Application Process & Requirements

Students who wish to be considered for admission to the Joint Bachelor’s Degree Program must be enrolled in an approved degree program at City University of Hong Kong. Visit the CityU website for more information about admission.

Applicants to the Joint Bachelor’s Degree Program must submit an internal application to their departmental or college coordinator in early November of their second year of studies at CityU. After an initial departmental/college review to confirm eligibility, applicants will be granted access to the official online application. The admissions process includes a review of the applicant’s academic history, letters of recommendation, official test scores, a personal essay, and an interview conducted in English. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of admissions representatives from Columbia University. Applicants to the Joint Bachelor’s Degree Program must submit the online application in mid-January for fall enrollment. 

Applicants may not simultaneously apply to the School of General Studies and to any other undergraduate division of Columbia University – Columbia College (CC), or The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). Candidates may not apply to the Joint Bachelor’s Degree Program if in the last three years they applied to either of these divisions and were not accepted.

Students who are not native English speakers will also sit for the American Language Program’s Essay Exam, which will be administered on campus at CityU. The purpose of the ALP Essay Exam is to certify students' English proficiency before they begin classes on campus in New York.

Students will be asked to handwrite an essay in response to a short reading prompt. Every effort is made to offer passages that are easily understood and can be answered by any person from any field of study. There are new prompts for each administration of the ALP Essay Exam, and students will be given 105 minutes to complete the paper-based test.

Application Deadline

  • January 15

Applying to the Joint Bachelor's Degree Program

A complete application for the Joint Bachelor’s Degree Program between City University of Hong Kong and Columbia University includes all of the following:

  • Submission of the online application.
    • A PDF version of the application (for reference only) may be downloaded here.
       
  • Official* high school transcript or official secondary school records. Documents not in English must be accompanied by certified translations.
     
  • Official* transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Please request official CityU transcripts from the Academic Records and Regulations Office (ARRO). Documents not in English must be accompanied by certified translations.
     
  • Official* test score

If your native or predominant spoken language is not English and the primary language of instruction in your high school or secondary education was not English you must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting official scores from TOEFL or IELTS.  The TOEFL or IELTS must be taken a maximum of two years prior to an application to the School of General Studies. To be eligible to apply for admission, the Joint Program admissions committee requires a score of 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL, or a score of 7.0 on the IELTS.

Applicants to the Joint Bachelor's Degree Program will be required to sit for an additional English-language proficiency exam before admissions decisions are released. The ALP Essay Exam is designed to measure your ability in written English; no speaking portion is included. You will be given 105 minutes to write an essay in response to a prompt that will be provided by Columbia University’s American Language Program, and more information will be sent out after your application has been submitted.

*See note on official documents below

  • One typed, double-spaced essay of approximately 1,000-1,500 words. See the admissions application for essay question.
     
  • One letter of recommendation from a CityU professor. Please note that all applicants must ensure the letter of recommendation sent from the recommender directly to the school is accompanied by your completed and signed Joint Bachelor's Degree Program between City University of Hong Kong and Columbia University recommendation form.

A Note on Official Documents
Unofficial documents are accepted as part of the application review process. If offered admission, in order to enroll you will be required to submit official documents. Official documents are those submitted electronically from your college or school counselor through Slate.org. If electronic documents are not available from your high school, or your school does not participate through Slate.org, students may also instruct a school administrator to email transcripts from their school email account to [email protected] and they will be counted as official. We will accept mailed copies of the transcripts sent directly to the Office of Admissions of the School of General Studies. Paper transcripts may not be delivered or forwarded by a student. All non-English language documents must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

If offered admission, you should submit official transcripts using just one of these methods.
 

Interviews

  • Interviews are scheduled only on a case-by-case basis by the admissions committee; it is not possible for applicants to arrange an interview without the request of the committee.
     
  • Interviews typically take place in February and are held on the CityU campus in Hong Kong.

Applicants applying to the Joint Bachelor's Degree Program during their second year at CityU will follow the timeline below.

Please find specific eligibility requirements for applicants from each of CityU's three colleges below:

College of Engineering

Prospective Joint Bachelor's Degree Program students must complete at least 30 credits within their first year at CityU with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 3.3. Completed credits must include the number of credit units specified by the College of Engineering and respective Home Department for its required courses as stipulated in the first-year curriculum. By the end of the second year, students must have completed at least 60 credits and fulfilled 9 credits in GE University requirements (i.e., GE1401 University English, a discipline-specific GE English course, GE1501 Chinese Civilisation – History and Philosophy) and CHIN1001 University Chinese (if deemed required by the University) at CityU.

College of Science

Prospective Joint Bachelor's Degree Program students must complete at least 30 credits within their first year at CityU with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 3.3. Completed credits must include the number of credit units specified by the College of Science and respective Home Department for its required courses as stipulated in the first-year curriculum. By the end of the second year, students must have completed at least 60 credits (61 credits for MA students) and fulfilled 9 credits in GE University requirements (i.e., GE1401 University English, a discipline-specific GE English course, GE1501 Chinese Civilisation – History and Philosophy) and CHIN1001 University Chinese (if deemed required by the University) at CityU.

College of Business

Prospective Joint Bachelor’s Degree Program students must complete half of the credit requirements (see table below) within their first year at CityU with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 3.3. Completed credits must include the number of credit units specified by the College of Business and respective Home Department for specific course requirements in the first two years. By the end of the second year, students must have completed the specific credit units stated in the table below, and fulfilled 9 credits in GE University requirements (i.e., GE 1401 University English, a discipline specific GE English course, GE1501 Chinese Civilization – History and Philosophy), CHIN1001 University Chinese and/or LC0200 English for Academic Purposes (if deemed required by the University), and CB4303 Strategy and Policy (for BBA students only) at CityU.

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Prospective Joint Bachelor's Degree Program students must complete at least 30 credits within their first year at CityU with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 3.3. Completed credits must include the number of credit units specified by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and respective Home Department for its required courses as stipulated in the first-year curriculum. By the end of the second year, students must have completed at least 60 credits and satisfactorily fulfilled the 6-credit College Requirement, 9-credit GE University requirements (i.e., GE1401 University English, a discipline-specific GE English course, GE1501 Chinese Civilization – History and Philosophy) and CHIN1001 University Chinese (if deemed required by the University) at CityU.

Information sessions for the Joint Bachelor’s Degree Program between City University of Hong Kong and Columbia University are typically held on the CityU campus each fall for first and second year students interested in learning more about the program. 

For students who have not yet matriculated at CityU and are considering doing so in order to later apply to the Joint Degree Program, please visit the CityU website for more information about admissions and upcoming campus visits. To learn more about the program outside of these annual information sessions, please request more information.