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Applicant Qualifications

Education

Applicants must hold at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

Most successful applicants have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better.

Skills

Applicants must be able to demonstrate the ability for critical thinking and analysis, be fluent in English, and write clearly, concisely, and convincingly, using proper grammar.

 

Application Process

  1. Gather all materials and enter all requested information in the online application form. See Application Requirements below
  2. Submit your online application and fee payment. See Submitting the Application below
  3. Receive an admissions decision notification online. See Admissions Timeline below

international students

  1. This program does not qualify international students for a student visa.

Admissions Timeline

Deadlines

For Fall
First review date January 15
Applicants who submit a completed application by this date will receive a decision within 6 weeks following 1/15.
Second review date March 15
Applicants who submit a completed application by this date will receive a decision within 6 weeks following 3/15.
Deadline May 15
Applicants who submit a completed application by this date will receive a decision within 6 weeks following 5/15.
For Spring
The program does not have a Spring intake.

 

Applications completed after the deadline will be reviewed on a space-available basis. Completed applications received after the program has reached capacity will be moved to the next available term for consideration. Therefore applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all materials as early as possible. Notifications will be delivered through the online application system.

Admission decisions are typically communicated within 6 weeks after an application is complete.

Application Requirements

  • Completed application form
    Create an account and log in to begin the online application.

  • $80.00 nonrefundable application fee (U.S. currency)
    Fee payment must accompany the online application.

  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
    Expand this section.

    Domestic Transcripts From institutions in the U.S. or Canada

    If your transcripts are from an institution in the U.S. or Canada, we strongly recommend submitting unofficial documents through the online application system at the time of application. Candidates offered admission will later be required to supply official documents prior to enrollment for verification before the offer is considered official.

    For those applicants who are offered admission, official transcripts must arrive in envelopes sealed by the issuing institutions certifying conferral of a bachelor’s degree. Copies, opened or unsealed envelopes, unofficial printouts, or facsimiles will not be accepted. Many schools take a number of weeks to fulfill transcript requests; please plan accordingly. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to withdraw any offer of admission already made if there is a discrepancy between the self-reported transcript and the official transcript.

    International Transcripts From institutions outside the U.S. or Canada

    If your post-secondary credentials are from an institution outside the U.S. or Canada, the Office of Admissions requires you to submit all post-secondary credentials (undergraduate and graduate) to World Education Services, Inc. (WES), a third party verification agency for a course-by-course evaluation.

    Instructions for using WES

    WES must complete a course-by-course evaluation of all post-secondary credentials. Please select the WES basic course-by-course evaluation (with GPA and course-levels) and request to have WES send your evaluation to Columbia University School of Continuing Education. The school can be found by searching Columbia University and then selecting School of Continuing Education. The evaluation provided to the School of Continuing Education becomes an official academic record and sole property of the School of Continuing Education upon its receipt.

    WES evaluations will be reviewed by the School of Continuing Education administrators and the determination of degree equivalency to U.S. degrees is at the discretion of the School of Continuing Education.

  • Your résumé

  • Two letters of recommendation
    Either from current or former supervisors or from faculty members with whom you studied. The letters should address your ability to think critically, to analyze and organize complex information, and to write fluently.

    Applicants notify their recommenders of the request through the online application system and are strongly encouraged to do so as early as possible to compensate for any potential delays in submission on the part of the recommender. Recommendations are submitted through the online application system.

  • Statement of academic purpose (750 words maximum)
    The statement of academic purpose should address your purpose in pursuing a degree in strategic communications, the specific skills and attributes that you will contribute to the program, and an aspect of the program that may present the greatest challenge for you.

  • Supplemental essay (no more than 250 words)
    The supplemental essay should briefly describe the biggest professional challenge you have faced in your current, or former, job and how you overcame it.

  • Optional: Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
    This information is not required. However, if you've taken one of these tests and feel your results support your candidacy as a student in this program, you may submit your scores.

    • For complete information regarding the GRE go to www.gre.org. School report code: 3602.

    • For complete information about the GMAT go to www.mba.com. GMAT school report code: 3831.

    • Note: Applicants who do not submit GRE or GMAT scores may be required to take a Graduate Writing Test at Columbia. Those applicants who are admitted may, as a result of that test, be required to take a writing course for M.S. students during their first semester.

  • An admissions interview may be required

  •  Students whose native language is not English must include proof of English proficiency.
    Expand this section for details and exceptions.

    English Language Proficiency

    Applicants whose native language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting official scores from either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The requirement is only waived if:

    • The applicant has completed all coursework for and earned their undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in a country where English is the sole official language. Please note that graduate level work does not exempt applicants from meeting this requirement.

    • The applicant has completed at least two years at an undergraduate U.S. institution or at an institution in a country where the sole official language is English and earned the undergraduate (or bachelor's) degree at that institution.

    Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit unofficial documents through the online application system at the time of application. Candidates offered admission will later be required to supply official scores sent directly from either TOEFL or IELTS prior to enrollment for verification before the admission offer is considered official. (Use school code 2594 to report TOEFL scores.) Applicants taking the TOEFL must have a score of at least 100 on the Internet-based version (600 paper based). Applicants taking the IELTS must receive a score of 7.0 or higher. Applicants receiving scores below the posted minimums may be advised to apply directly to the American Language Program.

Submitting the Application

Unofficial documents will be used for admission consideration.
Applicants are encouraged to submit all supporting application materials through the online application system.

Only complete applications will be reviewed.
Applications are not considered complete until all required materials listed in the Application Requirements section above have been received.

Submit all official documents to the Office of Admissions.
Applicants who are admitted to the program must submit all official documents to the Office of Admissions before the offer is considered official.

Include applicant name and program name.
All submitted materials should clearly bear the applicant’s name and the name of the program to which he or she is applying.

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Mailing Address and Contact Information

Strategic Communications Program
Office of Admissions
School of Continuing Education
203 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902

Phone 212-854-9666
Office hours
Monday—Thursday 9:00 AM—6:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM—5:00 PM