A complete application includes: the Visiting Student Application, an official college transcript from your current institution and a signed Statement of Eligibility from a college official. Please allow 5-10 business days for materials to be processed by Undergraduate Admissions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Visiting Student Program
What materials are required for the Visiting Student application?
When will I find out my admissions decision for the Visiting Student Program?
Once your complete application is submitted, you will be informed of your admissions decisions in 4 to 6 weeks. Undergraduate Admissions releases decisions for the Visiting Student Program on a monthly basis.
Does the Visiting Student Program provide Financial Aid?
No, the Visiting Student Program does not provide financial aid. However, please check with your home institution to see if they provide financial aid for exchange programs.
How long can I study at Columbia in the Visiting Student Program?
Visiting Students are eligible to study at Columbia for up to one year (two semesters), pending successful academic standing and completion of their first semester on-campus.
If I am accepted, may I defer for a year?
Yes. A candidate who has been offered first-year admission may ask to defer enrollment for a year to work, travel, complete mandatory military service or pursue a special opportunity. A first-year student may not defer admission in order to enroll full-time at another college or university. A second year of deferral may be granted upon request. Students must request a deferral in writing by May 15 after submitting their first-year response form and deposit. Transfer students are not permitted to defer their admission. Visiting Students are permitted to defer their admission to a future term through the submission of the Visiting Student response form.
I’m not sure if transferring is the right option for me. Can I attend Columbia as a Visiting Student and then transfer?
Is the Visiting Student Program open to high school students?
No, only undergraduates in degree-seeking programs may apply for the Visiting Student Program.
Is housing available for the Visiting Student Program?
If you are applying for entry in the spring semester, housing is available for Visiting Students. Once admitted, you will be instructed to fill out a housing application through our housing office. Housing is not available for the fall semester.
Can I take any course at Columbia as a Visiting Student?
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 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.
What is the Visiting Student Program?
Columbia welcomes college students who wish to spend all or part of an academic year taking classes at Columbia. This program has been designed as an opportunity for students to broaden their college experience and is intended as a supplement to the undergraduate program at their home institution. Students in the Visiting Student Program are not permitted to apply for transfer admission.
While we will try our best to accommodate students who wish to live on campus, we are not able to guarantee Visiting Student Program students campus housing. Admitted students will be notified at the time of admission if we are able to offer campus housing.
Students may enter in either January or September and may spend one or two consecutive semesters at Columbia. All Visiting Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at their home colleges. The Visiting Student Program offers rolling admission. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. The earlier student apply, the sooner they will receive their decision, which will be 4-6 weeks after complete application submission. For entry in January, the final application deadline is November 15. For entry in September, the final application deadline is June 15. No financial aid is available to visiting students, but they are welcome to use financial aid from their home institutions.