Who Should Apply
Dubbed the "West Point of publishing" for its rigorous nature and for the consistently high caliber of its students, the course is aimed primarily at recent college graduates who want to find a career doing something exciting and rewarding that will utilize their love of the written word and the craft of writing. Some students have worked in publishing briefly and would like to broaden their understanding of the field or have decided to make a career change from a related or an unrelated field.
Most applicants have majored in English and the humanities but the choice of college major is incidental to acceptance. Many of our students have majored in other disciplines, such as art, economics, business, law, music and the sciences. Applicants who have begun a career in a field that has left them dissatisfied and seeking the solace of a path that will lead them back to what they love, namely books and magazines, are not discouraged!
Students with a demonstrated interest in publishing have always gained the most from the course. Many types of work, interests or volunteer experiences can be considered related to publishing, including:
- Publishing internships
- Photography, graphic arts, sales or marketing experience
- College or high school newspapers, literary journals, blogs, etc.
- Bookstore, library, and/or actual office experience
Because of other available educational opportunities, the course does not emphasize instruction in journalism or creative writing. Applicants with writing experience who seek new ways to apply their skills within the world of publishing — as editors, publicists, literary agents, designers, production editors, marketing and sales people, or business managers or publishers — are encouraged to apply.
All applicants to the U.S. program must have successfully completed all requirements for a B.A. or B.S. degree by the start of the course. Only in extremely rare circumstances do we admit students who have yet to finish their undergraduate degrees, since students who are not ready to enter the workforce immediately cannot take full advantage of the networking opportunities, job market preparation and career placement services we offer. Please contact our office if you’d like to discuss your circumstances.
How to Apply
Applications for the 2021 session are due by midnight E.S.T on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Admission for the Columbia Publishing Course is competitive. On average we receive 350 applications for approximately 110 places in the New York program and 70 places in the Oxford program.
Applicants who wish to be considered for both the U.K. and the N.Y. programs should indicate which program is their first choice and indicate whether they wish to be considered for the other program as well. Dual applications must be submitted by the CPC N.Y. deadline.
Most components of the application are to be submitted electronically. For detailed instructions, review the “Instructions” page of the online application.
- Online application
- Nonrefundable application fee: $55 for applicants to CPC N.Y. and $55 for applicants to CPC-Oxford. We do not grant application fee waivers.
- Active email address: All admission notifications will be sent by email.
- Transcript(s): PDFs of transcripts from each of the undergraduate and graduate institutions you have attended as a degree‐seeking student.
- Two to three letters of recommendation: Two are required; the third letter is optional. You may submit your online application even if the letters have not yet been submitted by your evaluators.
- Personal essays: One personal statement (two double‐spaced pages) and one short answer (one to two paragraphs) in response to the given prompts.
- Current résumé or curriculum vitae: Preferably a one‐page, professional résumé that succinctly summarizes your skills, experience and education.
- Clips (Optional): Applicants have the option to submit up to two examples of publishing work (e.g., published articles, blog posts, reader's reports, etc.) through our online application. We will not accept any hard copy materials via post.
Course Fees and Financial Aid
For 2021, the costs of the New York program are as follows:
We house our students in single rooms (without roommates) in Hogan Hall, a Columbia University dormitory half a block away from the journalism school. The board plan covers three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), which are available on weekdays only, as well as special events such as the final banquet. The board plan is mandatory because of the rigorous daily schedule of classes and workshops, whereas living on campus is optional but strongly encouraged. Students living off campus will be charged $1,095 for the board plan in addition to $5,300 for tuition. All of the above fees are nonrefundable.
Limited financial aid is available. To apply for financial aid, do not create a separate scholarship application through the journalism school’s website. Instead, download the CPC aid application and fill it out completely. After submitting your application for admission, log in to the application system, scroll to “Upload Materials,” and select “CPC Financial Aid Form” to upload your completed, signed PDF.
Financial aid applications must be submitted with your application. Applications are evaluated by the scholarship committee only after the entire class of 2021 has been accepted.
Notification of financial aid decisions will be sent a few weeks after the entire class has been accepted. Because the fees are nonrefundable, we highly suggest you wait to pay the $1,000 enrollment fee if you are awaiting a decision on financial aid.
Again, all fees are nonrefundable.
Because of the short length of the course, and because the course does not offer a degree or a certificate, federally funded grants and student loans (e.g., those offered by Sallie Mae) are not available to CPC students. If you require financial assistance, we suggest you explore direct‐to‐consumer private loans in addition to applying for the course’s modest financial aid fund.
The Columbia Publishing Course gratefully acknowledges scholarship assistance from Chronicle Books; Simon & Schuster, through the Carolyn Kroll Reidy Scholarship; Ecco, Dan Halpern, and Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, through the Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney Family Scholarship Fund; and the Women's Media Group.
Please see our F.A.Q. for answers to common questions.
Additional questions? Please contact us.
Shaye Areheart, Director
Emma Skeels, Assistant Director
Columbia Publishing Course
2950 Broadway, MC 3801
New York, NY 10027