Transfer students

Welcome to Columbia!

The Center for Student Advising is happy to welcome you to the Columbia community. As you prepare to transition from your previous institution to your new home in Morningside Heights, please refer to the information below and throughout this website for useful information on how to launch your academic career at Columbia College or Columbia Engineering.

Transfer Credit

Please review the Transfer Credit section of the CSA website for information about transfer credits and graduation requirements, the petition process and required forms, and major/concentration/minor course approvals.  

Advice for Transfer Students:

1. Hold on to your syllabi

Resist the urge to recycle your old syllabi – you’re going to need them!  Syllabi may need to be reviewed for various processes associated with the transfer of credit.  Make sure you have access to them over the summer and fall.

2. Check your Columbia email.

Your CU email (aka LionMail) is the University's primary way of contacting you.  It is your responsibility to check your e-mail regularly. 

3. Make plans, then make revisions.

It’s important to strike a balance between planning carefully and maintaining flexibility. Utilize academic planning resources to help you make the most of each semester and keep you on track toward graduation. These resources include your CSA Adviser, the bulletins, directory of classes, the Academic Planning Guide for New Students, academic planning worksheets, and campus offices. At the same time, maintain flexibility and an appetite for exploration, revising plans as necessary. 

4. Meet with your advising dean.

You will receive the contact information for your assigned advising dean over the summer. Be sure to schedule a phone appointment prior to registration and at least one in-person appointment during your first semester. Information about how you can foster a great advising relationship can be found on the CSA website.  

5. Tie up loose ends

Does your Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE) request more information about a particular course? Please submit the syllabus.  Did you receive final grades from your previous institution?  Please submit your official transcript as soon as possible. Did you take AP exams in high school?  Please send the score reports. Do you think you could be exempt from a Core requirement?  Please submit a petition (following provided instructions). Don’t delay – these important actions will ensure that you receive the transfer credit and exemptions you’re due!

6. Remember...not all schools are alike. 

As a transfer student, you have already experienced a college environment. As you adjust to life at Columbia, remember that every college and university operates differently, so it’s important to educate yourself about how things work at Columbia instead of relying on assumptions.

7. Ask us, not your friends.

Your classmates and hallmates will be great resources as you get settled in at Columbia, but be sure to check with your advising dean when your questions pertain to academic matters. The Columbia community includes students with wide-ranging school and program affiliations, each with their own policies and requirements. Make sure you adhere to the guidelines that apply to you. 

8. Take action. Take responsibility.

There are many resources (both written and human) available to help you make fulfilling decisions. Take action – seek out resources and use them. Make informed choices and take responsibility for those choices. You’re in charge of your Columbia experience and we are here to help you navigate it.

9. Attend NSOP.

During Columbia’s New Student Orientation Program, you’ll have the opportunity to meet other students, take placement exams, attend an advising presentation, meet faculty from various departments, explore campus and the city, and become acquainted with the many University services available to you.

10. Let us know!

What has been helpful? What else could we do to support your transition to Columbia? Help us help you: Please share constructive feedback with us.

James H. and Christine Turk Berick Center for Student Advising


403 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-6378

Fax: (212) 854-2458

9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

An Advisor of the Day is available by phone or in person Monday–Friday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.