FAQ for the OPEN Program

Who is eligible to apply to the OPEN Program?

Anyone is eligible to apply to the OPEN program who is interested in completing non-matriculated courses to prepare them for entry into a health professions program.

Am I eligible for a fee waiver?

OPEN applicants are not eligible for a fee waiver.

What happens after I complete the application?

Once the application has been submitted, enrolled OPEN students will be contacted by the Admissions office after the application deadline date and will receive registration information for courses separately prior to the start of the term.

Are these courses accredited and transferable?

The courses are fully accredited and transferable. All courses are hosted by Columbia University faculty and transcripts are provided by the university. If you are considering a program outside of Columbia University, we recommend verifying with the programs admissions office by sharing a course description prior to applying to the OPEN program. Course description can be found on the main OPEN program page.

How often are classes offered and how long is each term?

Classes are offered every spring, summer, and fall semester. Each semester lasts a total of 10 weeks.

Is this program on campus?

All courses through the OPEN program are taught fully online. Students enrolled in the program will not have any on-campus privileges.

Will I have to come to campus for exams or labs?

No, quizzes, exams, and labs are all taken online and are remotely proctored.

How are the exams administered?

Exams are taken online using secure testing software. The exams are timed and taken asynchronously within a set window.

Are there specific class times for OPEN course?

Weekly pre-recorded learning modules (asynchronous) and weekly live Zoom classes lead by Course Instructor and weekly live Zoom review session lead by the Teaching Assistant. Attendance at all live sessions are optional and all live sessions are recorded for those unable to attend.

How will I be graded?

Each course may have a slightly different grading structure but you should expect weekly assignments and quizzes starting the first week of classes in addition to a mid-term and final exam.

Can I register for multiple courses at once?

Yes, all courses can be completed concurrently. Applicants can register for multiple courses at once and will complete those courses simultaneously. For example, if you need to complete Human Anatomy & Physiology I and Human Anatomy & Physiology II, you can enroll simultaneously.

What is the recommend course load for the OPEN program?

While there is no minimum or maximum number of required courses or credits to enroll in the program please be aware that the time commitment expectations for each course is 12-14 hours per week.

Do I have to enroll in all of the courses listed in the OPEN program?

No, you do not have to enroll in all of the courses listed in the OPEN program. You can register only for the courses in which you intend to complete.

How can I apply to the MDE program?

We understand that our OPEN program can be a gateway into nursing. If you wish to submit an application to our Masters Direct Entry for Non-Nurses program (MDE), please note that you will need to wait for the application to be live. Our degree program applications go live once a year every summer. After starting an MDE application, send us an e-mail at nursing@cumc.columbia.edu, for your submission fee to be waived. Please be conscious to submit your MDE application by the posted deadline and contact us with sufficient time for the waiver to be applied.

I am enrolled in the OPEN program. Does this mean that I am automatically accepted into the MDE program?

No, enrollment in the OPEN program does not mean that you are accepted to any of our degree granting programs. If you are interested in any of our degree granting programs, you will need to complete an admissions application during the application period. To learn more about our programs, please visit our Admissions at a Glance.

Am I eligible for FEDERAL financial aid?

you may be eligible for private loans. To inquire about a personal loan, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at sonfinaid@cumc.columbia.edu

What is the process for paying my bill?

Once you have activated your student account and registered via the university system, you will receive a final bill. This will be emailed by the Bursar’s office to your Columbia University email address and will include the process on how to pay your bill. This bill will need to be paid prior to the end of the change of program period. Please refer to the OPEN academic calendar.

What payment options are available to cover the cost of the OPEN program?

Tuition costs are $350 per credit plus additional lab and schools fees and each course will be three or four credits per semester. You have the option of setting up a payment plan through Student Financial Services or request a personal loan.  

Are there additional expenses?

Yes, aside from the charges displayed on a student’s bill, please expect to pay the following:

CastleBranch ID Verification - $26

Lab Fee - $100

CastleBranch ID Verification – One-time cost at the start of the program which covers annual enrollment.

Lab Fee – Lab cost is approximately $100 and is applicable for science courses.

Where can I find the OPEN program calendar?

The Academic Calendar can be found on the main page of the program and is updated regularly.