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.

Undergraduate degree applicants must submit the following:

  1. A completed application, using either of two methods:
  2. Official* high school transcripts, secondary school records, or GED test results. Applicants with a GED 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
    1. If your native and predominant spoken language is English, or if the primary language of instruction in your High School or secondary education was English, you must submit an official score report from a Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or American College Testing Program (ACT) score.  Official score reports are sent directly to the GS Office of Admissions from the testing service.  The SAT code number for General Studies is 2095 and the ACT code number is 2716.  Students who have no test scores or test scores older than eight years may take the General Studies Admissions Examination (GSAE) at a cost of $50.


    2. If 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 you must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting official scores from TOEFL or IELTS.  The TOEFL or IELTS must be taken within two years of application to the School of General Studies. 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, or a score of 7.0 on the IELTS. Applicants should arrange to have recent test scores sent to the GS Office of Admissions directly from the testing service. The Educational Testing Service (or ETS, the organization that administers the TOEFL) code for GS is 2095. English proficiency can 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.

Contact: Completed applications should be sent to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, School of General Studies, Columbia University, 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. Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis.

While the Office of Admissions attempts to make decisions within 6-8 weeks of receiving a complete application, please note that the School of General Studies begins releasing admissions decisions in March for the summer and fall terms, and in October for the spring term. Applicants for the summer and fall term will be notified of their admission decision on a rolling basis through July 15. Applicants for the spring term will be notified of their admission decision on a rolling basis through December 15.

Tracking Your Application

If you have already applied to Columbia University School of General Studies, you can check the status of your application online. This service does not provide acceptance information, and it will take approximately one week from the date you submit your application for the system to reflect your application status.

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.