Program Policies


The policies outlined on this page are specific for Immersion Programs. For information about College Edge Policies, please visit their program page,


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
  • 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. 
  • While enrolled in one of our Pre-College programs, students are not permitted to enroll in another program offered by other schools at Columbia University or its affiliates at the same time. University schools and affiliates include Columbia College, Barnard College, Fu School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the Juilliard School, Union Theological Seminary, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Teachers College.

Residential Program Admissions

Our residential Summer Immersion Program in NYC is for students 16+. Students must turn 16 years old prior to the start of the program in order to gain admission to one of our residential sessions. Students under 16 pursue admissions to our commuter or online program options.


Please note, Immersion Program withdrawal policies and deadlines differ from standard Columbia University deadlines. Please email if you have any questions.

Withdrawal Policy & Deadlines

Students participating in an online program may withdraw with a full refund minus the non-refundable enrollment deposit if a withdrawal form is submitted by the withdrawal deadline prior to the start of the program. Students who withdraw after the deadline will be responsible for the full program cost.

Withdrawal Deadlines

  • Academic Year Immersion withdrawal deadlines can be found here.
  • Summer Immersion withdrawal deadlines can be found here.

To withdraw from the program, please submit the withdrawal request form. For questions related to program withdrawal, please contact

Deferral Policy & Deadlines

Students should plan to enroll in the term for which they apply. However, admitted students who have deposited may submit a request to defer enrollment for a maximum of one semester with the permission of the Admissions Committee. Generally, requests are granted only for very compelling reasons. Reasons the Admissions Committee may consider include medical or family emergencies, or extraordinary opportunities.

Deferral Deadlines

After the deadline has passed, students and parents/legal guardians are responsible for payment of the current semester.


If a student has not attended their registered course(s) by the second course session, the program will assume the student is a “no-show” and they will be withdrawn from the program. Students who are withdrawn due to “no-show” are responsible for the full program cost.


If a student determines that there is a misalignment between course standards and their academic ability or interests, they may switch courses only after 1 full day of attending a course. Students must contact the Admissions office by 11:59 pm on the first day of class in order to request a course change. Course changes will not be permitted after the second day of the program.

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.

For more information on Columbia University’s Academic Integrity Standards, please visit our website by clicking here.


Columbia’s Pre-College Immersion Programs are academically rigorous and do not carry college credit, however, upon successful completion of the program, students receive an official Columbia University Statement of Completion and written evaluation from their instructor. Successful completion is determined by the instructor and Pre-College Program.

Attendance, class participation, satisfactory completion of assignments, and adherence to the program’s community standards are all considered as part of the evaluation process.

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 approximately 6-8 weeks from the end of the program.


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. Missing multiple class sessions may lead to incomplete letters of evaluation as program faculty may be unable to adequately assess a student's performance.

Students are expected to engage seriously in their courses through both class participation and completion of assigned work. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Please review your course syllabus for any additional course specific policies. Students are encouraged to reach out to their faculty and set up office hours to discuss any questions about the course.


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.


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.


Students attending Pre-College Programs in person are required to adhere to all University immunization & vaccination requirements for the term in which they are enrolling. Immunization requirements must be met prior to course registration. To learn more about Columbia University’s immunization requirements, click here.

Students attending Pre-College Programs that are fully online are not required to complete University immunization & vaccination requirements.


Columbia University is dedicated to the safety of our students. The Mission of the Columbia University Department of Public Safety is to enhance the quality of life for the Columbia community by maintaining a secure and open environment where the safety of all is balanced with the rights of the individual.

Public Safety secures our Morningside Campus and the surrounding area 24 hours a day. Some of our enhanced safety measures include:

  • Foot and Vehicle Patrols
  • Bike Patrol
  • Security Booths
  • Emergency Call Boxes
  • Building Access Restrictions
  • Building Guards
To learn more about safety on campus, visit the Public Safety website here.

Residential Program Safety Policies

Our residential programs have established policies that center the safety of students in our care.

These policies include:

  • In building and in room curfews on weekdays and weekends
  • Sign-in and sign-out procedures that help us keep track of students
  • A defined campus boundary in which students cannot leave without supervision
  • Restriction on who can access residential buildings
  • Guards at every residential building entrance
  • No guests in buildings
  • Live-in residential staff in every residential building
  • Staff trained in emergency protocols

Online Program Safety Policies

Student safety online is a top priority. Our online programs have implemented policies that keep students safe as they attend classes and activities over Zoom.

These policies include:

  • Students and staff must have their cameras on
  • Class sessions are all recorded
  • Secure login and restricted access to online sessions and recordings
  • Additional staff in every online classroom
  • Staff trained in responding to online emergencies


For questions about program policies, please contact the HSP Student Services Office at or by phone at 212-853-7400.