Graduate Studies

Opportunities for the Columbia Community

Columbia College Chicago appreciates the character and quality of our undergraduate students, alumni, and employees; for that reason, we have opportunities for our community to further their education with master’s study in the School of Graduate Studies. This page outlines specific scholarship opportunities for our different community members, a combined degree program for our current undergraduates, and information on the application process for current students and alumni.

  • Columbia Rise Scholarship

    If you have earned your bachelor's degree at Columbia and you are admitted to one of our graduate master's degree programs, you are guaranteed the Columbia Rise Award—a renewable award equal to approximately four credit hours of tuition each semester. Students on track to receive their bachelor’s degree from Columbia at the time of application are also eligible.

    This award is open to incoming, full-time graduate students. There is no separate application for this award as you're automatically reviewed for this opportunity when you apply to our graduate programs.

    Find more information here

  • Combined Degree Program

    This program is designed for current undergraduate students to begin taking classes toward a one-year master’s degree during their senior year. If admitted, Columbia undergraduate students will take twelve credits toward a degree in Entrepreneurship for Creatives, Media for Social Impact, Strategic Communication, or User Experience and Interaction Design while still enrolled in any undergraduate major and finish their remaining graduate coursework during a fifth year. Students in this program will also be eligible for the Columbia Rise Scholarship for their final year of study.

    The graduate classes taken during their senior year will count both toward their bachelor's and master’s degrees, and do not affect the undergraduate tuition rate. To be considered, students will need to apply for the program during the fall semester of their junior year. Find out more at the Combined Degree page linked below.

    Find more information here

  • Columbia Referral Award

    Faculty, staff, current graduate students, and alumni: we want your referrals about who would do well in graduate school at Columbia. If you send an applicant to us who is admitted, they will receive a tuition remission award towards their first semester at Columbia.

    The Columbia Referral Award program provides members of the Columbia College Chicago community an opportunity to refer outstanding candidates to Columbia's graduate programs. Both domestic and international students are eligible. Click below to refer a candidate or to learn more.

    Find more information here

  • Applying as a Columbia Student or Alumni

    If you earned your bachelor's degree from Columbia, we save you an extra step on the application: you do not have to place an additional transcript request. Our team will pull your Columbia transcript for you, saving you time and effort.

    Additionally, you are eligible for an application fee waiver if you connect with one of our admissions directors after you've started an application. Email us at to let us know you'd like the waiver.

  • Tuition Remission for Full Time Staff and Faculty

    Full time faculty and staff (both union and non-union) are eligible for tuition remission for 3 credits hours of tuition remission per semester if enrolled in 6 credits or more at the graduate level.

    View your Benefits package for more information, but please reach out to us if you're considering continuing your graduate education at Columbia and we'd be happy to talk through your options.

Reach out to us with any questions or to set up a one-on-one appointment at

If you want to start receiving more information about our graduate programs, let us know.