Admissions FAQ

Before Application

The School of the Arts does not provide portfolio or application material reviews.

Columbia University School of the Arts and Columbia University Student Financial Services work carefully with students to arrange the financing of their degrees. Loan packages, fellowships, scholarships and other options are available for eligible students. Please see the Financing Your Degree page for information and important financial aid application procedures and deadlines.

Tuition for the current academic year is detailed here. Please note that this information is for the current academic year, and is likely to rise each upcoming year.

While the School of the Arts does not require applicants to have an advanced degree or professional work experience, applicants who do are certainly considered positively in the review process, and such achievements may enhance candidacy for admission.

The School of the Arts receives applications from students with a wide variety of undergraduate backgrounds. Applicants do not need to have a comprehensive academic background or extensive professional experience in their field, but they must demonstrate familiarity with major issues and artists.

Due to the volume of applicants, the faculty will generally not be able to meet with prospective students. We are happy to arrange for you to speak with a current student (depending on student availability), who can give you insight into the School of the Arts program in which you're interested, campus life and living in New York City. Please email or call 212-854-2134 to schedule an appointment.

It is not possible for prospective students to sit in on classes.

We do not provide printed information about our Programs.  All information can be found on our website at  For additional information, please please fill out our Request for Information form or email us at

Columbia University offers full campus tours daily. Please see the Visitor Information page for schedules.

School of the Arts admissions representatives are happy to meet with prospective students to discuss programs and admissions policies and procedures. Please email or call 212-854-2134 to schedule an appointment.

Additionally, the Visual Arts Program offers tours of facilities during the academic year; please see the Visual Arts Tours page for the schedule. No other programs offer departmental tours.


All transcripts must be uploaded online through the online application system.

All letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically through the online application. Applicants register recommenders and they are automatically sent an email indicating the recommendation request and instructions necessary for its completion. They will be directed to an online form and will be given the opportunity to upload a letter. If this is impossible, a recommendation with the appropriate form sent by physical mail will be accepted. The form should be printed or scanned and given to the recommender who should attach it to his or her letter.

Please see the Apply page for all information on creative materials.

You may only enroll in one degree program at a time, even if you are accepted into more than one. The only exception to this is the joint JD/MFA Theatre Management and Producing Program.

The School of the Arts welcomes applications for the fall semester of each year only; no students are admitted for the spring semester.

Please see the Admissions and Financial Aid page for information.

Please see the Application to Two Programs section of the Application and Admissions Policies page.

After Applying

All interviews are scheduled at the discretion of the committee; you will be contacted if they would like to arrange one.

Columbia University Apartment Housing consists of a limited number of apartment shares, dormitory-style rooms and a very limited number of one-bedroom, studio and family units for which priority is given to couples and families. This housing is primarily located within walking distance of the campus in the Morningside Heights neighborhood.

Applications for Columbia University Apartment Housing are made only after a student has been admitted, and are handled by the University Apartment Housing (UAH) Office. Please see the Housing page for more information.

You can check the status of your application and supporting documents, including letters of evaluation, by going to the Main page in the online application. You will be able to view all documents processed thus far. This page will be updated periodically, but will contain no information until at least 3-5  business days after submission of the application. Applications submitted near the deadline of a program may not contain status information for several days.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Film MFA:
December 1, 2015
Film Studies MA:
February 2, 2016

Theatre MFA (Directing only):
December 1, 2015
Theatre MFA (all other concentrations):
January 5, 2016

Writing MFA:
January 5, 2016

Visual Arts MFA:
January 20, 2016

Arts Interdepartmental MFA (Sound Arts):
January 20, 2016
a Brochure

Office of Admissions
& Financial Aid

School of the Arts
Columbia University
305 Dodge Hall, MC 1808
2960 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 854-2134
Fax: (212) 854-1309

© 2017 Columbia University School of the Arts | 305 Dodge Hall, Mail Code 1808 | 2960 Broadway | New York, NY 10027 | (212) 854-2875 | EMAIL
Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.