Community Scholars Application Information

Applications for the next cohort starting in fall 2018 will be available starting in late February.

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

Application/Nomination Instructions:
Complete a program application (2017 version found here) and return it to the address below with the following attached:

  • 1-2 page narrative describing your educational and/or professional background;
  • 1-2 page description of the project you propose to pursue, your anticipated end goal/outcomes and the University resources you would like to access in order to achieve these outcomes (i.e. courses to audit, library, etc.). Please include a brief statement on how your project might be of benefit to the larger community; 
  • Résumé, or Curriculum Vitae;
  • High School Transcript, equivalent, or equivalent experience (please explain), and transcripts from any college or university work;
  • 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);
  • 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. 

Please e-mail or hand deliver all materials (materials will not be returned) in one package no later than April 27, 2017 to: or

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

Please note: 
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) 854-5710 or