Prospective Students

The information provided below can guide you through the application process to the Ph.D. program in Psychology. There are two important facts to keep in mind:

  • The deadline for submitting your application is December 2, 2019.

    • For further information or updates about the admissions process, please visit the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences website periodically or email with your inquiries.
    • International students should also check on special requirements that are also described on the GSAS website.
  • All of your application materials should be sent directly to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Preparing to Apply

  • Take the GRE (the General Test is required, and the Subject Test is strongly recommended) in the fall.

    Take the GRE in the fall so the official scores will have been submitted well before the December 2nd Columbia application deadline.

    Send your scores to Columbia University GSAS using school code 2162. Applicants should not send application materials to the Psychology Department. This department strongly encourages a combined verbal/quantitative GRE score of at least 310 to be considered for admission to the program.

  • If applicable, take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS.

    Send your scores to Columbia University, not the Psychology Department, using school code 2162. 

    International students must hold the equivalent of an American university baccalaureate (B.A. or B.S.) and be fluent in both written and spoken English. For more information on testing or degrees, please check the GSAS Admission page. 

  • Arrange to have 3 academic references sent to GSAS.

    Ask the professors from whom you are requesting evaluations to use our on-line system for submission of your recommendations. You will need to obtain the email addresses of your professors. If professors are unable to submit academic references on-line, those documents should be mailed to the GSAS Office of Admissions with a Letter of Recommendation Cover Sheet which can be downloaded from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences site.

  • Other Requirements:

    • A statement of academic purpose – submit a statement on-line of approximately 1000 words concerning your plans for graduate study and a professional career. Please be sure to include the areas in which you are interested and the names of faculty whose research attracts you.
    • Official Transcripts – official transcripts submitted on-line are required from each undergraduate (and graduate) school attended showing all courses, grades and degrees received, if any. Upon acceptance into GSAS, you should then submit your sealed transcript(s) with the signature of an authorized official across the envelope seal.
  • If your transcripts are being sent from a foreign country, be sure to request that they are in English with explanations of the grading system.

    A certified translation may be done by the consulate or a professional agency if your school does not provide one.

  • Application fee payment method

    • Applicants must use the online application. Applicants must use a credit or debit card to pay the application fee of $100.
    • The fee should be in the form of a personal or bank check in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank, U.S. Postal Money Orders or Travelers Checks made payable to “Columbia University.” If you are an international student, applying from outside the United States, these are the following conditions: pre-printed on the check must be: a) the U.S. address, and b) the nine-digit ABA or routing number at the bottom. Applications are not considered complete unless accompanied by the fee.

The Application

  • All prospective students must apply to Columbia University using the online process.

    The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is no longer printing applications to be mailed. Read about the online process.

    Before applying online, please check first to be sure you meet the following system requirements:

    • You will need a web browser that has Javascript activated.
    • Supported web browsers include Internet Explorer 5 and above, Netscape 6 and above, Safari (for Macintosh users), and Mozilla/Firefox.
    • Do not use AOL's internal browser.
    • Pop-up blockers should be disabled.
    • You must logout of the online application after each session.
  • You may submit your on-line application, even if your professors have not yet submitted the academic references.

    When the reference letters are submitted, they will be attached to your application. The application deadline is December 7, 2018.

  • Your application must include the following information:

    • A completed on-line application.
    • A non-refundable fee of $100 for on-line application made payable to Columbia University.
    • One official complete set of transcripts submitted on-line reflecting all undergraduate and graduate work, if any. Upon acceptance into GSAS, sealed transcript(s) with the signature of an authorized official across the envelope seal should then be submitted to GSAS.
    • Three letters of recommendation - if professors are unable to submit academic references on-line, the recommendations should be mailed to the GSAS Office of Admissions in a sealed envelope signed by the professor with a Letter of Recommendation Cover Sheet to the GSAS address listed below: 

      Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
      108 Low Memorial Library
      535 West 116th Street, MC 4303
      Columbia University
      New York, NY 10027

      (phone) 212.854.8903
      (fax) 212.854.2863

    • A statement of academic purpose submitted on-line.
    • GRE scores (official copies must be sent directly from ETS).
    • If applicable, results of the TOEFL or IELTS examination.
  • You can work on the various parts of your application sporadically.

    You must save all information each time you use the on-line system. 

    You can view the status of your application in an on-line PDF form in the GSAS Apply Yourself Application found in the DOWNLOADABLE FORMS section of the application 5-10 business days after you have submitted your application materials. When documents such as academic references are submitted on-line on your behalf, you will receive a confirmation from GSAS Apply Yourself. Documents submitted on your behalf by post may take longer to appear on your application status PDF.

Admission - The Interview Invitation

In January, selected students will be contacted by faculty either by phone or email and invited to attend ‘Prospective Days’ at Columbia. Prospective Days are held over a long weekend in late February so these applicants can gain a first hand knowledge of the Psychology faculty, the current students and the program in general. It also provides the faculty with the opportunity to interact with prospective students to determine the degree of matching interests. The final selection of students occurs after this weekend.

While students who will be admitted will be contacted soon after by the department, the formal offer will come from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in email. Official notification from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences about admission decisions will be mailed mid-March.