Ready for what's next?

Apply for 2018    

Students transfer to Columbia from all over the world, bringing along their unique experiences, talents, and aspirations. What will you add to our wildly creative and inclusive student body? We’re excited to see.

Apply as a transfer student if you’ve completed high school, home school, or a GED and have enrolled in at least 1 credit hour at a postsecondary college or university. This excludes dual enrollments, courses taken at Columbia College Chicago, and/or any postsecondary enrollment during the summer immediately following secondary school graduation or GED completion.

Need help planning your transfer?

Our transfer planning tools can help you plan your transfer from Columbia's partner schools and other colleges and universities.

transfer planning help unofficial transcript evaluation

Follow these steps to apply.

1. Complete your application for Fall 2018 admission.

2. Submit the following required items.

Essay

Choose the option that best allows you to express your ideas. Your essay should be between 250 and 650 words.

  • Option 1: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • Option 2: The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • Option 3: Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  • Option 4: Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  • Option 5: Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  • Option 6: Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  • Option 7: Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
Transcripts

As a transfer student, you must submit official transcripts from your high school and any college previously attended.

International students must submit official or certified true copies of their educational records that demonstrate successful completion of a high school or secondary education. As an international student, you may be required to submit a “leaving certificate” or “graduation certificate” along with your certified educational records. Official educational records not written in English must include an official English translation. For help determining which transcripts or records to send us, check out this guide.

How to Submit Transcripts

Ask your institution(s) to send official transcripts to Columbia College Chicago Admissions at 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 to admissions@colum.edu or via fax to 312-369-8024.

Application Fee

Application fee for domestic students (nonrefundable): $50
Application fee for international students (nonrefundable): $100

You must submit payment in order to complete the online application.

International Students Only: English Language Proficiency
If English is not your country’s primary language, you must prove English language proficiency.

3. Read about our supplementary materials—not required for admission—and then decide if you want to submit any of them.

Test Scores

ACT and SAT Scores

You should request your ACT and/or SAT score reports from the testing agency. Request your ACT score report using Columbia College's ACT School Code (1002). Request your SAT score report using Columbia College's SAT School Code (1135).

Note: Once admitted, you can take an on-campus placement test if you believe your ACT or SAT scores do not accurately reflect your ability in writing, reading or math.

AP Scores

List Columbia College Chicago on your College Board account so we receive your score reports as soon as possible.

We grant college credit for scores of 3 or higher on most AP exams. Please see our AP exam table for a complete list of exams and credits awarded by score.

IB Exam Results

Ask your diploma programme coordinator to submit a request for your IB exam results. In some cases, you may be able to request results yourself.

We grant credit for IB exam results of 4 or higher.

Letter of Recommendation

While not required, we recommend that you submit at least one letter of recommendation.

Who should write a letter of recommendation?

Ask an instructor, counselor, advisor or other individual who can speak to your ability to succeed in a rigorous arts and media curriculum.

Does my recommender need to use a special form?

No; however, your recommender is more than welcome to use our downloadable recommendation form. The Common Application provides a similar form.

How do I submit a letter of recommendation?

The person who writes your letter of recommendation should submit it to us online or by mail, fax or email.

The online application has a feature that sends an email request for a letter of recommendation on your behalf to your recommender, who can then submit your letter online. If your recommender submits by email or fax, please ask them to include a cover letter with your full name and date of birth.

Mailing Address

Columbia College Chicago Admissions
600 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605

Fax
312-369-8024

Email
admissions@colum.edu

Digital Portfolios and Video Auditions

The Faculty Recognition Award is our competitive talent-based scholarship. This scholarship is renewable up to four years. The number of awards varies each year.

The Faculty Recognition Award is open to:

  • Outstanding high school seniors entering for the first time in Fall 2018 semester
  • Outstanding transfer students who have earned no more than 75 transferable college credit hours and are entering for the first time in the Fall 2018 semester
  • Students who submit samples of their creative work that demonstrate strong accomplishment, talent, or ability in one of the many areas of study at Columbia
  • Students who have earned a cumulative high school or grade point average of 3.0 or higher on 4.0 scale (or equivalent)
  • Students who have been admitted to Columbia
  • International students may be considered

Deadline for Submission: January 15, 2018

Please Note: The portfolio submission will be used for talent-based scholarship consideration only. To view the portfolio submission guidelines, visit our portolio and audition requirements page

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

Bachelor of Arts (BA) programs feature a flexible curriculum that allows for exploration and the ability to tailor elective coursework beyond your major. Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Bachelor of Music (BMus) and Bachelor of Science (BS) programs feature more focused required coursework in the major.

If you wish to pursue entry to a BFA, BMus or BS program, you must first gain admission to Columbia College Chicago. If eligible, you will be evaluated individually by your academic department sometime during your first or second year of enrollment.

Have more questions? We're here to help

Sherry Anton

“Columbia is one of the most creatively infectious places I've experienced. Each day is rewarding.”

Sherry Anton
Associate Director of Transfer Recruitment
sherry@colum.edu

Samantha Vittori

“As a student, I always felt that Columbia’s campus was buzzing, as if it was somehow electrified. The passion and drive found on campus was—and still is—so inspiring.”

Samantha Vittori
Transfer Specialist
sam@colum.edu

Sam's Local Partner Schools
  • College of DuPage
  • Joliet Junior College
  • Kankakee Community College
  • McHenry County College
  • Moraine Valley Community College
  • Morton College
  • Prairie State College
  • South Suburban College
  • Triton College
  • Wilbur Wright College
Doreene Washington

“The staff, faculty and administrative team have one goal, and that’s to ensure our students’ individual successes.”

Dorene Washington
Transfer Specialist
dorene@colum.edu

Dorene's Local Partner Schools
  • College of Lake County
  • Elgin Community College
  • Harold Washington College
  • Kennedy–King College
  • Malcolm X College
  • Oakton Community College
  • Olive–Harvey College
  • Richard J. Daley College
  • Truman College
  • Waubonsee Community College
  • William Rainey Harper College