Applying to GS

AdmissionsApplying to GS

Applying to GS

Applicants are admitted to the School of General Studies as matriculated degree candidates. Students may enroll either full or part time and may change their status from semester to semester. 

Applicants are only eligible for admission if they have taken a break of a year or more in their educational paths or have a compelling reason for which they can only attend Columbia as a part-time student.

How to Apply

Undergraduate degree applicants must submit the following:

  1. A completed application, using an online application.

  2. Official* high school transcripts, secondary school records, or GED/TASC test results. Applicants with a GED or TASC and two or more years of high school will need to submit their high school transcripts.

  3. Official* transcripts from all colleges or universities attended

  4. Official* test score

    All applicants must submit test results from a standardized exam. When filling out the application, you’ll be asked which exam you have taken or plan to take and would like to use. Please see the application instructions for details regarding the submission of unofficial and official score reports.

    If either of the following applies to you:

    • Your native and predominant spoken language is English, OR
    • The primary language of instruction in your high school or secondary education was English

    Please submit a score report from one of the following options:

    • Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
    • American College Testing Program (ACT)
    • Online GS Admissions Exam (College Board), an on-demand exam derived from the College Board’s Next-Generation Accuplacer.

    If the following applies to you:

    • Your native or predominant spoken language is NOT English, AND
    • The primary language of instruction in your high school or secondary education was NOT English

    Please submit a score report from one of the following options:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    • Duolingo English Test

    For those students submitting an SAT or ACT score report, the SAT code number for General Studies is 2095 and the ACT code number is 2716. Students who have not taken the SAT or ACT or wish to take a new exam may take the Online GS Admissions Exam at a cost of $50.

    For those students submitting an English-language exam who do not have a TOEFL or IELTS taken within the past two years, the Duolingo online exam is available on-demand and takes about 30 minutes to complete. To be eligible to apply for admission, GS requires a score of 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL, or a 600 or better on the paper version, a minimum score of 75 on the Duolingo or a score of 7.0 on the IELTS. The Educational Testing Service (or ETS, the organization that administers the TOEFL) code for GS is 2095. English proficiency may also be demonstrated by applicants to GS who are already enrolled in Columbia’s American Language Program (ALP) who have achieved a minimum level of 8 on the ALP Essay Exam.

  5. One typed, double-spaced essay of approximately 1,500-2,000 words. See the Application for Admission for essay question.

  6. Two letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources.

  7. A nonrefundable application fee of $80 in the form of a check or money order payable to Columbia University. Applicants using the online application may use a credit card to pay the $80 fee.

  8. New Student Scholarship Application**

*Official documents are those that arrive in a sealed envelope directly from the institution or testing service.

** Submitting the GS New Student Scholarship Application is optional, but highly recommended. The New Student Scholarship Application must be completed and submitted by the appropriate deadline in order to receive priority consideration.

Please note: Documents not in English must be accompanied by certified translations.

Mailing Address

Application materials should be sent to:

Office of Admissions and Educational Financing
Columbia University School of General Studies
408 Lewisohn Hall, Mail Code 4101
2970 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Once submitted, admissions materials become the property of the School of General Studies and are not returnable to the applicant. Applications are processed when files are complete. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis.

Admissions Decisions and Tracking Your Application

Information about when admissions decisions are rendered may be found here.

If you have already applied to Columbia University School of General Studies, you may check the status of your application online.

Applying to Other Undergraduate Schools of Columbia University

Applicants may not simultaneously apply to the School of General Studies and to any other undergraduate division of Columbia University—Columbia College (CC) or the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS)—nor are candidates eligible to apply to the School of General Studies if in the last three years they applied to either of these divisions and were not accepted.