Instructions for new applicants

Admission to the Programs for High School Students is selective. The admissions committee looks for academically exceptional, highly motivated students who are interested in attending the program because they have a passion for learning and wish to enrich their knowledge of the particular field for which they are applying.

Students who have attended the program during a previous summer should follow the application procedures for past participants.

Application Deadline

Courses frequently fill up before the application deadline, so students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Applications are processed on a rolling basis and will not be reviewed until all application materials have been submitted.

Session 1 Application Deadline

We are no longer accepting applications for Session 1.

Session 2 Application Deadline

We are no longer accepting applications for Session 2.

Session 3 Application Deadline
July 19

Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Start Your Application

Application Requirements

Though there are no set minimum requirements such as a particular GPA, the application materials should establish that the student has the necessary academic background and level of ability, motivation, and maturity necessary for the curricular option for which he or she is applying. Students must present evidence of the completion of any particular prerequisites identified in the individual program descriptions.

We do not accept applications submitted on the applicant's behalf by parents, guardians, or third parties; the application should be submitted directly by the student. Communications from our Office of Admissions will be sent primarily to the student.

International Students

International students who are proficient in English are welcome to apply to the program. While applicants are not required to submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores, students' English proficiency should be equivalent to 90 or above on the Internet-based TOEFL or at least 6.5 on the IELTS.

Application Materials

Applications and supporting materials (application fee, the personal essay, unofficial transcripts, letters of recommendation, and writing samples) should be submitted through the online application. Official transcripts must be submitted in sealed envelopes.

All materials submitted by mail should clearly bear the program name, applicant's name, applicant's date of birth and, if available, Columbia University ID number. We strongly encourage students to upload all materials directly to their application or to email them to us at as it will expedite the admissions process.

Applications are not considered complete until all required materials have been received. Only complete applications are reviewed.

  • Completed online application form.

  • Application fee. Students are required to pay a nonrefundable $80.00 application fee. Applicants must include credit card information through the online application to make the payment.

  • Transcript of applicant's secondary school academic record. All institutions attended must be listed in the Academic History section of the online application. An unofficial transcript is required for application review. We request a transcript for all high school grades including a copy of your most recent report card. If your most recent report card is not available, we can accept a transcript of all high school grades leading up to the current school year. Current eighth and ninth grade students must supply their most recent report card.

    PDF downloads of unofficial transcripts from student portals can be accepted if they clearly show your full name, your school name, all courses taken, and all grades achieved in those courses

    If you are unable to obtain an unofficial copy of your transcript, please request to have an official copy sent from your school. It should be e-mailed from a school official’s professional email to It can also be mailed to our office at the address listed at the bottom of this page. Note that mailed documents can take several weeks to be processed.

    Transcripts must be in English or come with an official translation. International students not graded according to the U.S. grading system should provide a grading key with the transcript. Applicants are recommended to use NACES for such services.

    Falsification, forgery, and misrepresentation of any type will risk forfeiture of admissions and/or enrollment.

    Candidates offered admission will later be requested to supply official documents prior to enrollment.

  • Personal Essay submitted through the online application.

    Personal Essay instructions

    Program participants come from over 70 countries and 40 U.S. states, from as far away as China and the Middle East and as near as down the street here in Manhattan. In 600 words or less, tell us about where you're from--country, state, city, town, neighborhood, or community--and how it has shaped you into who you are.

  • One letter of recommendation. Applicants must submit a letter written by an instructor who teaches in a field closely related to the applicant’s chosen curricular option. The letter must describe the student’s knowledge of that field and assess the student’s qualification to engage in concentrated study. The recommendation must come from a teacher who works at the school the applicant is currently attending.

    Recommendations must be submitted through the online application. During the application process you will add your recommender's information (name, title and email). Once you add and save their information an email is sent to your recommender with a link to our recommendation form. Please note, the email address you provide for your recommender must be a school affiliated email. Applicants may submit their online applications in advance of the recommendations

  • Community Standards Consent Form. Community standards are strictly enforced. Failure to abide by the Community Standards Consent Form will result in dismissal from the program.

Start Your Application

Mailing Address

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

Contact Information

Office hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Submitting Official Transcripts

Official transcripts being submitted via email should be sent by a school official to

Checking Application Status

The processing of application materials can take one to two weeks, and upon completion of your application file it will take approximately three to five weeks for a decision to be made. Please allow sufficient time after submitting your application before contacting the Office of Admissions about your application status. We encourage you, however, to check your application status online as often as you like.

Notice about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Deposit Refunds

If you are admitted to the program, we ask that you submit your enrollment deposit to reserve your seat. Students that pay the deposit will be issued a full refund if their course is canceled because of COVID-19 concerns or if they decide to cancel due to health concerns related to COVID-19. For more information visit our Program Cost pages; 3-Week Courses, 1-Week Courses.