In select instances, students who are matriculated doctoral candidates at other institutions and who do not wish to enroll in a degree program, may be permitted to register as non-degree special students. Typically, non-degree special students are international students who have received a scholarship to conduct one year of doctoral research at a university in the United States.
Admission as a non-degree special student or visiting scholar is made by the Office of the Dean in consultation with a department relevant to the student's research interests. Non-degree special students are charged tuition at either the Extended Residence rate (if they wish to enroll in courses) or the Matriculation & Facilities rate (if they are conducting research only). Non-degree special student status is limited to a maximum of two terms.
Non-degree special students and visiting scholars register only at the Graduate School, and are not eligible to participate as Columbia University students in other exchange or consortium agreements through the Graduate School, such as the Ivy Plus Exchange Scholar program or the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC). With the limited exception of international exchange students participating in one of the programs listed below, non-degree special students and visiting scholars are not eligible for fellowships or other financial aid from the Graduate School. International exchange students participating in these exchanges should consult the exchange coordinator at his or her home institution for specific details. Fellowship aid for these students in all cases is strictly limited to the award made in the letter of admission.
International non-degree special students and visiting exchange scholars are exempted from the University’s health insurance requirement.
Postbaccalaureate applicants who are not degree candidates elsewhere but who wish to take non-degree graduate-level courses at Columbia should contact the School of Professional Studies instead at 203 Lewisohn Hall or (212) 854-9666.
Admissions Deadlines for Non-Degree Students
- Spring 2019 semester
Most programs: November 16
University of London-Birkbeck: October 15
Ecole Polytechnique, EHESS, Trilateral Agreement: November 1
- Fall 2019 semester
Most programs: April 19
Minzu STS: February 1
University of London-Birkbeck: March 25
Students applying through the Exchange Scholar Program (Ivy Plus) through the Partnership PhD Mobility Program or from the Bard Graduate Center may be eligible for year-round admission. If you are applying through one of these programs and are unable to access the application via the Exchange Scholars Application links on this page, please email gsas-admissions [at] columbia.edu for assistance.
Applying as a Non-Degree Student
Doctoral students from other institutions who wish to study at Columbia on a visiting basis should select one of the options below and apply according to the instructions given.