How to Apply

Application Deadlines

The application for the MA in Climate and Society for fall 2024 entry is now live!

Priority deadline: January 15, 2024

Final deadline: March 1, 2024

To be considered for merit fellowships, please submit your application by the priority deadline date. Applications submitted by the priority deadline will receive a decision by the end of March. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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Hear from our Office of Admissions and current students on how to build a strong application to the MA in Climate and Society Program.

Application Details

The application requires the following:

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Transcripts
  • CV/Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation (one must be from academic recommenders)
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores for international students

The GRE and a writing sample are not required.

All applicants must submit a statement of academic purpose. Your statement should be your own original work and may not be written, in part or in whole, by a third party. It should be typed, double-spaced, and no more than 1,000 words. Your statement of purpose should address the following questions. 

Please share the key experiences that have contributed to your commitment to work on climate change issues. In addition, what are your academic and professional goals and what knowledge and skills are you hoping to develop through enrollment in Columbia Climate School? Finally, why is enrollment in Climate and Society critical in helping you achieve your goals and which Climate and Society core course are you most excited to complete?

Columbia Climate School requires transcripts from all colleges, professional schools, and universities attended. Applicants must upload an unofficial copy of your transcript or record (e.g., mark sheets, relevé de notes) of any academic work from each university-level institution you have attended for use in review of your application.All transcripts should show courses completed, grades received, duration of study, and degree or diploma received, if applicable. Transcripts that are in a language other than English must be accompanied by certified English translations. Both non-English and translated transcripts should be uploaded. Alternatively, you may upload a course-by-course evaluation from World Education Services (WES). 

A resume is required of all applicants. This document should highlight the following information: employment, including titles and dates for each position, job responsibilities, academic degrees, achievements, and honors; volunteer, public service, and political work; recent leadership experiences; extracurricular activities and interests.

Columbia Climate School requires two letters of recommendation. At least one letter of recommendation must be submitted by an academic recommender for applicants who have received a degree within the last five years.

Appropriate recommenders are professors or job supervisors; in short, people who have supervised your academic or professional work and can provide evidence of your ability to perform top graduate-level work. Note: Recommendation letters must be written in English or translated into English. All letters must be submitted directly using the system generated link. In addition, letters must be submitted by the recommender on official letterhead, which will be reviewed for authenticity. Please refrain from asking relatives, family or personal friends and classmates.

You cannot be involved in any way in the drafting or writing of your recommendation letter. Writing a first draft of a letter to give to your recommender is inappropriate. You may provide a resume or summary of your accomplishments to your recommender to use for contextual information, but you should not provide any materials beyond these examples.

When entering contact information for recommenders, you must use their institutional or professional email addresses. References submitted from personal or anonymous email accounts (Gmail, Yahoo,,, etc.) will be subject to additional review and may result in your application being considered ineligible for admission. All references must be submitted directly to the application system by the recommenders themselves.

All letters of recommendation are subject to verification by Columbia Climate School, which has contracted with Re Vera Services to assist with proof of their authenticity. It is essential that you and your recommenders respond to any inquiry from Re Vera Services.

The GRE is not required to apply to the Climate and Society program. 

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test is required for applicants who did not complete their undergraduate degree at a four year English institution. 

The Climate School requires the following minimum scores:

  • 100 on the TOEFL internet-based test
  • 7.5 on the IELTS
  • 135 on the Duolingo English Test

A nonrefundable fee of $95 is required for the 2023 online application to the MA in Climate and Society.