Standardized Test Scores

What if my scores from ETS do not arrive by the priority deadline? 
You must self-report your full scores (each section), and include percentile information for the GRE, onto your online application in the space provided.

Scores sent from ETS to our School, code 2111, will typically arrive within two weeks.  

Your self-reported scores will be verified during the review process and if you are recommended for admission after the priority deadline.

My test date is after the priority deadline to apply what should I do? 
This School has a rolling admission process. Therefore, you may submit your application or test scores after the priority deadline.

We strongly encourage you to apply and complete your application close or within a few weeks of the priority deadline for best results.

To submit your application without test scores, enter your expected test date in the space provided. Once you know your scores you can login and update the application with your full test score information (each section), include percentiles for GRE.  Note, the application may not be evaluated until all the required documents are received or may be marked incomplete and no longer considered for admission if scores or other material do not arrive in a reasonable amount of time.

My GRE, TOEFL, or IELTS score(s) will expire soon. How do I know if the scores are still valid? 
GRE scores expire in five years. TOEFL and IELTS scores expire in two years. Expired test scores will not be accepted.  If you are still not sure please contact the testing service directly.

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 their degree from a 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's degree in the United States before enrollment, in this case the applicant is not required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic scores for admission.

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. 

What is the minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic score required?
There are no minimum test score requirements to apply for admission consideration.  However, admitted students that were required to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic test for admission are encouraged and may be advised to deal with verbal and/or written English proficiency needs by utilizing the resources available for them through Columbia University’s American Language Program. It may be necessary to improve your English proficiency if you scored:

  • 599 or lower on the TOEFL paper-based test; or
  • 99 or lower on the TOEFL internet-based test; or
  • 6.5 or lower on the IELTS
  • 68 or lower on the PTE Academic

What is the minimum GRE score?
There are no minimum test score requirements to apply for admission.
The average GRE scores for past entering classes, in recent years, rank 64% or above for the verbal and writing sections, and above 81% for the quantitative section. Therefore, it is recommended that your scores be comparable.  You can check the percentiles provided along with your scores from ETS to find your ranking and compare. When entering your scores onto the online application be sure to enter your score on each section of the test and to include the percentiles. 

Do I need to take the GRE subject test?
If you are a doctoral applicant (MS leading to PhD, PhD, Eng.Sc.D.) applying to the Applied Physics program you are required to submit the official GRE Physics test score. For all other programs it is not required. 

I am not required to submit the GRE subject test to apply, but can I submit GRE subject test scores anyway to enhance my chances for admission?

We do not recommend that you submit the GRE Subject test, or any other material, unless it is specifically required for the application. Submitting extra materials will not enhance your chances for admission.

I have taken the GMAT, can I use this test in place of the GRE?
Unfortunately, the GMAT may not replace the GRE test requirement

Applicants applying to graduate programs within the departments of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research or the Data Science Institute are encouraged to submit their GMAT scores along with the GRE if they have taken the test.

I have entered my scores in the “test scores” section. Do I still need to get an official score report sent to Columbia University?
Yes. Although copies or self-reported scores can be used for review purposes, admission may not be granted without official test scores.

Send official scores from ETS to our institutional code 2111.

For IELTS scores, enter your TRF number on the application for admission. Our office downloads IELTS scores that have been transmitted to our e-download account. Please contact your test center and​ request that your scores be sent to ​the following IELTS e-download account:

We will not accept paper IELTS test report forms.

Office of Graduate Student Affairs
Columbia University
The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
500 West 120th Street, Rm. 530 Mudd, MC 4708
New York, NY 10027

I earned my Bachelor’s degree in a School from another country whereby the English test would be required, but I have earned a Master’s degree in the U.S. do I still need to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE test?
No, you are not required to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE test. 

My degree was awarded from a School in another country whereby the English test would be required, but I am very fluent in the English language. I have resided in the U.S. for many years. My prior education was taught in English. I have a combined program degree with a School in an English speaking country. I can prove my English language ability in some other way. Do I still need to take the test? 
Unfortunately, no exceptions will be made for reasons outside of the policy. 

I am a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident do I still have to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE test? 
The test requirement is based on where you studied not your citizenship status.

If you graduated from a college or university located in a country where English is not the official as well as the widely spoken language, you must submit the English language test with your application for admission. If you graduated and will be awarded a Bachelor's or Master's degree from a college or university within the U.S. prior to the start term on your application to Columbia Engineering you are not required to submit the English language test.

My prior education is within another country, but it includes exchange program/s with a U.S. School do I still have to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE test?
Yes. The test is only waived if you are awarded your Bachelor's or a Master's degree from a U.S. school. In addition, you must have been on campus in the U.S. for the duration of your program.  

I am a current Columbia Engineering graduate student. I took the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE, when I first applied and it is now expired. I want to apply to another program or degree do I need to take the test again?
No. Current Columbia Engineering graduate students are not required to submit the test.

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