Instructions for returning students


We are excited to welcome you back to Columbia!

As a returning student, the application process will look a bit different. The information included on this page will provide you with an overview of what to expect, so please read all instructions carefully and be sure to follow the steps outlined for you.

Please note that documentation of immunization for MMR, Meningitis, and COVID-19 (including a booster if eligible) is a requirement for course registration for students studying on campus. Students who need to request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for specific medical or religious reasons will submit the request to the Immunization Office.

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.

Early Registration Deadline
February 3

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

Financial Aid Deadline
March 3

Financial aid is available for residents of NYC applying to the 3-Week Commuter Program. Students applying for financial aid must submit all documents by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Final Application Deadlines (Residential)
March 3
Final Application Deadlines (Commuter)
March 31
Start Your Application

Course Selection Process

Depending on your previous term of participation, the course selection and enrollment process may look different.

Rather than applying and being admitted to a specific curricular option, applicants will be admitted to the program overall, and are then responsible for registering themselves into a course, just like a college student. Please note, admission to the program does not reserve your spot in a specific course; courses will only be reserved once you complete the self-registration process.

Course availability is limited, and registration is available on a first-come first-served basis. Early applications are highly encouraged.

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.

International students should be aware that participation in the Program for High School Students does not constitute the basis for securing a student visa. Past participants have had success in obtaining Visitor (B) visas to participate in our program because the program comprises a short recreational course of study and is not for credit toward a degree or academic certificate. Information on the U.S. Department of State’s policy on short periods of recreational study is available here.

Application Process

Returning applicants will receive an email with an invitation to re-enroll for a new term.

Create a New Application

As a returning student, you will indicate that you are a “past participant” within the 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..

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.

Guidance Counselor Recommendation (if missing from previous application)

Returning students who previously attended our program online must submit one Guidance Counselor recommendation. Applicants must designate an academic advisor, guidance counselor, principal, or headmaster who works at their current school and can comment on the student's intellectual ability, level of maturity, and motivation.

Writing Sample (creative writing applicants only)

For specifications, see the course page of each individual creative writing class; 3-Week courses & 1-Week courses.

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 enrolls 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

Complete applications, with no missing materials, will be reviewed in 1-2 weeks from the date of submission. 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.