I’m often asked if there are separate admissions deadlines for our international students. The answer, simply put, is no. All deadlines are open to all students, regardless of their nationality. The same goes for our application materials. For example, no one has to submit extra paperwork in order to qualify for our general fellowships (just meet the predetermined deadline). However, international students do have to prove their language proficiency before they apply to SIPA.
Until today, international students only had two options: take the TOEFL or IELTS exam. Depending on where they lived those exams weren’t always the easiest to arrange; sporadic exam dates and minimal locations were frequent complaints. I’m happy to share that our office has approved a third English-language proficiency exam, known as the PTE Academic.
We added it to the list of approved exams because the PTE exam is offered in more locations than the TOEFL and IELTS. PTE also offers students flexible test sessions, a flexible re-take policy, and results are typically available within 5 working days versus 10-15 days turnaround for the TOEFL. Lastly, it’s also accepted at a number of academic institutions in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, UK, Canada and the US — making it easier for you to share scores with several institutions.
So while you’re making arrangements to take your English-language proficiency exam, keep in mind there’s now a third option. (We’ll update our website to reflect this change, but please forgive us if we miss a page!)
For your reference, here are the minimum and preferred score requirements for all three exams. The minimum score is what’s required in order to apply to SIPA. While the preferred score means you won’t be required to enroll in a special English language course once admitted to SIPA. If you have questions, just check the blog’s archives for more information on these requirements.
- TOEFL Minimum: 100 & TOEFL Preferred: 110
- School code is 2161 (there is no department code)
- IELTS Minimum: 7.0 & IELTS Preferred: 7.5
- Select Columbia SIPA from the list of schools
- PTE Minimum: 68 & PTE Preferred: 76