Explore your creative passion

Whether you want to enhance your skills, pursue personal interests, explore new disciplines before committing to a full degree program, or take coursework not offered at your current college or university, we are thrilled you're interested in Columbia College Chicago! Columbia is a creative liberal arts college focused on rigorous academics and hands-on, team-based learning. Located in one of the most vibrant and forward-thinking cities in the world, we are committed to an inclusive community that will inspire you to hone your talents and shape the world around you.

If you are 18 or older and not seeking a college degree from Columbia, you're considered a student-at-large. To apply as a student-at-large, submit the following items in addition to the application.

If you're interested in taking graduate-level courses as a student-at-large, please contact Graduate Admissions at 312.369.7260.

Start your application

Please note: The Summer 2016 application has closed.


All applicants are required to complete the following essay:

In 200 words or more, please tell us about yourself and what you hope to accomplish while taking classes at Columbia College Chicago.

Application Fee

A completed online application must include a nonrefundable $35 application fee.

Students will be able to submit their payment online in the final step of the application process.


You must meet the prerequisites for any upper-level class. Therefore, if you are interested in taking an upper-level class, official college or university transcripts showing the completion of prerequisites must be sent to Columbia College Chicago Admissions for transcript evaluation.

How to Submit Transcripts

Transcripts must be official documents from a student’s college or university.

Submit your transcripts online

  • In person or by mail
    Columbia College Chicago
    600 S. Michigan Ave, Room 301
    Chicago, IL 60605
  • By fax: 312.369.8024
    If submitting by fax, please include a cover letter with your full name and date of birth.
  • By email: admissions@colum.edu
    If submitting by email, please include a cover letter with your full name and date of birth.