HOW TO APPLY
For details of our admission policies and process at Columbia University School of Professional Studies, please visit this website.
1. ONLINE APPLICATION
A $95.00 nonrefundable application fee must accompany the online application.
If you are applying to the Sustainability Analytics, Sustainable Finance, or Sustainable Water Management program, when prompted to select an application type, please select Master’s Affiliated CPA Program, rather than Non-Degree and Other Certificate Programs.
2. TRANSCRIPTS FROM ALL POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS ATTENDED
In the Academic History section of your online application, you must list all institutions attended for at least one term, regardless of the number of credits received, from all post-secondary institutions attended. This includes individual courses for academic credit, certifications, certificates, transfer coursework, study abroad, second bachelor’s degrees, and advanced degrees.
Instructions for Submission of Transcripts When Applying:
Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript (of any academic work from each university-level institution they have attended for use in review of an application.
If your post-secondary credentials are from an institution outside the United States, the Office of Admissions also 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 for admission consideration.
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 Professional Studies. The school can be found by searching Columbia University and then selecting School of Professional Studies. The evaluation provided to the School of Professional Studies becomes an official academic record and sole property of the School of Professional Studies upon its receipt.
WES evaluations will be reviewed by the School of Professional Studies administrators and the determination of degree equivalency to U.S. degrees is at the discretion of the School of Professional Studies.
Please upload your most recent resume with your application.
4. STATEMENT OF ACADEMIC PURPOSE
Statement of Academic Purpose (500 – 750 words) that addresses:
1) Your purpose and interest in pursuing a degree or certificate in sustainability management, and, 2) How the degree or certificate program fits into your overall professional growth, focusing in particular on the connection between the program and your academic and/or professional experience.
5. RECOMMENDATION LETTERS
We require two Letters of Recommendation.
Letters of recommendation should be written by current or former supervisors or by faculty members with whom you have studied in the classroom, who can assess your academic work, intellectual ability, academic potential for graduate work, address your suitability for the program and your ability to commit to the rigorous curriculum. If you own your own business and are your own supervisor, you may select a client as your recommender. Personal references are not appropriate.
All applicants are required to submit at least one academic reference unless that applicant received a bachelor’s degree more than 5 years prior to the date of the application. Applicants who received a bachelor’s degree more than 5 years prior to the date of the application are strongly encouraged, but not required, to submit an academic reference.
Please read this information carefully.
Under no circumstances should you upload a letter on behalf of a recommender. Any person who writes a letter of recommendation must submit that letter themselves through the application system.
Letters of recommendation may not be sent via email, nor may paper letters be sent via postal mail. All letters must be uploaded by the recommender directly to the application system.
When entering contact information for recommenders, you must use their institutional or professional email address. References submitted from personal or anonymous email accounts (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, 123.com, 163.com, qq.com, etc.) will be subject to additional review and may result in your application being considered ineligible for admission.
Columbia will use an outside verification vendor to verify all submitted letters of recommendation. You will be asked to authorize the vendor to contact your recommenders and specific instructions for doing so will be provided after submission of your application.
You must indicate whether you waive your right to view your letters of recommendation.
Information to Share with your Recommenders
Before adding their information to the application, please contact your recommenders and inform them that they will receive an email from that will provide instructions regarding their letters. They may wish to add to their address book or list of contacts to ensure that the message is routed to their inbox.
Ensure your recommender is aware that they will be asked to complete a brief evaluation form within the application system and upload a letter of recommendation on letterhead (whenever possible). Both components are necessary to fulfill the requirement and must be provided within the application system. We will not accept letters sent via email or post mail.
Inform your recommender that they should expect to be contacted by a third party verification provider, Re Vera Services, who will reach out to them via email to confirm that they supplied the recommendation.
We strongly suggest you give your recommender a timeline for providing the recommendation and that you proactively follow-up with them until the letter is submitted.
6. DEMONSTRATED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY
If your primary language is not English, you must provide official scores on the TOEFL or IELTS unless both of the following are true:
The language of instruction of your undergraduate degree conferring institution is English, and you completed two or more years at the institution.
Applicant total scores must meet the Columbia SPS minimum requirement of 100 (TOEFL iBT) or 7.0 (IELTS) to be admissible. You will be required to enter your test scores or your anticipated testing date within the online application, and official test score reports will be required for your application to be considered complete and ready for admission review. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years after your test date. Applicants receiving scores below the posted minimums may be advised to apply directly to the American Language Program.
To submit TOEFL iBT scores: Visit www.ets.org and send your official score to our school code 2594. Please note: we do not accept TOEFL best scores.
To submit IELTS scores: After you have submitted your application, please upload your unofficial IELTS score report. Alternatively, you can also send us your official score through your testing center.
Applicants whose primary language is not English may be required to complete an intensive course with the American Language Program (ALP) prior to beginning their studies in the degree program as a condition for admission.
Applicants may also be asked to complete an interview using a video conferencing tool.
7. OPTIONAL: GRE or GMAT
They are not required however if you would like to submit scores to further support your candidacy, please note the following:
All official standardized test scores must be received in the SPS Office of Admissions within two weeks of the application deadline for the program to which you have applied. Your application cannot be reviewed until official test scores are received.
GRE test scores can be ordered at www.gre.org. Our school report code is 3602.
For complete information regarding the GMAT, go to www.mba.com/exams/gmat. To send your scores, please choose “Columbia University - School of Professional Studies” as the recipient.
YOU HAVE SUBMITTED YOUR APPLICATION. WHAT’S NEXT?
8. VIDEO ESSAY
Applicants are required to submit a 1-minute video essay. Once the application and fee are submitted, the video essay section will become available. You will be given time to create test videos to ensure that your system is working properly. When you are ready, you will be given a randomly selected prompt for which you will have one minute to prepare and one minute to record a response. The questions are random and have no right or wrong answers (like ice breaker questions). You will not be able to re-record your video.
9. CREDENTIAL VERIFICATION
The School of Professional Studies has contracted with Re Vera Services to assist with the verification of letters of recommendation. If letters of recommendation are provided, recommenders will be contacted by a Re Vera representative to confirm authorship of submitted letters. The recommendation verification is conducted concurrently while the application is being reviewed for admission. Admissions decisions will only be released to applicants who have uploaded their consent form within the online application system.
The first step in the credentials verification process requires that an applicant provide consent to participate in the verification process. This consent is granted by completing the Authorization and Release Form, which is administered by our contracted vendor, Re Vera Services. A link to this form will appear within the application system upon submission of the application. Applicants are required to upload the PDF of the signed consent form within the online application portal before an admissions decision will be released. Applicants should encourage their recommenders to respond promptly to Re Vera’s outreach.
YOU HAVE BEEN ADMITTED TO THE PROGRAM! WHAT’S NEXT?
10. OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS
Submission of these documents is required in the manner outlined here.
For Domestic Institutions
For each institution attended, you must provide an electronic transcript directly from the institution to . If your prior institution does not offer electronic transcript transmission, you must write to with the link to your prior U.S. institution’s webpage concerning transcript orders to confirm that paper is the only option and obtain permission to submit a paper transcript.
If a paper transcript is the only option, it must be sent directly from the institution to Columbia, and not delivered or forwarded by you.
Please have the institution send the approved paper transcript to:
Office of Admissions
School of Professional Studies
203 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902
For International Institutions
Official transcripts from prior academic institutions outside the United States must be submitted through World Education Services, Inc. (WES) as a course-by-course evaluation. If a WES transcript was provided reflecting in-progress study, a follow-up WES course-by-course evaluation showing the complete academic record and degree conferral is required.
May 15, 2021
November 1, 2021
SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION
Applicants are encouraged to submit all supporting application materials through the online application system.
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
Office of Admissions
School of Professional Studies
203 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4119
New York , NY 10027-6902
9:00 AM-6:00 PM
Friday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
In-person Walk-In Hours in 203 Lewisohn are suspended until further notice. Effective immediately, the Office of Admissions is launching Virtual Walk-In Hours for prospective students from 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET (15-minute sessions), Monday through Thursday.
To connect with an Admissions Counselor for Virtual Walk-In Hours, please visit this Zoom room. You can access the Zoom room through a phone, laptop, desktop, or tablet.
Important Application Instructions
You must submit all materials directly, not through an agent or third-party vendor, with the sole exception of submissions by the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program and its three partner agencies IIE, LASPAU and AMIDEAST, and by the Danish-American Fulbright Commission (DAF), Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), and Vietnam Education Fund (VEF). If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact the admissions office at email@example.com.
Failure to submit complete, accurate, and authentic application documents consistent with these instructions may result in denial or revocation of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, expulsion, or eventual revocation of degree. Applicants may be required to assist admissions staff and faculty involved in admission reviews in the verification of all documents and statements made in documents submitted by students as part of the application review process.
Please note that the applicant may upload unofficial transcripts at the start of the application process. Once an applicant has been admitted and has indicated acceptance of our offer of admission, official transcripts must be submitted electronically directly from the applicant’s prior institutions.
Please click here for more information on important admissions policies from the School of Professional Studies.