Columbia University Science Honors Program


Important Dates

  • Deadline for completed application and fee payment: March 1, 2017.
  • Personal test admission ticket available online: March 16, 2017.
  • Deadline for SHP’s receipt of mailed official transcripts and online recommendations: March 16, 2017.
  • Entrance examination dates: Either March 25, 2017 or April 22, 2017.
  • Notification of admission decisions: available by June 21, 2017.

Application Procedure – Columbia University Science Honors Program – 2017-2018 Academic Year
The Columbia University Science Honors Program (SHP) is a highly selective program for students who have a strong interest in science and mathematics. Classes are held at Columbia from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturdays throughout the academic year. Applicants for the 2017-2018 school year must now be in the eleventh, tenth, or ninth grade and must apply online. The program is available only to students who attend high schools in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut and who live within a 75-mile radius of the Columbia campus.

Application Requirements

  • A completed online application, including a report of high school grades and an essay describing one’s interest and background in science and mathematics.
  • An official high school transcript, to be mailed directly to the SHP by the student’s high school.
  • An online letter of recommendation from a teacher, guidance counselor, or principal.
  • A $30 non-refundable fee to cover the costs of application processing and test administration.

Entrance Examination
As part of the application process, there will also be a 3-hour entrance examination given at Columbia University. There are two scheduled Saturday dates for the entrance examination in the spring of 2017: March 25 and April 22. Students will be asked to indicate their preferred examination date; however, the SHP cannot guarantee that a student will receive his/her first choice. The examination will be from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. The test will contain questions in mathematics and science. Students are expected to have a background in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and probability, together with some knowledge of elementary science subjects. No special studying or review is needed for the examination.

Application Deadline
The deadline for SHP receipt of the completed online application is 11:59 PM on March 1, 2017. The $30 fee payment, whether by credit card or check, must also be received by the SHP by March 1, 2017. No applications will be accepted after this date. Mailed official transcripts and online letters of recommendation must be received by the SHP no later than March 16, 2017.

Online Application
The SHP online application can be accessed at:
This site will initially require the student to create an account with the online application provider, “Apply Yourself”, after which the applicant will receive a unique PIN number and password. With this ID information, a student can return to work on his/her application over several sessions. All online application information is transmitted through a secured server and is not released to the SHP admissions staff until the student submits his/her final version of the application.

The person whom the student has selected to write a recommendation letter will be automatically notified and asked to submit the recommendation online. Students should discuss with potential recommenders the waiver of rights option before making a final selection of recommender. A student’s choice to waive or not to waive rights to inspect the recommendation cannot be changed after the recommendation request has been submitted.

Instructions for making the payment of the $30 application fee are given at the end of the online application process, immediately before final submission of the completed application. Payment by credit card is preferred and ensures that the SHP receives the fee by the March 1st deadline.

It is the student’s responsibility to have his/her high school mail the required official transcript to the SHP by the due date.

After a completed application has been submitted to the SHP, the applicant should receive a confirmation e-mail indicating successful submission. The student can subsequently track the status of the submitted application and the SHP’s receipt of the associated recommendation letter and official transcript by using the online tracking system. After the close of the application period, applicants will be notified of which examination date they have been assigned and will then be able to print out an admission ticket for the test. This personal ticket, which will indicate the assigned date and room location for the test, must be presented at Columbia when the examination is given. Applicants will be notified about admission decisions by June 21, 2017.

Students who are currently members of the SHP in good standing are entitled to continue in the program until graduation from high school and do not have to reapply for admission.

Students who applied to the program last year but were not admitted may submit a new application for the 2017-2018 academic year. Last year’s application cannot be reactivated, and students must create a new account with a new PIN and password.