Thank you for your interest in applying to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Columbia University. One of the nation’s oldest and most distinguished graduate schools, GSAS confers graduate degrees in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Our renowned faculty works with students to cultivate advanced knowledge and offer preparation for a variety of careers.
Approximately 3,400 students study and conduct research alongside more than 700 faculty members at our home in New York City. The Graduate School offers master’s and doctoral programs in the 31 departments of Columbia’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as well as interdisciplinary and interschool programs that link GSAS with other schools at the University and throughout the world.
For a complete list of all programs of study, see Academic Programs.
The Application Process
All prospective students must apply using the online application. Printed applications are not available.
You must specify in your application the department, doctoral program subcommittee, or free-standing master’s degree program in which you wish to study. If required, you must indicate the sub-field of study and the term for which you are applying. A complete application includes:
- transcripts of all previous post-secondary education
- a statement of academic purpose
- a curriculum vitae or résumé
- three letters of recommendation from academic sources
- GRE scores and, if applicable, results of the TOEFL or IELTS examination to fulfill the English Proficiency Requirement
- a sample of scholarly writing, if required by the department or program
- payment of the application fee
Biological Sciences and Biomedical Ph.D. Program Applicants:
- If you are applying to the Ph.D. program in Biological Sciences, you must apply through the GSAS online application.
- If you are applying to any of the following Biomedical Ph.D. programs, you must apply through the Biomedical Ph.D. programs application.
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
- Biomedical Informatics
- Cell Biology
- Cellular Physiology and Biophysics
- Genetics and Development
- Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular, and Biophysical Studies
- Microbiology, Immunology, and Infection
- Neurobiology and Behavior
- Nutritional and Metabolic Biology
- Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine
- Pharmacology and Molecular Signaling
Applying to Multiple Programs
In any given term, a student may apply to only one Ph.D. department, program, or subcommittee, including the biomedical Ph.D. programs housed at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Applicants who file more than one Ph.D. application in a given admissions cycle will be required to withdraw one of the applications.
The Graduate School permits applicants to be reviewed by a second program if they do not receive an offer of admission from their first-choice program, with the following restrictions:
- This option is only available for fall-term applicants.
- Applicants may apply to only one Ph.D. program. All secondary options are for M.A. programs only.
- The second program must be selected before the application is submitted. Applicants may not request review by a second program after submitting the application.
- Each first-choice program will only offer a selected list of second choices. Some programs do not offer any second choices. Applicants may not request review by a program not listed as a second choice.
- Applicants will be able to view and opt for a second choice (if applicable) after selecting their first choice. Applicants should not submit a second application.
- Applicants must upload a separate Statement of Purpose and submit any extra supporting materials required for the second program. Transcripts, letters, and test scores should only be sumitted once. However, if the second program requires a writing sample, applicants must upload a second writing sample.
- GSAS cannot guarantee that an application will receive a second review. Review by the second-choice program is contingent upon the program's application deadline and available slots.
Applicants who hold American doctorates or their international equivalents may not apply to the Graduate School in the same discipline as that in which they hold a doctorate.
Only the Dean of the Graduate School has the authority to make an offer of admission.
Applicants denied admission may reapply in a subsequent year if further training or experience is presented to strengthen the application. However, applicants who have not been offered admission to the same department or program for three (3) consecutive years should not reapply to the Graduate School.