exploration

Columbia has been a place of deep intellectual curiosity and wide-ranging academic inquiry since 1754. Across departments, schools, centers and institutes, Columbians at every level are driven by an abiding passion for discovery. 

Columbia College   Columbia Engineering


Whether you want to get to know the neighborhood in person or from the comfort of your own home, we’ve got you covered.

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Our Community

Columbia is home to a vibrant, curious, welcoming community of students and faculty, drawn together from every walk of life and corner of the world. 

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Whether it’s finding the right program for you or navigating the application and financial aid process, we’ve got the answers you need. 

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