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International Students

An international student at Columbia College Chicago is an individual who is neither a citizen nor a permanent resident of the United States, or any individual who is “in process” to receive U.S. permanent residency.

The Common Application is a not-for-profit organization that serves students by providing an admission application—online and in print—that students may submit to any of the more than 400 colleges that are members of the organization.

Ready to apply?

Go directly to the Common Application.

There are seven parts to the application process for international students using the Common Application.  Please click here to download a PDF version of the instructions below.

 

 

Instructions

Related Documents

(1 of 7) Using the Common Application

Your Common Application includes a required essay portion.

Essay questions

All applicants are required to complete an essay. Online applicants, please type your response directly into the online application, or upload your essay as a Word or text file, if desired.

Please respond to one of six essay questions:

Option 1

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

Option 2

Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.

Option 3

Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.

Option 4

Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.

Option 5

A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.

Option 6

Topic of your choice.

 


$100 USD application fee

There is a $100 USD non-refundable application fee. Students can either submit their payment online in the final step of the application process, use Columbia's online payment form, or send an international money order or a cashier’s check payable to Columbia College Chicago. Your options to pay the application fee follow below:

Columbia Online Application

Pay during application process

Online after submitting your application

Columbia online payment form

In person or by mail

Columbia College Chicago
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
600 S. Michigan Ave, Room 301
Chicago, IL 60605-1996, USA
If paying by money order or check, please be sure to include the student’s full name as it appears on their application.

 

 

(2 of 7) Letters of recommendation

The Common Application requires two letters of recommendation from your instructors, counselors, advisors, or other individuals to complete your admission file. For your convenience, the online application provides the option of sending an e-mail notification directly to the people you’ve chosen to complete your recommendations. Each person will be invited to complete the recommendation online with ease and will not need to mail, fax, or e-mail their recommendation. If using this option, please be prepared with the e-mail address of the person making the recommendation.

Alternatively, you may choose to download our recommendation form to be completed by your Recommender. Please note: the applicant must complete the top portion of the form.

If you are submitting recommendations separately from the main application, send them to us using one of the following methods.

In person or by mail

Columbia College Chicago
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
600 S. Michigan Ave, Room 301
Chicago, IL 60605-1996, USA

By fax

+1-312-369-8024

By e-mail

intladmissions@colum.edu
Please be sure the recommendation is in the body of the e-mail, as attachments will not be accepted. The full name and Social Security Number of the applicant, if available, should be featured at the very top the message.

 

Columbia Letter of Recom-mendation Form PDF (optional)

(3 of 7) Official or Certified True Copies of Educational Records (Transcripts, Mark Sheets, or School Records)

Students must submit all official educational records of high school, secondary school, or college/university work. Official educational records not written in English should include an English translation when possible.

If applying as a freshman

Applicants must submit official or certified true copies of their educational records demonstrating successful completion of a high school or secondary education as noted above. In some cases this may require applicants to submit a “leaving certificate” or “graduation certificate” along with their translated, certified educational record. Official educational records not written in English should include an English translation when possible.

If applying as a transfer student

Transfer applicants who have earned 15 credit hours or more of transferable college credit from an accredited college or university are typically not required to submit their high school transcript. 

  

However, Transfer applicants who wish to present a fuller picture of their academic abilities may supplement their admissions application by including their High School transcript or GED certificate for review. 

  

Please Note:  At its sole discretionColumbia’s Admissions Review Committee may request additional documentation, including official High School Transcript, or GED certificate from applicants at any stage of the review process.



To all applicants, select one of the following methods to submit your official records:

In person or by mail

Columbia College Chicago
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
600 S. Michigan Ave, Room 301
Chicago, IL 60605-1996, USA

By fax

+1-312-369-8024
We are unable to accept transcripts sent directly from the individual applicant. Transcripts sent via fax must be sent directly by the issuing institution.

By e-mail

intladmissions@colum.edu
We are unable to accept transcripts sent directly from the individual applicant. Transcripts sent via e-mail must be sent directly by the issuing institution.

 

(4 of 7) Proof of English Language Proficiency

Proof of English language proficiency is required for admission into the College’s undergraduate degree program if English is not your country’s primary language. This can be demonstrated by submitting at least one of the following:

Option 1

An official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of at least 200 CBT (computer-based test) or 72 composite IBT (internet-based test)

Option 2

Successful completion of the US equivalency of high school where the primary language of instruction was English

Option 3

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of at least 5.5

Option 4

TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) score of at least 725

Option 5

Evidence of completion of at least one semester of university-level coursework in English Composition at an accredited college/university in the United States with a grade of “C” or better

 


Select one of the following methods to send your proof of English language proficiency:

In person or by mail

Columbia College Chicago
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
600 S. Michigan Ave, Room 301
Chicago, IL 60605-1996, USA

By fax

+1-312-369-8024
We are unable to accept transcripts sent directly from the individual applicant. Transcripts sent via fax must be sent directly by the issuing institution.

By e-mail

intladmissions@colum.edu
We are unable to accept transcripts sent directly from the individual applicant. Transcripts sent via e-mail must be sent directly by the issuing institution.

 

 

(5 of 7) Financial documentation

For F-1 and J-1 visa issuing purposes, you must submit evidence of adequate funding to meet Columbia College Chicago’s estimated tuition and living expenses. Proof of sufficient funds from reliable and renewable sources to cover the first year “cost of attendance” is required.

International students who will not require an F-1 or J-1 visa to study in the United States do not need to submit financial documentation.

For the current cost of attendance budget, please visit http://www.colum.edu/sfs. If you are married and plan to bring your spouse and/or children, proof of additional funds will be required.

Financial documentation includes:

 

Original certified or notarized “Certificate of Sponsorship

Sponsor’s original, current bank statement, issued within six months of your anticipated entry term, reflecting the appropriate amount in U.S. dollars, preferably in savings, certified in English

Other acceptable financial documentation may include proof of income, stock portfolios, and/or affidavits of free room and board

Keep in mind that each dollar not personally provided by you must be promised through sponsorship. If you have multiple sources of funding, each sponsor must submit official documentation detailing what they will provide.

As you prepare your financial documents to send to Columbia College Chicago, be sure to keep official copies of all documents to be used in the visa application process.

Select one of the following methods to send your financial documentation:

In person or by mail

Columbia College Chicago
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
600 S. Michigan Ave, Room 301
Chicago, IL 60605-1996, USA

 

Financial Documentation Guide

Certificate of Sponsorship

Affidavit of Free Room and Board (optional)

(6 of 7) Immunization records

All applicants are required to have their immunization records provided to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Students are required to submit records showing proof of specific immunizations as follows: one tetanus/diphtheria shot within the last ten years, two separate measles shots during your lifetime, one rubella shot, and one mumps shot; OR one tetanus/diphtheria shot within the last ten years, a combination of one MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and a second measles vaccination. Students born prior to January 1, 1957 and students enrolled in fewer than six credit hours are exempt from complying with this law, Illinois Public Act #85-1315.

Completed applications can be reviewed without immunization records on file. However, all students are required to have complete immunization records on file prior to Orientation/Registration.

Select one of the following methods to send your immunization documents:

In person or by mail

Columbia College Chicago
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
600 S. Michigan Ave, Room 301
Chicago, IL 60605-1996, USA

By fax

+1-312-369-8024

By e-mail

intladmissions@colum.edu



 

(7 of 7) Immigration status documents

All applicants must submit a photocopy of his/her passport page(s) showing the applicant’s full name and passport expiration date.

Applicants currently in the United States must also submit a photocopy of his/her I-94 card (front and back sides).

Additionally, applicants currently holding F-1 student visa status must submit:

 

Photocopy of his/her current I-20

Photocopy of the F-1 student visa stamp in his/her passport (if applicable)

Columbia’s Immigration Pre-Transfer Verification Form, completed by the Designated School Official or International Student Advisor at the applicant’s current U.S. institution

Select one of the following methods to send your immigration status documents:

In person or by mail

Columbia College Chicago
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
600 S. Michigan Ave, Room 301
Chicago, IL 60605-1996, USA

By fax

+1-312-369-8024

By e-mail

intladmissions@colum.edu

 

Columbia’s Immigration Pre-Transfer Verification Form

 

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