Admissions Supporting Materials

Please see below for detailed instructions regarding letters of recommendation, transcripts, and standardized tests.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation should be submitted through the GSAS online application system.

You may submit your online application even if your letters of recommendation have not yet been submitted. Once the letters are received, we will append them to your application.

Three letters of recommendation are required, but the Graduate School accepts up to five letters.

Reapplicants

 

Applicants who applied previously should log in to the application account created during the prior application season and use the same profile to create an application for the new term. Letters of recommendation from the earlier application can then be included in the new application. See the Recommendations page in the online application for more information.

Transcripts

Applicants should upload a transcript or record (e.g., web-based transcripts, mark sheets, Relevé de Notes) of any academic work from each university-level institution you have attended for use in review of your application. Uploading a scanned copy of your transcript or academic record will expedite processing and review of your application. However, applicants should not send official paper transcripts. If you receive an offer of admission, you will be required to send official paper documents for verification before the offer is considered official. Do not send official transcripts before being notified by GSAS.

Study abroad undertaken as part of your undergraduate work does not require uploading of a separate transcript, provided that both courses and grades are recorded on the main transcript.

Transcripts that are in a language other than English must be translated into English. The translation must be certified to be an accurate translation of the original and be notarized or otherwise authenticated. Both non-English and translated transcripts should be uploaded.

Applicants to the Sustainable Development and Climate and Society programs must upload a separate listing of specific courses.

Uploading Your Transcript to the Online Application System

Transcripts should be uploaded on the Educational History page of the online application. Transcripts should not be combined into one document; they should be uploaded as individual documents.

Follow these guidelines to ensure that you are able to upload your transcript:

  • Scan at the lowest DPI that results in a legible document. (We recommend to use under 300 DPI whenever possible.)
  • Ensure that the institution name and other identifying marks are not missed during the scanning process and that your scanned copy is clearly legible and can print on letter-size paper (8 ½" x 11").
  • Include the transcript legend (found on the back page, in most cases).
  • Save your document as a PDF file.
  • Make certain that its size is less than 2000 KB (2 MB). Scanning in grayscale or black and white may produce the best results.
  • If the scanned file is too large, first make a photocopy (experimenting with different settings until you find one that results in the smallest file size), then scan the photocopy.
  • You may upload an institutional web-based transcript/academic record.
Standardized Tests

The Graduate School requires the following standardized tests:

The ETS (GRE and TOEFL) institution code for the Graduate School is 2162. The Graduate School does not use department codes; all test scores are reported to the GSAS Office of Admissions.

GRE scores are valid for five years from the date taken. For more information on the GRE General and Subject Tests, visit the GRE website.

TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the date taken. For more information on the TOEFL, see the TOEFL website.

GMAT

Applicants to the Master of Arts degree program in Mathematics of Finance only may substitute the GMAT for the GRE General Test. Applicants to any other program may not substitute the GMAT in place of the GRE General Test. 

There is no GMAT institution code for the Graduate School; select "Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences" and the scores will be reported to the GSAS Office of Admissions.