Graduate Admissions

International Students

International Students

COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO provides a supportive learning environment for its international graduate student community and welcomes applicants who are non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents. International applicants follow the same basic application procedure as domestic students; however, they are required to submit some additional materials. Please contact the Graduate Admissions & Services Office if you have any questions regarding whether or not the following requirements are applicable to your unique situation.

International students must submit the following by the application deadline, in addition to the application requirements for their program of interest:
  • Official TOEFL Score: A minimum TOEFL score of 100ibt, 250cbt or 600pbt is required. This requirement may be waived for an applicant who has earned his/her bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in the United States, or whose primary language is English. If you feel you meet these criteria, please contact us at to discuss a waiver. Waivers are not granted automatically.
  • Official or Certified True Copies of Educational Records with English Translations:  Applicants must submit all official or certified true copies of their educational records of college/university work. Official educational records not written in English should include an English translation.  In some cases this may require applicants to submit a “leaving certificate” or “graduation certificate” along with their translated, certified educational record.
If accepted for admission, international students must also submit the following, as applicable, as soon as possible after receiving their decision letter:
  • $450 CONFIRMATION DEPOSIT: The confirmation deposit secures your spot in the incoming class and initiates a review of your file by our International Office of Student Affairs, so that they may issue you a SEVIS I-20 Certificate of Eligibility (one of the items required in order to obtain a visa). Note that your I-20 cannot be issued until all the required documents (below) have been received. Your deposit can be paid at:
  • OFFICIAL FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS: You must submit an official bank letter/statement dated within six months of the start of classes. 

- Your financial documentation should verify that you have financial support available to you that is equivalent to Columbia College Chicago's published "Attendance Budget" for the year you intend to enroll. The current  Attendance Budget is posted on Columbia's Student Financial Services website.
- Your financial documents should either be in your name or the name of your sponsor, if appropriate.
- If your sponsor is providing you with free room and board, then you are exempt from having to provide documentation of the "Room and Board" portion of the Cost of Attendance.

  • CERTIFICATE OF SPONSORSHIP FORM: The Certificate of Sponsorship form should be completed only if someone else is providing funding for your graduate education; the person completing the form must also have it notarized.
  • AFFIDAVIT OF SPONSOR PROVIDING FREE ROOM & BOARD: The Affidavit of Sponsor Providing Free Room & Board form should be completed only if you have a sponsor providing free housing for you while you are studying here in Chicago.  The form should be accompanied by a photocopy of the lease or deed of the property.
  • IMMIGRATION PRE-TRANSFER VERIFICATION FORM: The Immigration Pre-Transfer Verification Form should only be completed if you are currently in the U.S. on a F-1 visa.
  • READ THE INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENT PACKET: This detailed guide outlines the process for securing or transferring a student visa.
 After submitting the confirmation deposit and the required documents above, international applicants should begin the process of securing a visa and planning travel.
  • APPLY FOR A STUDENT VISA: International students will need an F-1 or J-1 student visa to enter the United States to study. You can apply for the visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, using the SEVIS I-20 Certificate of Eligibility or DS-2019 form issued by Columbia College Chicago. Other items may be required by the embassy or consulate. Click here for a listing. Questions regarding the visa process should be directed to:

Gigi Posejpal
Director of International Student Affiars

  • REVIEW THE PRE-ARRIVAL CHECKLIST: There are several important items to consider when making final arrangments to study in the US, including transportation, health coverage, finances, and housing. Click here to review our pre-arrival checklist.