Columbia Journalism School

New Students

Congratulations on your admission to the Columbia Journalism School!  

Be sure to check out the information at the links on this page, which should answer many of the questions you have about what you need to do prior to enrolling for the summer or fall terms. 

As part of your introduction to Columbia, you will receive important information by email a few weeks before school starts, including online tutorials that you will be required to complete before coming to campus.  These will help you learn about the University's resources and community values so that you can have a terrific experience while you are here.

Start getting to know your fellow classmates now - Join the Class of 2017 Facebook page.

Prepping for the J-School

Class Overview

Class of 2017

The Office of Admission and Financial Aid received more than 900 applications for our four degree programs.

In our largest degree-granting program, the full-time Master of Science, those admitted hail from 33 states and the District of Columbia. The top states represented among the admitted students are New York, California, New Jersey, Texas, Virginia, Florida and Connecticut. In addition, 32 percent of the class is international representing 41 countries, with the largest groups hailing from China, India, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Canada and Mexico.

This year, 75 percent of those admitted to the M.S. class are female and 25 percent are male. In the Master of Arts class, 31 percent are male and 69 percent are female, with 70 percent coming from outside of the United States representing 22 countries. Of the four students admitted to the doctoral program in communications, one is male and three are female. Two are international students. We admitted 11 students into our M.S. dual degree program with Computer Science. There are five females and six males, with eight international students. In terms of racial diversity of U.S. citizens who reported, more than 40 percent of the entire class identified as African American, Asian, Latino, Native American and/or Pacific Islander.

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Open House

April 8 and 9, Admitted Students Open House

Admitted students are invited to attend our new student Open House. The event will take place at the J-School on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9. You can register here. You will hear from faculty, current students and alumni, as well as staff from financial aid and career services. 2016 Open House Agenda; as we continue to work on the program, the agenda will change. We hope to see you! If you can't attend in person, watch the live broadcast.

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Optional Events: Live Events at the J-School

Get a sense of the amazing range of speakers, panels, talks at the J-school by visiting the Columbia J-School Calendar. If you are in NYC during any of these, please stop by.

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International Students

Leaving the comforts of home can be a challenge. Add to that the pressures of applying for the correct student visa, and it can feel a bit overwhelming. That's why the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) of Columbia University has developed an online guide just for you. The "Coming to Columbia: Essential Information for New International Students" guide is designed to help you meet the challenges of living abroad and enjoy living and learning in New York City.

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New Student Checklist

You must complete the following tasks before you arrive on campus.

IMPORTANT: In order to get your Columbia University ID card or purchase a J-School Press Pass, you will need to take two high resolution digital passport-style photos as soon as possible.

  • The photo should be a color, JPEG file.

  • The background should be uniform and light-colored.

  • You must be facing forward with your head and shoulders clearly visible.

  • No photos with sunglasses or hats

  • The file cannot exceed 100K in size for the Columbia University ID card and must be 300 dpi for the J-School Press Pass

  1. To Locate and activate your Columbia e-mail address. Once your $1,000 electronic enrollment fee has been received, your UNI, which also serves as your Columbia e-mail address, is generated. Please allow seven to 10 business days for your information to be updated in the system. Follow these instructions to activate your Columbia UNI and email address.

    Once you’ve activated your email account, it will take 24 hours before you can actually use it. To access your Columbia email "LionMail," please go to the LionMail website at this link:  You can also access LionMail from the Journalism School website at from the “Current Students” or from the main Columbia web page at, at the top of the page "Email".

    For additional email support please see:
    Logging in for the first time:
    Mobile Device Setup:
    LionMail FAQ:
    Primary CUIT LionMail Web Portal:

  2. Get your Columbia University ID: CUIT has developed a secure web service for students to upload and submit a photo online for their first University ID card. For more information about the process and to submit your photo, click here. If you submit your photo by May 15 for part-time students and July 15 for full-time students, you will receive your University ID card during your student orientation. For those who missed the deadline, you will have time during orientation to go to 204 Kent Hall to get your Columbia University ID card.

  3. Emergency Contact Form: Please complete the Journalism School's Emergency Contact Form.

  4. Certify your meningitis vaccination decision: Record your meningococcal (meningitis) vaccination decision online.

  5. Submit your MMR Form: Complete the Columbia University Measles, Mumps and Rubella form and submit it to the Health Services Immunization Office . For part-time students starting in May 2016, the MMR form is due May 11, 2016. For all full-time students starting in the 2016 Fall Semester the MMR form must be submitted no later than Friday, July 1, 2016. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO REGISTER OR COME TO CAMPUS UNTIL THIS HAS BEEN COMPLETED! 

  6. Enroll/waive CU student medical insurance: Full-time students are automatically enrolled in the basic level of the plan, but may upgrade their coverage to the comprehensive level or request a waiver. Part-time students are encouraged to enroll in the plan, but are not required to do so. Please click here for more information. To request a waiver of automatic enrollment in the basic level of the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan, new incoming students must submit a waiver request (June 13 for part-time students beginning in August, September 30 for Fall enrollment, and February 1 for Spring enrollment) and provide documentation of alternate coverage under a comparable insurance plan.

  7. Student Account Statement: Review your Student Account Statement online. Please be sure that you have paid your bill to avoid the $150 late payment charge. Once the statement is available, an alert will be sent to your Columbia e-mail address. The payment deadline for the Summer is early June and for the Fall is mid August.

  8. Direct Deposit: Sign up for Direct Deposit through Student Services Online (SSOL) to have scholarship and financial aid refunds deposited directly into your bank account.

  9. Dining Services: Sign up for an optional Dining Plan or purchase "Dining Dollars" or a Flex account. PLEASE NOTE: The University Dining Plan is NOT mandatory and is rarely used by J-School students. 

  10. Get a J-School Press Pass: Students looking to get a J-School Press Pass can do so after arriving on campus at Columbia Printing Services in room 106 of the Journalism building. The cost of the press pass is $10 plus tax. Please bring a digital copy of your headshot picture either in a USB Flash Drive, or simply e-mail the picture to yourself. The photo must be 300 dpi and it cannot be the same photo file used to apply for your Columbia University ID. A representative from Printing Services will help you to upload the picture into their online interface. The processing time is three business days. More details will be provided in your online orientation booklet.

  11. Student Business Cards: Due to payment restrictions and identification requirements, student business cards must be ordered in person at Columbia Printing Services in Room 106 Journalism (Pulitzer Hall). All part- and full-time students of Columbia University are eligible to order cards using the standard CU student business card template. The cost for 250 business cards is $32.50 plus tax. See for more details. 

  12. Text Message Enrollment: Register your mobile number to receive important and emergency communications from Columbia University.

  13. Financial planning: It is important to begin thinking about how you will finance your graduate school education. See the Federal Financial Aid and Journalism Scholarships section for more details.

  14. Complete an online application for a visa certificate (International Students Only): It may take up to 10 weeks to process your visa. Please fill out an application here: ISSO Visa Certificate. See the International Students section for more details.

  15. Apply for Housing: If you are interested in applying for graduate student housing, see the Housing section for more details. International students should apply for on-campus housing as soon as possible, as it can be extremely difficult to secure housing after you arrive.

  16. Complete the essential policies and resources pre-arrival tutorial and the gender-based misconduct awareness and prevention e-learning sessions: The Office of University Life, in conjunction with all of Columbia’s schools, has prepared this online tutorial to introduce you to many of Columbia’s essential policies and resources. In addition to this tutorial, we have prepared a 30-minute e-learning session about gender-based misconduct awareness and prevention designed specifically for graduate students, entitled “Think About It.” Thetutorial and the e-learning session are required for all incoming students; you must complete them by July 1.Students who have not completed these sessions will be ineligible to be registered for classes. You will need your UNI to take the tutorial and the e-learning session, and my office will check to ensure that you have completed both.  Together, the two should take no more than 45 minutes.  If you require an accommodation or have any other questions, please let us know.  For technical assistance, please contact Columbia University Information Technology (CUIT) at

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Orientation and Start Dates

Please note that orientation attendance is mandatory. Dates are subject to change.

Part-Time M.S. Students - Part-Time Orientation Agenda 2016
Orientation: Friday, May 20, 2016
Classes Begin: Saturday, May 21, 2016

M.S. International Students 
Orientation: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 
(You are also required to attend the Full-Time M.S. Student Orientation)
Classes begin: Monday, August 8, 2016

M.S. Students 
Orientation: Thursday, August 4 and Friday, August 5, 2016
Classes begin: Monday, August 8, 2016

Knight-Bagehot Students 
Orientation: Tuesday, August 16 through Friday, August 19, 2016
Classes begin: Monday, August 22, 2016                                              

M.A. International Students

Orientation: Wednesday, August 31, 2016

(You are also required to attend the Full-Time M.A. Student Orientation)

M.A. Students & Spencer Fellows 

Orientation: Thursday, September 1 and Friday, September 2, 2016
Classes begin: Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ph.D. Students 
Orientation: Thursday, September 1 and Friday, September 2, 2016
Classes begin: Tuesday, September 6, 2016

All Class Lecture
By Professor Steve Coll, Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism 
Location: Low Library 
Friday, September 2, 2016
Time: 10:30 a.m.

J-School Annual BBQ (All Students)
Location: TBA
Friday, September 2, 2016
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

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Federal Financial Aid and Journalism Scholarships

  • The Financial Aid Student Checklist has been created to guide you through the Financial Aid process.

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents 
    Admitted students who have submitted a 2016-17 FAFSA and the Journalism School Scholarship Aid Form by the February 1st deadline will be considered for journalism scholarships and other federal aid. Until these forms are submitted, the Journalism School cannot award scholarships or federal loans. If you have any questions, about your FAFSA or your federal loan eligibility, please call the Journalism Admissions and Financial Aid Office at 212-854-8608.

  • International Students 
    Admitted students who have submitted the Journalism School Scholarship Aid Form by the February 1st deadline will be considered for journalism scholarships. Until the form is submitted, the Journalism School cannot award scholarships. If you have any scholarship questions, contact the Journalism School Admissions Office at 212-854-8608.

Intra-School Fellowships
If you applied for a Columbia University Intra-School Fellowship, please contact Tarin Almanzar, should you have any questions. The Intra-School Fellowship committees make their selections in April, independently of the Journalism School.

You can access further information on billing and payment options, as well as view tuition statements (1098-T Forms) at the Student Financial Services page.

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Columbia University has limited housing for full-time graduate students around the Morningside Heights campus. Please note students admitted from the waitlist are ineligible to apply for Columbia University Housing. Please see the Housing Memo posted with your admissions letter for additional information. The deadline to apply for housing is May 15, 2016.

Additional Housing Information and Resources

* International House (I-House) Residence: International House is a privately owned student residence near the campus that provides housing to students from various universities and colleges in the area. For complete details on the International House resources and the housing availability for I-House, please visit

* Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA): OCHA provides an online housing registry of room-share and apartments in non-Columbia owned buildings located in the New York City area (mostly surrounding Columbia University). Only students who have accepted our admissions offer (by submitting their $1,000 fee) and activated their Columbia ID (UNI) are permitted to use the website. You will be provided with the full details and website information once you have submitted your acceptance and deposit to the Admissions Office. Find more housing search resources at this OCHA webpage >>

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Enrollment Response Form and Deposit

The enrollment response form can be found on your Applicant Status page in the online application system or in your admissions letter.

The enrollment fee can be paid by credit card using a Visa or Mastercard; our system does not accept Discover or American Express by the deadline indicated in your admission letter. You may also submit the deposit with a personal check or money order drawn in U.S. dollars on a U.S. bank. Be sure that your name and PID number are on the check. The check must be postmarked by May 1, for master’s degree students and April 15, for PhD students. The Journalism School does not accept wire transfers. Students who fail to remit the enrollment fee by the deadline forfeit their place in the entering class. Students who pay the enrollment fee but do not enroll on the agreed date will lose their deposit.

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Deferral Requests

Master of Science and Master of Arts candidates for the fall semester may submit a request to defer enrollment for one year with the permission of the Admissions Committee. Deferrals are not granted for more than one year. Requests are only granted for very compelling reasons and on a case-by-case basis. THE COMMITTEE DOES NOT CONSIDER REQUESTS FROM CANDIDATES WHO WISH TO POSTPONE ENROLLMENT AT THE JOURNALISM SCHOOL FOR INTERNSHIPS, JOB OPPORTUNITIES OR FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS. Requests must be submitted by Friday, April 15 to NO DEFERRALS WILL BE GRANTED ONCE ORIENTATION BEGINS.      

For students who have been granted a deferral, you will receive an official e-mail from the Office of Admission and Financial Aid. To secure your place in the next class, you must submit your $1,000 enrollment fee by the May 1 deadline. The office will correspond with you in the beginning of next year to confirm your plans to enroll in August and provide you with information regarding scholarship and federal financial aid, the Open House and to help prepare you for August enrollment. Note that you will need to re-apply for scholarship aid. The Scholarship Aid Application will be available in December. Over the course of the next year, if there are changes to your email or home address, please contact the office at

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Public Safety Security Report

Columbia University prepares an annual security report, which is available to all current and prospective employees and students. The report includes statistics for the three previous years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Columbia University, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning sexual assault, and other matters.

You can obtain a copy of this report by contacting the Director of Administration and Planning, Public Safety at 212-854-3815 or here:

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Essential Policies for the Columbia Community

Valuable information to help students understand some of the policies and regulations of the University can now be found in Essential Policies for the Columbia Community on the following website:  In particular, we would like you to take note of the Student Policies and Procedures on Discrimination and Harassment - which can be found here: and the Gender-based Misconduct Policies and Procedures for Students - which can be found here.

Course Registration

  • Incoming Part-Time M.S. students will be pre-registered for their summer REPORTING class; no action required. 
  • Incoming Full-Time M.S. students will be pre-registered for their fall REPORTING class, their JOURNALISM ESSENTIAL classes, and the MASTER'S PROJECT.
  • Incoming Dual-Degree Journalism and Computer Science students will be pre-registered for their Journalism School courses in the same manner as full-time M.S. students. They should contact their advisors for SEAS classes.
  • Incoming M.A. students will be pre-registered for all of their internal Journalism School courses; they will receive information in early August about how to register for their outside courses. 
  • Incoming Ph.D students should contact Evelyn Corchado, Associate Director of Student Services at  Detailed information and instructions on all of this will be circulated via email in early to mid June.

Contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
2950 Broadway (at 116th St.)
Room 203 (lobby)
New York, NY 10027
(212) 854-8608

Select the academic degree that interests you: