Program Policies

Admissions Policies

Admission to the 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.

  • To be eligible for admission, applicants must be entering grades 9-12 or have just completed 12th grade prior to the start of the program.
  • You must submit all materials directly, not through an agent or third-party vendor. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact the admissions office at hsp-apply@columbia.edu.
  • 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.
  • All admissions decisions are final. There is no appeal process. The Admissions Committee reviews each application thoroughly and with great care.

Detailed information regarding the application process can be found here.

Academic Integrity

Columbia University takes matters of intellectual integrity very seriously. Plagiarism is not tolerated. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, submitting work done by another person or purchased from any source; failure to document ideas found in sources, whether print or electronic, with appropriate notes and bibliographical references; failure to enclose borrowed phrases or sentences within quotation marks; and turning in the same assignment for two courses without advance permission from both teachers.

Plagiarism, whether intentional or unintentional, will result in dismissal from the program. Students who are unsure about the proper presentation of their work should consult their course instructor.

Grades, Evaluations, and Credit

The Academic Year Immersion Program for High School Students is academically rigorous; courses do not carry college credit, however.

Grades are not assigned. Rather, upon successful participation in the program, students receive official Columbia University Certifications of Participation and written evaluations from their instructor.

Evaluation Letters

Instructors comment candidly and constructively on students’ performance, as demonstrated by their in-class participation and submitted work. Students are evaluated on the basis of the effort they put in, their progress over the duration of the class, and their potential for future work in the pertinent field and in college.


Certification of Participation

Successful participation is determined by the instructors in consultation with program administration. Successful participation is based on attendance, class participation, satisfactory completion of assignments, and adherence to the program's community standards.


Evaluations and Certifications of Participation are typically issued by mid-October.

Class Participation

Class attendance is mandatory. Students must attend class unless they are ill. A student who misses multiple class sessions may not receive a Certification of Participation, even if those absences are excused.

Students are expected to engage seriously in their courses through both class participation and completion of assigned work. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.

Community Standards

The Community Standards are designed to ensure the safety and well-being of the students and the integrity of the University. They are strictly enforced and failure to abide by them results in dismissal from the program, normally on the first offense.

The determination as to whether a student has violated the Community Standards is made by program staff, teachers, and administrators.

Students who are dismissed from the program do not receive evaluation letters or a Certification of Participation. No portion of fees or tuition will be refunded to a student who has been dismissed.

Protection of Minors at Columbia

The Protection of Minors policy creates an independent duty for those who interact with, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee minors in University sponsored programs, activities, and/or residential facilities to be trained by the University. It also requires an independent duty to report suspected cases of abuse and maltreatment of individuals under the age of 18 immediately. Any member of the University community may report a concern if they have reasonable suspicion that a child has been abused or maltreated, either by a caregiver at home, or by any other person they believe could be responsible for abuse. We have implemented this policy to ensure that we protect minors who are on our campuses or who are participating in University programs and activities.

Pre-College Program staff are considered New York State Mandated Reporters and are required by law to report suspected child abuse and maltreatment. If a program staff member has a reasonable suspicion that a minor is being abused or maltreated, they are obligated to call the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Hotline. Program staff are obligated to report all events, even if the abuse or maltreatment happened in the distant past or in a foreign country. Please see the full policy statement and protocols for protection of minors on our university website.

Discrimination, Harassment or Gender-Based Misconduct

Columbia University is committed to fostering an environment that is free from gender-based discrimination and harassment, including sexual assault and all other forms of gender-based misconduct. The University recognizes its responsibility to increase awareness of such misconduct, prevent its occurrence, diligently investigate reports of misconduct, support students and others who experience gender-based misconduct, and respond fairly and firmly when students violate University policy. The University is also committed to supporting students accused of gender-based misconduct who go through the disciplinary process. In addressing issues of gender-based misconduct, all members of the University must respect and care for one another in a manner consistent with our deeply held academic and community values.

You can read the Program’s Discrimination, Harassment or Gender-Based Misconduct policy here.