Columbia University, established in 1754, is an eminent Ivy League university based in New York City. Columbia University is known for its academic brilliance and a high output of research. The prestigious university features three schools for undergraduate studies, thirteen professional and graduate schools, a state-of-the-art medical center, twenty-six libraries, and approximately two hundred centers dedicated to research. Columbia boasts many famous alumni, including Oscar recipients, Nobel laureates, Supreme Court judges, and even two US presidents Barack Obama and Theodore Roosevelt. In this article, we will be looking at Columbia University scholarships for international students.

International Students at Columbia University

Columbia University ranks at no.4 for having the biggest population of international students in all of the United States. In 2019, 12,312 international students belonging to 156 countries were enrolled at Columbia. The International Student and Scholars Office (ISSO) is responsible for providing assistance and support to international students. The ISSO handles international student’s queries regarding immigration, visas, travel, employment, and taxes, working in the capacity of advising and documentation.

All freshman students are required to live on-campus and adequate housing facilities including 22 undergraduate residential buildings are available for the student’s accommodation. The accredited medical center at Columbia provides services for physical ailments and psychological illnesses as well.

Students at Columbia have ample opportunities for academic and personal development. Columbia, being a competitive member of the Ivy league, offers 31 NCAA Division I varsity sports, more than 45 sports clubs, and several intramural sports competitions. Columbia has won 15 Ivy League Championships since 2007 and several Olympic medals as well which proves that Columbia provides an excellent environment for the growth of serious athletes and players. Apart from sports, more than 500 student organizations are present on campus for students to engage in according to their personal interests and hobbies.

Tuition Fee for International students

The annual tuition fee that undergraduate international students have to pay for studying at Columbia is $61,800. The tuition fee for international graduate students is different for each school. To find the tuition fee for the graduate school of your interest, click here.

International Admissions Guide at Columbia University

The international admissions guide can be found on the university’s official website.

Application Fee at Columbia

The application fee for undergraduate studies that each applicant is required to pay is $85. The application fee for graduate studies varies by school.

Admissions Requirements at Columbia University for International Students

The admission officers at Columbia gauge the applicant’s intelligence, curiosity, and creativity based on their academic record and extracurricular activities. The personal statement also plays a crucial role in helping the admission officers understand each student’s suitability for the program. The admission process at Columbia is extremely competitive. For the class of 2024, 95% of the students who received acceptance from Columbia belonged to the top 10% of their school’s graduating batch.

The undergraduate admissions application requires results of secondary school Internal and external exams and all curricula are accepted, be it A Level, International Baccalaureate (IB), or other board examinations. The applicant also needs to submit SAT scores and two teacher evaluations.

If a student’s home language is not English and the secondary school attended also did not primarily teach in English, then the applicant will have to prove English language proficiency by achieving a specific score in IELTS or TOEFL. However, if the student has scored a minimum of 650 in writing or critical reasoning of the SAT, or a minimum of 700 in reading and writing of the redesigned SAT then IETS or TOEFL scores are not needed.

The admission requirements for graduate programs vary by school.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students


Columbia University is famous to be one of the best universities in the United States. Columbia has a QS world ranking at #19. The U.S. News ranks it #3 in the list for best national universities. TIMES higher education has awarded Columbia university the 16th position in The World University Rankings.

Columbia University Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate was approximately 6% for Columbia University’s class of 2024 which demonstrates the selectivity of admissions at Columbia.

Columbia University Scholarships for International Students

Undergraduate Scholarships

1. Need-based Financial Aid

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Depends on the demonstrated financial need of the student

Columbia University does not offer any merit or athletic scholarships and only need-based scholarship is provided to deserving and eligible applicants. A big number of international students receive Columbia University scholarships every year. However, a need-aware admission evaluation is carried out such that the need for financial aid and the scholarship amount required by the applicant influences the admission decision. Students will have to provide evidence of their financial needs when applying for admission. The aid provided by the university will cover the entire financial needs of the student.

Graduate Scholarships

1. Thermo Fisher Scientific Antibody Scholarship

This is an external Columbia University scholarship awarded by Thermo Fisher Scientific Pierce Biotechnology. This year, a total of 6 scholarships will be awarded to graduate and undergraduate students who have declared a major within the life sciences field i.e. biology, chemistry, or biochemistry. Eligible students will be enrolled at an accredited university in the United States. Graduate students having a graduate GPA greater than 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 and an undergraduate GPA greater than 3.0 will be considered for the scholarship.

2. Fellowship Support for Doctoral Students in Humanities and Social Science Departments

This annual fellowship support is offered to PhD students enrolled in the Humanities and Social Science department of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. This Columbia University scholarship for graduate students includes a $31,140 stipend, tuition fee, university service fee, and health insurance. Students accepted at all the Doctoral programs of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) are awarded a guarantee of multi-year support as mentioned in the Dean’s official admission letter.

The other departments at GSAS offering doctoral fellowships are Mathematics and Statistics, Environmental Biology, and natural sciences. Information specific to each department can be accessed at this link. These fellowships are awarded based on the student’s track record of academic excellence and achievements. The financial assistance provided during the guaranteed funding years will comprise fellowships and teaching or research assistantships.

Similar to the fellowship offered by GSAS, other schools at Columbia University also award merit-based fellowships to their Doctoral students. These fellowships can be viewed at each school’s official website.


I hope that this article on Columbia University scholarships for international students was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.