Materials Required for Application to the School of the Arts

1. Completed Application


Must be submitted online.


2. Official Undergraduate Transcript


Official paper transcripts are not required for the admission application.  If you receive an offer of admission, you will be required to send official paper documents for verification. Any offer of admission will be provisional until receipt of the official undergraduate transcript showing conferral of your undergraduate degree. Whether we receive your official undergraduate transcripts directly from you or your undergraduate institution, we must receive them in a sealed envelope bearing the registrar’s stamp along the rear flap.


If (a) you have submitted only the unofficial copy of your transcript online or (b) your transcript is received, but does not state that a degree is conferred, your status will be“Received (Not Official)” and you offer of admission will be provisional  until we receive the final official transcript showing conferral of your undergraduate degree.


3. Three Letters of Recommendation


Online submission of the letters of recommendation is preferred. If you are not utilizing the online submission method, the form may be downloaded here. Fill out the applicant portion of the recommendation form, and provide it and a self-addressed stamped envelope to each recommender. Recommenders can be undergraduate, graduate, or professional contacts; they should be people who can attest to your ability and potential. Request that they: (1) enclose the recommendation; (2) seal the envelope; (3) sign their name or place their stamp across the seal; and (4) mail or give the envelope directly to you. All recommenders must meet the deadline. If they do not, the applicant will incur a late materials fee. If your recommender does not wish to send the envelope directly to you, they must send it directly to:


Columbia University School of the Arts

Admissions Office

305 Dodge Hall, MC 1808

2960 Broadway

New York, NY 10027


They must write your full name and date of birth on the letter. Again, all recommenders must meet the deadline.


A note on the three Letters of Recommendation for Film and Media Studies applicants: They should ideally be from former or current teachers.


4. Special Admissions Requirements for Application


Below is a list of special materials that are required for application to the Film and Media Studies MA Program. All submitted materials must clearly bear the applicant's name, date of birth, name of program to which he or she is applying, and title of the material (autobiographical essay, scholarly writing sample, etc).


All applicants must submit the following:


  1. Autobiographical essay: No more than six double-spaced pages that address your background in film and media studies and your professional objectives.
  2. Two scholarly writing samples: Each at least 10 double-spaced pages. At least one of the writing samples must be significantly about film.
  3. A graduate transcript, if applicable: For those who have completed a graduate degree, please submit your graduate transcript as well.


5. $110 Online Application Fee


This may be paid by credit card (Visa and MasterCard only) when submitting an application online; or by check or money order, mailed with your materials, made out to Columbia University, drawn on a U.S. bank and denominated in U.S. dollars only. We cannot accept postal money orders. Applicants should be sure to write the program and, if applicable, the concentration to which they are applying on the check or money order; if the check is that of an individual other than the applicant, the applicant's full name must be included as well. Application fees are nonrefundable and cannot be waived; no application can be processed without the application fee.


Presentation of Materials

Our Admissions Committees take note, among other factors, of the professionalism of your presentation and the appropriateness of your materials to our specific requirements. Do not add or substitute items and do not exceed length limitations. Please do not use permanent bindings, notebooks, or oversize paper. Unless requested, please also staple together the pages of each requirement, but do not staple all requirements to each other.

Responsibility for Materials

Please keep copies of all materials submitted. Do not send your only copy.
All materials included in a School of the Arts application become the property of Columbia University. Applicants desiring the return of their DVDs must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope large enough to accommodate all materials in their application packet. We do not return any written materials. International students may include a check or money order (in U.S. dollars, payable to Columbia University) to cover return postage. Every effort will then be made to return materials following the admissions period, but applicants should note that the School is not responsible for the transportation and safekeeping of materials submitted for review; applicants send all materials at their own risk. Materials are often returned as late as the September following the deadline. Applicants are not permitted to pick up submitted materials in person.