Application Requirements

Completed online application form.

Apply here .

You must submit all materials directly, not through an agent or third-party vendor, with the sole exception of submissions by the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program and its three partner agencies IIE, LASPAU and AMIDEAST, and by the Danish-American Fulbright Commission (DAF), Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), and Vietnam Education Fund (VEF).

If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact the admissions office  apply [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu .

$95.00 nonrefundable application fee (U.S. currency)

Fee payment must accompany the online application.

Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended

In the Academic History section of the online application, applicants must list and upload unofficial transcripts for all post-secondary institutions you have attended full-time for at least one term . This includes any summer program(s), study abroad program(s), or transfer coursework including any additional mark sheets, official translations, or degree certificates for international transcripts as needed w ith the exception of: 

If requested, applicants may be required to provide transcripts from any and all post-secondary institutions.   

Please note that applicants are required to submit grades for all coursework completed at the time they complete their application . Applicants who are currently enrolled in coursework and who submit transcripts with in-progress coursework for admissions consideration (official WES for international and unofficial for domestic) must provide an updated unofficial transcript showing the grades for that completed semester’s coursework as soon as one becomes available. 

For Domestic Institutions

Unofficial transcripts for each institution listed are sufficient for the admissions review process. Note: Unofficial transcripts must include both the name of the student and the institution to be used for application review. 

For International Institutions

Official ICAP course-by-course evaluation by World Education Services, Inc. (WES) , a third-party verification agency, for all post-secondary coursework completed outside of the United States is required for your application to be reviewed . WES evaluations will be reviewed, and the determination of degree equivalency to U.S. degrees is at the discretion of the School of Professional Studies. 

Please note that applicants who have completed 18 credits or less abroad may submit an unofficial transcript for admissions consideration . If admitted, the applicant must submit an official transcript directly from the prior institution. WES is not required for a total of 18 credits or less completed outside the United States.

Instructions for using WES

WES must complete a course-by-course evaluation of all international post-secondary coursework and credentials.  Please select the WES ICAP course-by-course evaluation (with GPA and course levels) for the United States and request to have WES send your evaluation to Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.  The school can be found by searching Columbia University and then selecting the School of Professional Studies.

WES evaluations will be reviewed, and the determination of degree equivalency to U.S. degrees is at the discretion of the School of Professional Studies.

Falsification, forgery, and misrepresentation of any type will risk forfeiture of admissions and/or enrollment. Forfeiture may occur whenever an integrity lapse is discovered and may include admissions revocation, expulsion, or another sanction outlined within the Student Conduct and Community Standards . Applicants would not be entitled to request any refund of the application fee, enrollment deposit, or tuition in the case that the official transcript deviates from the unofficial.

Requirements for Enrollment:

If offered admission, and before being permitted to enroll, you must submit official verified transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended for academic credit in the manner outlined under Policies in the Application Instructions section of this application.

If you are in the process of completing a degree at the time you apply, final official transcripts with degree conferral (for domestic institutions) or a final official WES evaluation showing degree conferral, including your degree certificate (for international institutions) will be required for enrollment. If you have completed your studies at the time of your application, we strongly recommend you submit your final official transcripts as soon as possible. Failure to submit an official transcript or WES within 30 days following the start of your first semester will result in a hold on your account and, if not remedied, can result in dismissal from the program.

Your résumé

Please upload your résumé or CV. Please be sure to include all relevant work experience, professional organizations, or activities that would be relevant to evaluating your candidacy for admission. 

Two letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation must be written by current or former supervisors or by faculty members with whom you have studied in the classroom, who can assess your academic work, intellectual ability, academic potential for graduate work, address your suitability for the program and your ability to commit to the rigorous curriculum. If you own your own business and are your own supervisor, you may select a client as your recommender. Personal references are not appropriate. All applicants are required to submit at least one academic reference unless that applicant received a bachelor’s degree more than 5 years prior to the date of the application. Applicants who received a bachelor’s degree more than 5 years prior to the date of the application are strongly encouraged, but not required, to submit an academic reference. If you are unable to comply with the recommendation requirement, please contact apply [[at]] sps [[dot]] columbia [[dot]] edu for assistance.

Important Policies Related to Recommendations:

Share These Five Things With Your Recommenders

Important Tips About Recommendations

Statement of Purpose (250 Words)

Why are you pursuing the Columbia University Strategic Communication Program, and how does it relate to your career goals?

Supplemental Essay (250 Words)

Describe the values that guided you through a personal or professional challenge you recently encountered.

Video Essay

After you have submitted your application and fee, you will be required to submit a 1-minute video essay. You will be given time to create test videos to ensure that your system is working properly. When you are ready, you will be given a randomly selected prompt for which you will have one minute to prepare and one minute to record a response. You will not be able to re-record your video. Please note that the video essay response should be your own thoughts and should not be rehearsed or prepared beforehand.

Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test (GRE preferred; GMAT accepted)

This information is required, with two exceptions:

When submitting test scores with your application, please note that we require official test scores before your application can be reviewed.

An Admissions Interview

This  may  be required.

Students whose first or native language is not English must include proof of English proficiency

To be considered for admission, students must be comfortable with rapid and idiomatic spoken English. If your first or native language is not English, you must provide official scores on the TOEFL or IELTS. Applicant total scores must meet the Columbia SPS minimum requirement of 100 (TOEFL iBT) or 7.0 (IELTS). You will be required to enter your test scores or your anticipated testing date within the online application, and official test score reports will be required for your application to be considered complete and ready for admission review. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years after your test date. Applicants receiving scores below the posted minimums may be advised to apply directly to the American Language Program.

Applicants whose native language is not English may be required to complete an intensive course with the American Language Program (ALP) prior to beginning their studies in the degree program as a condition for admission. Applicants may also be asked to complete an interview using a video conferencing tool.

International students must fulfill visa requirements

Visa requirements.

International students are responsible for ensuring they have read and understand the University’s  student visa application eligibility and requirements . Please note that it is not permissible to enroll while in B-1/B-2 status. Since the program offers a full-time study option, international students enrolled in a full-time course load—registered for at least 12 points of credit-bearing courses a term—are eligible for a student visa.

Eligible international students who wish to apply for a student visa should do so immediately after they have received their letter of admission to Columbia University. This should be done by completing the  Application for Visa Certificate (AVC) . Applicants should be aware that after admission into a program it may take up to four weeks to receive the documents needed from Columbia to obtain a student visa, so please plan accordingly.

International students who require a student visa to study at Columbia are required to pay an International Services fee. See  Tuition and Fees  for more information.

You can find the online application for visa certificate by clicking here: . While you are not permitted to submit the application until you have gained admission, we strongly encourage you to read the instructional information provided.

For questions about individual cases, please contact: International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) 212-854-3587 isso [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu

We encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

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What do you mean there's a video essay.

In almost every information session or meeting with a student, I always feel the mood shift when I mention that SIPA has a video essay component. Students get super nervous about the idea of this being part of the application. I'm completely aware that the type of student who is applying for SIPA is one that likes to prepare in advance before submitting an assessment however in the case of the SIPA video essay, there are very little ways to prepare. I know, I know.. it sounds stressful but I promise you it's not! We are not here to fool you. Let's talk more about what the video essay actually is.

What is the video essay?

The video essay is the final component of the SIPA application. You can only access the video essay only after you submit your application and pay the application fee. We will give you a random prompt and you'll have 60 seconds to think of your answer and 90 seconds to record your answer, then you're done! No reshoots, one and done.

Ok, Brianne.. that sounds intimidating. How can I prepare?

Well candidates, to be honest, it's very hard to prepare for this. The actionable items I tell students they can do is make sure you are in a quiet space and you test your audio/visual settings prior to beginning. The prompt is random so you won't know in advance what you will get. My best advice is treat this like you're going on a first date; have good eye contact, talk clearly, go in with the mindset of wanting the admissions committee to get a sense of your personality, and do the best to your ability. Ultimately, this prompt is just like a conversation between us on the admissions side and you. There's no expectation to be an expert on the question you're given so I think it's most important to just relax and be yourself. The best video essays are the ones that come across as conversations rather than speaking as if you're reading off a piece of paper. Also, unlike a first date, no need to get dressed up!

So I've submitted my application and paid the fee, I now have my video prompt. What are your tips in the 60 second prep time?

First, take a deep breathe and read the question. As I mentioned before, it's not a prompt that is meant to stump you. These prompts can be anything from policy-based, political, opinion, behavioral, etc. so it should not be out of your subject zone. Remember, you only have 60 seconds to think of your answer so use your time wisely, but know it's not expected that you're going to have every single piece of thought ready for this. I see many students who are trying to cram so much information into the video, especially when it's a policy driven prompt. Sometimes less is more, and I feel that can definitely be the case with the video essay. If it's a question about yourself, don't overthink it. I think the utmost important thing to remember is there is no "right" answer for these prompts. I said it before but use your 60 seconds wisely; create a structure with the prompt you have been given; maybe you have some buzz words you write down that want to remember when you're speaking. You'd be surprised what you can accomplish in 60 seconds!

My prep time is done. It's time for the 90 seconds. Any advice?

One thing that's important to share is that there will be no sound or light alerting you that your 90 seconds has started so be aware of your time. Right before it starts, take a deep breathe and remember what I shared above. One personal recommendation is to use the first five seconds of your time to introduce yourself "Hi, my name is", and start going into your prompt. I think one of the worst things students can do is clearly be reading their notes word for word on the screen in front of them. Remember, this should be conversational - we don't want it to feel rehearsed but instead more natural. It's ok to have notes, as mentioned maybe some buzz words to remember, but please do not spend the whole time reading off of something. If you experience technical difficulties during your video essay, reach out to the Office of Admission for assistance. 

It's done. Now what?

You're officially done with the application - woohoo! Please take a moment to be so proud of yourself; it can be daunting applying to graduate schools, especially if you've been out of undergraduate for a while. If you're worried that you did terrible or wish that you could redo it, remember that this only one component of your application; SIPA takes a holistic approach to reviewing applications meaning we take a very thorough review of all aspects of your application. Good luck!

columbia strategic communication video essay

Avoid verbal, vocal, and visual mistakes in #videoessays and #interviews

How to avoid the three most common types of #videoessay mistakes – verbal, vocal, and visual.

How can you utilize video to stand out from other applicants? I created my YouTube account in 2008. Still, it took me until 2012, four years, to figure out how to use video to differentiate myself from other admissions consultants. You don't have four years. How can you use video to stand out now?

First, please understand why schools want to see your video.

Why do schools ask for videos?

As with written essays, schools ask for video responses because they want to get to know you. The schools are seeking to see how you present yourself visually and with little time to prepare or polish answers. They are testing articulation and presence in a way that essays can’t and at much less expense than interviews. In that sense, these videos are a pre-interview screening device in addition to a way to learn more about your likes and dislikes, achievements, dreams, goals, and challenges. Schools want to accept students who reflect well on them.

How to avoid the three most common types of video essay mistakes

1. verbal mistakes (what you say).

(7% impact)

2. Vocal mistakes (how you say it)

(38% impact)

3. Visual mistakes (what you look like)

(55% impact)

Understand your impact

I recently came across a study that claims that what you say (verbal communication) only accounts for 7% of the impact of your message. Your tone of voice (vocal communication) accounts for 38% of your impact. Perhaps most surprisingly, your visual communication (non-verbal physical behavior) conveys 55% of your impact. While I cannot verify these statistics, I do know that what we say is often less important than how we say it. Others do not always perceive us the way we wish to be perceived

Verbal communication (words) = 7% impact

Vocal communication (tone of voice) = 38% impact

Visual communication (non-verbal physical behavior) = 55% impact

(found at; accessed 2015/10)

Vague answer

Describe a unique perspective, skill set, or life experience you have. Articulate how it might benefit your classmates, enhance discourse in the classroom, and/or contribute to our school community.

Unorganized answer

Unprofessional tone.

Avoid slang or profanity

Negative first impression – is your opening warm, classy, and engaging?

Always introduce yourself – opening (name and location) and closing (thank you)

Compare early VincePrep videos and more recent ones

Abrupt closing

Say something like, "Thank you for watching this video. I hope to see you on campus."

Do you sound articulate?

Minimize verbal junk

What is verbal junk?

Verbal junk includes "umm," and "uh"

Why do we use verbal junk?

We sometimes make noises to fill the silence as we think

This verbal mitake happens when are are unprepared

Why is verbal junk problematic: too many "umms" and "uhs" detract from presence. We sound unprofessional. We appear to lack confidence

Solution: think for a few seconds before you reply and then minimize pauses that we tend to fill with “umms” and “uhs”

Are you too quiet? – we cannot hear you

Be sure your room is quiet and you are loud (but not too loud)

Are you too loud?

Your voice sounds distorted, like a singer in a punk or metal band

If you can see the sound wave of voice in an audio recording software, you want to be just slightly in the red zone

Are you speaking too fast? – we cannot follow your ideas

We often speed up when unprepared

Is it possible to speak too slow?

Speak as slowly as you can (show Mr. Aluminum sample)

According to psychologists, visual communication (what you look like) accounts for more than half of the impact of your message. Is your presence weak or unconvincing? Is your physical appearance unprofessional? Are your hand gestures natural? Are you making eye contact? How are your facial expressions? Are you recording your video in the best location, with proper lighting? Is your camera placed at eye level?

Is your presence weak or unconvincing? – we cannot believe you

You look scared, not confident

Is your physical appearance unprofessional? – would we want to hire you?

Dress neatly, as you would at a job interview

Follow any dress guidelines the school provides

Women, put on light make-up and minimal jewelry. If you wonder if your attire is too revealing, it is

Men, get a haircut and shave. Trim that beard or mustache, if you have one

Never let them see you sweat

Max the AC in the room where you will record but turn off all AC / fans when recording to avoid hum

Your video is only one minute; you should be able to finish your recording before the temperature starts climbing

Bad posture – you look scared and small

Sit up straight and lean a little bit forward

Unnatural hand gestures – are you using your hands to emphasize your main points? Do you look like you are drowning?

Keep your hands in neutral position

Practice using them to emphasize certain points

Weak or inconsistent eye contact – you are not sure where to look

The little green dot is your best friend

Too much (or too little) breathing – you sound out-of-breath, and/or I can hear your exhalations

Remember to breathe naturally

Wrong facial expression – do you look like you are in pain?

Remember to smile

I know it is awkward speaking to a machine

When I record VincePrep videos, I put a photo of someone who makes me smile just above my computer’s camera

Wrong location – we can see your dirty laundry

What is a good background? Also, check continuity (a viewer of one of my HBS videos noticed the Stanford alumni directory on my bookshelf)

Wrong lighting – we cannot see your face

Grab every portable light in your apartment / office and flood your face with light. You will feel strange, but look GREAT for your audience

Have the window in front of you, not behind you

Wrong camera placement – we are looking up your nose

Place the camera at eye level

If you are using a laptop to record your video, put it on top of some large books

How to practice

When I first starting making VincePrep videos, I found the experience very unnatural. I hope I’ve improved with practice. You can too.

If you feel quite nervous about the video exercise or about speaking in public, consider joining Toastmasters and forcing yourself to speak publicly. You will improve your “presence” and gain confidence. Hopefully, you are reading this blog post months before you need to record your admissions video. If not, then please follow the steps below to practice with the time you have.

When recording your sample, put yourself in the exact setup you plan to use for the real thing.

Practice questions

What are some typical questions you can practice now? While you may not be able to prepare for a specific question, you definitely can and should prepare. Practice answering sample questions in 60 seconds or less. Then view the video. Did you avoid the verbal, vocal and visual mistakes listed above in this post? Once you have recorded a video that represents your best effort, contact your Agos Admissions Consultant to arrange a one-to-one session. Be sure to share your video as "unlisted" and include the URL in your email to your consultant. Here are a few sample questions to get you started:


What is the most interesting course you took as a student?

Why did you choose your college major?


What do you do for fun?

What are your passions, interests, and hobbies?

What is one thing you’ve always wanted to try?

If you had an extra hour every day, what would you do with it?

If you could meet anyone (living or dead), who would it be and why?

What is your most treasured possession and why?

What invention during your lifetime has had the biggest impact on you and why?

Tell us about the most interesting place you’ve traveled to. What did you enjoy most about it?

If money was not a concern, what would you do?

What’s the best book you have ever read and why?

If you could witness any event —past present or future —what would it be?

What is the most meaningful thing anyone has done for you in your life?

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

How have you handled a difficult interaction? What did you learn from it?

What impact have you had on your co-workers?


Whom do you respect most, and why?

What is your favorite motto or quote, and why?

What inspires you?

What word describes you best and why?

Tell us about the first job you ever had.

When you have a problem, whom do you approach for advice and why?

What accomplishment are you proud of?

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Tell us about an organization or activity in which you have dedicated significant time. Why was it meaningful to you?

How have you changed in the last five years?

What risk have you taken and what did you learn?

Describe a difficult professional decision you had to make. What were the consequences, and what, if anything, did you learn?


If you could teach a class on any subject, what would it be and why?

What is one interesting thing about you that you would want your future classmates to know?

The real thing

Expect the worst. Our clients have reported system malfunctions and delays.

How to share your video

Send your Agos Admissions Consultant the link to your video. Be sure to make the video "unlisted," not "private." Please upload your video to YouTube. We recommend that you use the "Unlisted Video" setting so that only individuals who have the URL can view it. Only those who you send the link to will be able to view it. It isn't searchable. It won't be password protected but the only way it can be shared is if someone posts/shares the link applicants send, which we obviously won't be doing. Please click this link to learn more about creating “Unlisted” videos in YouTube:

Bottom line

The biggest mistake is simply not making a video. This video is an opportunity. Take it and make the most of it

Vince Critiques his own sample videos

What was well done, and what could be improved? Check the changes across four versions of my Columbia Business School essay tips recorded from 2012 to 2015.

First attempt (Jul 2012)

Link ▸

▸ Original analysis (good content)

Could be improved

▸ Very long (one hour!)

Bad body language

learning back in chair

touching face

not smiling

Second attempt (Jun 2013)

Link ▸

▸ Clear content, well structured

▸ Monotone (I sound low energy)

▸ Not smiling

▸ Not well lit

▸ Noise in the background (low grade hum probably caused by the AC unit running while I recorded the video)

Third attempt (June 2014)

Link ▸

▸ Clear content, well-structured

▸ Personal insights combined with school-specific data points

▸ Less monotone than second attempt from 2013 but still some awkward pauses

▸ Strange lighting and echo (shot at friend's apartment, not an ideal set up)

Fourth attempt (June 2015)

Link ▸

▸ Higher production value (opening music, titles)

▸ Vocal delivery sounds relatively natural, especially when compared to 2012 and 2013 videos

▸ Audio inconsistent between opening theme music and Vince's spoken words

▸ Text on screen hard to read

▸ Could have created some visual aids to demonstrate key points

Preparation for Virtual Interview

Dress professionally, and maintain good posture and body language

Position your camera a little above your eye level, leaving your head and shoulders visible and 10-20% of the top of the screen unfilled

Sit facing your light source, allowing for a clear and bright video

Minimize background distractions and outside noise

Information is subject to change. Please verify all data with the schools.

columbia strategic communication video essay

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Compilation of Video Essay Interview Questions and Tips

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INSEAD Video Interview Questions & Tips

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Question List

Compiled Video Interview Questions for Foster School of Business

Set 1 : - (Thanks to abhimahna )

Set 2 : - (Thanks to murtuzahn )

Set 3 : - (Thanks to injineer )

Set 4 : - (Thanks to okhotnikovaalina )

Set 5 : - (Thanks to TravisfromAUS )

Set 6 : - (Thanks to saswata4s )

Set 7 : - (Thanks to Siddharth.Juneja )

Set 8 : - (Thanks to diligent )

Set 9 : - (Thanks to subi007 )

Set 10 : - (Thanks to praneshchitre )

Set 11 : - (Thanks to hannibal535 )

Set 12 : - (Thanks to msbae0308 )

Set 13 : - (Thanks to gauravs2 )

Set 14 : - (Thanks to ngplnikhil )

Set 15 : - (Thanks to nadirhashmi )

Set 16 : - hehe! The below are the questions that I faced. No thanks to anyone :-P

Set 17 : - (Thanks to Talayva )

The following are the questions I found in a document , Here is the link to download it ( -


Kellogg Video Questions

Video Interview Tips by ENGRTOMBA2018 , Kellogg Class of 2018.

Kellogg Video Questions Shared on Forum

LBS Video Essays

Video Essay Tips

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Fisher(Ohio) video questions

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Notre Dame Kira Interview

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Carlson Video Questions

Emory Video Questions


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How to ace columbia sipa's "video response" interview.


The School of international and Public Affairs (SIPA – pronounced “SEE-pa”) at Columbia University in New York City is one of the leading institutions in public administration and international affairs in the world. With research centers in Development Economics, Global Energy, Global Economic Governance, International Conflict Resolution, and War and Peace Studies, any student interested in international public policy can find a home for themselves at this Ivy League School.

Overview of the Video Response

Unlike many other graduate government programs, SIPA has included a video interview essay or “Video Response” as part of their application. The Video Response is only available to applicants on their application portal after they have submitted their application and paid the application fee.

The response is high-stakes in that you only get one 60-second opportunity to answer a random question and the question could be on ANYTHING!


What is SIPA Looking For?

The Video Response is not a job interview. It is not an opportunity for SIPA to fill-in gaps in your application, nor is it an avenue for you to learn more about SIPA. The question you answer is not one that the admissions committee serves up specifically for you after reading your application. Given that the questions asked range from softballs like “how was your summer” to real stumpers like “Would you detain or kill a terrorist suspect without a trial?” it is also not a controlled experiment to see measure the knowledge of applicants or understand how they think on their feet.

Instead, SIPA’s Video Response is a way for you to put a literal face with your application. And so you want that face to look as professional and poised as possible.

Tips for perfecting the SIPA Video Interview


1. Expect to be flustered.

The questions could be on ANYTHING. Which means the likelihood that you will prepare for exactly the right question are nil. Instead, make it your priority to practice the act of answering questions, rather than to memorize responses to specific questions.

2. Remember the 7-38-55 Rule .

Pioneered by psychology professor Albert Mehrabian at UCLA and popularized through books such as Never Split the Difference by FBI Hostage Negotiator Chris Voss, that 55% of meaning in conversation is communicated by body language, 38% by the tone of your voice, and just 7% through the actual words that come out of your mouth! There is a reason why many politicians including Donald Trump replay their TV appearances on mute – that’s how people get most of the meaning.

If you just practice the words to say, you are missing out on 93% of the meaning! Instead practice looking and sounding excited, open, and friendly by rehearsing answers to questions in front of a mirror or by video recording yourself.

3. *Lights*, Camera, Action!  

Remember that you need to set your stage. That means having good lighting (to show your face), a good camera (ideally at eye-level), and a professional non-obtrusive background. Do a screen test in different locations to find the one with the best lighting, acoustics, and ambience!

Sample questions.

For a full list, including actual questions from the past 3 years, please check out our interview prep service.

Personal Background

What are your most formative memories as a child?

What is the leadership experience at work that you are most proud of?

What is a piece of feedback you’ve gotten?

How do you think your academic and professional experience has prepared you for SIPA?

What are you looking forward to doing at SIPA?

How will being in New York City help your short term goals?


Behavioral Questions

How do you handle multi-tasking?

What are you unusually good at?

Who do you turn to for advice?

Areas of Interest

What course did you enjoy the most as an undergraduate student?

Where do you get your news?

What policy issue has changed the most in your lifetime?

Head Scratchers/ Current Events

Should government policy provide equity or opportunity?

What responsibilities do companies have to incorporate environmental sustainability into business practices?

How should western countries balance their immigration policies with the economic needs of their social safety nets?

Essay Editing

You send us your essays in Microsoft Word and we mercilessly edit them. Tactical edits for grammar and tone will be made using Tracked Changes, and strategic edits on how to better use your essays will be made using embedded comments. We also recommend getting at least an hour of Hourly Help so that once you digest the edits we can workshop improvements on the phone.

($125 per 500 words)

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Complete Waitlist Package

You’re stuck on the waitlist – now what? In this complete package we run a campaign to influence the admissions committee to change their mind and let you in. We've used these methods to get clients accepted off the waitlist at Stanford GSB, HBS, and Wharton and currently boast a 63.6% success rate !

Narrative Bootcamp

Our signature product -- we take you by the hand and craft the perfect story to build your entire application around. This process helps our clients achieve superior results while saving a ton of time by developing their personal narrative up-front before they write a single word of their resume, essays, or emails to recommenders.

Our key insight is that the way to earn the approval of the admissions committee is not to "sell them your brand," but rather to "win their vote." Based on techniques pioneered at Harvard, our proprietary system digs deep into your inspirations and motivations, and beautifully connects them to your MBA aspirations in an authentic and compelling way. Our goal at the end of the process is to develop a game-plan for crafting your MBA application (or job application!) such that the gatekeeper will feel that he or she is making the world a better place by putting your application in the admit pile.

This service is very creative and high-touch. Every narrative we create is absolutely unique to the individual, and not the cookie-cutter result of a computer print out.

All content Copyright 2018 by Ivy Admissions Group, LLC. All rights reserved. Usage of this website and/or purchasing of services subject to terms and conditions .

We offer master's degrees in the arts, media, and the business of the arts

Apply as a graduate student if you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree (or are nearly finished with one) and are interested in earning a master of arts, master of fine arts, master of management or certificate.

In addition to your online application, each graduate program has specific application requirements. Please review the additional materials needed for your program of interest.

Are you an international student? Follow the same steps listed here and review  this page for additional requirements . 

Graduate application requirements, by program

This program is currently accepting applications on a rolling basis

Please submit the following in addition to your online application (required):

Optional materials:

This program is no longer accepting applications for Fall 2023. If you would like to recieve an alert when the application opens for Fall 2024, please sign up here . 

The application for the Combined Degree program is for current Columbia College Chicago juniors only. The application is separate from our other degree programs. More information about this program is available on the Combined Degree website .

We encourage you to also upload a portfolio that demonstrates your professional or creative accomplishments. These may include: a link to your professional website; links to creative work, e.g., photographs, designs, performances, compositions; a business or marketing plan; a video of a pitch-session you conducted; a proof of concept demo or illustration.

Submit Transcripts

In addition to your online application and other materials , you'll need to submit official transcripts for admission.

The preferred method for submitting transcripts is via email to [email protected] . These must be emailed directly from your institution. 

We also accept transcripts by mail to the address below. All transcripts received by mail must be in the original sealed envelope from the school in order to be considered official.

Columbia College Chicago  School of Graduate Studies 600 S. Michigan Ave. Suite 200 Chicago, IL 60605

You may receive a conditional offer of admission based on unofficial transcripts from the institution that issued your bachelor's degree. If an admission offer is made, official transcripts must be received before you can enroll.

Have more questions?

We're here to help .

Have more questions? We're here to help

David Marts

David Marts Graduate Counselor [email protected]

Emily Schmidt

Emily Schmidt Graduate Counselor [email protected]

Sean Sullivan

Sean Sullivan Counseling Associate [email protected] 312-369-3299

Requirements & Deadlines:

Additional Information:

Educational Partnerships:

Calculate Your Costs

See a breakdown of estimated costs, including tuition, housing, supplies, and personal expenses.

Calculate Your Costs Image


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