Information for International Applicants
The Graduate School welcomes applications for admission from international applicants.
Judgments concerning equivalency of international baccalaureate degrees are made by the Graduate School. In general, only those international students who (a) have the equivalent of the U.S. baccalaureate degree with a superior examination record and (b) can understand rapid idiomatic English and can speak, write and read English with a high degree of facility are eligible for admission.
The Graduate School accepts applications from students who have earned or will earn 3-year bachelor's degrees in Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Jamaica, India, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, and any country which is a participant in the Bologna Process.
We encourage all international applicants to submit their admissions application as early as possible to allow enough time to process their applications.
English Proficiency Requirement
The English proficiency requirement is based on the official language of the country in which the undergraduate (or bachelor's) degree was earned, regardless of an applicant's citizenship.
- Applicants whose undergraduate degree was awarded by an institution in a country where English is not the sole official language must complete the requirement.
- Applicants who have earned a master's degree in the US or another country whose official language is English must complete the requirement.
The English proficiency requirement can be fulfilled through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or may be fulfilled by submission of an English proficiency waiver request.
English Proficiency Waiver Requests
The Graduate School may grant the following exceptions to this policy upon request.
International undergraduate institution, instruction entirely in English
If you earned your undergraduate degree in a country where the official language is not English, but the official language of instruction at your institution is English, you may request a waiver of the English proficiency requirement by submitting the English Proficiency Waiver Request form.
Graduate-level study in the US or another English-speaking country
If your undergraduate degree was awarded by an institution in a country where the official language is not English, you may request a waiver of the English proficiency exam requirement under these conditions:
- You are currently studying at the graduate level or have received a graduate degree in the US or another English-speaking country
- You have taken the TOEFL or IELTS exam and scored above the Columbia GSAS minimum requirement of 100 (IBT), 600 (PBT), or 7.5 (IELTS) and you have a copy of your score report
If you meet these criteria, you may request a waiver of the official English proficiency requirement by completing the Official TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Request form (including the upload of your expired score report).
Waiver request forms are available on the Test Scores page of the application. The form and all supporting documentation should be submitted at least two weeks before the deadline date of the program to which you are applying.
Every waiver request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis; submission of a request form does not guarantee approval.
The English proficiency requirement can be fulfilled through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Applicants are strongly urged to make arrangements to take these examinations early in the fall. Scores more than two years old are not accepted. Student score reports are not considered official.
The Graduate School requires the following minimum scores:
- 600 on the TOEFL paper-and-pencil test
- 100 on the TOEFL internet-based test
- 7.5 on IELTS
All test scores should be reported to the GSAS Office of Admissions.
TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the date taken. For more information, see the TOEFL website.
IELTS scores are valid for two years from the date taken. For more information, see the IELTS website.
TOEFL Submission Instructions
TOEFL scores are reported to Columbia GSAS in electronic format. Our ETS institution code is: COLUMBIA U GRAD SCH ART&SCI/MORNG (2162).
Though GSAS does not use department codes for test score reporting, ETS requires designation of a department code. Therefore, please enter the default code: 99.
IELTS Submission Instructions
IELTS scores are reported to Columbia GSAS in electronic format.
Please submit IELTS scores using the IELTS Results Service E-Delivery. You must contact the IELTS test center where the test was taken to request that your official electronic test results be sent to the address below. An institution code is NOT required.
E-Delivery account name: "Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences"
New York, NY 10027
Non-native English speakers admitted to the Graduate School may be asked to take the ALP Essay Exam administered by the Columbia University American Language Program and may, depending on the results of this test, be required to take English language courses in addition to ordinary degree coursework.
Non-native English speakers who will be teaching fellows may also be asked to take the OWL/TOP test of spoken English, administered by the American Language Program, before beginning their teaching duties.
Resources for International Applicants
- International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) - the central office at Columbia that coordinates services for international students
- Study Guide to the States - an official government information hub from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- External Fellowships - links to databases and sources of external funding