Ph.D. Admission & Academic FAQs

Admission FAQs

  1. What is the application deadline? What is the deadline for financial aid?
    Our application deadline is January 6, 2022.

  2. Can I meet with you in person or talk to you on the phone?
    Unfortunately given the high number of applications we receive, we are unable to meet or speak with our

  3. What are the required application materials?
    Specific admission requirements for our programs can be found here.

  4. Due to financial hardship, I cannot pay the application fee, can I still apply to your

    Yes. Many of our prospective students are eligible for fee waivers. GSAS offers a variety of application fee

  5. How many students do you admit each year?
    It varies year to year. We finalize our numbers between December – early February.

  6. What is the distribution of students currently enrolled in your program?
    (their background, GPA, standard tests, etc)?
    Unfortunately, we are unable to share this information.

  7. How many accepted students receive financial aid?
    All students in the Ph.D. program receive, for up to five years, a funding package consisting of tuition, fees,
    and a stipend. These fellowships are awarded in recognition of academic achievement and in expectation of
    scholarly success; they are contingent upon the student remaining in good academic standing. Summer support,
    while not guaranteed, is generally provided. Teaching and research experience are considered important aspects
    of the training of graduate students. Thus, graduate fellowships include some teaching and research
    apprenticeship. Ph.D. students are given funds to purchase a laptop PC, and additional computing resources are
    supplied for research projects as necessary. The Department also subsidizes up to $750 of travel expenses for
    students who make presentations at scientific meetings. Additional matching funds from the Graduate School Arts
    and Sciences are available to students who have passed the oral qualifying exam.

  8. Below are my grades and standardized test scores. Can I apply to your program? What are my
    chances of being admitted?

    We receive more than 450 applications a year and there are many students in our applicant pool who are qualified
    for our program. However, we can only admit a few top students. Before seeing the entire applicant pool, we
    cannot comment on admission probabilities.

  9. What is the minimum GPA for admissions?
    While we don’t have a GPA threshold, we will carefully review applicants’ transcripts and grades obtained in
    individual courses.

  10. Is there a minimum GRE requirement?
    The general GRE exam is waived for the 2021 – 2022 application

  11. Can I upload a copy of my GRE score to the application?
    Yes, but make sure you arrange for ETS to send the official score to GSAS.

  12. Is the GRE math subject exam required?
    No, we do not require the GRE math subject exam.

  13. What is the minimum TOEFL or IELTS  requirement?
    The Columbia GSAS minimum requirements for TOEFL and IELTS are: 100 (IBT), 600 (PBT) TOEFL, or 7.5 IELTS

  14.  I took the TOEFL and IELTS more than two years ago; is my score valid? Scores more than
    two years old are not accepted. Applicants are strongly urged to make arrangements to take these examinations
    early in the fall and before completing their application.

  15. I am an international student and earned a master’s degree from a US university. Can I obtain
    a TOEFL or IELTS waiver?

    You may only request a waiver of the English proficiency requirement from GSAS by submitting the English Proficiency Waiver Request
    and if you meet any of the criteria described here.

  16. My transcript is not in English. What should I do?
    You have to submit a notarized translated copy along with the original transcript.

  17. Can I apply to more than one PhD program?
    You may not submit more than one PhD application to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. However, you
    may elect to have your application reviewed by a second program or department within GSAS if you are not
    offered admission by your first-choice program. Please see the application
    for a
    more detailed explanation of this policy and the various restrictions that apply to a second choice.

    You may apply concurrently to a program housed at GSAS and to programs housed at other divisions of the
    University. However, since GSAS does not share application materials with other divisions, you must complete
    the application requirements for each school.

  18. How do I apply to a dual- or joint-degree program?
    The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences refers to these programs as
    dual-degree programs. Applicants must complete the application requirements for both schools. Application
    materials are not shared between schools. Students can only apply to an established dual-degree program and
    may not create their own.

    With the sole exception of approved dual-degree programs,
    students may not pursue a degree in more than one Columbia program concurrently, and may not be registered
    in more than one degree program at any institution in the same semester. Enrollment in another degree
    program at Columbia or elsewhere while enrolled in a GSAS master’s or doctoral program is strictly
    prohibited by the Graduate School. Violation of this policy will lead to the rescission of an offer of
    admission, or termination for a current student.

  19. When will I receive a decision on my application?
    Notification of decisions for all PhD applicants generally takes place by the end of March.

    Notification of MA decisions varies by department and application deadlines. Some MA decisions are sent out
    in early spring; others may be released as late as mid-August.

  20. Can I apply to both MA Statistics and PhD statistics simultaneously? 
    For any given entry term, applicants may elect to apply to up to two programs—either one PhD program and one
    MA program, or two MA programs—by submitting a single (combined) application to the Graduate School. 
    Applicants who attempt to submit more than one GSAS application for the same entry term will be required to
    withdraw one of the applications.

    The Graduate School permits applicants to be reviewed by a second program if they do not receive an offer of
    admission from their first-choice program, with the following restrictions:

    • This option is only available for fall-term applicants.
    • Applicants will be able to view and opt for a second choice (if applicable) after
      selecting their first choice. Applicants should not submit a second application. (Note: Selecting a
      second choice will not affect the consideration of your application by your first choice.)
    • Applicants must upload a separate Statement of Purpose and submit any additional
      supporting materials required by the second program. Transcripts, letters, and test scores should only
      be submitted once.
    • An application will be forwarded to the second-choice program only after the first-choice
      program has completed its review and rendered its decision. An application file will not be reviewed
      concurrently by both programs.
    • Programs may stop considering second-choice applications at any time during the season;
      GSAS cannot guarantee that your application will receive a second review.

  21. What is the mailing address for your Ph.D. admission office?
    Students are encouraged to apply online. Please note:
    Materials should not be mailed to GSAS unless specifically requested by the Office of Admissions. Unofficial
    transcripts and other supplemental
    application materials
    should be uploaded through the online application system.

    GSAS Office of Admissions

    Columbia University 

    107 Low Library, MC 4303

    535 West 116th Street 

    New York, NY 10027


Academic FAQs

  1. How many years does it take to pursue a Ph.D. degree in your program?
    Our students usually graduate in 4‐6 years.

  2. Can the Ph.D. be pursued part-time?
    No, all of our students are full-time students. We do not offer a part-time option.

  3. What’s the minimum hours/week commitment needed for the successful completion of the

    Once a student receives admission, if the student has an external fellowship, then the student will be exempted
    from teaching responsibilities, for the duration of the fellowship. Students can use their extra time to engage
    in other activities. However, please note that our program has course enrollment plus research requirements and
    these cannot be waived.

  4. One of the requirements is to have knowledge of linear algebra (through the level of MATH
    V2020 at Columbia) and advanced calculus (through the level of MATH V1201). I studied these topics; how do I
    know if I meet the knowledge content requirement?

    We interview our top candidates and based on the information on your transcripts and your grades, if we are not
    sure about what you covered in your courses we will ask you during the interview.

  5. Can I contact faculty members to learn more about their research and hopefully gain their

    Yes, you are more than welcome to contact faculty members and discuss your research interests with them.
    However, please note that all the applications are processed by a central admission committee, and individual
    faculty members cannot and will not guarantee admission to our program.

  6. How do I find out which professors are taking on new students to mentor this

    Applications are evaluated through a central admissions committee. Openings in individual faculty groups are not
    considered during the admissions process. Therefore, we suggest contacting the faculty members you would like to
    work with and asking if they are planning to take on new students.

  7. I am interested in a specific research area. Do you have any faculty members working in this

    Please see our faculty research

    For more information please contact us at