In selected instances, students who are matriculated doctoral candidates at other institutions and who have been selected to do research at the Graduate School, but who do not wish to enroll in a degree program, may be permitted to register as non-degree special students. Often non-degree special students are international students who have received a scholarship to conduct one year of doctoral research at an American university.
Admission as a non-degree special student or visiting scholar is made by the Office of the Dean in consultation with a department relevant to the student's research interests. Non-degree special students are charged either Extended Residence tuition, if they wish to enroll in courses, or the Matriculation and Facilities fee, if they are conducting research only. Non-degree special student status is limited to a maximum of two terms.
Postbaccalaureate applicants who are not degree candidates elsewhere but who wish to take non-degree graduate-level courses at Columbia should contact the School of Continuing Education (203 Lewisohn Hall, telephone: 212-854-2820).
Admissions Deadlines for Non-Degree Students
- Spring 2013 semester
- Fall 2013 semester, Ph.D. level
- Fall 2013 semester, M.A. level
Applying as a Non-Degree Student
Graduate students from other institutions who wish to study at Columbia on a visiting basis should select one of the five options below and apply according to the instructions given.
1. Ph.D. Exchange Scholar Program : Ph.D. students from select graduate schools in the United States may study at Columbia for a limited period of time in order to take advantage of particular educational opportunities not available at their home institutions. Complete information on this program is available here.
2. Alliance Program: Ph.D. students from Columbia University, Sciences Po, École Polytechnique, and Université Paris 1 may apply to study at one of the other institutions under the Alliance Program. Complete information on this program is available here.
3. Non-Degree Special Ph.D. Students: Students who are matriculated graduate students at institutions outside of the United States and who wish to take classes or do research at the Graduate School, but who do not wish to enroll in a degree program, may apply for Non-Degree Special Student status. Admission as a Non-Degree Special Student is made by the Dean of the Graduate School in consultation with the faculty in the department relevant to the student's research interests. This status is limited to a maximum of two terms during which time Non-Degree Special Students may do the following:
- Take classes for credit and/or conduct research under the formal guidance of a Columbia faculty member.
- Receive full student status including an official statement of attendance at Columbia.
- Take classes (and pay tuition at the Extended Residence rate) or do guided research without taking classes (and pay tuition at the Matriculation and Fees rate). Click here for current tuition rates.
- Use the GSAS application
- Select Special Student Non-Degree as the program of study from the list of departments
- Select the department to which you are applying as the subfield
- Clearly indicate in the Statement of Purpose any intention to take classes
- No tuition is charged.
- Visiting Ph.D. Scholars are not considered enrolled students and do not receive an official statement of attendance or grade transcript.
- They do not receive a University office, housing, administrative support or other University services
- They may audit lecture courses only with the permission of the instructor.
- This status is granted for up to a year at a time with a maximum time limit of two years.
- They receive free reading privileges in the Libraries and may have four-week borrowing privileges upon payment of a monthly fee to the Libraries.
- They may use the Marcellus Hartley Dodge Physical Fitness Center and the University's other recreational facilities upon payment of a fee.
- Curriculum vitae
- Research proposal
- Academic transcripts (note: please provide a notarized translation for any non-English transcript)
- One (1) letter of recommendation