For students affected by the closure of The University of the Arts and the Delaware College of Art and Design. We understand that this development has disrupted your educational plans. If you're interested in transferring to Columbia College Chicago, you can begin your application on this page. On the submission page, please check the box requesting a fee waiver, and it will be granted for all affected students. Please also reach out to us at and we will expedite review of your application and transfer credits.

Transfer: How to Apply


Apply as a transfer student if you’ve completed high school, home school, or a GED (called HiSET in some states) program and have earned (or will earn) college credit at a college or university before your first day at Columbia. This excludes dual enrollments (including Summer at Columbia) and/or any college or university enrollment completed during the summer immediately following high school or GED (or HiSET) completion.

If you have not enrolled in courses at a post-secondary college or university, or if your coursework is covered by the exceptions listed above, please review the Freshman Application Requirements.

If you are you an international student who will require a visa to study in the United States, please follow the steps listed here, and review this page for additional information

You can also review a complete checklist and timeline for transfer students at the links.

Need help planning your transfer to Columbia? Our Transfer Admissions team is here for you.

Our planning tools can help you chart your transfer path.


Get to know our transfer admissions team.

Contact us


Application Deadlines

The Spring 2024 Application has closed.

With the exception of the BFA in Interior Architecture, we are no longer accepting applications for our BFA and BMus degree programs. Each BFA and BMus program has a corresponding BA program, and we encourage you to apply for the one that best fits your academic and professional goals.

The Fall 2024 submission deadline for all remaining degree programs is Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Common Applicants: Please factor in a 24-hour period for Common App to transfer your data to Columbia College Chicago

BA, BFA, BMus, and BS: What’s the difference?

Our Bachelor of Arts (BA) programs allow for greater flexiblity and exploration within the curriculum. This includes the ability to tailor elective coursework beyond your major or add a minor. Around 90% of Columbia students are pursuing a BA degree.

Our Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Bachelor of Music (BMus), and Bachelor of Science (BS) programs feature more intensive required coursework in the major with limited flexibility for electives.

A Note on Standardized Test Scores

Columbia College Chicago's admissions process is entirely test-free. Standardized test scores will play no role in the college's determination of a student's admissibility, or in awarding merit-based scholarships.

After admission, students who have them are encouraged to submit results from Advanced Placement or International Baccaulaurate tests. Just list Columbia on your College Board account or talk to your school's IB diploma program coordinator about how to send your scores. Columbia grants credit for scores of 3 or higher on AP exams and 4 or higer on IB exams.

Learn More


Ready to Apply? Follow these steps.

1. Submit your application.

Use the "Apply Now" link above to access the application.

2. Submit the following required items.

  • Transcripts

    As a transfer student, you must submit official transcripts from all colleges where you have previously been enrolled—even if you didn't complete any graded credits.

    Columbia does require final high school transcripts for some transfer applicants. If you:

    • Earned your GED, or
    • Were home-schooled, or
    • Attended a non-US high school, or
    • Have completed FEWER than 24 graded college credits at the time of application

    International Applicants: Please see this page for more complete instructions.

    How to Submit Transcripts

    Ask your institution(s) to electronically transmit transcripts to Columbia College Chicago Admissions, or mail them to 600 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605. All transcripts received by mail or in person must be in the original sealed envelope from the school.

    We also accept transcripts—when sent directly from the institution—via email at

  • Writing Sample

    Within the application, submit a writing sample in response to this prompt:

    Please provide a short personal statement that outlines your goals for your enrollment at Columbia College Chicago. You may choose to write about development of your creative practice, progress toward your career objectives, improving specific skills, or your own personal growth.

    The application will also have an optional section where you can provide additional information about items in your academic history that you might want to explain.

  • Application Fee

    Application fee for domestic students (nonrefundable): $25 

    Columbia does not wish for the application fee to present a barrier for interested students. The payment page of the application includes an opportunity to request a fee waiver, and we encourage students to take advantage of this as needed.

  • Portfolios | Auditions | Interviews

    Portfolio, audition, and/or interview requirements can vary based on your intended major.

    Students applying for BFA or BMus degrees are required to submit materials. Your submission will be considered for admission to the program as well as for the Faculty Recognition Award. Please follow the guidelines for your intended major. The submission deadline for Acting (BFA); Musical Theatre Performance (BFA); Contemporary, Jazz, and Popular Music (BMus); and Music Composition (BMus) applicants is Wednesday, December 1, 2023. For all other BFA programs, the submission deadline is Wednesday, January 17, 2024.

    Portfolios or auditions are not required for BA or BS applicants, but it is to your advantage to submit materials. A submission is the only way to be considered for the Faculty Recognition Award. Please follow the guidelines for your intended major. The submission deadline for all BA or BS applicants is Wednesday, January 17, 2024.