Admissions FAQ

Academic Questions

How does Columbia compute my GPA?
We do not compute GPAs for students. We use the GPA listed on your undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) transcripts. If you have taken courses at other universities that are not counted towards your undergraduate (or graduate) GPA, we ask you to upload those transcripts to your application; however, the grades for those courses will not be used to compute a “new” GPA for you.
I have a low GPA. Can I still apply?
Columbia Nursing takes a holistic view of our applicants. GPAs are considered along with video essay, timed writing, letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose, community service experience, etc. If you have a lower GPA, we recommend using the Addendum section of the application to compose an explanation for the lower grades/scores and a statement as to how you have shown academic prowess in other areas.
Where can I take the prerequisites?
Students can take prerequisites at any accredited university (including accredited online and community colleges). Students cannot take prerequisites at Columbia School of Nursing, as we are a graduate school and do not offer these courses. Also, please note that we do not accept courses from Straighterline.  Please see our "Guide to Prerequisites" document on the main admissions page.
What is the required grade for prerequisite courses?
We require that students earn at least a B for prerequisite courses (please note that a B- is below the requirement of a B). The most competitive applicants will score As and Bs on prerequisite coursework.
If I retake a prerequisite and earn a better grade, will Columbia consider the better grade?
Yes. If you retake a course, we will consider the better grade.
Is there an expiration date for any of the prerequisites?
 Yes, the statistics prerequisite must have been taken within the past 5 years for all Columbia Nursing programs. This timetable is determined by entry term, not date of application.
Do you require labs for the prerequisites?
We do not require labs for any of the prerequisites for any of the programs we offer.

Application Process Questions

When are applications open for the following year?
Applications are open in August for program starts the following year. For example, applications for programs starting in 2018 are available in August 2017.
Who reviews my application?
Applications are reviewed by an admissions committee composed of program directors, faculty, and admissions staff.
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
Columbia Nursing requires exactly three letters of recommendation (no more, no less). Letters of recommendation should be written by supervisors, professors, or advisors who know you well and who can speak to your skills. At least two references should be written by individuals with whom you have worked (or taken a course) in the past 6 months.
How are decision letters distributed?
Decision letters are posted to the online application. Once decisions are made, a notification email will be sent to the applicant.
What is your process for waitlisted students?
During application reviewing, the admissions committee may decide to begin a waitlist. If so, waitlisted students will be notified of their position on the waitlist when decisions are released in February. Waitlisted students must electronically submit the Waitlist Offer Form (which is attached to their decision letter) in order to reserve their spot on the waitlist. Students who have been waitlisted are welcome to submit any updates to their application (i.e. resume or prerequisite updates) through the electronic application portal. If the admissions committee decides to accept students from the waitlist, students will be notified accordingly. There is no deadline to be accepted from the waitlist before the start of classes.
Can I reapply if my application is denied?
Absolutely. If your application is denied, you can apply to the program again the following year. Note that if you apply again, we encourage you to make changes to your application to increase your competitiveness. For instance, retake the GRE, update your statement of purpose, obtain fresh letters of recommendation, etc. Please reach out to us with any questions that you have regarding this process.
What is the priority deadline and why is it important?
For certain programs, we offer a priority deadline. Faculty will begin to review applications the day after the final deadline. By submitting your application by the priority deadline you will have the following advantages: pre-screening by the admissions office to ensure a complete application, be sure that faculty reviews your application earlier, and highlight program interest by submitting an application earlier. Submission of your application by the priority deadline will not result in an earlier admission decision. All decisions are published at the same time.

General Program Questions

Does Columbia Nursing offer an undergraduate degree?
As a graduate school, Columbia Nursing does not offer a four-year undergraduate program. However, our Masters Direct Entry (MDE) program is available to those who have received an undergraduate(B.A.,B.F.A, B.S., etc.) degree in a non-nursing field and wish to make a career change.
Do you offer courses for non-matriculated students?
Unfortunately, we do not offer courses for non-matriculated students.
Does Columbia Nursing offer distance learning?
Columbia Nursing does not offer distance learning, but classes are frequently computer resource enhanced.
Is part-time study available?
Columbia Nursing does not offer part-time programs. However, many of our programs allow students to work in some capacity, typically part-time or per diem.
Does Columbia Nursing accept transfer credits from other schools?
Advanced standing for a course already successfully completed elsewhere may be granted on an individual basis to students as either 1) transfer credits, 2) credit by exam, or 3) course exemption. Between 3 to 9 credits of coursework can be accepted for Advanced Standing, depending on the program of entry. Of these nine credits, a maximum of six may be transfer credits. Only courses taken before enrolling at Columbia Nursing will be considered. Course exemption, not transfer credit, may be granted for coursework which has been applied to an earlier degree but is deemed similar to Columbia Nursing course requirements. Learn more about our Transfer of Credit policy.
Can I study abroad while at Columbia Nursing?
Yes! Students in the MDE program can apply for an abroad opportunity for their Integration in the spring semester. Some opportunities include La Romana, Dominican Republic; Juarez, Mexico; Jamaica; University of Navarra, Spain; Malawi, West Africa; Jordan. Some of these opportunities require that students be fluent in the language of the country in which they are working.
Where are the clinicals?
Columbia Nursing prioritizes providing students with an exceptional clinical experience in a wide variety of locations. Clinicals may be in any hospital in New York City and in many smaller clinics as well. Students do not have to obtain clinical placements themselves – Columbia will provide all clinical sites. All clinical sites may be accessed by mass-transit, and we will provide transportation to any sites that are outside of the area (students do not need a car). Some examples of clinical sites are as follows:
– NYP Columbia Milstein Hospital
– NYP Cornell Hospital
– NYP Allen Pavilion
– Montefiore (CHAM)
– Mt. Sinai Hospital
– NY Psychiatric Institute
– St. Luke’s Hospital
– Metropolitan Hospital
– Nyack Hospital (transportation provided)

Other Questions

Is on-campus housing available?
More than 1,000 students reside on the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) Campus in University accommodations. Both single student and couples housing is available for as many incoming students as possible. Although on-campus housing is not guaranteed, every effort is made to provide on-campus housing to students who live outside the metropolitan area. CUMC offers support to students seeking off-campus housing as well. Learn more at the CUMC Housing website.
Does Columbia Nursing offer any resources for international applicants?
CUMC's International Student and Scholars Office provides advice and counseling to international students on housing, financial issues, visas, extensions of stay, work permission, temporary departure from the United States, transfer from Columbia to another school, and termination of study. Learn more at the International Student and Scholars Office website. Please note that international applications are only eligible for the MDE and PhD programs. You can also read more about applying as an international applicant here.