How to get into Columbia University –
Here are some of the tips on how to get into Columbia University.
Method: Apply as an undergraduate student
1. Choose the indicated program. Prospective undergraduate students at Columbia can apply to Columbia College or the Columbia School of Engineering. If you’re not sure about your area of interest or know it doesn’t involve engineering or computer science, you’ll need to apply to Columbia College.
2. Talk to alumni from previous years of Columbia University. Contact the program or school of your choice at Columbia to ask if they have a list of alumni you can talk to about the nature of their academic experience and how to prepare for the program.
3. Visit the campus. Columbia offers informative talks and campus tours for prospective students. You must register in advance to ensure you have a time that matches your ability to be on campus. While you’re on campus, take the opportunity to talk with current students about their experiences and what they did to prepare for Columbia.
4. Develop your academic strengths. Take whatever accelerated or more advanced academic courses are available to you in high school and do them well. The Columbia Admissions Office seeks students to challenge themselves academically whenever possible. More than 90% of the class of 2018 graduated in the top 10% of their high school classes.
5. Develop extracurricular interests. Columbia’s admissions committee uses a “holistic” review process, which means they consider not only academic grades, but also extracurricular activities. Columbia wants undergraduate students who can make an impact outside of the classroom and contribute to the cultural and social life at school.
6. Get a high score on required standardized tests. You can apply to Columbia by taking the SAT and the two SAT Subject Tests, or the ATC Writing Test. If you apply for the “Early Decision” option, you can take the exams until November and for “Regular Decision” until January. You can take the exams multiple times, as Columbia will only review the highest score. Be sensible, Columbia will only see exam percentages once, so you can’t trade anything.
7. Write a compelling personal introduction. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and pay special attention to the length, subject, and format it requires. Ask other people, such as relatives, friends, and trusted teachers, to review your essay before you turn it in to comment on its clarity and effectiveness.
8. Provide good letters of recommendation. Columbia requests letters from the high school counselor and from two professors of academic disciplines. If you apply to the School of Engineering, one must be from a science or math teacher. These letters should come from professors who are very familiar with your work ethic, communication skills, personality, and abilities.
If they are willing, take the opportunity to talk to the letter writers about why you want to attend Columbia, which can help provide a more personalized letter that really emphasizes your strengths as an applicant.
9. Complete the application as much as possible. Make sure you have all the materials ready when you submit the “common application”. Review Columbia’s specific questions for the “Writing Supplement” and prepare your answers within the guidelines provided.
10. Provide supplemental materials. There is a space on the “common application” to provide supplemental materials for work in science or art. If you have experience in these fields, include materials to help further your application. Be sure to carefully review the correct material types, including document type and format.