Visiting Students: Applying

Visiting Students

Application Requirements

Unless you are applying to a customized program, to take a course or classes as a visiting student, within the online application you should select, “Summer Session: Visiting Undergraduate” or “Summer Session: Visiting Graduate” as your program of study.

Application Requirements

Completed online application form

Please select “Non-Degree & Other Certificate Programs” within the application system to access the application.

You must submit all materials directly, not through an agent or third-party vendor, with the sole exception of submissions by the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program and its three partner agencies IIE, LASPAU and AMIDEAST, and by the Danish-American Fulbright Commission (DAF), Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), and Vietnam Education Fund (VEF). If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact the admissions office at apply@sps.columbia.edu.

$80.00 nonrefundable application fee (U.S. currency)
Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended

 

For Applicants to the Undergraduate Visiting Student Program

You are required to disclose and provide unofficial academic transcripts for all post-secondary academic study completed and in progress. This includes individual courses for academic credit, certifications, certificates, transfer coursework, study abroad, and second bachelor’s degrees. All institutions attended must be listed in the Enrollment History section of the online application.

If admitted, an Admissions Hold will be placed on your student account requiring the receipt of the official transcript or WES transcript. Pending receipt of all other documents and the verification of your application, you will be cleared to register for classes in a future term, to receive your official Columbia University transcript and/or to have your Columbia University credential conferred. We must electronically receive all of your final, official U.S. university transcripts or WES course-by-course evaluations before July 15, 2021 or you will not be allowed to register for future terms, have access to your official Columbia University transcript or to have your Columbia University credential conferred. You will be notified when the verification process for your application is complete.

Falsification, forgery, and misrepresentation of any type will risk forfeiture of admissions and/or enrollment. Forfeiture may occur whenever an integrity lapse is discovered, and may include admissions revocation, expulsion, or another sanction outlined within the Student Conduct and Community Standards. Applicants would not be entitled to request any refund of the application fee, enrollment deposit or tuition in the case that the official transcript deviates from the unofficial.

For Domestic Institutions

You are required to upload an unofficial copy of your academic transcript(s) from all post-secondary institutions attended within the application system. These documents may be used for admissions consideration. If offered admission, before being permitted to enroll, you must provide official transcripts from your current undergraduate institution. You must provide an electronic transcript directly from the institution to transcripts@sps.columbia.edu. If your prior institution does not offer electronic transcript transmission, you must write to transcripts@sps.columbia.edu with the link to your current U.S. institution’s webpage concerning transcript orders to confirm that paper is the only option and obtain permission to submit a paper transcript. If a paper transcript is the only option, it must be sent directly from the institution to Columbia, and not delivered or forwarded by you. 

Please have the institution send the approved paper transcript to:

Office of Admissions - School of Professional Studies
2970 Broadway
203 Lewisohn Hall, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902

For International Institutions

You are required to upload an unofficial copy of your academic transcript(s) from all post-secondary institutions attended within the application system. Before your application can be considered complete and ready for evaluation you must submit official transcripts from your current undergraduate institution. You must submit an official translation of any foreign credentials that are not in English, including transcripts, along with the original documents. Admissions staff will carefully review these official translations for accuracy and authenticity, and investigate any credentials that seem suspect if a student is being considered for admission.

These materials must be sent to transcripts@sps.columbia.edu directly from the translation agency or the school and not from the applicant. If your prior institution does not offer electronic transcript transmission, you must write to transcripts@sps.columbia.edu with the link to your prior institution’s webpage concerning transcript orders to confirm that paper is the only option and obtain permission to submit a paper transcript.

If a paper transcript is the only option, it must be sent directly from the institution to Columbia, and not delivered or forwarded by you. Please have the institution send the approved paper transcript to:

Office of Admissions - School of Professional Studies
2970 Broadway
203 Lewisohn Hall, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902

For All Other Visiting Undergraduate and Graduate Student Applicants

Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript from each institution attended for use in review of their application. Translation of the transcript(s) is required if the institution(s) attended does not issue transcripts in English.

If admitted, you will be required to provide official academic transcripts (domestic coursework) and/or WES course-by-course evaluations (international coursework) for all post-secondary academic coursework and credentials. Applicants for the summer 2021 session must provide official academic transcripts and/or WES course by course evaluations by no later than July 15, 2021.

If admitted, an Admissions Hold will be placed on the applicant’s student account requiring the receipt of the official transcript or WES transcript. Pending receipt of all other documents and the verification of your application, you will be cleared to register for classes in a future term, to receive your official Columbia University transcript and/or to have your Columbia University credential conferred. We must electronically receive all of your final, official U.S. university transcripts or WES course-by-course evaluations before July 15, 2021 or you will not be allowed to register for future terms, have access to your official Columbia University transcript or to have your Columbia University credential conferred. You will be notified when the verification process for your application is complete.

Falsification, forgery, and misrepresentation of any type will risk forfeiture of admissions and/or enrollment. Forfeiture may occur whenever an integrity lapse is discovered, and may include admissions revocation, expulsion, or another sanction outlined within the Student Conduct and Community Standards. Applicants would not be entitled to request any refund of the application fee, enrollment deposit or tuition in the case that the official transcript deviates from the unofficial.

For Domestic Institutions

You are required to upload an unofficial copy of your academic transcript(s) from all post-secondary institutions attended within the application system. These documents may be used for admissions consideration. If offered admission, before being permitted to enroll, you must provide official verified transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended for academic credit. For each institution attended, you must provide an electronic transcript directly from the institution to transcripts@sps.columbia.edu. If your prior institution does not offer electronic transcript transmission, you must write to transcripts@sps.columbia.edu with the link to your prior U.S. institution’s webpage concerning transcript orders to confirm that paper is the only option and obtain permission to submit a paper transcript. If a paper transcript is the only option, it must be sent directly from the institution to Columbia, and not delivered or forwarded by you. 

Please have the institution send the approved paper transcript to:

Office of Admissions - School of Professional Studies
2970 Broadway
203 Lewisohn Hall, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902

For International Institutions

You are required to upload an unofficial copy of your academic transcript(s) from all post-secondary institutions attended within the application system. If your post-secondary credentials are from an institution outside the United States, the Office of Admissions also requires you to submit all post-secondary credentials (undergraduate and graduate) to World Education Services, Inc. (WES), a third-party verification agency for a course-by-course evaluation for admission consideration.

Instructions for using WES

WES must complete a course-by-course evaluation of all post-secondary credentials. Please select the WES basic course-by-course evaluation (with GPA and course-levels) and request to have WES send your evaluation electronically to Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. The school can be found by searching Columbia University and then selecting School of Professional Studies. The evaluation provided to the School of Professional Studies becomes an official academic record and sole property of the School of Professional Studies upon its receipt.

WES evaluations will be reviewed by the School of Professional Studies administrators and the determination of degree equivalency to U.S. degrees is at the discretion of the School of Professional Studies. If offered admission and if you have completed additional coursework since the initial WES evaluation was provided, you must request an updated report and have WES send your course-by-course evaluation to Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.

Application Accommodations

Applicants affected by special hardships (e.g. closed testing centers, closed educational institutions) may request application accommodations by emailing the Office of Admissions at apply@sps.columbia.edu.

Students whose native language is not English must include proof of English proficiency

For Applicants to the Summer Sessions: Undergraduate Visiting Program

To be considered for admission, students must be comfortable with rapid and idiomatic spoken English. If the language of instruction of your undergraduate degree conferring institution is English and you completed two or more years at the institution, you need not take further steps to prove fluency. However, if your undergraduate education is not conducted in English, or you completed fewer than two years at your degree conferring institution where English was the language of instruction, you must provide official scores on the TOEFL, IELTS, DET or PTE Academic.

Applicants who are required to provide test scores must submit a current TOEFL iBT or IELTS score report and have a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL iBT or receive a 7.0 or higher on the IELTS.  If you have TOEFL paper scores, please contact apply@sps.columbia.edu to discuss their use. Applicants receiving scores below the posted minimums should consider applying to the Business Plus Program which has an English language requirement of TOEFL iBT score between 85 and 99, or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5. Unofficial scores should be included as part of your application; however, official test scores will be required for your application to be considered complete and ready for admission review. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years after your test date. (Use school code 2594 to report TOEFL scores.)

For All Other Visiting Undergraduate and Graduate Student Applicants

To be considered for admission, students must be comfortable with rapid and idiomatic spoken English. If the language of instruction of your undergraduate degree conferring institution was English and you completed two of more years at the institution, you need not take further steps to prove fluency. However, if your undergraduate education was not conducted in English, or you completed fewer than two years at your degree conferring institution where English was the language of instruction, you must provide official scores on the TOEFL or IELTS.

Applicant total scores must meet the Columbia SPS minimum requirement of 100 (TOEFL iBT), 600 (TOEFL pBT), or 7.0 (IELTS). You will be required to enter your test scores or your anticipated testing date within the online application, and official test score reports will be required for your application to be considered complete and ready for admission review. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years after your test date. Applicants receiving scores below the posted minimums should consider applying to the Business Plus Program which has an English language requirement of TOEFL iBT score between 85 and 99, or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5. (Use school code 2594 to report TOEFL scores.)

See additional application requirements for Custom Business, and all Certificate/CPA programs

Please note that the Custom Business and the Certifications in Critical Issues in International Relations, Human Rights, and United Nations Studies are open only to those who hold a bachelor's degree or undergraduate students who are rising juniors or seniors with strong academic records. Certificate programs are only open to those who hold a bachelor's degree.

The two additional application requirements for Custom Business, and all Certificate/CPA program applicants are:

  1. Your résumé
  2. A statement of academic purpose. In one or two paragraphs, you should address:
    • The subjects and course topics you intend to study
    • Why you feel you are prepared for rigorous academic study at Columbia – for this you may highlight prior coursework completed, work projects and/or your employment history
    • How the program fits into your overall academic and/or professional goals
    • An explanation for any weaknesses that may appear on your academic transcript or a highlight of any strengths that may not be evident elsewhere (as appropriate)
Do I need visa sponsorship from Columbia University?

NOTE: The following visa information applies to full-time, in-person study. Students who participate in summer online non-degree programs are not eligible to apply for a visa. 

Unless one of the four situations below applies to you, you need to complete a new I-20 for visa sponsorship:

  1. You are a student in F-1 or J-1 status at another U.S. institution and you will be returning there to continue your studies in the fall.
  2. You are completing an academic program at another U.S. institution in F-1 status and the summer session will end before your 60-day grace period expires.
  3. You are on F-1 OPT (Optional Practical Training) and are interested in non-degree courses during the summer in your free time.
  4. You are in the U.S. in another legal immigration status that allows you to study incident to that status. This includes all non-immigrant statuses except B1/B2 or visitor status under the visa waiver program (ESTA) and F-2.

Note: Students who are not United States citizens or permanent residents must be a full-time student at Columbia – registered for at least 6 points of credit-bearing courses in a six week session or 12 points of credit-bearing courses in the entire 12-week summer period - in order to be eligible for a student (F-1) visa. Students apply for their I-20 through the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) upon admission and will receive instructions for doing so after you confirm your intent to enroll in the program