Community Scholars Application Information

Applications are not currently open for the Columbia Community Scholars Program. Please check back in early 2020 for information about applying for the next cohort.


  1. You must be a Borough of Manhattan resident living north of 96th Street
  2. You cannot have a current affiliation with Columbia University
  3. You must have a High School Diploma, GED or equivalent

Application Content and Format

Please follow the following guidelines when submitting your application.

  • 11 or 12 point font
  • Normal margins (top 1”; bottom 1”; left 1”; right 1”)
  • Numbered – bottom of page
  • If printed, single-sided on 8.5x11” paper
  • If possible, please upload or email your proposal as one PDF document 

Applications submitted must include the information noted below and be submitted in order.

Please sign and complete the application cover page and include it as the cover page of your application.

1-2 pages describing your educational and/or professional background.

1-2 pages describing the project you propose to pursue.  Please include:

  • Your anticipated goals and outcomes
  • University resources you would like to access (i.e. courses to audit, library, etc.)
  • A brief statement on how your project might be of benefit or interest to the larger community

Please provide the following information to verify your eligibility and support your application. 

  • Résumé, or Curriculum Vitae (Required)
  • Copy of your High School transcript, GED/TASC, OR explanation of equivalent experience. (Required)
  • Copy of transcripts from any college or university work. (If applicable)
  • 2 letters of reference (may be from a current or former employer, community leader, teacher, professor, colleague, or eminent person in your field of study) (Required)

Note: If accepted into the program - further proof of residency and official transcripts will be requested.

Other supporting materials you would like to have considered as a part of your application: work sample, writing samples of up to 2 pages, audio or videotape. Materials cannot be returned.

How to Apply

Please submit your application online, via e-mail or hand deliver all materials (materials will not be returned) in one package, no later than Thursday, May 9th, 2019. 

Online (Preferred)
Please combine all documents into one compiled PDF and submit via this form. Note, a Google account is required for submission.

Compile your application into one PDF document and email Please note, emails with more than 5MB of attachments will not be accepted.

Hand Delivery
Compile your application into one package and drop off to our offices between the hours of 10:00AM and 4:00PM. Materials cannot be returned. 

Community Scholars Program
Office of Government & Community Affairs
Columbia University
309 Low Library
535 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027 

Other Considerations

  • This program does not lead to course credit, a degree or certification.
  • All instruction in classes is conducted in English unless otherwise noted in course descriptions.
  • Admission to Columbia Community Scholars Program is conditional upon proof of northern Borough of Manhattan residency.  
  • Although terms are stated as 3 years, individual scholars may opt to complete the program in less time; continued enrollment depends upon continued compliance with all program requirements and University regulations.

Please direct inquiries about the Columbia Community Scholars Program to (212) 854-2568 or