Frequently Asked Questions

Does Columbia allow early admission for high school juniors?

Early admission is occasionally granted to students of special promise who are completing the junior year of secondary/high school and who meet the following requirements:

  1. an outstanding academic record
  2. the physical, intellectual and emotional maturity to handle the rigorous program at Columbia
  3. the graduation requirements of their secondary/high schools.

Applicants for early admission should follow the normal procedure in applying, but should indicate they are applying for early admission under the "Additional Information" section of the Common Application or Coalition Application.

Can I minor in Columbia College?

No. Columbia College does not offer minors, but students may elect to complete a concentration which demands fewer requirements than a major. A concentration is alone sufficient for graduation.

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.

Does Columbia offer study abroad programs?

Columbia operates programs in Athens, Beijing, Berlin, Kyoto, London, Mexico City, Nairobi, Paris, Rio, Shanghai, Tunis and Venice. Columbia also sponsors special programs with Oxford and Cambridge and in Paris at Sciences Po and at Ecole Polytechnique. The Summer Ecosystem Experience for Undergraduates (SEE-U) allows Columbia College students the opportunity to fulfill in part the Core's science requirement and participate in field ecology abroad. The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement assists Columbia students in studying or interning abroad at nearly 200 approved programs in both developed and developing parts of the world.

In addition, Columbia offers students the chance to study for one semester at Howard University, a historically Black college in Washington, D.C., or at Spelman College, a historically Black women's college in Atlanta, Georgia.

Is there a different application for international students?

Columbia’s admissions application process is largely the same for all students regardless of their citizenship or country of residence. Please see our Application Instructions for more information on procedures and requirements, and What Does Columbia Look For for more information about how our office reviews applications and distinguishes candidates.

Please visit the International Student Admissions webpage for more information.

Do you offer a Combined Plan program for the M.S. in Engineering degree?

For all information about the graduate study of engineering at Columbia, please contact the Office of Graduate Student Services at seasgradmit@columbia.edu.

What is the process for being selected through the Higher Education Opportunity Program or the National Opportunity Program?

The Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) was established by the New York State Legislature in 1969 to assist eligible residents in obtaining higher education at New York private institutions. The National Opportunity Program was created by Columbia in 1986 to provide the same kind of academic and financial support to students from all over the United States. Selection for the HEOP/NOP programs at Columbia involves meeting both academic and economic guidelines.

There are no additional application forms for HEOP/NOP; all eligible applicants to Columbia will be considered for these programs, but applicants may be contacted for an interview.

In order to be eligible for HEOP, applicants must:

  • Reside in New York State and be high school graduates.
  • Demonstrate (through academic records) a need for HEOP support services.
  • Meet economic eligibility criteria set by the New York State Education Department.

Economic documentation for HEOP/NOP

HEOP Economic Eligibility: Household income can be at or below the amounts listed for the number of family members, with the exception of the "single head of household" instruction.

Size of Household

Amount

1 household member $21,590
2 household members $29,101
3 household members $36,612
4 household members $44,123
5 household members $51,634
6 household members $59,145
7 household members $66,656 plus $7,511 for each additional family member thereafter

The primary criterion for admission to NOP is academic; there is no residency requirement and Columbia may select applicants for admission to NOP whose income levels exceed the HEOP criteria.

Although many of our NOP students demonstrate significant financial need, Columbia financial aid is determined on a case by case basis and we meet the full demonstrated financial need of all applicants admitted as first-year students. There are no academic, athletic or talent-based institutional scholarships at Columbia as all of our institutional financial aid is need-based.

Students can estimate their eligibility for need-based financial aid by using the Net Price Calculator.

Please contact the Academic Success Program at 212-854-3514 or asp@columbia.edu with further questions or concerns.

Will I be able to take non-technical liberal arts electives at Columbia?

Depending on your department and schedule, you may be able to take non-technical elective courses.

Are there quotas for the number of Combined Plan students admitted?

No. The Combined Plan Admissions Committee will review applications individually.

Do Columbia-Juilliard Program participants receive a degree from Juilliard?

No, the Program is a cross-registration program that does not lead to an additional degree. The lessons are for credit at Columbia College. However, Program participants may choose to continue with the Joint Program, which offers the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College and Master's of Music from Juilliard.

What kind of housing do Combined Plan students receive?

Combined Plan students are guaranteed housing in their first year.

While Columbia will do its best to accommodate students’ requests to live on campus after the first year, there is no guarantee that Combined Plan students will be offered a room on campus beyond the first year. Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) assists Columbia students and affiliates in their search for housing in non-Columbia owned buildings in the metropolitan area. OCHA maintains a website and regular office hours to provide advice, resources and an online database of available housing.

How does the QuestBridge College Match work with Columbia?

The QuestBridge website lists all of Columbia's admissions requirements. Please do not submit a Common or Coalition Application. In addition to the materials submitted as part of your QuestBridge application, we require our Columbia QuestBridge Questionnaire. The Columbia QuestBridge Questionnaire can be accessed via your application status page and is due on November 1, 2019.

Columbia will accept the SAT and ACT scores included as part of your QuestBridge application. Self-reported scores are accepted, though please note that our office will verify scores for all enrolling students, and any discrepancies between official and self-reported scores may jeopardize a student's place in the class. Any new or updated scores may be uploaded through the application status page.

Financial Aid Requirements: All students that rank Columbia through the National College Match must submit the following financial aid information by November 1, 2019:

  • 2020-2021 FAFSA. Columbia's FAFSA code is 002707.
  • 2020-2021 CSS PROFILE online (including Noncustodial PROFILE, if applicable). Columbia's CSS code is 2116.
  • 2018 Tax Returns & W2s
  • Parent or Guardian's most recent 2018 pay stubs

These documents should be faxed to (212) 854-5353 ATTN: QUESTBRIDGE as soon as possible and no later than November 1, 2019.

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