Students who have attended the program during a previous summer should follow the application procedures for past participants.
We do not accept applications submitted on the applicant's behalf by parents, guardians, or third parties; the application should be submitted directly by the student. Communications from our Office of Admissions will be sent primarily to the student.
Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as some courses fill up before the application deadline. The admissions committee begins reviewing applications in early January.
Priority Application DeadlineFeb. 4, 2015
Application DeadlineApr. 1, 2015
The online application must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the deadline date. Supporting materials such as recommendations and transcripts can be submitted after this date.
Admission to the Summer Program for High School Students is selective. The admissions committee looks for talented, highly-motivated students who are interested in attending the program because they have a passion for learning and because they wish to enrich their knowledge of the particular field for which they are applying.
Though there is no set minimum GPA requirement, the application materials should establish that the student has the necessary academic background and level of ability, motivation, and maturity necessary for the curricular option for which he or she is applying. Students must present evidence of the completion of any particular prerequisites identified in the individual program descriptions.
Because applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and classes do fill up, sometimes even before the deadline, students are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible.
In certain cases, applicants may be required to interview with a member of the admissions committee to determine admission to the program.
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 Summer 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 at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html#short.
Applications and supporting materials (application fees, personal essay, unofficial transcripts, letters of recommendation, and writing samples) can be submitted through the online application. Official transcripts must be submitted in sealed envelopes.
All materials submitted by mail should clearly bear the program name, applicant's name, applicant's date of birth and, if available, Columbia University ID number.
Applications are not considered complete until all required materials have been received. Only complete applications are reviewed.
Completed Online Application form.
Nonrefundable application fee. For applications submitted online by February 4, no application fee is required. After Feb. 4, the application fee is $80. Applicants must include credit card information through the online application.
Transcript of applicant's secondary school academic record. We require grades for all secondary school work completed, including current coursework. We strongly recommend submitting unofficial documents through the online application system at the time of application as this will expedite the admissions process. Candidates offered admission will later be required to supply official documents prior to enrollment.
If you are unable to obtain an unofficial copy of your transcript, please request to have an official copy sent from your school to our office at the address listed at the bottom of this page.
If the transcript does not include the most recently completed term, the applicant or school should also submit a copy of the most recent report card.
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.
Personal Essay: available on the application form.
Behavioral Standards Consent Form. Behavioral standards are strictly enforced. Failure to abide by the Behavioral Standards Consent Form will result in dismissal from the program.
Two letters of recommendation. Recommendations may be submitted through the online application. Instructions for paper recommendations will be provided through the online recommendation system. Applicants may submit their online applications in advance of the recommendations.
Applicants must submit a letter written by a guidance counselor, principal, or headmaster commenting on the student's intellectual ability, level of maturity, and motivation for participating in the Columbia University Summer Program for High School Students.
Juniors and seniors must submit a letter written by an instructor who teaches in a field closely related to the applicant’s chosen curricular option. The letter must describe the student’s knowledge of that field and assess the student’s qualification to engage in concentrated study.
Freshmen and sophomores must submit a letter written by a teacher familiar with the student’s work. The letter must describe the student’s academic talents and potential to benefit from the experience at Columbia.
Writing sample (creative writing applicants only).
Introduction to Creative Writing and Creative Writing: Introductory Workshop: 3-5 pages of any kind of writing demonstrating a command of grammar and punctuation.
Creative Writing: Advanced Workshop: Two samples, 3-7 pages total (longer submissions are acceptable), consisting of poems, short stories, and/or scripts.
Master Class in Prose Writing: Two samples, 5-10 pages total, consisting of fiction and/or literary nonfiction and an independent project proposal (see course description for details).
Standardized test scores are not required as part of the application, although they may be submitted if available.
Send all supporting materials not submitted online to:
Summer Program for High School Students
Office of Admissions
School of Continuing Education
203 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902
Office hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Checking Application Status
The processing of application materials can take one to two weeks, and upon completion of your application file it will take approximately three to five weeks for a decision to be made. Please allow sufficient time after submitting your application before contacting the Admissions Office about your application status. We encourage you, however, to check your application status online as often as you like.