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Colleges / Columbia University

Columbia University

New Yrok, NY 4-Year Private
Acceptance Rate4%

Columbia Admissions

It is extremely difficult to get into Columbia University. In 2022, Columbia University accepted just 4% of all applicants. In 2023, just 2,255 out of the 60,374 students who applied were accepted.

If you are planning on applying to Columbia University, the regular decision application deadline is January 1 and the fee for the application is $85.

Students who submit their applications to Columbia University for the fall semester should anticipate a decision by April 1.

Columbia University Admissions Stats at a Glance

Here's an overiew of some of Columbia University's admissions stats.

Columbia University 2023 Admissions Statistics
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 95.7%
Mean SAT Score 1524
Admissions Test Policy Not optional
Applicants Who Submit SATs 45%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 24%
Waitlist Yes

Columbia University Application Deadlines

These are the application deadlines for Columbia University.

Application Type Offered Application Deadline Notification Deadline
Early Decision I Yes November 1 December 15
Early Decision II
Early Action No
Regular Decision Yes 1 1 April 1

Want to Apply Early to Columbia University?

Columbia University offers early decision but not early action. Early decision is binding, which means you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing.

🗓️ Early Decision I applications are due by November 1 EDI applicants should receive a decision by December 15.

The early decision acceptance rate at Columbia University is 12%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 4%. In 2022, Columbia University admitted 786 of the 6299 students who applied early decision.

Some students apply early to help their chances of getting in. When you apply early, your application is considered before all the regular decision applicants apply. Applying early may increase the chance of admission, since it shows that you are very interested in a school.

➡️ Discover a list of some top colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

More on Columbia University Admissions

Transferring to Columbia University

Transfer student admissions is extremely difficult.

For Students Waitlisted to Columbia University

Columbia University has not reported data for waitlisted and admitted students.

What's Most Important for Getting Into Columbia University?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college has a different way of determining which factors are given the most weight when choose which applicants to admit, and which to deny. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and choose schools that prioritize the areas where you're strong.

Admissions Factors at Columbia University

Wondering what factors are considered by Columbia University during the admissions process? Take a look at the list below to see which factors are most important during the admissions process.

Admissions Factor Level
Character/Personal Qualities Very Important
Class Rank Very Important
Application Essay Very Important
Extracurricular Activities Very Important
Recommendation(s) Very Important
Academic GPA Very Important
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
Talent/Ability Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Geographical Residence Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Standardized Test Scores Considered
Volunteer Work Considered
Work Experience Considered
First Generation Considered

Make sure to check with Columbia University for more information on admission factors.

Columbia University 2022-2023 Application Requirements

To apply to Columbia University, all applicants must submit the following items. Check with Columbia University's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Letter(s) of Recommendation 3
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Transcript of High School Record

GPA and Testing

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Columbia University?

Columbia University has not provided an information about GPAs of accepted students. Any questions regarding applicant expectations should be addressed directly with the school.

Out of all students that were admitted, 26.2% submitted a class rank. At Columbia University 95.7% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 99.6% were in the top 25% and 100% were in the top 50%.

GPAs of Admitted Students

At Columbia University, student GPAs fall in the following ranges.

GPA Percent of Students
4.0 GPA
3.75 and 3.99
3.50 and 3.74
3.25 and 3.49
3.00 and 3.24
2.50 and 2.9
2.00 and 2.49

This chart depicts the percentage of all enrolled, degree-seeking, first-time, first year (freshmen) students who had high school grade point average within the given ranges.

Note: Some schools choose not release this information. If you have any questions regarding missing numbers, be sure to reach out to Columbia University directly.

About GPAs

Your high school grade point average (GPA) is a number that highlights your high school academic performance. A weighted GPA or an unweighted GPA are the two possible GPA scores considered by colleges.

An unweighted GPA is an average of your scores from each class on a four-point scale. Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0. A weighted GPA considers your average grade and the difficulty of your classes. A weighted GPA boosts your average by adding extra points for honors or Advanced Placement courses.

Standardized Test Scores

Columbia University is not test optional. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2022, 45% of Columbia University's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 24% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What is a Good SAT Score for Columbia University?

To be competitive with other Columbia University applicants, you should strive to earn between 1500 and 1560 (or higher!) on the SAT. At Columbia University 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1560 and 25% of scored lower than 1500, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.The mean composite SAT score for a Columbia University student is 1524.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Columbia University students scored 800 or higher and 75% of students scored 730 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Columbia University students scored 780 or higher, and 75% scored a 730 or higher.

To be most competitive at Columbia University, you should strive to earn between 34 and 35 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 35 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Columbia University's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 35, and three out of four students scored lower than 35 on the ACT.

A 34 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Columbia University students. Only one out of every four students scored below 34.

More Information on Transferring to Columbia University

For transfer students, it is extremely difficult to get admitted to Columbia University.

For transfer students wishing to start in the fall, the deadline to apply is March 1. Applicants should hear back by May 15.

Transfer students can enroll in Columbia University during the following terms:

• Fall Term

• Winter Term

• Spring Term

• Winter Term

• Summer Term

Columbia University Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Columbia University?

✅ Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to Columbia University.

Does Columbia University accept transfer credits?

✅ Columbia University accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Do I have to submit test scores to Columbia University?

✅ Columbia University is not test optional.

What is Columbia University's acceptance rate?

✅ The acceptance rate for Columbia University is 4%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at Columbia University?

✅ Columbia University's early decision acceptance rate was 12% in 2021.

Want To Learn More About Columbia University?

Click below to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics, majors and more.


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

See what others are saying about Columbia University in the College Confidential forums

Explore other colleges in New York or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Columbia Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty



How hard is it to get into Columbia? Columbia is a selective institution. The Columbia acceptance rate is 4%. This means that the institution accepts 3 out of every 100 applicants.


Columbia Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 1

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Columbia is Jan 1.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Columbia is Mar 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Columbia SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1500 - 1560


Math SAT Range

770 - 800


Reading SAT Range

730 - 780

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1560 and Above


1500 to 1560


1500 and Less


SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for Columbia students is 1524. Applicants with SAT scores of 1560 and above have a good chance of being admitted to Columbia, while applicants with SAT scores between 1500 to 1560 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1500 have a low chance of being offered a spot at Columbia.

Columbia GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)

Not available

Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting


Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

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Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 1
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