Instructions for applicants



Admission to the Academic Year Immersion program is selective. The admissions committee seeks out academically exceptional students who are eager to contribute original ideas and a spirit of intellectual curiosity to a community of highly motivated learners.

The program is open to students who will be in grades 9 through 12 while the program is in session. Students in grade 8 may apply if they will be in grade 9 when the program starts.

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.

Fall 2021

Application Deadline

We are no longer accepting applications for fall 2021.

Spring 2022

Early Registration Deadline
October 12

Priority course selection is given to students who apply by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Final Application Deadline
December 7

All applications and application materials must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Start Your Application

Application Walkthrough

For help with the application process, please refer to the video and transcript on the application walkthrough page.

Application Process

Please expand each step and carefully read this information which explains our enrollment process in detail.

Step 1. Select Your Course(s)

  • When you apply, you are applying to the overall program and not for admission into a specific course. On the application, you will identify your first choice and alternate choice courses so we can determine your eligibility for your course(s) of interest.
  • Review the course descriptions and prerequisites to ensure you meet the minimum eligibility requirements for a class and identify up to 4 courses of interest which you will enter on the application.
  • Admission to the program does not guarantee that the courses of interest are available. We encourage students to consider several course options.
  • Space in courses is limited. Students may check up-to-date, real-time enrollment numbers for any course by clicking on the Call Number on a course’s description page. This will bring you to Columbia's Directory of Classes, where you can see live enrollment details.

Step 2. Gather Your Materials

  • Review the application requirements and discuss the program with your parent or legal guardian.
  • Determine who will recommend you and notify your recommender. The teacher recommendation should be written by a current or former teacher at your current school in a field closely related to your curricular preferences.
  • Write your essay and gather your academic transcript.

Step 3. Submit Your Application

  • Enter all requested information in the online application form, including up to four classes you are interested in taking.
  • Ensure all required materials are uploaded and pay the application fee.
  • Only applications complete with all required materials will be reviewed. You can view the status of your application within the application system.

Step 4. Receive Your Admissions Decision

  • The Admissions Committee will review your application for admission and eligibility for the courses of interest. You will be notified by email if any materials must be resubmitted.
  • Within 1–2 weeks of your application being complete, you will receive an email notifying you when the decision is ready to be viewed within the application system.
  • If you are admitted into the program, you are not automatically enrolled into a course. Enrolled students will register themselves for class after confirming intent to enroll. Please discuss the decision with your parent or legal guardian.
  • Space in courses is limited. Students may check up-to-date, real-time enrollment numbers for any course by clicking on the Call Number on a course’s description page. This will bring you to Columbia's Directory of Classes, where you can see live enrollment details.

Step 5. Confirm Your Enrollment

  • Submit the enrollment form within the application system, and pay your non-refundable deposit.
  • If you wish to register for a course not identified as approved within your acceptance letter, you must email the Admissions Office prior to registration for course approval.
  • View registration instructions to learn how to register for classes and register yourself for your class(es).
  • Attend the new student webinars to learn more about the student experience and expectations.

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 program. Students must present evidence of the completion of any particular prerequisites identified in the individual program descriptions to be eligible to take courses with prerequisites.

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. The individual identified on the application as Parent/Legal Guardian 1 will receive a copy of some of the application-related emails sent to the student, however, 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.

Please note, courses being offered online are synchronous. Students must be able to attend their course(s) during their listed meeting time.

Application Materials

Applications and supporting materials (application fees, the personal essay, unofficial transcripts, and letter(s) of recommendation) should be submitted through the online application.

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.

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

Completed online application form.

Nonrefundable Application Fee. The application fee is $80. Applicants must include credit card information through the online application.

Transcript. An unofficial transcript is required for application review. Candidates offered admission will later be requested to supply official documents prior to enrollment. Applicants are therefore strongly encouraged to arrange for the submission of official transcripts at the earliest possible stage.

Instructions for current 8th & 9th grade students

Current 8th and 9th grade students must supply their most recent report card, or final 8th grade transcript. All institutions attended must be listed in the Academic History section of the online application.

Instructions for current 10th–12th grade students

Current 10th–12th grade students must supply their final transcript for grades 9–12, plus their most recent report card for the current school year. All institutions attended must be listed in the Academic History section of the online application.

Instructions for International Students

Applicants must submit a transcript for the US equivalent of grades 9-12. We require grades starting 4 full academic years before your anticipated high school graduation date.

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.

Transcripts must come in PDF format as provided by your school. PDF downloads of unofficial transcripts from student portals can be accepted only if they clearly show your full name, your school’s name, the full name of 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 on this page. Note that mailed documents can take several weeks to be processed.

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

Academic Recommendation. Applicants are required to submit the professional contact information for an instructor who teaches in a field closely related to the applicant's curricular preferences. The recommender is required to submit a form attesting to the student's qualification to engage in concentrated study.

Applicants may submit their online applications in advance of the recommendations.

Instructions for current 8th grade students

Instructors for current 8th grade students must supply a recommendation from a middle school teacher.

Instructions for current 9 - 12th grade students

Current 9th–12th grade students must supply a recommendation from a current teacher in their high school. Current 9th grade students who have been in high school for less than a semester may supply a recommendation from an 8th grade teacher if preferred.

During the application process you will add your recommender's information (name, title and school affiliated email). Once you add and save their information, an email will be sent to your recommender with a link to our recommendation form.

The letter of recommendation must be submitted through the online application. Please note, recommendations submitted from non-school affiliated email addresses will not be accepted and must be resubmitted.

Statement of Academic Purpose submitted through the online application.

Statement Prompts

In 600 words or less, please respond to one of the following essay prompts:

Option 1. Tell us about a topic or social issue for which your opinion has changed. How has your change in perspective influenced your actions?

Option 2. Tell us about a time when things didn’t go as you had planned. What difficulties did you face? How did you deal with them? What did you learn from the experience?

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:
Monday–Friday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EST

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. Upon completion of your application file it will take approximately two 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.