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Statement of Principle

Columbia University Statement of Principle

April 2, 2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 presented institutions of higher education with challenges in teaching and learning, as well as in the assessment of academic performance. As a consequence of these challenges, Columbia University affirms the following principle:

The University’s graduate and professional schools, as well as their respective admissions committees, will take into account the important disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak when reviewing student transcripts and other admissions materials as part of their customary practice of performing holistic reviews of individual applications or dossiers. Specifically, we will respect decisions made by institutions or individuals regarding the adoption of Pass/Fail or similar grading options during the period in question.

The Provost and University Deans adopted this principle to ensure that no applicants are disadvantaged by policy decisions made by their colleges/universities as a result of this unprecedented public health event.

Questions regarding this statement should be addressed to the admissions office of the school or to the departmental admissions committee of the program to which the applicant is seeking admission. Concerning Columbia GSAPP admissions, please contact arch_admissions@columbia.edu.

Standardized Test Requirements for 2021 and 2022 Admissions
  • Columbia GSAPP is waiving the GRE requirement on master’s degree program applications for 2021 and 2022 admissions in recognition of limited testing availability due to the impact of COVID-19.
    Each degree program offered by Columbia GSAPP has unique admissions requirements, please see the Application Process page to review the program-specific application deadlines, processes, and requirements.
  • All applicants whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL scores. Columbia GSAPP will accept IELTS and Duolingo test results as alternatives to TOEFL scores on applications for 2021 admissions in recognition of limited testing availability due to the impact of COVID-19.
    International students who have successfully completed two years of study in an English-speaking institution may waive the TOEFL exam requirement provided they can submit relevant transcripts.