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Columbia University: Admissions and Acceptance Rate

Mar 29, 2022

Thousands of students apply to Columbia University every year. But only the ones with well-crafted applications get selected for admission. If you are the one who dreams of getting into the university, it is crucial to know the Columbia University acceptance rate and what are the Columbia University admission requirements.

In this article, you will find the answers to questions like what are Columbia University GPA requirements along with other Columbia University admissions requirements.


First, let’s have a quick overview of the university.

Brief Overview Of Columbia University

Columbia University was founded in 1754. It is a private institution that follows a semester-based academic calendar. It is located in the urban settings of New York, and its campus is spread across 36 acres.


Columbia University is ranked #2 in the 2022 list of America’s best colleges. Moreover, it is counted among the 20 best colleges globally. The university’s unique combination of the urban setting and strong academic departments makes it the most preferred choice for students across the globe. Students also get the benefit of being associated with a school with above 250 years of rich history, a dynamic residential community, and easy access to the highly resourceful city.

Number Of Enrollments In Columbia University


Every year over 40,000 students apply to Columbia University. As per the Columbia University acceptance rate, nearly 5-6% of the applicants receive the admission offer.

Class Total ApplicationsTotal Accepted ApplicationsOverall Columbia University acceptance rateColumbia University transfer acceptance rate

Shift in Columbia University acceptance rate

Acceptance Rate is considered as the most crucial factor for admission to any university. This figure tells us the level of competition an applicant faces to get into a particular college. 


The Columbia University acceptance rate is 5%. This means that out of 100 students, only five succeed in securing a seat. This figure shows that the university is highly competitive. In addition to this, the Columbia University transfer acceptance rate is also pretty competitive. Therefore, applicants need to fulfill all the Columbia University requirements for admission. With each passing year, the university is getting more competitive. However, candidates who apply through early decision programs have a higher chance of success as compared to the regular decision applicants. 

When you look carefully at the data of enrollment, you will find that an increase in the number of applications is the reason for this shift in the acceptance rate. The huge number of applications eventually makes the selection process more competitive. Therefore, to improve your chances of selection, you must look at all the Columbia University admission requirements and meet the average Columbia GPA requirements. 


Columbia University GPA requirements

The minimum Columbia GPA requirements are merely a number that saves your application from getting rejected immediately after submission. Therefore, if you are serious about getting into college, you need to meet the average Columbia University GPA requirements. 

As per the current average Columbia GPA requirements, students need to have a minimum of 4.1 scores. This means that the university requires you to be amongst the top students in high school. Moreover, you need to take the most difficult IB or AP courses available in your high school.


All the junior students with a low GPA find it difficult to meet the average Columbia GPA requirements because they don’t have enough time to raise their grades. In this case, they need to focus on improving their ACT and SAT scores to meet the Columbia University admissions requirements.

SAT score to meet the Columbia University admission requirements

Although there are no minimum Columbia University requirements of SAT score, it is a crucial factor for offering admission. Applicants who want to secure a seat in the university should meet the average Columbia University requirements of SAT score.


On a scale of 1600, the average composite SAT score for Columbia University admission requirements is estimated to be 1505. This figure makes the university extremely competitive for SAT scores. In addition to this, applicants with an SAT score lower than 1450 have a hard chance of getting into the school.

ACT score to meet the Columbia University admission requirements

Like your SAT score, ACT score is also a crucial factor for Columbia University admissions requirements. Although there is no minimum ACT score listed for application to the university, candidates with extremely low scores have a tough chance of getting admission.

As per the trends, the average Columbia University requirements of ACT score is estimated to be 34. This is an extremely competitive score for applicants. Moreover, applicants who have their ACT score below 33 find it difficult to secure a seat in the university for their desired course.

What is the Columbia University transfer acceptance rate?

The university offers admission to a limited number of transfer students with exceptional qualities. Therefore, the Columbia University transfer acceptance rate is staggeringly low at 6.08%. 

It is extremely difficult for transfer students to get admission at Columbia University. In addition, the average Columbia University GPA requirement for transfer students is 3.91. However, students with GPAs of more than 4.07 have an added advantage over their competitors.

Policies of credit transfer at Columbia University

The Columbia University transfer acceptance rate is also influenced by the credit transfer policies of the college. Applicants need to consider the following factors of credit transfer policies:

  • Applicants need to either complete or register for 24 credit points at another educational institution to transfer the credit at Columbia University.
  • For admission to Columbia college, applicants can transfer 64 points.
  • Applicants can transfer their earned credits in AP or IB tests.
  • The university does not consider the points of college courses that the applicants take before completing their high school.
  • The university does not accept credit for courses that are not there in any of the colleges under Columbia University.

Columbia University admissions requirements for graduate courses

The University offers more than 80 graduate courses to its students. Visual Arts, financial economics, computer science, informational science, art history, applied mathematics, data science, and music are some of the highly preferred courses by students.

Applicants can apply to Columbia University through two application portals. They are: 

  • Coalition Application
  • Common Application

Following are the Columbia University requirements of documents to apply for graduate courses:

  • School profile of the applicant
  • Applicant’s autobiographical information
  • Documents for applicant’s involvement in activities, employment, achievements, etc.
  • Applicant’s personal essay
  • Letters of recommendations from high school teachers
  • High-school transcript
  • Letter from math or science teacher is compulsory for engineering candidates
  • Mid-year completion report
  • Standardized exam scores and GPA
  • Statement for purpose

What does Columbia University seek in applicants?

Apart from meeting the Columbia GPA requirements and other Columbia University admissions requirements, applicants need to know what exactly the university seeks.  

The following are the attributes that the university considers important in applicants:

  • The university requires a transcript that proves an applicant is avidly gaining intellectual growth in a range of different fields through challenging courses.
  • Extracurricular activities taken by applicants are also an important factor for the university. It showcases students’ passion for involvement in activities that matter in real life.
  • The character of a student is also important to Columbia University. A selected applicant will have a strong impact on the campus with their character.
  • The university also considers how an applicant is going to fit into the university’s distinctive environment.
  • Columbia University seeks evidence of cognitive curiosity and promise, applicant’s participation in community and school activities. The university wants to know how an applicant can add value to the campus.
  • Columbia University follows a holistic approach to evaluating applicants. Therefore, the admission authorities consider the applicant’s family resources, community, high school environment, etc.

Tips to improve your chances of selection to Columbia University

  • The GPA score of the applicants is an important factor for offering admission. Therefore, prospective students need to fulfill Columbia University GPA requirements.
  • Aim to earn high scores on the ACT and SAT. This is specifically crucial for students who have low GPAs.
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities to stand out from your competitors. California University values unique talent and quality while making an admission decision. The admission authorities want to know what values you will bring to the school. 
  • Essay writing is an essential part of the admission procedure and provides an edge to applicants over their competitors. Therefore, you must focus and enhance your writing skills because it enables you to showcase your uniqueness and stand out from the crowd.

The acceptance rate for early decision applications is comparatively higher than the regular decision. Therefore, you should apply through early decisions to have a better chance of selection.

Columbia University acceptance rate


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