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, OPEN applicants will be contacted by the Admissions office after the application deadline and will receive instructions on how to hold a seat for the program. Registration information for courses will be sent separately prior to the term starting to those who complete all enrollment requirements.

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, please send us an e-mail at nursing@cumc.columbia.edu, for your application 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.

Can I register for multiple courses at once?

Yes, applicants can register for multiple courses at once and will complete courses registered for simultaneously.

I am interested in the MDE program. I noticed that Statistics is required for the MDE program, but is not offered in the OPEN program. Does this mean I an exempt from taking this course?

At the current moment we do not offer Statistics. However, that course is still required to be completed as part of the MDE admissions process. We recommend enrolling in a regionally accredited institution where you can enroll in these courses. For more information on our prerequisite courses for the MDE program, visit the MDE Prerequisite Courses page.

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 first day of class.

Are there additional educational expenses?

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

CastleBranch ID Verification - $24

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. 

Am I eligible for financial aid?

No, as this is a non-degree seeking program, you will not be eligible for federal financial aid but you may be eligible for private loans. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at sonfinaid@cumc.columbia.edu

Is this program on campus?

All courses through the OPEN program are hosted online.

Will I have to come to campus for exams?

No, as an online student you will not be required to come to campus.  You will not have any on-campus privileges.

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.

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.

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.

How will I be graded?

Each course may have a slightly different grading structure but you should expect weekly assignments and quizzes in addition to at least two exams.

How am I evaluated?

As a Columbia student, you are held to the same standard of all students.