How do I apply to the Data Science Institute academic programs?

All applicants applying for the on-campus program must submit application materials online via the online application. For the online program, applications must be submitted through Columbia Video Network (CVN). Once you register with a valid email address, you can log on as often as you need to fill everything out. Submit your application when complete.

What is the application deadline?

The priority deadline for all academic programs is February 15th.

What are the application requirements for the Data Science Institute academic programs?

The following materials must accompany the online application for the Master of Science and Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences:

  • Uploaded Transcripts
  • Recommendation Letters (3)
  • Application Fee
  • Personal Statement
  • Curriculum Vitae / Resumé

Master of Science applicants are also required to submit their official (GRE) general test scores
and international students' TOEFL, IELTS or PTE test scores,
if applicable

Is it possible to waive the GRE requirement?

No, the GRE requirement cannot be waived. An applicant who has completed a graduate degree or Ph.D. is still required to submit an active test score.

Can I substitute the GMAT for GRE scores?

No, we accept the GRE only.

Who is required to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic?

Applicants who earned their undergraduate degree in a country in which English is not the official and widely spoken language must submit either the TOEFL,  IELTS, or PTE Academic test with their application. Only one English language test is required.  Applicants who earn combined, joint, or dual program degree/s from both an institution in a country where English is not the official or widely spoken language and an institution in the UK or US are also required to submit one of the English language tests with their application even if they are awarded a degree from a UK or US institution.  

An exception is made for applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree from a US institution and completed their study on campus in the US or will complete a Master of Science degree on-campus in the US before enrollment, in these cases the applicant is not required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic scores for admission consideration.

Current Columbia Engineering graduate students enrolled in a degree program who are applying again to another degree program do not have to send the official scores again if they have already done so previously, but will have to report their scores again on the new application for admission.

For additional questions and guidance related to the TOEFL requirement and exemptions, please reach out

What is Columbia SEAS's institution code for the GRE and TOEFL?

Columbia Engineering's code is 2111; please note a department code is not required. GSA cannot access GRE and TOEFL scores sent to another insittuation code, even if sent to another school at Columbia. You must resend the scores to 2111.

Is it possible to have the application fee waived?

Eligible students are welcome to apply for an application fee waiver. Application fee waivers may be available for students who meet certain criteria including, U.S. citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled in a U.S. School with financial need, U.S. Military personnel/veterans, and students who participate in special programs (listed on the waiver form). To apply follow the steps in the order listed below:

  1. Create an online application account to begin to apply for admission and complete the program selection page.
  2. Complete and submit the Application Fee Waiver Request Form with the required documentation. 

Please note that the SEAS Graduate Student Affairs Office manages the application fee waiver requests.

How should I pay the application fee?

The application fee is paid online using a major credit card. No other forms of payment are accepted.

Do all of my application materials need to be submitted online?

Yes, all materials must be submitted online, including official transcripts, resume, references and personal statement. No exceptions.

How can my references submit their letters of recommendation?

Reference letters must be submitted online. Paper letters will not be reviewed and no exceptions will be made.  The contacts you list as reference providers will be able to add their letters directly to your online application after submission.

Can I submit additional materials once my application is under evaluation?

No, you may not update your application once you have submitted it. Additional materials will not be considered.

Please do not submit copies of awards or financial documentation; they will not improve the chances of being admitted and will not be returned.

When will I receive a decision?

Applications review will start after the priority deadline. The admissions committee makes every attempt to review and send out decisions by early April. Please note that this timeline is dependant on the number of applications recieved during the admissions cycle. We appreciate your patience. Decisions will be sent to the email address listed on your application. If you have any questions about the status of your application, please follow the guidance below.

How can I check the status of my application?

Log into your online application and click the "Application Status" tab. All checklist items will have a red mark. When a task is complete, you will see a green check mark. You will receive an email when your application has been sent for review.

If you are missing any documents you will receive an incomplete application notice after the deadline. Once your application is complete it will be sent for review. Be advised that Columbia reserves the right to evaluate an application after the deadline and make a decision even if all materials have not been received.

I am having technical problems with the online application system - who should I contact?

For the on-campus program application, please email For the distance education (online) program application, please email us at

How can I check to see if my references submitted their letters?

Log into your online application and go to the "Application Status" tab. Look for the green check mark next to the "Letters of Reference" task. For additional details regarding the status of your letters, please go to the "Recommendation Provider" page on your application.

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