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Apply to this Program
The review committee meets three times during the fall admission cycle. Applicants who wish to be reviewed during the first committee meeting must have their applications complete by January 15. Applications must be complete by March 15 to be considered during the second committee meeting, and by May 15 for the final review committee meeting.
Applications that become complete after a committee meeting will be reviewed during the next committee meeting, and those completed after the final meeting 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.
Admissions decisions will be delivered through the online application system and applicants will be notified of their decision 4-6 weeks after the deadline for which their application was complete.
Applicants must evidence an extensive record of accomplishments and increasing responsibility in their professional roles. If applicants are not already in leadership positions, they must be positioned to enter leadership positions as next steps in their careers. Applicants are often leaders in the communications industry or related field, yet professionals across multiple fields and industry sectors that can articulate and demonstrate how strategic communications is a critical core competency for their targeted career trajectory are encouraged to apply.
- Hold at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent
- Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better
- Be able to demonstrate the ability for critical thinking and analysis
- Be fluent in English
- Write clearly, concisely, and convincingly, using proper grammar
Completed Online Application form.
$80.00 nonrefundable application fee (U.S. currency) must accompany the online application.
Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended. The rules and requirements for providing documentation for domestic vs. international transcripts are outlined below:
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.
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 Admission 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.
At least 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.
Statement of academic purpose (no more than 750 words) addressing the following:
- your purpose and interest in pursuing a degree in strategic communications
- the specific skills and attributes that you will contribute to the program
- an aspect of the program that may present the greatest challenge for you
- Supplemental essay (no more than 250 words) briefly describing the biggest professional challenge you have faced in your current, or former, job and how you overcame it.
An admissions interview may be required.
- 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.
Please click here to view more information about this requirement.
Candidates are evaluated on five application elements:
- statement of purpose
- résumé/curriculum vitae
- transcripts of prior college and/or graduate school work
- letters of recommendation
- GRE scores, if submitted
Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are 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.
Applicants who do not submit GRE scores may be required to take a Graduate Writing Test at Columbia. Those applicants who are admitted may, as a result of their scores on that test, be required to take a writing course for M.S. students during their first semester.
Submitting the Application
Applicants are encouraged to submit all supporting application materials through the online application system. Unofficial documents will be used for admission consideration.
Applications are not considered complete until all required materials listed in the Application Materials section above have been received. Only complete applications will be reviewed.
Applicants who are admitted to the program must submit all official documents to the Office of Admissions before the offer is considered official.
All submitted materials should clearly bear the applicant's name and the name of the program to which he or she is applying.
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
Office hours: Monday-Thursday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM; Friday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM