Instructions for new applicants

Application instructions for Returning Students can be found here.

If you have submitted an application for one of our programs since 2020, please do not create a new application account with a new email address.

We will reach out to you via email in early January with detailed instructions regarding re-enrollment. If you attempt to create a new application before receiving this invitation, you will receive an error message in your account.

The email invitation will contain detailed instructions on how to start a new application for summer 2022, and we have created an expedited re-enrollment process for returning students. You will be considered a priority registration applicant as long as your application is submitted before the listed deadline. We appreciate your patience.



Admission to the Programs for High School Students is selective. The admissions committee looks for academically exceptional students who are eager to contribute original ideas and a spirit of intellectual curiosity to a community of highly motivated learners.

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 to be an active participant in the courses and co-curricular activities.

The Summer Immersion program is open to domestic or international students currently enrolled in grades 8 through 12.

Application Deadlines

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and will not be reviewed until all required materials have been submitted. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible as courses fill up quickly.

Early Registration Deadline

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

Final Application Deadline
March 31

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

Start Your Application

Application Process

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

Step 1. Select Your Program Option

Students may participate in multiple sessions. Please review the possible session combinations to determine your desired program. You should plan to enroll in all sessions you select on the application. Modality and session changes after applying are not guaranteed approval.

Online Program

  • (O1) 2 Weeks - Session 1: July 3 —July 14, 2023
  • (O2) 2 Weeks - Session 2: July 17—July 28, 2023
  • (O3) 1 Week - Session 3: August 7 —August 11, 2023
  • (O4) 4 Weeks - Sessions 1 & 2: July 3 —July 28, 2023
  • (O5) 3 Weeks - Sessions 1 & 3: July 3 — July 14 and August 7 —August 11, 2023
  • (O6) 3 Weeks - Sessions 2 & 3: July 17—July 28 and August 7 —August 11, 2023
  • (O7) 5 Weeks - Sessions 1, 2 & 3: July 3—August 11, 2023

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.
  • Write your essay and gather your academic transcript.

Step 3. Submit Your Application

  • Select your program modality and session(s).
  • Enter all requested information in the online application form, ensure all required materials are uploaded, and all student and parent signatures are complete.
  • Pay the $80 application fee.
  • 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 to the program. You will be notified by email if any materials must be resubmitted.
  • Within 3–5 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, please discuss the decision with your parent or legal guardian and review the program costs.

Step 5. Confirm Your Enrollment

  • Submit the enrollment form within the application system, and pay your non-refundable deposit which will be credited towards the program cost.
  • Submit all enrollment forms prior to registering for courses. To complete your enrollment forms log in to your admitted student portal.
  • Learn how to register for a course following the instructions provided in the admitted student portal and complete the course registration process.
  • 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.
  • Regularly check the email you used for your application for information about registration, billing, and next steps.

You may also learn more about the application process by viewing our Application Walkthrough Videos which give detailed explanations about the various application requirements.

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

Students must upload all materials directly to their online application. Students may contact Admissions at with any questions.

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

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

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. All institutions attended must be listed in the Academic History section of the online application.

Instructions for current 8th & 9th grade students

Current 8th and 9th grade students must supply their most recent report card.

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.

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 sent 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.

Official transcripts are required to complete the enrollment process for all Pre-College Programs. Applicants are therefore strongly encouraged to arrange for the submission of official transcripts at the earliest possible stage.

You can learn more about the transcript requirement by watching our application walkthrough video on transcripts.

Essay submitted through the online application.


Essay instructions

In 400 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. Select one of Columbia's Pre-College Program values that most resonates with you and describe how you have pursued this value in your own life. Our values: Innovation, Critical Thinking, Social & Environmental Responsibility, Leadership, Global Awareness, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


Recommendation. Applicants must submit a letter written by an instructor who teaches in a field closely related to the applicant's curricular preferences. The letter must describe the student's qualification to engage in concentrated study:

Instructions for current 8th grade students

Current 8th grade students must supply a recommendation from a middle school teacher.

Instructions for current 9th - 12th grade students

Current 9th–12th grade students must supply a recommendation from a current teacher in their high school.

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

You can learn more about the transcript requirement by watching our application walkthrough video on recommendations.

Writing Sample (creative writing applicants only).

Students interested in a Creative Writing course will submit one of the following:

  • Two writing samples, 3-7 pages total (longer submissions are acceptable), consisting of poems, short stories, scripts or creative nonfiction.
  • Two writing samples, 3-7 pages total (longer submissions are acceptable) of any kind of writing demonstrating a command of grammar and punctuation.


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.


Financial Responsibility Agreement. Students and the parent/legal guardian sign to agree to pay the full program costs if the student accepts an offer to the program and does not notify the Office of Admissions of their withdrawal before the published withdrawal deadline.


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 three to five 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. You will be notified via email when a decision letter is ready to be viewed in your application portal.

We will begin releasing decisions at the end of January.