Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students

About the Scholarship

The United Nations (UN) estimates that more than 82 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 up to full tuition, housing, and living assistance while pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees across all 19 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.

Across its first two cohorts, the Scholarship has now supported 33 students from 19 countries attending 14 schools.

(Note: only email inquiries to [email protected] will be responded to.  Please read all information below before emailing. Emails must be in English. Phone calls / messages will not be responded to.)

Haitian Refugees

Eligibility

This scholarship program is for foreign nationals who: have refugee status living anywhere in the world; have received US asylum or submitted a US asylum application; are in the US under Temporary Protected Status; are Internally Displaced Persons. Displaced Afghan students on Humanitarian Parole or with Special Immigrant Visas are also now eligible for the Scholarship. US permanent residents (green card holders, citizens, etc.) are not eligible for the scholarship. 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.

Displaced Afghan students on Humanitarian Parole or with Special Immigrant Visas

Columbia University Subway Station

Scholarship Benefits

Depending on the school and degree program, the scholarship may cover up to full tuition, plus the student’s housing and living expenses, for the number of terms necessary to complete the respective 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 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. Only degree programs listed below are eligible for the scholarship. Students will only be eligible 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 their degree program and not receive funding through the scholarship. Acceptance to an academic program does not guarantee funding, through the scholarship or otherwise. 

Participating Schools with Undergraduate Degree Programs

  • Program options: All undergraduate majors
    • Admissions information
    • Deadline: March 1, 2022
      • Note: The School of General Studies accepts applications for admission for both fall and spring each year; however the Scholarship for Displaced Students is only awarded once per year, in advance of the fall semester. 
  • Barnard College is not participating in this Scholarship program for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Participating Schools with Graduate Degree Programs

  • Program options: All postdoctoral masters programs
    • Admissions information
    • Deadlines:
      • Programs participating in National Dental Matching Program
        • Master of Science (MS) in Orthodontics Program - Deadline September 15, 2021
        • Master of Science (MS) in Periodontics Program - Deadline August 15, 2021
        • Master of Science (MS) in Prosthodontics Program - Deadline September 1, 2021
      • Certificate in Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program - Deadline November 1, 2021
      • Certificate in Endodontics Program - Deadline August 1, 2021
    • Applicants who match into the above Columbia programs can apply for the scholarship after they are matched.
  • Program options:
  • Program options:
    • Master of Architecture (MArch)
    • All Master of Science (MS) degrees
       
    • Admissions information
    • Deadlines:
      • Master of Architecture (MArch) - Deadline January 3, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Advanced Architectural Design - Deadline January 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Architecture and Urban Design - Deadline January 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Computational Design Practices - Deadline January 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture - Deadline January 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Historic Preservation - Deadline January 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Real Estate Development  - Deadline January 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Urban Planning - Deadline January 15, 2022
  • Program options: All Master of Arts (MA) programs
    • Admissions information
    • Deadlines:
      • Master of Arts (MA) in African-American Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in American Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Anthropology - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Art History and Archaeology - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Biotechnology - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Classical Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Classics - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in East Asia: Regional Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in East Asian Languages and Cultures - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Economics - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in English and Comparative Literature - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in European History, Politics and Society - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in French and Romance Philology - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Germanic Languages - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Global Thought - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Hispanic Cultural Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in History and Literature - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Human Rights Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in International and World History - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Islamic Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Islamic Studies and Museum Cultures Dual Degree Program - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Italian - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Japanese Pedagogy - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Jewish Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Latin America and the Caribbean: Regional Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Latin American and Iberian Cultures - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Mathematics with a Specialization in the Mathematics of Finance - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Medieval and Renaissance Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Museum Anthropology - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Oral History - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Philosophical Foundations of Physics - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Philosophy - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Political Science - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Religion - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Russia, Eurasia and East Europe: Regional Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Russian Translation - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Slavic Cultures - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Slavic Languages - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Sociology - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in South Asian Studies - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Arts (MA) in Statistics - Deadline March 15, 2022
  • Program options: All on-campus Master of Science (MS) degree programs
    • Admissions information
    • Deadlines:
      • Master of Science (MS) in Applied Mathematics - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Applied Physics - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Biomedical Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Business Analytics - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Chemical Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Civil Engineering - Deadline February 1, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Computer Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Construction Engineering and Management - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Data Science - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Earth and Environmental Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Electrical Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Engineering Mechanics - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Financial Engineering - Deadline January 5, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Industrial Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Management Science and Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Materials Science and Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Mechanical Engineering - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Medical Physics - Deadline February 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Operations Research - Deadline February 15, 2022
         
  • Program options: All fall-entry 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, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Applied Analytics  - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Bioethics - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Construction Administration - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Enterprise Risk Management - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Human Capital Management - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Information and Knowledge Strategy - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Narrative Medicine - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Nonprofit Management - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Sports Management - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Strategic Communication - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Sustainability Management - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Sustainability Science - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS) in Technology Management - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master of Professional Studies in Wealth Management - Deadline March 15, 2022
      • Master's in Insurance Management - Deadline March 15, 2022
  • 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, 2021
      • Master of Health Administration (MHA) - Deadline January 15, 2022
      • Master of Public Health (MPH) - Deadline January 15, 2022
      • Master of Public Health (General Public Health) - Deadline June 1, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS Biostatistics and Sociomedical Sciences) - Deadline January 15, 2022
      • Master of Science (MS Epidemiology and Toxicology) - Deadline June 1, 2022
      • Master of Science (Patient Oriented Track, PFH, Clinical Research Methods) - Deadline April 1, 2022
  • Program options:

Videos

Voice of America: Columbia Scholarship Paves Path for Refugees