Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Admissions | Columbia Journalism School

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm an international applicant. What tests are required?

Applicants to the M.S. or M.A. programs must submit current official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores if your entire undergraduate education was not completed at an English-language university. Ph.D. applicants must submit TOEFL/IELTS scores if English is not your native language or if your entire undergraduate education was not completed at an English-language university. Only current valid test scores are accepted. TOEFL scores are valid up to two years after the test date.

No test waivers are given for the Ph.D. program. Waivers of this requirement for the M.S. and M.A. programs are rarely given and must be approved before the application deadline.

Waivers are not guaranteed and, if requested after the application deadline, will not be considered. If you have any questions, please contact the admissions office

We require the following scores for consideration:

TOEFL: Paper-based: 650, Computer-based: 280, Internet-based: 114

IELTS: Overall: 8.0

*Please note, we are accepting the IELTS Indicator Exam as in-person IELTS Exams are largely unavailable. You will find us listed as Columbia University Journalism School Graduate Admissions. We also accept TOEFL iBT Home Edition.

What is the code to use to send the TOEFL or IELTS score?

The TOEFL school code is 2120.

When is the last date I can take the TOEFL or IELTS?

An applicant should plan to take the TOEFL or IELTS exams in time for the scores to reach the admissions office by the application deadline. It is best to take the test at least one month before the application deadline to ensure that we receive your scores in time.

How long are test scores valid?

TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years. If your scores are no longer valid, you must retake the test (no exceptions).

Are loans and scholarships available to international students?

Many resources exist to help finance your education in addition to those offered by Columbia Journalism School. Public and university libraries can also aid your research.

International applicants to the Journalism School are encouraged to submit the Journalism School Application for Scholarship Aid (available December 1). International students should also check with their own governmental agencies about educational funding. You can also check with the EducationUSA office in your country.

International students may be eligible for private loans with the assistance of a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Students may borrow up to their cost of attendance minus any aid or other loans awarded. These funds may be borrowed from the students' lender of choice. For further information please email the Office of Admission and Financial Aid or call 212-854-8608.

My work samples are in another language. Do I need to get my work samples translated?

Yes, work samples and clips must be translated into English. The admission committee will review only work samples in English.

What are transcripts? My transcripts are not in English. Can I send them anyway?

Transcripts are official records of a student's school progress in a college or university. They are also called degree certificates, academic records or mark sheets. Some show the degree received and date conferred. If the courses, grades received, degree and conferral date are not in the transcripts and you have received a degree, you must also upload a copy of your diploma(s).

If an original transcript (mark sheet, diploma, degree certificate or academic record) is not in English, you must upload both the official transcript in the original language and its verbatim English translation. If you are admitted and enroll, you must submit both the official transcript and the verbatim translation in one sealed envelope to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, 2950 Broadway, Pulitzer Hall, Room 203, MC 3800, New York, NY 10027.

If the institution you attended does not provide an English translation with the official transcript, a certified verbatim English translation of the transcript and diploma must be obtained through a translating service and submitted in a sealed envelope, which is endorsed across the seal. Columbia has no preferred translating services. However, many of our applicants use World Education Services to assist in English translation and verification. Please note: WES charges a fee for this service.

I graduated from a non-U.S. university. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. The Journalism School will consider for admission students who hold or will shortly complete a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or its equivalent from another country. This includes the three‐year bachelor's degrees from India, all European countries, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. If you have questions about whether your degree is acceptable for consideration for admission, please email us

More information.