Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students

About the Scholarship

The United Nations (UN) estimates that more than 70 million people are currently living as refugees or asylum-seekers, or have been internally displaced due to wars and natural calamity – the largest such population in human history. A significant number of these individuals have had their education interrupted, severely impacting their potential for future success. The Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students (CUSDS) is an effort to combat this unprecedented humanitarian and economic loss by providing displaced students with the opportunity to pursue higher education at Columbia University, one of the leading educational institutions in the world.

The Scholarship supports displaced students from anywhere in the world who are unable to complete their higher education. These students will receive full tuition, housing, and living assistance while pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees across all 18 Columbia schools and affiliates, reflecting Columbia’s full institutional commitment to addressing this global crisis. As the first-ever Columbia-wide scholarship, and the world's first scholarship of its kind, this program will commit up to $6 million in support, per cohort, for up to 30 students each year. Mentoring and support will be provided by the Scholarship, as well as by schools and student groups at Columbia.

The Scholarship aims to shift the global dialogue surrounding displaced persons, from one that views them as a burden to one that recognizes them as vital contributors to global innovation and prosperity. Currently, there is no initiative like this at any university in the world, despite the obvious desire for education on the part of these displaced student populations. The Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students aims to be a leader in filling this pressing humanitarian need and will hopefully encourage other universities to follow suit.

(Note: only email inquiries to cusds@columbia.edu will be responded to.  Please read all information below before emailing.)

Eligibility

This scholarship program is for foreign nationals with refugee status living anywhere in the world, or who have received US asylum or submitted a US asylum application, are in the US under Temporary Protected Status, or are Internally Displaced Persons. There are no age restrictions on the scholarship.

Refugee – one who has been forced to flee their home country due to persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (e.g., members of the LGBTQ community). The persecution a refugee experiences may include harassment, threats, abduction or torture. They have received official recognition as refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR).

Asylee – one who is already present in the United States and has received official legal recognition as an asylee from the United States government due to persecution in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (e.g., members of the LGBTQ community).

Asylum Seeker – one who is already present in the United States or has sought admission at a port of entry due to persecution in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (e.g., members of the LGBTQ community), and is seeking safe haven in the United States, but has not yet received official legal recognition as an asylee from the United States government. NOTE: Applicant's petition for asylum must have been placed prior to the time of application to the Scholarship in order to be eligible.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) – a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of certain countries experiencing problems that make it difficult or unsafe for their nationals to be deported there.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) – persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border.

Scholarship Benefits

Full tuition, plus student’s housing and living expenses, for the number of terms necessary to complete the student’s degree.

Application Process

Applicants must apply to and be accepted by one of the degree programs listed below to be eligible for the scholarship. (The application requirements and criteria for scholarship applicants are the same as for normal admissions, and students cannot receive the scholarship if they are not first accepted to a Columbia degree program.) Each school and degree program maintains their own acceptance requirements and specific application deadlines. A full list of eligible degree programs and their respective scholarship deadlines can be found below. Students will only be evaluated for the scholarship if they are admitted to the degree program for which they have applied. Students will be informed regarding the scholarship only after degree admissions decisions are made.

This is a competitive scholarship with limited awards per school, so students may be accepted to Columbia and not receive funding through the scholarship. Acceptance to an academic program does not guarantee funding, through the scholarship or otherwise. Degree program application fees can be waived in extraordinary cases by e-mailing CUSDS@columbia.edu at least two weeks before the student plans to submit their degree application.

Only degree programs listed below are eligible for the scholarship.

Participating Schools with Undergraduate Degree Programs

Participating Schools with Graduate Degree Programs

  • Program options: All postdoctoral masters programs
    • Admissions information
    • Deadlines:
      • Master of Science (MS) in Orthodontics Program - Deadline January 6, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Periodontics Program - Deadline January 6, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Prosthodontics Program - Deadline January 6, 2021
      • Certificate in Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program - Deadline January 6, 2021
      • Certificate in Endodontics Program - Deadline January 6, 2021
  • Program options:
    • Master of Architecture (MArch)
    • All Master of Science (MS) degrees
       
    • Admissions information
    • Deadlines:
      • Master of Architecture (MArch) - Deadline January 3, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Advanced Architectural Design - Deadline January 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Architecture and Urban Design - Deadline January 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture - Deadline January 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Historic Preservation - Deadline January 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Real Estate Development  - Deadline January 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Urban Planning - Deadline January 15, 2021
  • Program options: All Master of Arts (MA) programs
    • Admissions information
    • Deadlines:
      • Master of Arts (MA) in African-American Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in American Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Anthropology - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Art History and Archaeology - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Biotechnology - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Classical Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Classics - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Climate and Society - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in East Asia: Regional Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in East Asian Languages and Cultures - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Economics - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in English and Comparative Literature - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in European History, Politics and Society - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in French and Romance Philology - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Germanic Languages - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Global Thought - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Hispanic Cultural Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in History and Literature - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Human Rights Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in International and World History - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Islamic Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Islamic Studies and Museum Cultures Dual Degree Program - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Italian  - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Jewish Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Latin America and the Caribbean: Regional Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Latin American and Iberian Cultures - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Mathematics with a Specialization in the Mathematics of Finance - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Medieval and Renaissance Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Museum Anthropology - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Oral History - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Philosophical Foundations of Physics - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Philosophy - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Political Science - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Religion - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Russia, Eurasia and East Europe: Regional Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Russian Translation - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Slavic Cultures - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Slavic Languages - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Sociology - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in South Asian Studies - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Statistics - Deadline February 1, 2021
  • Program options: All on-campus Master of Science (MS) degree programs
    • Admissions information
    • Deadlines:
      • Master of Science (MS) in Applied Mathematics - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Applied Physics - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Biomedical Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Business Analytics - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Chemical Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Civil Engineering - Deadline February 1, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Computer Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Construction Engineering and Management - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Data Science - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Earth and Environmental Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Electrical Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Engineering Mechanics - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Financial Engineering - Deadline January 5, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Industrial Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Management Science and Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Materials Science and Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Mechanical Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Medical Physics - Deadline February 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Operations Research - Deadline February 15, 2021
         
  • Program options: All on campus Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) programs
    • Admissions information
    • Deadlines:
      • Master of Science (MS) in Actuarial Science - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Applied Analytics  - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Bioethics - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Construction Administration - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Enterprise Risk Management - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Human Capital Management - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Information and Knowledge Strategy - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Narrative Medicine - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Nonprofit Management - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Sports Management - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Strategic Communication - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Sustainability Management - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Sustainability Science - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS) in Technology Management - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master of Professional Studies in Wealth Management - Deadline March 15, 2021
      • Master's in Insurance Management - Deadline March 15, 2021
  • Program options:
    • Master of Public Health (MPH)
    • Master of Science (MS)
    • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
       
    • Admissions information
    • Deadlines:
      • Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) - Deadline December 1, 2020
      • Master of Health Administration (MHA) - Deadline January 15, 2021
      • Master of Public Health (MPH) - Deadline January 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (MS Biostatistics and Sociomedical Sciences) - Deadline January 15, 2021
      • Master of Science (Patient Oriented Track, PFH, Clinical Research Methods - Deadline April 1, 2021
      • Master of Public Health (General Public Health) - Deadline June 1, 2021
      • Master of Science (Epidemiology and Toxicology) - Deadline June 1, 2021

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