FAQs

What sets the College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) students apart?

Although P&S students demonstrate exceptional academic achievement upon entering medical school, what truly sets them apart is their commitment: to one another, to the life of their school, to the advancement of the field, and to the world beyond medical school—be it in the Washington Heights community or in an impoverished nation thousands of miles away.

I am interested in an elective rotation, where can I find more information?

All information regarding visiting students and electives at NYPH and affiliated hospitals/sites can be found on our Visiting Students page. Additional questions can be directed to pselectives@columbia.edu.

Does the P&S Admissions Office provide tours, pre-medical admissions advising or materials to visitors?

Our office does not provide tours or pre-medical admissions advising. All of our available information is located on our website, please look around!

Besides the MD, what other degree programs can applicants apply to during the admissions process?

In addition to the primary MD degree, the College of Physicians & Surgeons offers four dual degree programs and track options which applicants can apply to during the admissions process:

  • MD/PhD
  • Three year PhD/MD (for individuals who already have a recent PhD in one of the biological or related sciences from an accredited US or Canadian School)
  • Columbia-Bassett
  • MD/MPH Dual Degree Program (There are two opportunities to apply to this dual degree program: during application for entry to P&S, and as a student at P&S after completing one or two years at the medical school)

For more information on any of these programs, please visit degree programs.

Does the requirement for US citizenship or permanent resident status apply to the 4 year , standard MD program at the College of Physicians and Surgeons? Why does this additional requirement apply to the Three year PhD/MD program?

The requirement for US citizenship or permanent resident status does not apply to applicants to other programs at P&S. It is part of the requirement for the Three year PhD/MD program because New York Presbyterian Hospital, the teaching hospital at Columbia University Medical Center, does not support visas which would enable graduates of the Three year PhD/MD program to enter residency training here, and also because some research stipends are not available to non-US citizens.

What other degree programs are P&S students able to pursue and complete during their Medical Education?

What is the average GPA and MCAT scores?

P&S aims for excellence in its program, research, faculty, staff, and student body. As a result, the admissions process remains selective and competitive. Our average MCAT score is 35.7 and GPA is 3.78.

I am having technical difficulties with AMCAS and/or the P&S Supplemental Application, where can I get help?

If you are having difficulties with AMCAS application, please contact AMCAS. If you are having difficulties with the P&S Supplemental Application, please contact the Admissions Office at 212-305-3595 or psadmissions@columbia.edu.

Do you accept international students?

It is rare that we admit individuals from foreign universities because the Admissions Committee does not have satisfactory means of evaluating premedical education at universities outside of the United States and Canada. We therefore require at least one year of premedical training at an institution in the United States, in addition to the MCAT. Please note that non-residents of the United States are ineligible for federal financial aid programs.

What is the P&S Club?

Students at P&S are remarkably active, involved, socially committed, and diverse. The P&S Club, an umbrella organization, sponsors over 70 clubs, the most comprehensive of any student activities group in American medical education. For more information, please visit the P&S Club website.

How many students participate in international experiences?

Among the most recent graduating class, nearly one-third took a senior elective abroad, mostly to developing countries.

How many students take an extra year for research or a dual degree?

Approximately 19 percent of the most recent graduating class took extra time for research or a dual degree.

How many students match at Columbia for post-graduate training?

28 percent of our most recent graduate class matched at Columbia for part or all of their post-graduate training.

What learning and community service opportunities exist?

Washington Heights offers students the opportunity to work with underserved populations to help alleviate healthcare disparities afflicting minority, immigrant, and low-income populations. There are numerous opportunities to participate in community education and community building programs established by Washington Heights and Harlem community organizations as well as P&S. These programs include the Washington Heights Initiative, Columbia Student Medical Outreach (CoSMO), Columbia-Harlem Homeless Medical Partnership (CHHMP), Columbia University Harm Reducation Outreach Network (CUHRON), Human Rights Asylum Clinic at Columbia University P&S, and community-based research by the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

When will I know if I am invited for an interview?

We begin extending invitations for interviews in early September and conduct interviews through early February.

Do you accept transfer students?

We do not accept transfer students.

When will I know the final decision on my application?

P&S does not have rolling admissions. Decisions are made at the end of interview season and all decision letters are sent at the beginning of March.

I am an accepted student who plans on matriculating. Where can I find more information on orientation?

Please visit the P&S Club website for all information pertaining to orientation and matriculation.