The College has no explicit number of unit requirements for admission, but applicants must present evidence that they are prepared for college work in the humanities, mathematics, social sciences, foreign languages and natural sciences. Accordingly, the College strongly recommends the following preparation:

  • Four years of English literature and composition
  • Three to four years of mathematics
  • Three to four years of history and social studies
  • Three to four years of one foreign language (ancient or modern)
  • Three to four years of laboratory science

English Language Requirement

There are several different ways to demonstrate that you are proficient in English on your application.

  • Your primary language of instruction at school has been English for the duration of your secondary school career.
  • You earned one or more of the following subsection scores:
    • 700 or higher on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing section of the redesigned SAT 
    • 29 or higher on the English or Reading sections of the ACT

If you do not meet one or more of the above criteria, you will need to take one of the following English Language Proficiency exams.

  • TOEFL: A minimum score of 600 (paper-based test) or 100 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS Academic: A minimum score of 7.0
  • DET (Duolingo English Test): A minimum score of 120

Personal Essay

Counsellor Recommendation

A written statement from your guidance counselor or school advisor.

Teacher Recommendation

These recommendations must come from teachers who taught you in academic disciplines

Creative Portfolio

You may wish to submit supplementary portfolios if you intend to bring creative talents to Columbia’s campus either through a major or extracurricular opportunities.

  • Most students who choose to submit an Artistic Portfolio have achievements at the state, national or international level related to their craft and have devoted a significant amount of time and energy to their art form(s)
  • The Maker Portfolio may be an opportunity for students to highlight past creations or ongoing projects that demonstrate creativity and ingenuity, technical ability and hands-on problem solving. 
  • In addition to creative materials, each portfolio requires you to list the name and contact information of a reference who may be contacted to corroborate your depth of talent in and/or dedication to your creative discipline.
Columbia University - BA Architecture
Source: Columbia University – BA Architecture