Transfer: How to Apply
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Apply as a transfer student if you’ve completed high school, home school, or a GED 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 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.
Get to know our transfer admissions team.
Columbia accepts and reviews applications on a rolling basis. It is to your advantage to complete your application as early as possible.
Spring 2023 Applicants: The application deadline for the Spring 2023 term has passed. If you have already submitted your application for Spring 2023, supporting materials (transcripts, etc.) are due no later than Thursday, December 15, 2022. If you have not submitted your Spring application, the information you entered is saved and you can still log back onto your account and complete your application for Fall 2023.
Fall 2023 Applicants to the Acting (BFA) and Musical Theatre Performance (BFA) Programs: Thurssday, December 1, 2022
Fall 2023 Applicants, all other degree programs: Wednesday, January 18, 2023
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 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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) and Musical Theatre Performance (BFA) applicants is Thursday, December 1, 2022. For all other BFA and BMus programs, the submission deadline is Wednesday, January 18, 2023.
Portfolios or auditions are not required for BA or BS applicants, but it it so your advantage to submit materials. A submission is the only way to be connsidered 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 18, 2023.