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International Students

Founded in 1900, the Summer Sessions at Columbia University are one of the longest-running summer programs in the country, with courses taught by the world-renowned faculty of New York City's only Ivy League institution. A wide range of undergraduate-level and graduate-level courses, certificates, and programs in more than 50 areas of study are available for domestic and international students, both on campus and online. Our academic advisors will help you select or customize a program that meets your academic and professional goals.

A gateway to new experiences. World-class Ivy League education.

Classes are held on Columbia’s beautiful campus in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan and online. As a student on campus you will gain access to all campus facilities, including one of the largest academic library systems in the country, computer labs, the gym and fitness center, as well as numerous nearby cafés and lounges.

You are in the middle of New York City, but when you are on campus, it feels like another place. It feels like home instantly.”

– Catarina Guimarães de Mello, Columbia student from Brazil

New York City welcomes students from around the globe to explore arts and culture, attend opera at the Met, see a Broadway theater production, visit world-class museums, walk through Central Park, and explore the historic neighborhoods. The city’s safe, reliable public transportation systems make all that the city has to offer convenient and accessible.

Visa Information

Do I need visa sponsorship to study at Columbia?

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.

NOTE: The following visa information applies to full-time, in-person study. Students who participate in summer online non-degree programs or who are studying part-time 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You are on F-1 OPT (Optional Practical Training) and are interested in non-degree courses during the summer in your free time.
  • You are in the U.S. in another legal immigration status that allows you to study incidental to that status. This includes all non-immigrant statuses except B1/B2 or visitor status under the visa waiver program (ESTA) and F-2.

Students apply for their I-20 through the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) upon admission and will receive instructions for doing so after confirming their intent to enroll in the program.

The ISSO website provides detailed information about the new and transfer I-20 application processes, preparing for departure and entering the U.S., as well as general resources for international students.