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September 28 th - October 31 st

Sept 28 th - oct 31 st, prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience of terror and thrills at house of horror haunted carnival 2023 brace yourself for bone-chilling excitement and spine-tingling fun that will leave you screaming for more.

halloween haunted house miami

Thank you for joining us at House of Horror this season! We hope you had a terrifyingly good time. Stay tuned for updates on our next thrilling adventure!

halloween haunted house miami

The Largest Halloween Experience in South Florida Returns for its 21st Edition.

Endure FOUR unique haunted experiences that will make you regret ever walking through the doors! Step into the depths of history and prepare to be haunted by the chilling tales that linger within the walls of Mayhem Museum . Stumble through a disturbing Deja Vu depiction of a calendar year’s worth of twisted celebrations at Haunted HoliDAZE . Your Theater of Terror ticket grants you behind-the-scenes access to explore classic cinematic nightmares.

Enter our last haunt, Scare X Studios , where you become the star and take center stage in this photographable immersive experience. If you make it through all four unique haunts and still have some stiffness in your spine, take a risk and enjoy unlimited carnival rides, delectable treats, and carnival games at the House of Horror midway. See you there… if you dare!

Buy Online to skip the line and save money!

Includes FREE Parking, Single-Day Admission into House of Horror, UNLIMITED Rides, and UNLIMITED Entry into our FOUR Haunted Attractions.

halloween haunted house miami

EVENT FEATURES

Take a risk and enjoy free parking, carnival rides, delectable treats, carnival games and 4 haunted attractions (kids 6 and under are not allowed inside haunted houses.).

halloween haunted house miami

4 Haunted Attractions

halloween haunted house miami

CARNIVAL FOOD

halloween haunted house miami

Entertainment

Scaring Souls Since 2000 Listical

Thank you Sponsors

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Frequently Asked Questions

September 28 – October 31 Monday’s: CLOSED   Tuesday’s: 6:00PM – 11:00PM Wednesday’s: 6:00PM – 11:00PM Thursday’s: 6:00PM – 11:00PM Friday’s: 5:30PM – Midnight Saturday’s: 5:30PM – Midnight Sunday’s: 5:30PM – 11:00PM

You can purchase tickets here

Please reach out to [email protected]

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House of Horror Haunted Carnival 2023

The best haunted houses in Miami for a really good scare

Enter if you dare: These are Miami’s spookiest haunted houses, from sinister mazes to frightening forests and more.

Melissa Puppo

Halloween wouldn't be complete without some spooks, scares and epic Halloween events in Miami . Lucky for Miamians, there are plenty of haunted places and hair-raising experiences to check out around South Florida this time of year. From fully decked-out haunted mansions to a heart-pounding carnival and an entire park overtaken by killer clowns, there's no shortage of frights to subject yourself to in the spirit of Halloween. These haunted houses are for the brave, so find your favorite costume, gather a group of friends and explore our curated guide to the top places around Miami to score your spooky season thrills and chills.

RECOMMENDED:  Our ultimate guide to Halloween Horror Nights 2023 at Universal Studios Orlando

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Haunted Houses in Miami

The Horrorland

1.  The Horrorland

  • Things to do
  • Event spaces
  • price 2 of 4

This premier South Florida scream park returns to Jungle Island with extended hours until midnight on October 29, 30 and 31. The evening festivities kick off at 7pm with an opening ceremony before guests are invited to explore eight scare zones, 10 chilling “terror-tories” and five new haunts—all family-friendly. Brand-new mazes await the fearless, where eerie creatures lurk in the shadows. Brace yourself for unexpected turns and heart-pounding surprises.  Tickets  start at $48.99.

When is it?   Sep 22–Oct 31, 7–10pm  

Where is it?   Jungle Island  

House of Horror Haunted Carnival

2.  House of Horror Haunted Carnival

  • Until Oct 31, 2022

This huge haunted experience—one of the biggest in South Florida—celebrates its 21st birthday. Journey through four haunted encounters that will leave you questioning your decision to step inside. Traverse the eerie corridors of the Mayhem Museum, brace yourself for an unsettling walk through Haunted HoliDAZE, gain backstage access to the realm of classic cinematic nightmares with your Theater of Terror ticket and become the star of the show with the immersive Scare X Studios experience.  Tickets cost $25–$35.

When is it? Sep 28–Oct 31, 7pm 

Where is it? Miami International Mall 

The Haunt Davie

3.  The Haunt Davie

Shuffle into the forest if you dare: South Florida’s largest and longest-running haunted attraction, The Haunt Davie, returns with over 500,000 square feet of activated woods. Beginning Friday the 13th, explore ​​four uniquely themed Tormented Trails dubbed Florida Man, Psycho Path, Camp Carnage and La Bruja's Graveyard, plus daily entertainment, a full bar and a chef-curated menu.  Tickets start at $45.

When is it? Oct 13–31, 4pm–midnight

Where is it? 3900 SW 100th Ave, Davie 

No Way Out Miami Insomnia

4.  No Way Out Miami Insomnia

Prepare for the most spine-tingling event of the year: For 2023, No Way Out Miami presents Insomnia at Dolphin Mall. Guests will embark on a harrowing journey through a nightmarish “sleep study center” where unspeakable horrors await at every turn. Once you complete the experience, catch your breath with a one-of-a-kind exit that opens up to an all-new Monster's Lounge—a haven to slow your heart rate with drinks, groovy music and comfort food.

When is it? Sep 30–Oct 31

Where is it? Dolphin Mall. Tickets cost $30–$45. 

Fright Nights

5.  Fright Nights

West Palm Beach’s premier Halloween festival returns for a 21st year, beckoning visitors of all ages to explore a slew of sinister haunted houses. Previous Fright Nights have unleashed flesh-eating zombies and twisted carnivals, transformed prisons into eerie spectacles and turned hotels into nightmarish realms. This year's event promises a bone-chilling lineup of haunted houses, a cast of eerie characters, a carnival-inspired midway, captivating live performances and ominous scare zones. At Jed's Chop Shop, blades will whirl and grinders will growl, while the post-dinner seance inside the Hockley House will summon the dearly departed.  Tickets start at $35.  

When is it? Select dates in October, 6–11pm (6pm–midnight on Friday and Saturday)

Where is it? South Florida Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach

Nightmare Village

6.  Nightmare Village

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Come face-to-face with creepy strangers, killer clowns and zombies, among other freakish delights inside two haunted houses—the Seventh Gate and Carnival of Carnage—inside Xtreme Action Park’s Nightmare Village.  Ticket prices vary.

When is it? Sep 30–Oct 31 at various times

Where is it? Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale 

Historic Ghost Tours at Deering Estate

7.  Historic Ghost Tours at Deering Estate

  • Walks and tours
  • Oct 27, 2022

You can’t expect an estate steeped in so much history to be ghost-free, right? Discover what skeletons might lurk in Deering’s proverbial closet as you make your way through the eerie home and grounds by darkness. You’ll walk the same steps taken by Native Americans, Miami’s earliest settlers and Charles Deering himself. If you hear something strange or feel a cool breeze that no one else experiences, well, draw your own conclusions. (It’s one of the most haunted locales in Miami, after all.) Go if you dare, and be sure to wear a mask and closed-toe shoes.  Tickets start at $40.

When is it? Select dates Sep 21–Oct 26, 7:30pm

Where is it? Deering Estate

Nights of Fright Davie

8.  Nights of Fright Davie

One of South Florida's most terrifying events returns for two weekends, featuring 20-plus rooms of hair-raising thrills. Nights of Fright transcends the typical haunted house experience; it's a full-blown Halloween extravaganza. And the best part? No lines. Indulge in food, shopping, live DJs, an immersive Halloween ambiance and family-friendly activities in an air-conditioned facility as you await your designated time to enter the haunted house.  Tickets start at $20. Purchase your ticket in advance to save $5. 

When is it? Oct 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28. Thu–Fri, 7–10pm; Sat 6:30–10pm

Where is it? Bamford Sports Complex in Davie

House of Spells

9.  House of Spells

  • Chain hotels
  • Key Biscayne
  • price 3 of 4

Head to RUMBAR inside The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami every day this October to experience a pop-up unlike any other. Miami's cocktail maestro and influencer Gio Gutierrez has conjured up bewitching libations like the Flantasma, a Halloween-themed Old Fashioned crafted with Angels Envy bourbon, bitters and flan syrup, paired with themed bites like the Monster Meatball sliders and Deviled Eggs with a crab twist.

When is it? Oct 1–Oct 31, noon to midnight

Where is it? RUMBAR inside The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami. 

BITE! by AirOtic Soirée

10.  BITE! by AirOtic Soirée

While you probably won’t be screaming at BITE!, you’ll most likely be ooh ing and aah ing with this new spooky and seductive cirque-style burlesque and cabaret show. The unique immersive experience features extravagant costumes, sexy choreography, Adonis-level physiques, unbelievable stunts and performance artistry. Take the sultry experience further with supernatural-themed cocktails and pop-up performances featuring creatures from the dark.  Tickets start at $65.

When is it? Various dates in October, 3pm or 6pm

Where is it? Hunters Nightclub in Fort Lauderdale 

Havana Haunted Mansion

11.  Havana Haunted Mansion

  • Miami Springs

Kick things off at the Havana Haunted Mansion at the historic Curtiss Mansion in Miami Springs. The adults-only immersive theater experience transports guests to early-20th-century Havana, Cuba with spooky skits and performances, roaming characters, themed cocktails, cigar-rolling and Latin bites. Explore the haunted estate (really, Curtiss Mansion is rumored to house a few spirits), decipher a ghostly maze, look into your future with a tarot card reading and partake in “illegal” casino games.  Tickets cost $59 and include one complimentary cocktail. VIP Admission for two is $169 and includes access to a VIP entrance, four handcrafted cocktails and a designated VIP area with exclusive amenities. 

When is it? Sep 15–Oct 31. Thu–Fri 6, 8 and 9:30pm; Sat 4, 6, 8 and 9:30pm; Sun 4, 6 and 8pm

Where is it? Curtiss Mansion 

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Haunted Mansion Cocktail Experience

25% off ends in, for the first time in miami.

As Halloween 2023 approaches, Miami’s most thrilling attraction awaits those brave enough to enter its doors. Step into the world of Havana Haunted Mansion, a brand-new and unique Halloween adventure.

Experience the night of captivating entertainment, enjoy a mesmerizing theatrical show, sip on unique cocktails, and navigate the ghost’s challenges.

Tickets Update

General Admission

ONLY 7% LEFT

VIP for TWO

ONLY 2% LEFT

The Mysterious Journey

Mesmerizing theatrical wonders, handcrafted delicious cocktails, puzzles and tricky challenges, bewitching witch’s kitchen, your future with tarot readings, spooky to savory delights, world of the cuban mafia illegal casino, finest cigars at our bar, chronicles of the cursed estate, prepare for your phantom encounter, opening hours, thursdays & fridays:.

6:00pm, 8:00pm & 9:30pm

Opening Hours

4:00pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm & 9:30pm

4:00pm, 6:00pm & 8:00pm

Curtiss Mansion in Miami Springs

Age Requirement

Visitor experience, haunted_mansion_miami.

@Haunted_Mansion_Miami

Is this a haunted house?

Is there parking available.

We HIGHLY recommend taking Uber or Lyft to attend the event. Valet parking will be available on-site for an additional fee, but the spaces are limited. There is NO PARKING at the neighborhood residential area and violators will be towed.

Is there additional cocktails or food for sale at the event?

Yes, besides drinks which included in your tickets, you could purchase more drinks and delicious Cuban food, including full meals, at the venue.

How long does the experience take?

The experience lasts for approximately 2 hours. We recommend arriving 15 minutes before your scheduled timeslot to fully enjoy the experience.

Is the experience suitable for handicapped guests?

Yes, most parts of the experience are accessible for handicapped guests. We have made efforts to ensure accessibility throughout the event.

What is the minimum age requirement?

The Havana Haunted Mansion is exclusively for adults aged 21 and above. Please ensure you meet the age requirement before purchasing tickets or attending the event.

Last chance to save!

Use promo code HAVANA at checkout

halloween haunted house miami

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halloween haunted house miami

The Horrorland  Scare Park is a haunted attraction, voted The best and most original Halloween Attraction in South Florida by Time-Out consecutively in 2020 and 2021, created by the team behind Live305 Entertainment and Cirque Factory masterminds behind many shows, entertainment experiences, and events in the USA and around the world.

Are you ready to experience the scariest and bigger haunted house in Miami? ... Every year is different... One ticket grants you access to the entire walkthrough. Including five main haunted attractions, eight scary outdoor zones, bloody carnival games, a fear gift shop, a coffin bar, a macabre food village (including delectables treats and inspired menu items),  and a terrific circus show featuring  Freak  Cirque shows. 

All wrapped into one place.

There is so much to see.

Do you need another reason to visit us?... Stories behind their fright from thoughtful preparation make it all the more terrifying. Experienced actors, stage, makeup, and costumes create a deep feeling of terror. It's exhilarating walking on foot on a dark trail with scaring everywhere. What we are grinding now is total fear.

There is no peace at T he  Horrorland; their realistic terror and creepy theme make you become a part of a horror film.

You feel the intense terror, and your imagination runs wild. Sleeping will be difficult after this, but the adrenaline rush makes it a must-see!

When you get out, you will laugh because you made it!

KNOW , BEFORE YOU GO

TIPS FOR SURVIVING HALFWAY TO HALLOWEEN

No costumes, facepaint, props, or handheld items are allowed inside.

While outside the haunt, feel free to take photos and grab food and drink at one of our vendors (info below). 

While inside the haunt, no food, drinks, bottles, recording devices, flash photography, or flashlights are allowed.

No guns  o r  any kind of weapon are allowed.

Mistreating any performer or staff member will result in you being sent home.

Wearing heels or flip-flops is discouraged – they tend to end up in our lost and found.

TICKETING INFORMATION

Buy tickets to this event online and save money. Tickets could be purchased onsite at our box office, but the price will be $ 5.00 more per ticket.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Entering the Haunt: Upon arriving, if you have already purchased your tickets online and have signed the waiver online proceed directly through security checkpoint and then to your designated entrance – General Admission, Fast Pass, or Skip the Line. Show your digital or printed ticket to enter the haunt.

Small groups only: No groups larger than ten will be sent through together. If you arrive with more than 10 in your party, you will be split into smaller groups to enter.

We have plenty of parking at Jungle Island, with a  parking fee.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Make sure you stop by the incredible food truck and vendors for some wicked good eats.

_ WARNING! THIS IS A FAMILY-FRIENDLY EVENT, AND EVERYBODY IS WELCOME 

 BUT MAY BE TOO INTENSE FOR CHILDREN 12 & UNDER.

 At Jungle Island  1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, FL 33132

OUR  HOURS :

WEDNESDAY  

7 PM TO 11 PM *Gate closes at 10 PM

7 PM TO 11 PM  *Gate closes at 10 PM

TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED ONLINE  ​

Tickets vary in price by night

 Please note that you may not enter our gates until your time slots opens.

Pink Purim Day Party

From ella to amy with love at elevar rooftop, the dirty rabbit wynwood, luminosa: a festival of lights, the empire strips back: a burlesque parody - waitlist, jungle queen riverboat: famous sightseeing cruise of fort lauderdale, candlelight: valentine's day special ft. "romeo and juliet" & more, mad club wynwood, boca raton beer wine & spirits fest.

The Horrorland Scream Park

The Horrorland Scream Park

⭐ The Horrorland Scream Park in Florida offers an award-winning Halloween experience with the scariest haunted house, outdoor zones, carnival games, and Freak Cirque shows. Professional actors, elaborate setups, and haunting makeup bring stories to life, providing a heart-racing adventure and unforgettable memories.

🚨 Open now in Miami for a limited time! Get your tickets before it's too late! 🚨

Tickets for The Horrorland Scream Park in Miami 🎫 S tandard Admission - includes entry to the experience 🎫 Standard Admission + Fast Pass -  includes entry to the experience plus a Fast Pass that allows you to skip the Standard Admission line and use the Fast Pass lane to the main haunted attractions inside Highlights 🧟 Experience a spine-chilling adventure at The Horrorland Scream Park, including 5 haunted attractions, 8 different scary outdoor zones, bloody carnival games, and a fear gift shop 👻 Explore the scariest and largest haunted house in Miami and walk through dark trails, encountering scares at every corner 🎪 Witness spectacular Freak Cirque performances and discover chilling stories told by professional actors ⚰️Treat yourself to some food and drink at the coffin bar and macabre food village 🏆 Voted The best and most original Halloween Attraction in South Florida by TimeOut ⭐ Created by Live305 Entertainment and Cirque Factory, the masterminds behind many shows, entertainment experiences, and events in the USA and around the world General Info 📅 Dates and times: select your date and time directly in the ticket selector ⏳ Duration: Takes on average 3 hours to fully enjoy The Horrorland but you can stay as long as you like 📍 Location: Jungle Island 👤 Age requirement: 10+ recommended but all ages are welcome! ♿ Accessibility: the experience is wheelchair accessible ❓ Please consult the FAQs of this experience here Description Step into the darkness and embark on an award-winning and unparalleled adventure! Voted the best and most original Halloween Attraction in South Florida by TimeOut, The Horrorland Scream Park features the scariest and biggest haunted house in Miami, along with many other attractions that will leave you breathless. Wander through five main haunted attractions, eight terrifying outdoor zones, bloody carnival games, a fear gift shop, a coffin bar, and a macabre food village, and be mesmerized by spectacular Freak Cirque shows. Stories brought to life by professional actors, elaborate stage setups, and haunting makeup and costumes will have your heart racing as you walk through dark trails, facing scares at every turn, becoming a part of your own horror film. Let your imagination run wild, conquer your fears, and make chilling memories—get your tickets for The Horrorland Scream Park in Miami!

halloween haunted house miami

User reviews

  • Andreina A. Oct 2023 AMAZING!!! Really fun and scary!
  • Charlene V. Oct 2023 Great business model! Fantastic creepy venue. Amazing staff and actors. Thank you for curating this Halloween wonderland of thrills and chills!
  • 7ydc5qzn4b Sep 2023 Good!!
  • Mktrwb75d9 Oct 2023 Amazing acting, everything is thought out to the smallest detail. I recommend👍
  • Andres L. Sep 2023 Great experience and had a great time with the monsters
  • Jose O. Oct 2023 Excellent experience, nice employees good ambience will recommend
  • Fbkhj9x7y4 Oct 2023 Grady experience
  • Amy S. Oct 2023 Amazing! So much fun
  • Rene Tomas G. Oct 2023 Great overall expeeience. Loved it
  • See reviews

Getting there

Jungle Island

1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, FL, 33132-1611

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Your Guide to This Season's Haunted Houses in South Florida

House of Horror Haunted Carnival returns to Miami International Mall.

Havana Haunted Mansion at Curtiss Mansion

halloween haunted house miami

The Horrorland at Jungle Island

halloween haunted house miami

House of Horror at Miami International Mall

No way out: insomnia at dolphin mall, nightmare village at xtreme action park.

halloween haunted house miami

Fright Nights at South Florida Fairgrounds

halloween haunted house miami

The Haunt at Tree Tops Park

halloween haunted house miami

Malefycia Game at Miami Circus Arts Center

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By Way of Cuba and Miami, Latino Dancer on Pointe with Les Ballets Trockadero

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The Ultimate Guide to Halloween in Miami

Posted by Miami Guide Staff | Oct 9, 2022

The Ultimate Guide to Halloween in Miami

Diá de Los Muertos and Halloween in Miami is spooktacular and filled with scary haunted houses and pumpkin madness. We’ve put together a guide of festivities for you to get your ghoul and goblin on in Miami. The city’s best Halloween events are going down at some of the best restaurants and bars in Miami. Start making a plan for the spookiest night of the year, plus the slew of other fun events leading up to the big day.

The Best Haunted House Experience In Miami, No Way Out, At Dolphin Mall

The season of thrills and chills is about to begin as NO WAY OUT- THE CABIN opened its doors Friday, September 30th for the fourth year in a row with host Jencarlos Canela. Ranked as one of the best haunted house experiences in the Miami area, this year’s theme “THE CABIN” is sure to give you quite the scare.

Halloween on Lincoln Road

Miami Beach’s iconic promenade is hosting their annual Halloween celebration – one of the largest, most spooktacular parties in the country! Halloween on Lincoln Road attracts over 50,000 participants each year, the landmark celebration is world famous for its spontaneous parades of the most creative and outrageous costumes. For the main event on October 31, Lincoln Road will open its streets to a fun packed night of the ghoulish, glamorous and everything in between. Ghosts and goblins of all ages are invited to enjoy the promenade early in the evening before it transforms into a vibrant catwalk for costume revelers and visitors later in the night.

Celebrate Halloween Weekend with Snoop Dogg and Travis Scott

Date: October 28th-29th, 2022 – Time: 9PM-1AM

This will be the biggest and sexiest Halloween party in the country that will not disappoint, featuring  SNOOP DOGG  on Friday, October 28th, and  The Maxim Halloween Party with TRAVIS SCOTT on Saturday, October 29th, featuring top models and celebrities, exclusive Club 54 access, the Maxim Model Lounge, and a party you will never forget! Buy your tickets now as they will not last! See you at the Fontainebleau for this unmatched Halloween Event!

Smorgasburg Miami

Smorgasburg Miami , the 50,000 square-foot food market adjacent to the  Wynwood Walls  and what the Miami Herald dubbed as  “Disneyland for food” , is hosting the ultimate  Halloween Market Celebration  on  Saturday, October 29, 2022 . Kicking off at  12PM , guests can trick-or-treat Smorgasburg-style and visit the 40+ festively decorated vendor booths offering individualized unique food offerings and specials.

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

This Halloween , celebrate with a sweet Mummy decorated cake pop from the Food@Science café while you enjoy the 6th Annual Spooky Science Monster Smash at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science on Saturday, October 29 at 11 a.m. This spooky event will feature colorful chemistry concoctions and eerie experiments for every mad scientist to enjoy. There’s also a special treat for Downtown Miami Residents. Residents to the area will receive a 10% discount on all purchases to the Science Store as well as a complimentary cake pop. Promotion is valid with a photo ID showing a Downtown Miami zip code. Address: 1101 Biscayne Blvd Miami, FL 33132

The Lost Island at Joia Beach

Date: Sunday, October 30th – Time: 5:00PM-11:00PM

Miami’s ultimate hidden oasis invites guests to discover The Lost Island at Joia Beach this Halloween. Set against the backdrop of Biscayne Bay, Joia Beach welcomes guests to party like pirates and get lost at sea for the week’s most exciting Halloween celebration. All week long, guests can dine on a special Halloween inspired dessert – a chocolate skull shell filled with Valrhona white chocolate mousse and edible gold coins, crafted by Executive Chef Gustavo Vertone. Available Wednesday, October 26 through Sunday, October 30.

Halloween Name: Haunted Carnival at 1 Hotel

Date: Saturday, October 29th  – Time: 9:00PM to 2:00AM

1 Hotel South Beach rooftop series events returns this Halloween with the Haunted Carnival at 1 Hotel South Beach on Saturday, October 29th.The hotel’s Rooftop Series events celebrates the launch of each season with themed celebrations.  On Saturday, October 29th, 1 Rooftop will be transformed into  a Haunted Carnival with stilt walkers, live performances and carnival décor. Guests will enter and be

immediately transported into a tropical oasis and greeted with a complimentary glass Veuve Clicquot. Pre purchase ticket prices are $40 per person and will go up on the day of the event.  For table & lounge packages, please contact 305.604.6580. A percentage of proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the White Oak Conservation , an organization focused on saving and recovering rare animals including elephants and rhinos, to name a few.

Hay Maze Miami

As Miami natives know to be true, when the Fall months come around, Miamians miss out on true Fall foliage and autumn-themed events that get them in the Fall and Halloween Spirit. 2R Creative’s latest autumn-themed endeavor, Hay Maze Miami , will soon put an end to this as Hay Maze takes over Bayfront Park beginning October 21st through November 6th. Hay Maze Miami will feature local vendors with treats harvested for the season, live music, a beer garden, rum sampling, whiskey tastings, and their main attraction, the 7,000-square-foot Hay Maze that everyone can enjoy as surprise Fall-themed photo moments will be scattered throughout. Beware, as Hay Maze Miami will take a spooky turn once the weekend of Halloween arrives.

Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, the Mexican holiday that celebrates those who have passed with food, drink and tradition, kicks off Tuesday, November 1 and Miami’s first taqueria/speakeasy COYO Taco is celebrating with 50% off signature tacos including Pollo Al Carbon, Coliflor, Al Pastor and Cochinita tacos as well as half off COYO premium margaritas, beer, wine and select cocktails from 4-7 p.m. With COYO’s ‘Todo es Fresco’ (or ‘Everything Fresh’) philosophy, guests can expect authentic tacos made with hand-pressed tortillas, locally sourced and naturally raised ingredients, and unforgettable flavors.

Halloween Bash & Costume Contest at Negroni

In Midtown Miami, Negroni Bistro & Sushi Bar is throwing an intimate Halloween bash on Saturday, October 29 in partnership with Alterego x Late Groove. The restaurant will be pumping beats all night with four international DJs back to back. Drink specials from Fever Tree, JAJA Tequila and Tito’s Handmade Vodka will be flowing all night along with a costume contest where the winner will take home a bottle of Claze Azul Tequila. General admission, 8pm-3am. Address: 3201 Buena Vista Blvd, Miami, FL 33127

Sirens of the Sea at The Deck at Island Gardens

Sail away to a spellbinding night of spooky seduction with Sirens of the Sea at The Deck at Island Gardens , the exquisite super-yacht marina outdoor lounge in Biscayne Bay. On Saturday, October 29 at 8 p.m., dive into a festive affair of alluring “potions” and delectable seafood bites. Situated along the waterfront, there’s no better place to listen for magical mermaids while celebrating Halloween. Visit islandgardens.com/the-deck to book.  Address: 888 MacArthur Causeway, Miami, FL 33132

Night of Immortal Souls at Chotto Matte

On Saturday, October 29, venture over to Miami Beach where Chotto Matte is celebrating the Day of the Dead with a Night of Immortal Souls dinner party. Starting at 7 p.m., guests are invited to join the festivities in their best Day of the Dead-inspired attire while enjoying the eye-catching decor, and electrifying live entertainment complete with food & drink specials curated for the occasion. For reservations visit https://chotto-matte.com/ miami/ or call 305.690.0743.  Address: 1666 Lenox Ave. #1664, Miami Beach, FL

The World of Wizards at Villa Azur Miami Beach

Dine and wine this spooky season from the French Riviera at Miami’s lavish Mediterranean supper club Villa Azur . This Halloween, Villa Azur is hosting a four-night party high on spookiness titled The World of Wizards. Rather than ghouls and gore, Villa Azur is keeping to what it does best — sexy elegance. The specially named event references the enchanting magic found in the new films Hocus Pocus 2 and The School for Good and Evil. Starting October 27, everywhere from the elegant dining room to the courtyard under the stars will be decorated with holiday flair, and from October 28-31, guests can dress as their best sorcerer or witch to experience an evening of live entertainment, music beats from resident DJ Stephen M, dancers and bewitched shows. Limited access available. Reserve a spot by contacting reservations@villaazurmiami. com. For VIP and bottle service requests, guests can call 305.538.2118. Address: 309 23rd St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Sexy Fish Turns Scary

Delve into the deepest depths of the oceanic world on Halloween’s haunting weekend. On Thursday, October 27th, Sexy Fish will lure the darkest sea creatures to the surface for an evening of delectable dining, innovative cocktails, jaw dropping Scary Fish-inspired costumes, and guest DJ Ameme. Space is limited so please call to book (305) 889 7888 for table reservations, or purchase bar tickets from $150 available on https://sexyfishmiami.com . Throughout Halloween weekend, guests will be entertained by Scary Sea Sirens, sexy decor and sounds by Resident DJs. Table reservations are required throughout the weekend and space is limited. From 27th to 31st Sexy Fish Miami welcomes guests in the greatest and finest costumes, but we respectfully ask that our dress code is respected, and that there are no weapons or face masks. Book online, call (305) 889 7888 or email reservations.miami@sexyfish. com

Moonlight Halloween Movie Screening at Nikki Beach: Hocus Pocus

Conjure up your broomsticks and land at Nikki Beach Miami Beach on October 29th from 7PM-10PM as Nikki Beach hosts a movie screening under the moonlight. Bring loved ones and  join us as we watch Hocus Pocus with freshly made gourmet popcorn of various flavors, cozy blankets and plush daybeds. Nikki Beach’s daybed package accommodates up to 4 guests for $50 including four movie passes and one gourmet popcorn serving per guest. A lounge chair package accommodates one guest at $15 which includes one movie ticket and one gourmet popcorn serving. During the screening, our full food and beverage menu will be available for purchase until 9PM. All ages welcome. Celebrate the season and be sure to holler “trick or treat”!  Nikki Beach is located at 1 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL. Date: October 29th  7PM-10PM To make reservations email: reservations.miamibeach@ nikkibeach.com

Le Chick Launches Its Spookiest Burger Ever!

Trick or treat! Another new month, a new burger — Wynwood’s favorite restaurant & bar, Le Chick , has unveiled its special creation for the month of October: The Spooky Bun. The seasonal Burger of the Month starts with a juicy 8oz burger patty seasoned with pumpkin spice salt and then topped with green lettuce, red onion aioli, grilled sweet pepper, grilled onions, smoked cheese sauce, and red pepper marmalade. So get into the Halloween spirit and enjoy Le Chick’s limited-edition burger with spooky buns all month-long. Speaking of fall, you can pair the Spooky Bun with their monthly libation starting tomorrow — “Cheshire Colada”: a blend of Bacardi 8, Bacardi coconut, Pumpkin Spice liqueur, and Chinola Passion Fruit liqueur shaken over ice.

Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop

Creep it real and tasty this Halloween with spooktacular treats from the Magic City’s favorite bake shop! Beginning Friday,   October 28 ,  Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop  seasonal Fall favorites return just in time for Halloween weekend festivities. Available whole or by the slice, Autumn indulgences include  Pumpkin Pie  featuring FDBS signature, flaky flour crust, a creamy, custard pumpkin spice puree filling topped with fresh whipped cream, crunchy streusel and drizzled with caramel ( $41 whole/$8.50 slice ); and  Pumpkin Cheesecake , cradled in the bake shop’s classic graham cracker crust, and made with a perfectly spiced, delightfully airy filling and topped with house-made pralines and caramel sauce drizzle ( $69.99 whole/$8.99 slice ).

In addition, Fireman Derek’s has the best  at-home tips and tricks  to add a spark of midnight magic to bake shop favorites. To impress Halloween party guests or enjoy as a fun family activity, simply add decorative decor such as fake spiders, vampire teeth and skeleton hands, to create stellar spooky treats including  Brownie Bomb Bone Pie ,  Guava Spider Cheesecake ,  Red Velvet Vamp Cake  and  Brownie n’ Smore Graveyard .  Fireman Derek’s – Wynwood  is located at  2545 N. Miami Avenue ; Telephone:  (786) 703-3623 ;  Fireman Derek’s – Coconut Grove  is located at  3435 Main Highway ;   Telephone:   (786) 502-2396 . For more information, visit   www.firemandereks.com . Follow Fireman Derek’s on social media:   @fdpies

InterContinental Miami

Dogs and their owners ready to mingle, need look no further than the InterContinental’s Bayside Terrace, which becomes Paws Patio every  Wednesday  evening from  5PM  to  7PM . The open-air event is  free  and open to the public. Water bowls are on hand for all canines, while adults can enjoy Dirty Dog Martinis, Mutt Mules and other libations from the cash bar.

On  Wednesday ,  October 26 , the hotel is hosting a spooky edition of Paws Patio,  Howl-o-Ween Doggie Contest . Get in the Halloween spirit on the Bayside Terrace from  5PM  to  7PM , where dogs are encouraged to wear their best Halloween costumes for a chance to win paw-some prizes (and barking rights). First, second and third place winners will be awarded at the event. InterContinental Miami and is located at  100 Chopin Plaza  in downtown Miami. For more information, visit  www.icmiamihotel.com/play ; Telephone:  (305) 577-1000

Lona Cocina & Tequileria

Celebrate  Halloween  and  Día de Los Muertos  oceanside all-month long at Fort Lauderdale’s hottest Mexican eatery  Lona Cocina & Tequileria . Beginning  Tuesday ,  October 4  through  Sunday ,  November 6 , imbibe with specialty cocktails as part of chef Richard Sandoval’s global  Día de Los Muertos  campaign. Themed libations available for spooky sipping include a  Palo Santo Margarita  featuring Palo Santo Patrón Reposado, Pisco Porton, lime, lemon, agave syrup, rosemary water and Scrappy’s celery bitters; and  Vanilla Smoke  with Patrón Añejo, Del Maguey Vida, Licor 43, agave syrup, lemon zest, coffee bean and Palo Santo smoke. Reservations are encouraged and can be made on OpenTable –  HERE . Lona is located at  321 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd  at The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. For more information, visit  www.lonarestaurant.com/ ; Telephone:  (954) 245-3069 . Discounted valet parking is available.   

RUMBAR , the sultry bar and lounge located at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is featuring a month-long Halloween pop-up bar beginning  Saturday ,  October 15  through  Monday ,  October 31 . Beware, as the  House of Spells  will feature hair-raising bites, haunted cocktails and spooky entertainment  daily  from  3PM  –  Close . Bewitching bar bites include  The Kraken  – warm crab, spinach and artichoke dip, with grilled pita;  Day of the Living Veg  – roasted garlic hummus, crudité and pita;  The Tombstone  – foraged wild mushroom, truffle essence and arugula, with artisan flatbread; and  Mummy Bites  – queso fresco wrapped in pastry dough with cilantro lime aioli ( $12 – $15 ). Featured haunted potions priced at  $15  include  Witch’s Brew  – Mount Gay Black Barrel, black tea, Oleo Saccharum, orange and lime juice, and angostura bitters;  Vampire Kiss  – Barbera d’Alba, pomegranate liqueur, sparkling rosé and roasted cherry syrup;  Grave Robber  – Blavod Black Vodka, Crème de Cacao and dry curacao; and  Shot of Pixie Dust  – Brockman’s Gin, lavender syrup and lemon juice. RUMBAR is located at  The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami  at  455 Grand Bay Drive  in Key Biscayne, Florida. For more information, visit  www.ritzcarlton.com/key- biscayne/rumbar-lounge ; Telephone:  (305) 365-4500

  Smorgasburg Miami

Smorgasburg Miami , the 50,000 square-foot   food market adjacent to the  Wynwood Walls  and what the Miami Herald dubbed as  “Disneyland for food ,” is hosting the ultimate Halloween celebration on  Saturday ,  October 29 . Kicking off at  12PM , guests can trick-or-treat Smorgasburg-style and visit the 40+ festively decorated vendor booths offering individualized unique food offerings and specials. From  1PM-2:30PM , guests are invited to watch or participate in the official  Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume Contest  — an opportunity for your favorite pup to strut its stuff on the runway and win the best prizes. The dog costume contest will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges including  South Beach Wine & Food Festival Founder/CEO,  Lee Schrager; and  Miami New Times food and spirits editor , Laine Doss. To enroll your furry friend in the costume contest, visit @SmorgasburgMiami on Instagram for more details. As if that wasn’t enough, stick around until  3PM-7PM  for  live music  courtesy of  Wynwoods School of Music . Human attendees are welcome to participate in a costume contest as well; just show up dressed to thrill any time that day and visit the info booth at Smorgasburg to get your picture taken and the winner will be announced via social media given both a Smorgasburg & Wild Fork gift card. Smorgasburg Miami is located in the heart of Wynwood at  2600 NW Second Avenue . For more information visit  www.smorgasburgmiami.com .

Tobacco Road by Kush

Tobacco Road  by Kush Hospitality Group is hosting a  Scarface-themed Halloween Party  on  Saturday, October 29  from  8PM to close . Guests can look forward to featured Brugal Rum 1888 craft cocktails including the  Pinga Colada ,  Bulletproof Old Fashioned , and  Shots & Beer  combination specials garnished with over-the-top “party favors” that pay tribute to the iconic 1983 movie. Dance the night away to great live DJ beats and indulge in the chance to win, as Tony Montana would say,  “The world chico, and everything in it” , along with top-notch prizes during the official costume contest. Tobacco Road is located at  650 S Miami Avenue . Visit  https://kushhospitality.com/ locations/tobacco-road/  for more information.

This October, Toro Toro and internationally renowned chef  Richard Sandoval  celebrate our connections to family and friends with a global  Día de Los Muertos  culinary campaign highlighting the importance of bringing families together through food, drinks and sharing. Guests of Toro Toro will have the opportunity to partake in a culinary journey that showcases Mexican Culture with four elements of nature: earth, water, wind and fire. As part of the month-long campaign which begins on  Tuesday ,  October 4  and will run through  Sunday ,  November 6 , Toro Toro will be featuring an exclusive a la carte menu of specials, each with a cultural significance to the celebration, including  Tortilla Talavera  with green pipian, white mole, grilled cheese, shimeji mushroom al ajillo, and cherry tomato salad ( $26 ); and  Seafood Pozole Verde  featuring baby squid, shrimp, clams, white corn and marigold cempazuchitl oil ( $46 ). For dessert,  Pan de Muerto  with palo santo smoked butter, a hot chocolate shot and ice cream ( $18 ). The flavorful menu will be accompanied by specialty cocktails for  $22  including  Vanilla Smoke  crafted with Patron Anejo, Liquor 43, agave and lemon zest, using the palo santo smoke method; and  Pineapple Mezcal Sour  shaken with mezcal, pressed pineapple juice, lime, agave, bitters and fresh pineapple. Toro Toro is located at  100 Chopin Plaza  in the InterContinental Miami Hotel. Advanced reservations at Toro Toro are encouraged and can be made on OpenTable –  HERE .  www.torotoromiami.com/ ; Telephone:  (305) 372-4710

The Pirates of The Wharf at Wharf Miami!

Arrghh! Ye lookin’ for an adventure? Set sail with The Wharf for an evening of pillaging and plundering as it transforms into the biggest pirate fortress in South Florida. Get ready to party like pirates with drinks, live music, and a swashbuckling good time! So throw on your buccaneer outfit and celebrate your Halloween weekend at The Wharf! See ya there, matey! Saturday, Oct. 29 from noon to 3 a.m. at The Wharf Miami (114 SW North River Dr., Miami, FL 33130)

Spooky Scary Skeletons at The Wharf

Who doesn’t have a few skeletons in the closet? Join The Wharf for a spooktacular bone-anza with live music, spooky decor, and of course, skeletons! Spooky, Scary, Skeletons is bound to be a rattling good time. So throw on your best costume and come enjoy your Halloween weekend at The Wharf! Sunday, Oct. 30, from noon to 1 a.m. at The Wharf Miami (114 SW North River Dr., Miami, FL 33130)

Turn your Halloween Upside Down at Stranger Wharf Miami!

Experience all thrills and chills of Halloween at Stranger Wharf! Enter the small town of Hawkins where strange things lurk in the darkness. Become a part of the Hawkins crew with Stranger Things-inspired cocktails, close encounters with creatures from the upside down, live activations, and more! Plus, the first 500 people to arrive with an RSVP will receive a FREE Stranger Wharf hat. You don’t want to keep Vecna waiting, run to The Wharf! Monday, Oct. 31 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. at The Wharf Miami (114 SW North River Dr., Miami, FL 33130)

Miami Beach’s iconic promenade, Lincoln Road is hosting their annual Halloween celebration – one of the largest, most spooktacular parties in the city! Southern Mediterranean restaurant, Playa , invites guests for a fun packed night of the ghoulish, glamorous and everything in between. We may be too old to trick-or-treat, but that certainly doesn’t stop us from getting into the Halloween spirit and throwing back killer cocktails in costume. Join Playa on Monday, October 31st for a Haunted Halloween-style Party, featuring a wild costume contest! Halloween enthusiasts can celebrate and imbibe with Playa’s specialty Halloween cocktails.

Located in the heart of Wynwood, concrete oasis Le Chick welcomes guests to experience their Halloween Party theme edition known as the ‘Mad Hatter and Alice in Wonderland’. The restaurant will be transforming its late-night lounge into Le Chick in Wonderland. If you’re in search of a unique Halloween Party, Le Chick has everything to offer with ‘Mad Hatter and Alice in Wonderland’ themed celebration filled with lush, Alice in Wonderland decorations and 3 specialty fun-crafted cocktails that will transport guests back to Alice in Wonderland. Join Le Chick for the spooky season on Saturday, October 29th from 10 PM to 2 AM all to the sounds of unforgettable DJ beats. Le Chick’s team will be dressed in costumes and guests are highly encouraged to get into the Halloween spirit and dress the part too. Presale tickets will be available on Eventbrite and include admittance, entry to costume contest, one drink, and a welcome shot. There are a limited number of tables available, guests can email [email protected] to book a table in advance.

Rosa Sky Rooftop

Rosa Sky is going spooky on Saturday, October 29 for Halloween! Miami’s newest rooftop is throwing it’s first Halloween party where guests are encouraged to dress up; whether it’s sexy, spooky, funny or all in one! On the menu will be specialty cocktails from 4:30pm until 8pm to get the night started and after that, guests can enjoy anything on their menu or at the bar. The theme will be Black Rose/Victorian Goth so if you’re looking to go with the theme, so make sure to grab your corsets and black lipstick. With a special DJs performning that night, you’ll definetly don’t want to miss out on the wickedness that awaits so make sure to bring your witches and boos!

What Halloween event are you most excited about? We will be updating this list leading up to end of month, so make sure to bookmark the page, check back often and let us know  if you would like to be included!

halloween haunted house miami

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HAUNTED HOUSE

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OPEN BAR ALL NIGHT $35

halloween haunted house miami

LOUNGE IS FREE TO ENTER

Free entrance.

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You'll never sleep Again

One of the best horror experiences in the u.s..

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This is a SAFE Haunted Attraction. You will not be touched in this walkthrough experience. All ages welcome, however due to the nature of the event, parental discretion is strongly advised.

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Our establishment is strategically situated at the primary entrance of the mall, effectively occupying the former TGIF Fridays location next to Texas de Brazil, thereby becoming the new focal point of the main entrance.

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Haunted Houses, Spook Walks & Other Halloween Attractions in Miami

halloween haunted house miami

Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds

Located in West Palm Beach 561-793-0333-->

Fright Nights is the premier haunted house attraction in South Florida. With all new haunted houses every year. We also have carnival rides, scare zones, live music, food, and entertainment, Fright Nights should be your number one Scream Park destination! The reason Fright Nights has the best Read More

halloween haunted house miami

Catskill Haunts

Located in Royal Palm Beach -->

Come experience our 4 haunted attractions, including the Haunted Mansion, the Spooky Graveyard, the Zombie Attack, and our own Creepy Carnival. For younger kids, we have a large and friendly Halloween inflatable area to take pictures, 3 Halloween themed bounce houses, or stroll through our Read More

halloween haunted house miami

Located in Davie 754-888-3327-->

South Florida’s #1 Halloween Attraction The Haunt is a Terrifying Physical Walk Through 500,000 Square Feet of the Natural, Haunted Trails at Tree Tops Park in Davie; Portion of Proceeds Benefit The Parks Foundation of Broward County The Haunt, South Florida’s largest and most immersive Halloween Read More

halloween haunted house miami

Nightmare Village at Xtreme Action Park

Located in Fort Lauderdale 954-491-6265-->

Encounter creepy strangers, killer clowns, zombies and more freakish delights as we unveil two new Haunted Houses inside Xtreme Action Park – Nightmare Village. Bring friends, family or anyone who enjoys a good fright to our newest Halloween convention and Haunted House Experience! Scares and Read More

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halloween haunted house miami

Categories: Haunted Houses | Haunted Mazes / Haunted Corn Mazes | Halloween Parties & Nightlife | Escape Games | Mazes / Corn Mazes (Kid Friendly)

halloween haunted house miami

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Categories: Haunted Houses | Halloween Parties & Nightlife | Escape Games | Not-So-Scary Haunted Houses (Kid Friendly) | Other Events

halloween haunted house miami

Categories: Haunted Houses | Haunted Trails | Halloween Festivals & Parades | Halloween Parties & Nightlife | Not-So-Scary Haunted Houses (Kid Friendly) | Safe Trick or Treating

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Categories: Haunted Houses | Escape Games

halloween haunted house miami

Categories: Haunted Houses | Halloween Festivals & Parades | Halloween Parties & Nightlife | Scream Parks | Other Events

halloween haunted house miami

Categories: Haunted Houses | Haunted Mazes / Haunted Corn Mazes | Pumpkin Patches | Not-So-Scary Haunted Houses (Kid Friendly) | Mazes / Corn Mazes (Kid Friendly)

halloween haunted house miami

halloween haunted house miami

8 Of The Scariest Haunted Houses In And Around Miami

Ready to be spooked out? Look no further than these creepy haunted houses for the ultimate fright night!

Bianca Marcof

The countdown to Halloween is on and if you love the holiday just as much as we do, then you’re probably looking for the best haunted attractions to get your scare on. There’s nothing quite as thrilling (and chilling) than walking through a dark maze and coming face-to-face with gory characters you have to keep reminding yourself are not actually real.

If you’re ready to let out some screams, Miami and its surrounding areas have some terrifying adventures for you to choose from, but beware because the following is not for the faint-hearted!

1. House of Horror

halloween haunted house miami

This freakish carnival at Miami International has been scaring the living daylights out of Miami for more than 20 years and this year is no exception. Make your way through four nightmarish houses (“Mayhem Museum,” “Haunted HoliDAZE,” “Theater of Terror” and the immersive “Scare-X Studios”), tons of rides and indulge in your favorite carnival treats.

Where: 1625 NW 107th Ave, Doral, FL 33172

2. No Way Out

No Way Out Miami

If you dare, walk the dark and creepy halls of this haunted house which will unleash fears you never knew you had. Back for its fifth year at Dolphin Mall, No Way Out will take guests through a twisted sleep study center filled with unspeakable horrors for “Insomnia.” New to the experience this year is the Monster Lounge, where you can sip on bone-chilling cocktails while grooving to the beat.

Where: 11401 NW 12th St, Miami, FL 33172 (at the former TGI Fridays, next to Texas de Brazil)

3. Horrorland Scream Park

Horrorland Miami

The Horrorland is a Jungle Island park takeover where you can enjoy the adrenaline rush of walking inside not one, but five haunted houses! Highlights include the clown-invaded “CarnEvil” and terrifying “Tormented” houses, in addition to bloody carnival games and eerie scare zones with actors waiting to jumpscare you at every corner.  Get tickets here!

Where: 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, FL 33132

4. Malefycia GAME

Malefycia

Brand new to the series of haunted houses popping up in Miami, hailing all the way from Canada, is Malefycia. More like a fully immersive horror experience where the audience becomes the star of the show, get ready to encounter four rooms of classic games like Operation and Hangman brought to life… or death. This 21+ experience will run from October 18-22 at Allapattah’s Miami Circus Academy, not far from Superblue and the Rubbell Museum.

Where: 1395 NW 22nd St., Miami FL 33142

5. Nightmare Village

Clown at Nightmare Village at Xtreme Action Park

At Xtreme Action Park, brave souls can encounter creepy strangers, killer clowns, zombies and other eerie delights — just don’t say we didn’t warn you! Walk through two houses at this indoor park — “The Seventh Gate,” where you’ll witness a family’s dark truth, and the “Carnival of Carnage” on circus grounds among maddened clowns.

Where: 5300 Powerline Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

6. The Berry Farm’s Nightmare in the Redland

Low Angle View of Man Standing at Night

When you think of the Berry Farm, the perfect pumpkin decor, a blooming sea of sunflowers and fun hayrides come to mind. Never bloodshed or evil. Well, this October you can see for yourself what’s truly hiding in the corn fields with this immersive experience! You’ll be challenged to survive corn maze madness while a hayride through the cornfield will leave you screaming, confronting twisted terror at every corner.

Where: 13720 SW 216th St, Miami, FL 33170

7. Fright Nights

Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds

Celebrate two decades of fear alongside creepy clowns and zombies at Palm Beach’s Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds. This year’s edition features four houses that will send shivers down the spines of anyone who enters: “Dead of Winter: Chapter 2” with the ghosts of Christmas past, butchers in “Jed’s Chop Shop,” the “Hockley House” dead and “Cutting Edge,” set in a tech facility. You can also expect carnival rides and food!

Where: 9067 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33411

8. The Haunt

The Haunt

This haunted attraction at Tree Tops Park is found deep in the forest, which is a totally not-at-all scary thing to do, of course. You’ll have to choose between four different trails, from “La Bruja: the Haunted Hike” to “Psycho Path,” all of which are filled with vile creatures looking to keep you as their own.

Where: 3900 SW 100th Ave, Davie, FL 33328

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In 2015 we warned you that the new Miami Springs pool was going to be much smaller than the grand olympic sized pool we had for over 50 years. We also informed you that much of the money was going into creating more buildings. In other words, more building space. Less pool space. Now you can see the construction of the new pool with your own eyes. Total construction cost: $5 MILLION.

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Havana Haunted Mansion

September 15, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm.

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halloween haunted house miami

When the sun sets on September 15, South Florida will come alive as Havana Haunted Mansion launches at Curtiss Mansion, a historical landmark in Miami Springs. The legendary grounds will be transformed into a haunted realm filled with mind-bending wonders, mesmerizing theatrical performances, spine-chilling cocktails and delectable cuisine that will transport guests back to early-20th-century Havana, Cuba. The adults-only, pop-up Halloween experience will break all the rules of a typical haunted house and Miami will be the first city to witness it for the very first time. Havana Haunted Mansion runs through October 31.

In the early 1900s, Havana was a glittering and energetic city at the height of economic prosperity and New Age elegance. A place for the rich and famous to be seen and celebrities to gather, it became a notorious place for gambling. An ode to Havana’s old days, Havana Haunted Mansion will take guests on a quest to solve the centennial disappearance of a wealthy Cuban family through a series of ghostly challenges and puzzles. As the story goes, the family came to fame and money by running an illegal casino in Havana before mysteriously vanishing. Decades later, they have returned from the dead to haunt those who dare enter their mansion.

As guests explore the haunted estate, they can engage in immersive activities and challenges posed by ghosts, including fortune-telling with tarot cards and exciting games in the mansion’s “secret” casino. Throughout the night, guests can escape the supernatural spell by indulging in delicious Cuban and Latin dishes and handcrafted cocktails.

Brave individuals will also have the chance to explore hidden mysteries in the Witch’s Kitchen, where magic thrives and spells are cast. Encounters with ghostly characters and well-timed theatrical performances will set an atmosphere of elegant spookiness. The excitement extends to the corridors, where a special bar will offer premium cigars nearby a comfortable lounge area. The haunting experience continues outdoors, with new opportunities for enchanting surprises and captivating discoveries.

Havana Haunted Mansion at the Curtiss Mansion (500 Deer Run, Miami Springs, FL 33166) will run from September 15 through October 31, for visitors ages 21 and up for two-hour visits. Hours of operation are Thursdays and Fridays at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit www.HauntedMansionMiami.com or follow

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Miami FL Haunted Houses for Halloween 2022

Miami haunted houses are few but fun entertainment. Enjoy a fun night out with your spouse, date, or friends. Expect to be terrified at these haunted attractions. For the price of a movie ticket you can be part of the action as you come face to face with terror. Most haunts use animatronics, great props, Hollywood sets, and actors with makeup beyond belief.  You will be frightened.  Find all the 2022 haunted houses near me, trails, corn mazes, hayrides, and Halloween fun attractions in the Miami area.

Enigma Haunt - Boca Raton, FL Sorry folks Enigma Haunt has permanently closed.

Fright Nights - West Palm Beach, FL Fright Nights is back for 2022 beginning October 6th.  Now open for over 20 years they are located at the South Florida Fairgrounds.  4 Haunted Houses feature terrifying live actors, cool special effects, and scary monsters!  Fright Nights is the premier haunted house attraction in South Florida and is going to be chock full of scares!  With 4 full haunts, carnival rides, live music, food, and entertainment, Fright Nights is the place to go on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night in October.

House of Horror - Doral, FL House of Horror is the feature Halloween attraction at the Miami International Mall. It is a 4 attraction haunted carnival that runs daily from September 29th through October 31st, 2022. House of Horror is an amusement park with a haunted carnival on 2 acres of attractions with 30 bone chilling scenes. It has live music and carnival rides.

Monster Splash - Miami, FL Miami Seaquarium will not hold Monster Splash in 2022.  Seaquarium is open and has wonderful daytime activities for kids and adults. This is a great park with lots of interactions with dolphins and seals throughout their many shows.

Paranoia Horror Maze - Miami, FL Tickets are $27.99.  I would consider Paranoia an extreme haunted house given that 3000 people have chickened out.  A black out horror maze experience that tests your limits of fear at an all new level, much more intense than anything you have ever seen or experienced. You can book your special birthday or celebration event with friends and family on select dates throughout the entire year.

State By State List of Halloween Haunted Houses Haunted Houses in Florida Orlando Haunted Houses Tampa Haunted Houses Jacksonville Haunted Houses

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Check out  Black Friday ads ,  Cyber Monday ads , and holiday sale prices from top retailers this Christmas season. 

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You may also be interested in our article on  Haunted Houses and Horror Movies | History of Fear .

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Top 13 places in Russia where you may face a ghost

halloween haunted house miami

1. Kusovnikov House in Moscow

halloween haunted house miami

In the 19 th   century house № 17 on Myasnitskaya street in central Moscow was inhabited by a rich, but very greedy couple – Pyotr and Sofya Kusovnikov, who scrimped on almost everything. Extremely suspicious, they used to hide money from their servants in different places. Once they hid some in the fireplace, but the janitor accidentally burned it when lighting the fire. When she found out, Sofya died instantly of a broken heart, her husband passed away a little later. Since then, the ghost of a hunched old man in a coat has routinely appeared on the street near the house – this is Pyotr Kusovnikov mourning his lost money.

2. Sokol metro station

halloween haunted house miami

During WWI, not far from the modern Sokol station of the Moscow metro, a cemetery for fallen soldiers was located. In 1918, mass executions of White officers and priests by the Reds were held there. All this led to the appearance of ghosts in the dark tunnels of the station. Early in the morning diaphanous figures with festering wounds can be seen there.  

3. St. Michael’s Castle in St. Petersburg

halloween haunted house miami

This castle was a royal residence built by order of Tsar  Paul I. On March 21, 1801, he was killed there by a group of conspirators. It is considered that the restless spirit of the tsar was unable to leave the castle. It appears there in the corridors with a burning candle in its hand.

4.   Znamenskaya Tower in Yaroslavl

halloween haunted house miami

During the Civil War in Russia (1917-1922), a group of White troops held positions in the Volkovsky theater in Yaroslavl. The Red commissar in command of the siege promised to spare their lives. However, he lied and all the Whites were executed at the Znamenskaya Tower. Since then, the ghost of the commissar who didn’t keep his promise has been seen at the place of his crime.

5. Igumnov House in Moscow

halloween haunted house miami

The house at 43 Bolshaya Yakimanka Street in Moscow, also known as “Igumnov House,” serves today as the residence of the French ambassador. It was built at the request of the industrialist Nikolay Igumnov in the late 19 th   century. He settled his young mistress here, but one day caught her with a lover. The lover was kicked out, but the girl was never seen again. It is believed that the outraged Igumnov bricked her up in a wall. During Soviet times, people often saw the ghost of a young girl walking through the walls with deep, plaintive sighs.     

6. House of Rasputin in St. Petersburg

halloween haunted house miami

The flat on the second floor at 64 Gorokhovaya street in St. Petersburg is today a usual residential apartment. However, in the early 20th century it was home to one of the most mystical figures in Russian history – Grigory Rasputin. His ghost sometimes appears here, scaring inhabitants with its clunking steps and grunting in dark corners.

7. House on the Embankment

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This house at 2 Serafimovicha Street, simply known as “House on Embankment,” is among the most famous in the Russian capital, known as the place of residence for the Soviet   crème de la crème : writers, artists, actors, generals, athletes. However, it also has a dark history. During the Great Purge, a campaign of political repressions in the USSR, dozens of the house’s inhabitants were arrested and executed. Today, the house is full of the ghosts of those victims, who sometimes appear in their old dwelling place. 

8. Tower of the old hospital in Ryazan

halloween haunted house miami

Among the high-rise modern buildings at 15 Gorky Street in Ryazan is an old tower – all that remains of the old hospital. At night, a lonely dark figure can be seen walking in this tower. This is the ghost of Alexander Smitten, who administered the hospital more than a century ago.

9. Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg

halloween haunted house miami

During a misty night in March, one can see the ghost of a young girl near the Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg. Her face is blue because of asphyxiation, and there is a big red mark on her neck caused by a rope. This is famous revolutionary Sophia Perovskaya, who assassinated Tsar Alexander II and was hanged for her deed. To meet this ghost is a bad omen, and can cost nocturnal pedestrians their lives.

10. Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin

halloween haunted house miami

There is a legend that when the Kremlin in Nizhny Novgorod was being built, the constructors were unable to finish one of the towers. It kept falling down. In the end, they decided to make a sacrifice and to build the tower on the blood of the first person who passed by. It happened to be a pregnant woman hurrying to the river for water. She was seized and bricked up in the tower alive. The ghost of a pale woman holding a baby has appeared near this place ever since.

11. Oldenburg Palace near Voronezh

halloween haunted house miami

Built in the late 19th century, the palace belonged to Princess Eugenia of Leuchtenberg. Today her ghost rises from the deep casemates of the palace to wander through its rooms and corridors. There is also another ghost there, much older — the ghost of a young peasant girl. It is even said that Princess Eugenia saw it when she was alive.

12. Stalin’s country house near Sochi

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Stalin’s ghost can be seen at his country house, located today within the Green Groove hotel near Sochi. The “father of the nations” walks in his white jacket, smoking his trademark pipe.

13. Psychiatric hospital near Nizhny Novgorod

halloween haunted house miami

Near the modern psychiatric hospital in the village of Lyakhovo near Nizhny Novgorod, one can see an abandoned old building. Several dozen years ago a young girl hanged herself there because of unrequited love. At night it is possible to see a white silhouette and hear the moaning and cries of the “love-stricken schoolgirl” as the locals call her.

And if you want to see a UFO, here are several places in Russia where you will have a chance.

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the expert guide to the columbia supplement.

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College Essays

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Less than 5% of applicants are admitted to Columbia every year. Do you want to be one of them? If so, you'll need to write amazing Columbia essays as part of your application.

In this article, we'll outline the different types of essays you need to write for your Columbia Supplement and teach you how to write an essay that will help you stand out from the thousands of other applicants.

What Does the Columbia Supplement Include?

Like many major colleges and universities, Columbia University requires its applicants to submit essays as part of their application for admission.

The supplemental materials section of the Columbia application for admission consists of two sections : four Columbia-specific essay questions and two list answer questions.

The Columbia essay prompts offer you plenty of opportunities to show off your qualifications as an applicant and wow the admissions committee. The short answers are designed to showcase your personality and creativity.

Columbia Essays, Analyzed

In this section, we'll be looking at all four of the Columbia supplemental essays in depth.

Remember, every applicant must answer each of the prompts, so you don't get to choose which essay you would like to write. You'll need to answer each essay prompt well if you want to be admitted to Columbia. Additionally, you only have 200 words to answer the first three prompts (and even fewer—35 words!—for the fourth prompt), so you'll need to be efficient.

Let's take a look at each of the Columbia supplement questions and see how to write something meaningful for each.

Columbia Essay #1: The Diverse Community Question

A hallmark of the Columbia experience is being able to learn and thrive in an equitable and inclusive community with a wide range of perspectives. Tell us about an aspect of your own perspective, viewpoint or lived experience that is important to you, and describe how it has shaped the way you would learn from and contribute to Columbia's diverse and collaborative community. (200 words or fewer)

This question is essentially asking for your experience and goals in contributing to communities that have a variety of experiences and backgrounds but are still able to work well together. As mentioned in the prompt, college campuses are hugely diverse in many ways. Columbia wants to ensure they're admitting students who will both accept that diversity and contribute positively to it. 

For this prompt it's important to show why being part of a diverse community is important to you and the steps you take to add to it. As the prompt mentions, you should discuss what you've already done to increase collaboration in a diverse group, and explain how you’ll apply what you’ve learned from that experience as a member of Columbia’s diverse and collaborative community.

To answer this prompt, describe a perspective or lived experience pertaining to diversity and collaboration that is important to you, why it’s meaningful to you, and how your experience and perspective will bring value to the Columbia community. Be sure to touch on why diverse communities are important to you and how strong collaboration within them is beneficial to everyone.

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Columbia Essay #2: The Why Columbia Question

Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? We encourage you to consider the aspect(s) that you find unique and compelling about Columbia. (200 words or fewer)

This is a version of the "Why This College?" essay that appears on many applications. This question probably seems easy to answer, but it will actually require some careful thought. What this question really wants to know is why Columbia is the only college for you and how you will fit into the culture of Columbia University.

Put another way: how is Columbia a good fit for you, with your academic experiences and interests, and how are you a good fit for Columbia, based on your understanding of the school's culture and identity?

This means your response needs to get right into the specifics . A good response might include specific aspects of Columbia's academic, extracurricular, or professional offerings that attract you, and how you see yourself fitting into those aspects of Columbia.

You can only do this well if you've done your research. You want to show admissions counselors that you've taken the time to learn about Columbia, its academics, and its culture. You should definitely mention specific courses you want to take, clubs you want to join, or professors you want to work with.

The kiss of death for an essay like this is being overly general . For instance, avoid making general statements about how Columbia is a prestigious, well-renowned school. Admissions already knows that attracts students! Your goal is to write a specific, unique response that showcases what you value about Columbia and why you're a perfect fit for the school.

Columbia Essay #3: The Fields of Study Question

  • Please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the areas of study that you noted in the application. (200 words or fewer)

st like on the first two short answer questions, Columbia admissions wants to hear about a unique or insightful experience from your life. This question is not asking you to regurgitate a list of AP courses you took or extracurriculars you participated in. I t's asking about a pivotal experience that sparked your interest in the fields of study you put on your application.

To write an effective response to this question, consider choosing a specific experience or situation that tells the story of your background with the areas of study you noted in your application. If you can contextualize your interest in the field of study you put on your application by showing the narrative behind it, admissions counselors will likely find your application to be more memorable.

For example, let's say that you want to major in biology because your sister has sickle cell anemia. You've seen how her illness affects her, and you want to help develop new treatments that could make her life, and others' lives, better. That's exactly the type of personal story admissions counselors' want to hear!

Just avoid listing accomplishments and activities or describing a broad range of general experiences in response to this question. Make your response unique by focusing on your passion!

Columbia Essay #4: The Fields of Study Question

In Columbia’s admissions process, we value who you are as a unique individual, distinct from your goals and achievements. In the last words of this writing supplement, we would like you to reflect on a source of happiness. Help us get to know you further by describing the first thing that comes to mind when you consider what simply brings you joy. (35 words or fewer)

This prompt is inviting you to relax, have a little fun, and show a side of yourself that Columbia won’t find in your other application materials. By asking you to write about something that brings you happiness “distinct from your goals and achievements,” this fourth and final prompt is your chance to really show who you are as a person instead of as a GPA, test score, or extracurricular activity. Because this prompt only allows you 35 words, your goal should be to identify one thing, activity, person, place, experience, or idea that makes you happy and provide a brief but strong explanation for it. Columbia wants to see “who you are as a unique individual,” so choose a source of joy that’s a big part of your identity or life experience. For instance, maybe your dad took you to the movies every time you were sad growing up, and as you’ve gotten older, heading to the theater alone has become your favorite mode of self-care. But simply writing that going to the movies makes you happy isn’t specific enough for this essay. Describe the context around your happiness at the movie theater and the aspects of the experience that evoke that feeling of joy in you. Basically, write like you’re trying to make Columbia feel what you feel at the movie theater. The things that make us happy are a window into our values, beliefs, and who we are inside. Focus on a specific source of joy that’s unique to who you are and your experiences, and you’ll be right on track for this final Columbia supplement essay.

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Columbia List Questions Analyzed

The two list questions appear first on the Columbia-Specific Application Questions section. To answer these questions, applicants are instructed to list each individual response using commas or semicolons, without any additional explanatory text .

The application also specifies that the List Question responses don't have to be numbered or included in any specific order (e.g. favorite to least favorite, most recent to least recent, etc.).

List Question #1: The Leisure Readings Question

List the titles of the books, essays, poetry, short stories or plays you read outside of academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school. (75 words or fewer)

This List Question is another that will give admissions counselors a better picture of how your academic life and personality intersect. Your list of books, essays, poetry, short stories, or plays that you enjoyed most in your leisure reading will show what topics and issues you're interested in beyond what you're reading in school. They'll also give a sense of your engagement as a literary and cultural citizen.

It's tempting to use this list to try to flex on the committee, but trust us: admissions counselors will know if you're making things up. (Trust us: no one is going to believe you're reading War and Peace for fun.)

While you want to be authentic in your response here, you need to remember that this question is still part of your college admissions packet. That means you need to make sure that you're choosing works that aren't deliberately offensive or inflammatory.

Our pro tip? Make a huge list of books you've enjoyed, then narrow the list down until you think you've chosen a good mix of works that represent your interests and personality.

List Question #2: The Media Content Question

We’re interested in learning about some of the ways that you explore your interests. List some resources and outlets that you enjoy, including but not limited to websites, publications, journals, podcasts, social media accounts, lectures, museums, movies, music, or other content with which you regularly engage. (125 words or fewer)

This list question is asking you to show your commitment to being an engaged, global citizen. You'll do this by listing the media sources you regularly consult in order to stay informed about world, national, and local issues.

A good answer to this question is going to show that you're a media-literate person . This means that the sources you list should be considered credible and reliable, not biased and sensationalized. Your answer will be a window into how you evaluate sources of information and make decisions about what will make a valuable contribution to your knowledge and awareness of what's happening in the world.

Having said that, this question also gives you the chance to show some of your niche interests . Maybe there's a podcast about the political significance of rap music that you regularly listen to. Perhaps you religiously read The New York Times' Food Column. Or maybe you're an avid scuba diver, so you subscribe to the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) newsletter. You can also include museums you love to visit and learn from, or social media accounts you're especially fascinated by. Really any source you use to learn about the world is fair game here.

Think of this as a chance to show aspects of your personality that might not be revealed through other parts of your application, in addition to your media literacy skills.

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How to Write a Great Columbia Essay: 3 Key Tips

Regardless of which Columbia essay prompt you're responding to, you should keep in mind the following tips for how to write a great Columbia essay.

#1: Use Your Own Voice

The point of a college essay is for the admissions committee to have the chance to get to know you beyond your test scores, grades, and honors. Your admissions essays are your opportunity to make yourself come alive for the essay readers and to present yourself as a fully fleshed out person.

You should, then, make sure that the person you're presenting in your college essays is yourself. Don't try to emulate what you think the committee wants to hear or try to act like someone you're not.

If you lie or exaggerate, your essay will come across as insincere, which will diminish its effectiveness. Stick to telling real stories about the person you really are, not who you think Columbia wants you to be.

#2: Avoid Clichés and Overused Phrases

When writing your Columbia essays, try to avoid using clichés or overused quotes or phrases.

These include quotations that have been quoted to death and phrases or idioms that are overused in daily life. The college admissions committee has probably seen numerous essays that state, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Strive for originality.

Similarly, avoid using clichés, which take away from the strength and sincerity of your work.

Columbia's admissions committee will see hundreds, if not thousands, of essays that talk about how much the applicant loves New York City. Saying that you want to study amongst the bright lights of the Big Apple is trite and overdone. If you are excited about going to school in New York City, make sure that you have a really specific reason that also ties to Columbia's opportunities.

#3: Check Your Work

It should almost go without saying, but you want to make sure your Columbia essays are the strongest example of your work possible. Before you turn in your Columbia application, make sure to edit and proofread your essays.

Your work should be free of spelling and grammar errors. Make sure to run your essays through a spelling and grammar check before you submit.

It's a good idea to have someone else read your Columbia essays, too. You can seek a second opinion on your work from a parent, teacher, or friend. Ask them whether your work represents you as a student and person. Have them check and make sure you haven't missed any small writing errors. Having a second opinion will help your work be the best it possibly can be.

Recap: Writing the Columbia Supplemental Essays

Your Columbia essays cover a lot of ground! You'll have the opportunity to share why you want to attend Columbia, as well as about your academic interests and potential pursuits. You'll also get to talk about Columbia's community and the art and literature that interests you.

Be honest and sincere in your Columbia essays. Make sure your essays are a great representation of who you are as a person, not just as a student or your resume.

What's Next?

Wondering how to excel on the "Why Columbia" essay? We break down this essay prompt and specific examples on our blog.

You might be wondering what kind of test scores you need to get into Columbia and other similar schools. We tell you what good scores are for Ivy League schools plus MIT, Stanford, and UChicago here .

Looking for a detailed guide on how to be one of the few students accepted to Ivy League level schools? Read PrepScholar co-founder Allen Cheng's reflections on his college application and tips for how you can get into Harvard and other Ivy League-level schools .

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Hayley Milliman is a former teacher turned writer who blogs about education, history, and technology. When she was a teacher, Hayley's students regularly scored in the 99th percentile thanks to her passion for making topics digestible and accessible. In addition to her work for PrepScholar, Hayley is the author of Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females.

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Columbia University 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

Early Decision: 

Columbia University  2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 lists of 100 words; 4 essays of 150 words each 

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Community , Why, Short Answer

List questions

For the list question that follows, there is a 100 word maximum. please refer to the below guidance when answering this question:, your response should be a list of items separated by commas or semicolons., items do not have to be numbered or in any specific order., it is not necessary to italicize or underline titles of books or other publications., no author names, subtitles or explanatory remarks are needed., list a selection of texts, resources and outlets that have contributed to your intellectual development outside of academic courses, including but not limited to books, journals, websites, podcasts, essays, plays, presentations, videos, museums and other content that you enjoy.  (100 words or fewer).

How do you pursue intellectual development outside of the classroom? You’ll need to be careful to avoid self-aggrandizing or pandering choices. Don’t top your list with 1984 unless you genuinely picked it up of your own accord, read it from start to finish, and meditated on Orwell’s intentions (while staring out the window, jaw agape). Think of not just the most recent media you’ve consumed, but also the old classics you can’t help revisiting (anything by Jenny Han, the podcast you binged in two weeks, the film you saw in theaters three times). Play with the sequencing here: how would you set these up in your library? Chronologically? Alphabetically? Thematically? Maybe you can make an entertaining leap from the sublime to the ridiculous by placing a heart-wrenching play alongside a goofy satire. Have fun with it! After all, this list is, at its core, about what you consume for the pleasure of it.

Short answer questions

For the four short answer questions, please respond in 150 words or fewer., a hallmark of the columbia experience is being able to learn and thrive in an equitable and inclusive community with a wide range of perspectives. tell us about an aspect of your own perspective, viewpoint or lived experience that is important to you, and describe how it has shaped the way you would learn from and contribute to columbia’s diverse and collaborative community. (150 words or fewer).

Ah, the infamous “community” essay. Many schools ask students about their communities because they want to know how you relate to the people around you, forge connections, and commune with your peers. In this particular instance, the question emphasizes equity, inclusivity, diversity, and collaboration. What do these words mean to you and how do they relate to your perspective or lived experience? Maybe you’re very involved in a progressive church youth group that celebrates its members differences, including trans and nonbinary members. Perhaps the friends you made at the skatepark have introduced you to a new culture and mindset of “try and try again” that you love. Maybe there are different languages spoken by the volunteers in your community garden, and now you know how to say “basil” in four different dialects (BTW in Italian it’s “ basilico ,” #funfact). How do you see equity, inclusivity, diversity, and collaboration play out in your community? And, looking forward, how would you keep those values alive at Columbia next fall?

In college/university, students are often challenged in ways that they could not predict or anticipate. It is important to us, therefore, to understand an applicant’s ability to navigate through adversity. Please describe a barrier or obstacle you have faced and discuss the personal qualities, skills or insights you have developed as a result. (150 words or fewer)

This prompt is incredibly similar to the Common App’s Prompt #2, which asks applicants to recount a time when they faced a challenge, setback, or failure. Our advice is similar: isolate an incident of trial in your life and illustrate how you learned from it. Writing about a difficult time in your life requires both vulnerability and perspective. Instead of focusing on the barrier or obstacle you were up against, spend most of the words at your disposal on how you rose to the occasion to overcome the challenge at hand. This is your opportunity to show admissions that you are a developing, maturing young adult with resilience and work ethic. As you zero in on a key moment, ask yourself the following questions: What healthy coping mechanisms or communication skills did you develop? Who, if applicable, did you choose to lean on and why? What did you learn about yourself? How will you approach difficult situations moving forward? Be honest and open, and we’re sure admissions will be impressed.

Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? We encourage you to consider the aspect(s) that you find unique and compelling about Columbia. (150 words or fewer)

This brief assignment is Columbia’s version of the classic Why Essay , and the key to every good Why Essay is solid, specific research. Spend some quality time with the Columbia website or, if you can, on a campus tour. Ask questions, take notes, and dig to find specific people, organizations, and experiences that excite you. Don’t dig too deep into majors or classes just yet; you’ll have an opportunity to write about your academic interest in a little bit, so for now, focus on the Columbia experience as a whole. Once you have some notes on the page, try to weave together a story that pairs your interests with Columbia’s offerings. Reveal new information about yourself while also showing that you’ve done your homework.

What attracts you to your preferred areas of study at Columbia College or Columbia Engineering? (150 words or fewer)

This prompt gives you a chance to geek out about your intended area(s) of study. Whether you’re hoping to study at Columbia College or Columbia Engineering, the assignment is the same: offer admissions insight into your academic interests and pursuits. Whether your goals are intellectual, professional, or somewhere in between, your reasoning should be grounded in what Columbia has to offer. 150 words isn’t a lot of space, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide a detailed response. Get ambitious and aim to answer these two key questions: What intrigues or excites you about your intended major? And why is Columbia the ideal place for you to study it? Do a little research to identify classes you’d like to take, professors you’d like to work with, and alumni you’d like to network with; then, get to drafting—and leave yourself plenty of time to edit and revise! 

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10 Columbia Supplemental Essay Examples That Worked

Columbia Essay Supplemental Example

Looking at Columbia supplemental essay examples can be helpful for students who are preparing their college applications for Columbia, any of the  Ivy League Schools , or other highly selective institutions like the  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) . Top colleges tend to have a holistic admissions process, meaning that they look at more than just your academic background. They also want to get to know the person behind the grades and ensure that you are a good fit for their college campus. Your  supplemental college essays  play a significant role in helping them make a decision. It is therefore important that you submit college essays that stand out in order to beat the competition. 

In this blog, we share ten essays that respond to the prompts provided by  Columbia University  to help you get inspired for your own  college essays .

>> Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here . <<

Article Contents 9 min read

Columbia's supplemental college essay questions are divided into two. First, there is a series of list questions. You will be required to answer these prompts in the form of a list without any explanatory text or additional formatting. The school asks that you separate each item on the list with commas or semicolons. Secondly, you have what most students are familiar with when we talk about supplemental college essays. In the case of Columbia, the essays are limited to 200 words or fewer, meaning that applicants have to find a way to incorporate a lot of information in a relatively short text. To put that into context, we have included examples from both sections in this blog.

As you read through the examples, pay attention to the way the authors infuse their personalities into the text, and how they use specific examples to make their essays more memorable.

Columbia supplemental essay example #1

Please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the areas of study that you noted in the application. ( 200 words or fewer)

According to my mother, I never played dress-up with my dolls when I was a child. Apparently, instead of braiding their hair, I placed them down in neat little rows and taught them how to braid hair. I'm not sure how accurate that story is, but it does sound like me. For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed learning and teaching others what I have learned.

I first noticed this when my family and I went on vacation to Disneyland, and It seemed like I was the only person who was interested in the guided tour. I wanted to know everything about the buildings, how old the park was, and the people that designed it. On the flight back home, I talked everyone's ear off about all the new things I had learned about how parks work. It is still one of my most cherished experiences, even though I didn't get to go on as many rides as the rest of my family. 

 I have followed that passion for learning and teaching by tutoring in middle and high school. These experiences as a tutor confirmed that teaching is the right career path for me. (197 words)

"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak." Those are Rachel Zoe's words, and I wholeheartedly believe them. Growing up, one of my favorite parts of the day was the night before school, when I would spend 20 to 30 minutes picking out the perfect outfit to wear the next day. 

When it came time for me to go to high school, my parents decided that I would get a better education from a private school that had a dress code. All students were required to wear clean-cut khakis and a white polo shirt. I had to say goodbye to my matching sets, graphic t-shirts, and jean jackets.

A hallmark of the Columbia experience is being able to learn and live in a community with a wide range of perspectives. How do you or would you learn from and contribute to diverse, collaborative communities? ( 200 words or fewer)

Four years ago, my father remarried, giving me a loving stepmom, two wonderfully annoying younger sisters, and an introduction to a whole new world. For context, I am an eighteen-year-old white girl who grew up in the suburbs, and my step-family is Afro-Latinx. Although they grew up in a suburb similar to the one I call home, their experiences were very different from mine. 

For example, I went shopping with one of my sisters recently, and I noticed that she always insisted on getting a paper copy of her receipt. I tried to tell her that she could ask for it to be emailed to her as that'd be better for the environment, but she explained that she often gets accused of stealing in upscale stores and that having the receipt made proving her innocence easier. 

This is one of the many conversations I have had in the past few years that have taught me to look past my own experiences and listen. We all experience life differently, meaning that we all have something to learn from each other. I plan on bringing my perspective to Columbia, and I look forward to listening and learning from students with different viewpoints. (200 words)

2,789. That is the total population of Imagined, the small, remote town I grew up in. It is a town that I have a love-hate relationship with. I love the sense of community it fosters and the beautiful views surrounding it. I also hate how small it is and how closed-minded its inhabitants can be. 

Like most of Imagined's residents, I have never really lived outside of our town, but I like to think that I have traveled through the numerous books I spend my days reading. It is those books that introduced me to people who practice different religions, who look different from me, and who have points of view that are very different from mine. Even though I may not agree with everything I have read, it has given me a chance to question my belief systems and make informed decisions. 

I hope that by attending Columbia, which is located at the heart of one of the most diverse cities in the world, I will be exposed to even more perspectives so that I can learn more about the human experience and relate with others better. (188 words)

The opening sentence of your essay needs to be attention-grabbing if you want to write a strong essay. We recommend starting with a quote, an anecdote, or a fun fact like the writer did with the essay above. ","label":"Tip","title":"Tip"}]" code="tab1" template="BlogArticle">

Columbia supplemental essay example #5

Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? We encourage you to consider the aspect(s) that you find unique and compelling about Columbia. ( 200 words or fewer)

Two years ago, my mother and I toured thirteen universities across the country. Of all the schools I visited, Columbia quickly stood out. We had already put the school on our list because of its stellar academic programs but being on campus convinced me that Columbia is the right university for me. 

During the tour, I spoke to several students who gushed about the diversity of the student body, the excellent professors and advisors, and the eye-opening educational experience the Core Curriculum provides. My mother went to Columbia, and she found it amazing that even though the school has evolved, its core values remain the same. 

The experiences she and the other students described make me dream of having my own Lit Hum discussion sessions and participating in the many enriching clubs on campus, such as the Columbia Model United Nations team. 

Being at Columbia would also allow me to take advantage of everything New York offers. I would get to explore my various academic and personal interests in an international and open-minded environment. 

Some say that Columbia is the greatest college at the greatest university in the greatest city in the world. I suspect they might be right. (199 words)

I was on the Columbia campus on October 14, 2019, when the Native American Council gathered and called on the University to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day. I had reluctantly come to the school for a visit with a friend who is currently in her first year at Columbia. My general idea of this school was that it was very traditional and not very open-minded. This display of bravery changed my view of Columbia and prompted me to research the school. 

I found that it has a strong academic program that gives students a strong foundation through the common core curriculum. I especially like the fact that the core includes studies in non-western major cultures and masterpieces of western literature. 

As an African-American-Lebanese student, my background and heritage have made me passionate about the world's different cultures, specifically how globalization has affected them and how they have been affected by it. Columbia would allow me to learn more about this topic and explore other aspects of world culture I am interested in. 

I hope to get the chance to learn in class and outside the classroom from the diverse and open-minded student body at Columbia over the next four years. (198 words)

This is essentially a \u201cwhy this college essay\u201d so the admissions committee will be trying to find out if you are interested in Columbia specifically. So, take the time to research the school and mention something specific about it such as a course, a requirement, a student organization, etc. ","label":"Tip","title":"Tip"}]" code="tab2" template="BlogArticle">

Do you have questions about the college application process? This video can help:

Columbia supplemental essay example #7

List the titles of the required readings from academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school. (75 words or fewer)

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson; Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë; All My Sons by Arthur Miller; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou; Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head. (47 words)

Frying plantain by zalika reid-benta; Heavy by Kiese Laymon; An Untamed State by Roxanne Gay; The girl with the louding voice by Abi dare; Born a crime by Trevor Noah; Becoming by Michelle Obama; Such a fun age by Kiley reid; Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde; The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang; Turtles all the way down by John Green; Our Stories, Our Voices by Amy Reed; Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. (72 words)

It\u2019s important that you think about the list of books that you are sharing. You want to be honest, but you also want the books that you share to say something about you. For example, even though this person reads a few different genres, we can tell from the list of books that this applicant clearly has a penchant for social justice and history. ","label":"Tip","title":"Tip"}]" code="tab3" template="BlogArticle">

Columbia supplemental essay example #9

John Green's Turtles all the way down; Karen Lord's Redemption in Indigo; Becky Chambers' The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet; Andy Weir's The Martian, Marlon James’ Black leopard, red wolf; V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series,  V.E. Schwab’s Shadowshaper. (41 words)

Want to learn more about what makes a strong college essay? Check out this video:

Columbia supplemental essay example #10

We’re interested in learning about some of the ways that you explore your interests. List some resources and outlets that you enjoy, including but not limited to websites, publications, journals, podcasts, social media accounts, lectures, museums, movies, music, or other content with which you regularly engage. (125 words or fewer)

Publications: The New York Times, n+1, Vanity Fair, TIME; Music: Beyonce, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Frank Ocean, Florence & the machine, Kasey Musgraves. Movies & TV shows: Succession, Gilmore Girls, Greys Anatomy, Explained, Derry Girls; Lectures on YouTube: Designing Your Life (Bill Burnett and Dave Evans), TEDx talks. (47 words)

Columbia is one of the most selective schools in the country. Last year, it had an acceptance rate that was close to 5%. Meaning that for every 100 applicants, only about five get offered admission.

Columbia requires students to submit three short supplemental essays of 200 words or less and answer three additional questions with lists.

The supplemental Columbia-specific questions you have to answer are less than 200 words.

Reviewing different supplemental essay examples will expose you to different types of prompts used for college essays and give you a better idea of how to approach them.

A strong college essay tells a story, uses specific examples, and has a strong opening.

You can make your essay stand out by ensuring that it tells a story and uses specific examples to back up claims that you make about yourself.

College essay advisors  are admission consultants who typically work with application or college essay review services. They use their admissions knowledge and training to help you prepare the strongest college essays possible.

Columbia does not have a minimum GPA requirement, but it does expect applicants to have a strong academic background. 95% of the recently admitted class graduated in the top 10% of their class. So if you are hoping to  get into college with a low GPA , you would need an impressive application for that school to be Columbia.

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columbia application essay

Columbia University Essay Examples (And Why They Worked)

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The following Columbia University essay examples were written by several different authors who were admitted to Columbia University. All names have been redacted for anonymity. CollegeAdvisor.com has shared these essays with admissions officers at Columbia University in order to deter potential plagiarism.

For more help with your Columbia University essay supplements, check out our 2020-2021 Columbia University Essay Guide ! For more guidance on personal essays and the college application process in general, sign up for a monthly plan to work with an admissions coach 1-on-1.

List a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community. (150 words or less)

Supportive and collaborative (Let’s trauma bond and get through college together!); Tight-knit and friendly; Accepting; Socially and environmentally-aware; Quirky but also down-to-earth; Know how to enjoy a good movie/book/tv show marathon; Appreciate the arts, scientific achievements, and social accomplishments; Be willing to help out a first year being lost around campus for the first few weeks; Not afraid to stand up for what is right and use our resources to create a difference in the world.

List the titles of the required readings from courses during the school year or summer that you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or less)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin -Harriet Beecher Stowe (APUSH): This book offered me the raw and emotional look at slavery and showed me the complexities of the US society before the Civil War.

The Grapes of Wrath -John Steinbeck (APUSH): Another emotional book that offered me a raw look at how the migrant workers were hurt during the Great Depression. This book along with Uncle Tom’s Cabin humanize history for me.

L’Étranger -Albert Camus (AP Lang): Existentialism. Interesting read. It really made me question life.

Sociologie des pratiques culturelles (Sociology of Cultural Practices) by Philippe Coulangeon is a required text I particularly appreciated this year. I enjoyed how the novel examines the principle trends that characterize the evolution of modern cultural practices, as well as the results of the democratization of culture in modern-day France.

Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil) by Baudelaire is an extremely powerful poetry collection that I found to be at the same time thought provoking and a pleasure to read. The poet expresses both his “Spleen,” or his agony, and his Ideal through beautiful and captivating verses.

I also absolutely loved Don Juan by Moliere, a play written and set in 17th century France during the reign of Louis XIV. Moliere’s clever mix of the classic and baroque styles was a joy to read, and the way he uses comedy as a tool to criticize society was brilliant.

Why this Columbia University essay worked, according to an ex-admissions officer

This response to the Columbia University essay prompt works well because it highlights the cultural and linguistic diversity of the student. The student succinctly and convincingly discusses what they connected to in the various works, showing their intellectual curiosity as well their ability to appreciate mature pieces of literature.

List the titles of the books you read for pleasure that you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or less)

Most haunting book: Kindred -Octavia Butler (Like Dana, I rooted for Rufus, hoping he wouldn’t turn out to be a villainous and selfish enslaver. I was betrayed)

Most emotional book: Thirteen Reasons Why -Jay Asher (This is one of those books that makes you question your entire life after reading it. It just has the power to make you wonder: Am I a good person? Have I made a good or bad difference in the lives of others? Highly recommended)

Best reread of the year: To All the Boys I’d Loved Before -Jenny Han (Three claps for Asian representation in YA books!)

Most nostalgic book: The Percy Jackson series-Rick Riordan (Earlier this year, I was at the Met, where Percy willed his power to push Nancy Bobofit into the water! Bucket list item #14: checked)

Honorable mentions: The Jungle -Upton Sinclair, The Hate U Give -Angie Thomas, Jurassic Park -Michael Crichton, and The Sympathizer -Viet Thanh Nguyen.

I like this response to this Columbia University essay prompt because the student is unapologetically herself. A lot of students feel the need to make themselves more impressive, or more sophisticated/well read, and the risk in that is that they lose that personal warmth, genuine voice, and connection with the reader. It’s far better to be honest and forthcoming, inviting the reader into your world view, humor, experience, and unique and fun perspective on the world.

One novel I read for pleasure that I found gripping and profound is Brave New World by Huxley. In addition to being a call for freedom during the rise of totalitarian societies, the novel also addresses philosophical and ethical questions that remain relevant today.

Bel Ami by Maupassant is another novel that spoke to me. This naturalist novel depicts the journey of the protagonist’s rise to power through manipulation and corruption in late 19th century France. I enjoyed following how this anti-hero climbs the social ladder from his humble working-class beginnings to become one of the most powerful men in Paris.

I was inspired by Histoire de l’autre (Story of the Other), a book that presents both the Israeli and Palestinian points of view on key historical events throughout the conflict. It was written by six Israeli and six Palestinian history professors, who narrate the same events from different perspectives.

List the titles of the print, electronic publications and websites you read regularly. (150 words or less)

I get caught up on current events from three main news sites: the Saint Louis Post Dispatch for the local perspective, the New York Times for the national perspective, and the BBC for the international perspective. It’s a habit of mine to read about current events from at least 3 perspectives. That way, I know I’m getting the most objective view of the world.

Entertainment news: Buzzfeed and Kenh14 (a Vietnamese newsite)

News not covered by mainstream media but are highly important: Stories on Instagrams, Facebook, and Reddit.

Again, I feel like this student is being honest and forthcoming. You get a sense of ethnicity/identity, and also of a person who is willing to be informed without trying to prove anything. There’s a fine balance between being genuine and trying to seem impressive.

I follow the news on BBC (www.bbc.com). BBC gives me a well-rounded view of political, economic and social events from around the world, with the necessary background information to understand today’s global issues.

I also use the mobile app News Republic on a daily basis. News Republic provides articles from over 1,000 trusted news sources, so I can be informed of global issues from multiple perspectives. Further, I can design my news page to follow the topics I am most interested in.

Another website I follow regularly is Time Out Madrid ( www.timeout.com/madrid ). It helps me take full advantage of all the opportunities Madrid has to offer, such as cultural exhibitions, hidden parks and cafes, concerts, plays and movies. My latest discovery is a list of eleven original bookshops, where, in addition to finding books, friends and I can have a coffee, enjoy a concert or listen to a lecture.

Again, what works about this kind of response is that the reader can get a sense of the global perspective and experience of the student. Without being too obvious with it, the student brings the reader into their life – bookstores, social life, international experience – and makes the reader a part of it.

List the titles of the films, concerts, shows, exhibits, lectures and other entertainments you enjoyed most in the past year. (150 words or less)

Musical: Hamilton, Legally Blondes, Miss Saigon (I love the music but hate the historical inaccuracies as well as the ignorance of Vietnamese culture portrayed in the musical)

Films: Avengers: Endgame, Spiderman: Far from Home, Candy Jar, Lincoln, Us, Get Out.

TV shows: Marvel’s Agents of Shield (My all time favorite show. I learned English watching Shield in middle school), Goong (amazing soundtracks, jump started my K-drama binge for the last 2 months, inspired a Viet-styled Goong fanfiction currently in the works), and High Kick Through the Rooftop (It’s an awesome Korean sitcom. I highly recommend it. Just ignore the last 6 episodes)

Music: Soundtracks. My current favorite is Dah Ji Mot Han Ma Eum from Goong!

I saw back-to-back Ionesco’s two classic plays, La cantatrice chauve (The Bald Soprano) and La leçon (The Lesson), at Le Théâtre de la Huchette in Paris, where they have been playing non-stop since 1957. It was fascinating to see these plays with the same original mise-en-scene dating back to the era when they were written.

Additionally, I loved the exhibition Pop Art Myths at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. I enjoyed seeing how this art form developed in the 50s and 60s and its witty critique of consumerism.

Finally, I was inspired by the documentary Beyond Right and Wrong . It follows the stories of individuals who lost their loved ones in terrible conflicts from Northern Ireland, the Middle East and Rwanda, and shows what it took for them to forgive the other side. Their strength impressed me, and their courageous acts allowed me to observe forgiveness under a different light.

The reader gets a strong sense that art, in a variety of forms, is an important part of this student’s life.This is someone who looks beyond the entertainment factor. An admissions officer would most likely get the impression that as a student, this is someone who considers historical context and likes to make deeper connections with the curriculum.

Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why. (300 words or less)

I hate the word “common” and avoid being associated with it at all cost. Being called “Common” is the worst insult possible. It implies that I’m just another face in a sea of faces and reminds me that not so long ago, in order to blend in with the crowd, I had ignored the injustices I saw. To me, a common person of a common society is nothing more than a lonely cog in the machine who is unable and unwilling to protest against the injustices in the society.

Given my hatred of all things common, it’s a surprise to see me apply to Columbia University, a place famous for its Core Curriculum. However, after October 14, 2019, all my negative thoughts about the Core Curriculum have vanished. Instead of a group of passive ancient philosophers in modern vessels molded by the Core, I got to see a vibrant, accepting, and socially aware group of changemakers on Campus that morning. Columbia students are powerful individuals who are not hesitant to use their power to demand changes. Exhibit A: the mini awareness events to demand the recognition of Indegenous People’s Day that I got to witness. The students made their presence known with posters and chants, demanding for recognition.

It was this display of bravery that changed my view of Columbia. Upon closer research, I can see that the Common Core is not a rigid mold but rather a template for empowerment by making sure that all students are equipped with the knowledge to lead courageous lives and be informed citizens. After all, why else would the university has all students learn about Contemporary Civilization?

Columbia’s Common Core will prepare me to lead a life of courage. Haizz, of course Columbia would be the place that makes me tolerate the word “common.”

This essay works for a number of reasons. Overall, the reader gets a great understanding of what the author values. This is someone who has grown in terms of their thinking, and will continue to seek opportunities for growth. This is a student who will more than likely be involved in a number of communities both on and off campus; a future change agent.
Naturally, most applicants will write about Columbia’s Core Curriculum, for which they are well known. However, this student’s evolved understanding of why and how it’s central to Columbia’s pedagogy, and how they would engage the curriculum is radically refreshing, I would imagine. As an admission officer I would get the sense that while the author is opinionated, they will likely lead and contribute to great classroom discussions. However, what’s equally important in a university setting is that they can listen to others’ perspectives and are also open to change, which it seems this applicant is.
Lastly, the student incorporated the fact that they had been on campus in an effective way that communicated their connection to the University, and allows an admissions officer to understand how this student would fit on campus.

In 2013, I embarked on a whirlwind tour of seventeen American universities. Of all the schools I visited, Columbia stood out. In addition to stellar academic programs, its emphasis on civic and global engagement really spoke to me. It is vital for me to attend a college where both academic rigor and openness to the world are widely promoted.

Perhaps what draws me to Columbia the most is the impact it has had on my sister, Maysa (Columbia College 2018). I have never seen her happier than she is today, as she talks about the diversity of the student body, her amazing professors and advisor, and the truly transformative and eye opening educational experience the Core Curriculum is giving her. Her experience at Columbia makes me dream of having my very own Lit Hum discussion sessions, surrounded by a group of passionate Lions.

At Columbia, I would also take advantage of the many enriching clubs and student organizations. For example, I would like to become a member of the Columbia Model United Nations Team, one of the most renowned in the United States, and the Peace by PEACE club. In addition, I would like to join or set up a Club or Intramural Swim Team.

Being at Columbia would also allow me to take advantage of everything New York has to offer, from acclaimed guest speakers visiting campus to world-class performances and exhibitions. I believe Columbia is the place where all the aspects of my personality would thrive. Columbia students and faculty are motivated, active, and inspiring. At Columbia College, I would grow both academically and socially in an international and openminded environment. It would be an honor to spend the next four years “in the greatest college, in the greatest university, in the greatest city in the world.”

This student took a more traditional approach to writing this essay. The author gave a well rounded response as to how they would engage in Columbia’s community both inside and outside of the classroom. They named specific clubs and organizations they envision becoming a member of, and highlighted characteristics of the University that resonates with them. Lastly, because the author’s sister attended Columbia, they were able to incorporate some personal reflections as to why they too wish to attend.

Please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted in the Member Questions section. If you are currently, undecided, please write about any field or fields in which you may have an interest in at this time. (300 words or less)

In seventh grade, a phenomenon exploded at my school: YA stories about a world without adults. The premise is simple: A strange accident evaporated all the adults, leaving only young people to inhabit the new world.

Like everyone, I was in love with those stories and enjoyed fantasizing how I would be in that situation. However, something didn’t sit right with me: Why only the adults? How come anyone under the age of 16 got to stay? I was desperate for an answer and since I couldn’t find them in the pre-existing stories, I decided to write my own story with a valid reason for the disappearance of the adults. After weeks of theorizing and researching, I finally got it. The story premise was similar: All adults on Earth have been turned into zombies by invading aliens. Luckily, thanks to a DNA mutation caused by a live virus vaccine that was administered to all children aged 17 and younger, the young people were spared. Now, they are our planet’s last hope.

What started as harmless research to satisfy my curiosity quickly developed into a long lasting fascination with cells and mutations. I marvel at how simple changes in our genetic codes could have great impact on our bodies. It’s interesting and scary to realize how easy it is for our DNA to be manipulated by outside factors. Similar to the unforeseen benefit of the DNA mutation in my story, my research has helped me discover a great passion of mine.

This is a great story! Colleges, particularly top tier schools, are looking for intellectually curious students. The author effectively demonstrates that curiosity, shows its inception, and how they have further pursued their interest. This applicant is clearly a deep and creative thinker who has discovered their passion and will fully engage in furthering their understanding in their chosen field.

Columbia University offers many fields of study closely aligned with my academic and career goals.

My Middle Eastern heritage and international background have made me passionate about social justice, peace, and conflict resolution. I am especially interested in Middle Eastern international affairs and social problems. The unrest and violence in this region have repercussions all over the globe. I believe it is vital for our generation to find long-lasting solutions for peace in the Middle East and to protect the rights of women, children, and ethnic minorities that are being abused in the region. I hope to pursue an undergraduate program focused on Human Rights, taking classes such as “International Human Rights Law,” “Equality, Identity & Rights” and “Human Rights and Human Wrongs.”

For example, in summer 2013, I participated in a two-week course called “Identity, Diversity, and Leadership” at Brown University. This course challenged me to study my own social and individual identity. I learned the values of listening, sympathizing, and understanding those who are unlike me. Similarly, in October 2014, I took part in a seminar on Non-Violent Communication organized by Seeds of Peace, focusing on ways to bridge dialogue divides and maintain empathy during difficult conversations.

Like us, an American-Lebanese-Colombian family living in Madrid, my extended family all have very international backgrounds and have lived all around the world. I have American-Lebanese-Austrian cousins living in London and American-Lebanese- Belgian cousins living in Hong Kong. Even though we all have lived very different lives, we have something in common – the feeling of being citizens of the world, immersed in a plethora of distinct cultures, yet being part of one close-knit family.

I am lucky to have been raised in this environment. It has helped me become a more adaptable, flexible, and understanding person with intellectual curiosity and openness to the world.

Additionally, Columbia College would offer me the opportunity to take an array of classes taught by leading scholars in the Departments of Political Science; Middle East, South Asian, and African Studies; and Linguistics. These classes would give me a global view of the complex world we live in, help me better understand the international challenges we face today, and further expand my global outlook and knowledge of world cultures and customs. I look forward to taking classes such as “National Security Strategies of the Middle East: A Comparative Perspective”, “Rethinking Middle East Politics” and “Language and Society”. I am also keen on continuing to build on my Arabic language skills to complement my interest in Middle Eastern history and politics through the amazing resources provided by the Columbia Global Center in Amman, where I hope to spend at least two summers.

With my background and experiences, I believe I would contribute new perspectives to class discussions and learn from the ideas of the inspiring and diverse students that Columbia University attracts.

This essay works because the author did a great job at showing what their interests are, ways they have already pursued them, and how they will take advantage of Columbia’s curriculum to further pursue and achieve their academic and personal goals. While not every student has the opportunity to participate in tuition-based summer programs (colleges do not expect this), this student was able to highlight their participation and the ways in which they grew as a result.
The author has an incredibly diverse background and global perspective, which they effectively used to demonstrate what they will be able to contribute to the classroom as well as take away from it. This is precisely why diversity is important in a college setting. More importantly, however, the reader gets a strong sense of this student’s values and what’s important to them in terms of the contributions they hope to make to society.

These Columbia University essay examples were compiled by the advising team at CollegeAdvisor.com . If you want to get help writing your Columbia University application essays from CollegeAdvisor.com Admissions Experts , register with CollegeAdvisor.com today.

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How to write a stellar “why columbia” essay.

Picture of a high school student sitting at a bench writing the "why columbia" essay

Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 11/15/23

Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? This question can help guide you through Columbia’s “why us” essay. Read on to learn more and show Columbia why you’re the perfect candidate! 

You’ve got your sights set on the elite Columbia University. You’ve probably dreamed about its stone buildings and sprawling campus, and you know you want to earn a higher education in the heart of New York. You’ve put in the hard work to meet application requirements. The only thing standing in your way is tackling the admission essays . 

Columbia University wants to get to know you and what you can offer to the campus community. But they also want to know why you want to attend Columbia. There are several top colleges to choose from, and they want to know why Columbia called out to you. 

Trying to pinpoint an exact reason can be difficult, especially if you’re unsure of the “why.” Lucky for you, there’s not a right or wrong answer because every student is different. Read on to learn how to ace the “Why Columbia” essay and maximize your chances of getting accepted!

Purpose of the “Why Columbia” Essay

It seems that nearly every university wants to know why you chose them over other schools. Columbia is no different. The admissions team wants to know your rationale for applying. Your job is to describe why Columbia is the perfect school for you. 

Columbia is one of the top schools in the country. The school provides a rigorous education that a select few get to experience. Columbia wants to accept students who will add to the school’s culture. 

Your desire to attend Columbia can stem from many things: maybe you’re carrying on your family’s legacy or pursuing a pathway unique to Columbia. Just ensure you show that you genuinely care about the school. The admissions team uses this essay to find the most interested applicants, so approach this task with the utmost care.

Columbia University

Source: Columbia University

“Why Columbia” Essay Prompt

You can find a direct link to the “Why Columbia” essay prompt on their website .  As the title suggests, the admissions team wants to know why you want to attend Columbia. 

Before you sit down to write this essay, think about Columbia’s significance to you. Out of all of the colleges you could choose, why Columbia?  To some, the answer is quite simple, while others might struggle to articulate their rationale.

The word limit might intimidate you: at a measly 200 words, you have little space to express your interest. Columbia receives thousands of applications annually, so it makes sense to impose such a restrictive word limit. 

What to Include

What to include in your "Why Columbia?" Essay

It’s best to write about all things specific to Columbia. Some directions you can take your essay include:

  • Any unique majors or course offerings that interest you
  • Referencing specific faculty members/professors you’d love to work with or learn from 
  • Research projects/areas you’d want to participate in, referencing any past Columbia projects or its research centers
  • Columbia-specific extracurriculars or clubs you’d love to join
  • Internships, entrepreneurial opportunities, and any other Columbia offerings that pique your interest and how you would excel given these opportunities

Check to see if there are any unique majors that interest you. You could also mention any professors or research that relates to your passions. Look into any extracurriculars they offer that are unlike any other university. 

Think about the programs the university offers or the professors who teach at Columbia. Admissions want to know that you genuinely care about the school and that you will contribute to the culture they have built. They want students who see attending Columbia as a life-changing experience. Columbia wants to mold you, and in turn, they want you to leave your mark.

Students raising hands in classroom

Columbia also offers plenty of internship and entrepreneurial opportunities, so if there are any that pique your interest, make sure to talk about them and why you would excel in those opportunities. 

You could also talk about what you will offer Columbia or how your unique perspective and experiences could add to Columbia’s incoming class and campus. Whatever you choose to write about, make it personal. You don’t want to give a generic answer that seems disingenuous. 

Don’t include topics that aren’t specific to a Columbia experience. Writing about your desire to visit New York and live in the city won’t effectively answer the prompt. You also shouldn’t generalize about wanting to attend an Ivy League school .

Though admission to a prestigious school provides clout, you can achieve this by attending any other Ivy League. Remember, your goal is to convince the admissions committee that Columbia is your dream school! 

Student writing in notebook

Essay Writing Tips

Knowing where to start can be the most challenging part of writing a “Why This College?” essay . These tips can make the process a little easier and ensure that you write a worthwhile essay.

Tip #1: Determine Your Why

Ruminate on why you want to apply to Columbia. It could be a specific major, a professor you’re interested in learning from, or extracurriculars that the school has to offer. You want to articulate what Columbia means to you so the admissions team understands why it’s your top pick. 

Tip #2: Do Your Research

Don’t tackle this essay without first researching the university. Consider your passions and how they align with Columbia’s majors. If you want to pursue a unique major that is only offered by Columbia, browse its list of majors. Each listing provides a detailed account of the major, which can aid you in your essay. 

For example, if you’re interested in pursuing creative writing, you can see what the program offers and determine how that benefits you. If you’re interested in learning from a specific professor, ensure you research that professor and explain why you want to work with them. 

Girl looking through magnifying glass

Tip #3: Be Concise

Remember that you only get 200 words to explain why you want to attend Columbia. Start your essay with a hook and then jump right into the body. Choose your words carefully and ensure your writing flows cohesively. If you’re prone to wordiness, editing for concision is critical.

Tip #4: Be Passionate

Use the “Why Us?” Columbia essay as an opportunity to show how much this school means to you. Explain why Columbia matters more than any other university. Talk about your dreams and how Columbia would help you achieve them. Passion can help you stand out.  Make them understand why they should pick you over another student.

Tip #5: Explain What You Have to Offer

Don’t just talk about what Columbia has to offer. Talk about how you plan to leave a mark on Columbia during your time there. Whether it’s an entrepreneurial pursuit or the desire to create a club that Columbia doesn’t offer, the admissions team is interested in what you can do to improve the university. 

How would your acceptance help make the school better? End your essay with what you plan to contribute. 

person writing on paper

Tip #6: Proofread

This is not an essay you want to type in a flurry of keystrokes and send off without a second glance. Take your time and ensure you haven’t misspelled any words or made grammar mistakes. The admissions team will be less than impressed with your work if it’s riddled with errors. 

Tip #7: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Someone Else to Read It

It always helps to have a second pair of eyes look over anything you write. To you, it will seem easy to understand because you know exactly what you’re trying to say. But to an outsider, it could seem confusing. Someone else’s opinion can determine whether your essay is truly cohesive. 

Seeking an admissions consultant’s help can improve your essay. These experts know what top universities are looking for in their students and have read numerous “Why Columbia” essays that worked. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Man crossing arms

Many students find it easy to fall into these traps when writing their application essays. Make sure not to make these essay-writing mistakes in your “Why Columbia” essay! 

Writing What You Think They Want to Hear

The most important element of your essay is authenticity. Don’t make up situations or write about cliche topics in order to try and win points with the admissions committee. What they really want is to get to know who you are. 

So, write about your real-life experiences, passions, interests, and motivations. This will come across far better than any kind of fabricated story, as your true personality will shine through your words. 

Rehashing Your Application

The purpose of your college essay is to reveal new information about yourself to the admissions committee in your own voice. There’s no point in re-stating any of the information you already provided on your application, such as your GPA or test scores. 

Your essay is also not a place for you to list your extracurriculars or work experience. You can talk about them, but instead, you should discuss what you learned from a certain experience in relation to why you want to attend Columbia. Make sure you’re answering the prompt. 

Being Too Vague or Generic 

This essay should be tailored specifically to Columbia and what you think you can both gain from and contribute to the school. It may seem tempting to write a generic essay that can apply to many different colleges, but that would convey a lack of passion or genuine interest in Columbia. 

Instead, be specific about the programs, faculty, and school culture that you want to experience. Talk about your reasons for wanting to attend Columbia in particular. 

Female student writing in notebook

Columbia Essay Examples

It can help to look at successful “Why Columbia” essay examples . They provide a peek into what the admissions team expects of you and can help you improve your own essay to stand out. There are plenty of websites devoted to sharing essay examples, and you can find successful Columbia essay examples here . 

In the meantime, check out these essay examples of “Why Columbia” essays with an analysis and breakdown of each! 

Sample Essay #1

“Computer science is at the core of my academic passions and my life ambitions. What I value in life is being around brilliant technologists. At Columbia, I have worked with and befriended the most driven and gifted programmers I’ve ever met. In January, I formed a team with three Columbia freshmen for MIT’s annual strategy-game-playing artificial intelligence competition. Ben, Ryan, Koh and I spent the month reviewing matches, debating approaches and tweaking our models. More than once we coded through the night. Their caliber was clear in the subtle insights that their multi-disciplinary backgrounds gave them and they gave me something to aspire to.

I have many interests that lie outside of my intended major but that I want to continue to pursue, and Columbia provides an environment for those diverse passions. Recently, while at a Columbia math club meeting with Ben, I ran into a political science major, Mathieu. He was elated to point out the insights that a love of math granted him in his courses and his conviction encouraged me to explore the peculiar intersection of the two fields.

I love teachers who love to teach. At Columbia, I’ve seen faculty who have a love for what they do and who care about students. While touring, I sat in on a quantum mechanics lecture. Professor Norman Christ strode into the room at eight on-the-dot and jumped into a discussion of WKB complex value approximation. For three straight hours, he guided us through the intricate world of QM without any notes. His enthusiasm brightened that drizzling Monday morning. That I could follow the lecture at all is a testament to his lucid explanations and extraordinary knowledge. When I came to him with questions afterward, he helped me truly understand a topic that initially felt years out of reach.”

coding on computer screen

Why this “Why Columbia” essay worked : The student starts by listing their desired major and how Columbia provides the perfect education. But the student doesn’t stop there; they go on to add how they’ve made an impact and how they could provide for Columbia as well. 

Notice how the student lists their topic within the first sentence of each paragraph and then immediately follows up with how Columbia connects to those topics. 

This “Why Columbia” essay sample refers to a professor and what the writer enjoyed about their lecture. This shows the admissions team that this student truly enjoys being there and cares about the university’s educational opportunities. 

Keep this example in mind as you construct your own essay. Remember to find ways to connect everything back to Columbia so you can effectively show why Columbia is important to you. 

Sample Essay #2

I tend to view the brain in the same way one would do any other muscle, and the fact that I choose to do so explains how I’ve recently gone about challenging myself intellectually. Simply put, I take my brain to the gym; I analyse its power through its capability to ‘lift’ (fully comprehend) intellectual weights of varying mass, and attempt to broaden the reach of its abilities by repeatedly pushing it just past its limits until it's capable of handling the load of even heavier weights. And, if the brain can be treated like a muscle, then it's only logical to view attending university as the process undertaken to make said muscle as strong as possible.

The desire I feel to brain-train with maximum intensity in higher education has led me to apply to Columbia – the academic equivalent of an Olympic-level gymnasium. How exactly I plan on using the resources such a ‘gym’ would offer is something I’ve spent months pondering: courses such as “Gender and Applied Economics” taught by Professor Lena Edlund, for instance, would expand my limits of intellectual agility, as would the diversity of NYC’s melting pot mentality, which closely parallels my own upbringing and education.

lightbulbs around brain on black background

Why this “Why Columbia” essay example worked : This student starts their essay by using a unique and creative metaphor as an engaging hook. Their desire to learn and grow academically is evident in their words, which provides the admissions committee with a window into the student’s passion. 

The student also includes specific details about a course and a professor that they look forward to learning from and concludes their essay with a mention of how their background aligns with Columbia’s school culture in NYC. 

Sample Essay #3

Watching Spider-Man fighting bad guys in New York made me want to do the same. I can be a superhero through my work as an architect by designing spaces that improve communities and the well-being of others. Opportunities to research the connection between systemic issues and architecture compels me to Columbia.

I am drawn to Professor Galán's lecture "Architecture and Migration in New York" with his focus on politics, nationalism, and colonialism corresponding to architecture. Growing up with grandparents who lived through British occupation, I developed an appreciation for how design affects relationships and communities. 

In particular, I was most proud of my resilient grandparents who fought to keep their traditional [ETHNICITY] homes against colonialism. Realizing architecture has a transformative power and historical significance, I aim to incorporate a thoughtful approach to my design philosophy. I would also join Columbia's Urban Experience to expand my perspectives by learning about the community of New York and experiencing how Columbia creates initiatives for students to improve the surrounding neighborhoods. 

Although I can not climb walls or shoot webs, Columbia offers endless opportunities for me to grow and make a positive impact - like everyone's friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!

boy in spiderman costume in front of chalkboard

Why this “Why Columbia” essay worked : This essay effectively utilizes the classic “full-circle” structure, both beginning and ending with a reference to Spider-Man, which works as a great hook. The author then jumps right into discussing many of Columbia’s offerings that intrigue and excite them. This student has done their research! 

The student also weaves details about their own passions, interests, and personal background throughout the essay. This helps the admissions committee get to know the student on a more personal level and makes this essay more memorable. 

“Why Columbia” Essay FAQs

If you still have questions about how to navigate the “Why Columbia University” essay, read on to learn more!

1. When Should I Start Writing the “Why Columbia” Essay?

Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to write a worthy essay. Start as soon as possible. Do your research and gather your thoughts. Making an outline before you begin writing can help you figure out what you want to say in a cohesive way.

2. What Is the Columbia Essay Word Limit?

The admissions team wants you to write your answer in 200 words or less. As you can see from the essay example, this doesn’t provide much wiggle room. Keep your writing as concise as possible. 

3. How Personal Should My Essay Be?

This is your chance to show the admissions team who you are, what matters to you, and how Columbia fits in. Be direct, but don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. You’re competing with thousands of students, so you want to stand out from the rest. Let the admissions team see your passion through your essay.

4. How Many Essays Do You Have to Write for Columbia? 

You must respond to three list questions and write three supplemental essays to apply to Columbia University. 

5. How Do I Write a Good “Why Columbia” Essay? 

A good Columbia admissions essay answers these questions: why are you interested in attending Columbia University? What makes Columbia stand apart from other schools? How do you hope to contribute to the campus? Remember to reference particular details about the school. 

6. Can I Write This Essay If I Haven’t Chosen a Major?

It’s always best to know what major you want to pursue before applying to college, but Columbia offers so many interesting degrees that it can be difficult to pick just one. If you’re unsure of your major, you can always talk about your goals and how Columbia can help you achieve them. 

If you’re stuck between two majors, talk about why you’re interested in the two and see if there’s a way you can combine them. Talk about professors or clubs you’re interested in. Discuss what you can do for Columbia as well. 

7. How Do I Know When My Columbia Essay Is Done?

The best way to determine if your essay is ready for submission is to allow other people to read it first, such as an admissions consultant. It is always best to have a second pair of eyes to look over the essay. There’s always a chance that you could have missed something crucial.

Nail the “Why Columbia” Essay, Unlock Your Future

The “Why Columbia” essay stands as a determining factor for aspiring students. It helps the admissions team to get to know you and see how you’ll fit in at Columbia. 

Determining why you chose this school can be difficult, but we hope this guide makes the writing process a little easier. Don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm. Columbia wants to accept students who truly care about their education and who want to make a difference in the world as well as within Columbia itself. 

Remember to talk about what Columbia can do for you and what you can do to contribute. Incorporate your passions and goals into your response for a stellar essay! 

Access 190+ sample college essays here

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How to Nail Columbia's Supplemental Essays, Including "Why Columbia" and Those Lists

We walk you through how to write the columbia-specific essay questions for 2020-2021..

Columbia doesn’t just want extra essays for you. They also want lists. Lists!

If you feel it’s a bit much, we validate those feelings.

But, we’ve also got an approach that is going to walk you through exactly what you need to do to write standout Columbia essays . It’s filled with insights we’ve gained during our long experience at Prompt helping applicants succeed.

One last thought: get feedback. It’s the best tool for creating good writing. Find someone who loves you and knows you well, and ask for some. And if you like the idea of personalized guidance from people who’ve done this thousands of times, get started here .

Columbia-specific application questions 2020-2021

List Questions:

  • [academic reading]: List the titles of the required readings from academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school.
  • [pleasure reading]: List the titles of the books, essays, poetry, short stories or plays you read outside of academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school.
  • [news reading]: List the titles of the print or digital publications, websites, journals, podcasts or other content with which you regularly engage.
  • [fun]: List the movies, albums, shows, museums, lectures, events at your school or other entertainments that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school (in person or online).

List each individual response using commas or semicolons; the items do not have to be numbered or in any specific order. No explanatory text or formatting is needed. [150-word limit]

Short Answer Questions:

  • Columbia students take an active role in improving their community, whether in their residence hall, classes or throughout New York City. Their actions, small or large, work to positively impact the lives of others. Share one contribution that you have made to your family, school, friend group or another community that surrounds you. (200 words or fewer)
  • Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? (200 words or fewer)

5 Columbia University Supplemental Example Essays (2023)

Ryan

If you want to get into Columbia University in 2023, you can make sure you have the best chances of getting accepted by writing powerful essays.

In this article I've gathered 5 of the best college essays that got accepted into Columbia University to help you improve your own essays.

You can see how real students answered Columbia's writing supplement section and Common App personal statement.

What is Columbia University's Acceptance Rate?

This past year 60,377 students applied to Columbia and of those 2,253 were admitted for the Class of 2026.

That gives Columbia an overall admit rate of 3.73% , or in other words about 1 in 25 students are offered admission.

Columbia University Acceptance Scattergram

Admissions into Columbia is clearly highly competitive, but there's an upside:

The more selective a college is, the more your application essays matter.

What are Columbia University Supplemental Prompts for 2023?

This year, Columbia requires applying students to respond to several "list" questions, short answers, and short essay prompts.

Here are the Columbia writing supplement questions for 2023:

Columbia Writing

The questions on this page are being asked by Columbia University Applicants are asked to respond to Columbia-specific questions to tell the Admissions Committee more about their academic, extracurricular and intellectual interests. These questions allow us to better understand your intellectual curiosity, habits of mind, love of learning and sense of self. These questions also allow the Admissions Committee to learn more about you in your current community and why you feel Columbia’s distinctive experiences in and out of the classroom would be a good fit for your undergraduate education.

For the three list questions that follow, there is a 75 or 125 word maximum. Please refer to the below guidance when answering these questions:

  • Your response should be a list of items separated by commas or semicolons.
  • Items do not have to be numbered or in any specific order.
  • It is not necessary to italicize or underline titles of books or other publications.
  • No author names, subtitles or explanatory remarks are needed.

For the three short answer questions, please respond in 200 words or fewer.

For additional guidance, visit our website.

Please note that the third short answer question will not appear until you have selected Columbia College or Columbia Engineering in the "Academics" section of Columbia's application questions.

We’re interested in learning about some of the ways that you explore your interests. List some resources and outlets that you enjoy, including but not limited to websites, publications, journals, podcasts, social media accounts, lectures, museums, movies, music, or other content with which you regularly engage. (125 words or fewer)

A hallmark of the Columbia experience is being able to learn and live in a community with a wide range of perspectives. How do you or would you learn from and contribute to diverse, collaborative communities? (200 words or fewer)

For applicants to Columbia College, please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the areas of study that you previously noted in the application. (200 words or fewer)

For applicants to Columbia Engineering, please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the areas of study that you previously noted in the application. (200 words or fewer)

5 Columbia University EssaysThatWorked

Here are 5 of the best essays that worked for Columbia University.

Below you can read answers to the 2022-23 Columbia writing supplement, as well as past year's prompts. I've also included personal statement essays from admitted Columbia students.

Columbia University Essay Example #1

Columbia university essay example #2, columbia university essay example #3, columbia university essay example #4, columbia university essay example #5.

Prompt: List a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community. (150 words max)

Filled with activity around the clock. A place to come home to.

Trying to get past locked doors (literal and metaphorical).

Offering intellectual freedom and curiosity, without forcing specialization. Accommodating students who are unwilling to wait to make a difference. Willing to look critically at itself.

Socially conscious and politically active.

Never taking its eye off the national or global stage.

Buzzing with so much life it flows beyond the campus into the outside world.

So much life that sometimes it intimidates, that it yearns for more hours in the day. With too many options to choose from, Too much to do in four years.

Filled with clever eyes that see new ideas in the lessons of history.

Diverse of origin, of culture, of opinion, of religion, of personality, Diverse like an international center of thought and ideas and passions. An urban wonderland.

Supporting of extraordinary ambitions.

Prompt: List the titles of the required readings from academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school. (150 words max)

Survival of the Sickest - Sharon Moalem

What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses - Daniel Chamovitz

The blockade of immune checkpoints in cancer immunotherapy - Drew Pardoll

The Physical Universe - Arthur Beiser

Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

Sexual Politics and Religious Reform in the Witch Craze - Joseph Klaits

The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers - Paul Kennedy

The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli

On World Government - Dante Alighieri

Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 - Tony Judt

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Prompt: List the titles of the books, essays, poetry, short stories or plays you read outside of academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school. (150 words max)

A Most Incomprehensible Thing (the mathematics of relativity) - Peter Collie

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind - Hayao Miyazaki

Weapons of Math Destruction - Cathy O’Neil

Algorithms to Live By - Brian Christian

Giant of the Senate - Al Franken

The Sublime Object of Ideology - Slavoj Zizek

The Theoretical Minimum - Leonard Susskind

Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World - Tim Whitmarsh

The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller - Italo Calvino

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Volume 1 - Richard Feynman

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss

Pale Fire - Vladimir Nabokov

Justice by Lottery - Barbara Goodwin

History: A Very Short Introduction - John H. Arnold

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II - John Dower

Prompt: We’re interested in learning about some of the ways that you explore your interests. List some resources and outlets that you enjoy, including but not limited to websites, publications, journals, podcasts, social media accounts, lectures, museums, movies, music, or other content with which you regularly engage. (125 words max)

The Economist

The New York Times

Reddit - /r/programming /r/machinelearning /r/lifeprotips /r/iwanttolearn /r/politics /r/science /r/physics /r/economics Hacker News

The Atlantic

The Washington Post

Paulgraham.com

Waitbutwhy.com

whatif.xkcd.com arXiv.org - arXiv-sanity.com

Scientific American

Flowingdata.com

StackExchange

Prompt: For applicants to Columbia College, please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted in the Member Questions section. If you are currently undecided, please write about any field or fields in which you may have an interest at this time. (300 words max)

Studying computer science gives me the opportunity to be in a field that evolves so quickly I can always be on the forefront and do cutting-edge work. This summer at an ad-tech company, I moved the data science team’s analysis programs to a novel cluster-computing engine (Kubernetes), which can manage and distribute tasks across thousands of computers at once. Kubernetes is so new that barely any information has circulated about it. Because of this novelty, I was able to publish the first existing documentation of a data science pipeline in Kubernetes.

Computer science can also automate the manual drudgery of life. For example: to manage my clubs, I’ve written a program that checks for emails from members with excuses for missing meetings and automatically logs their absences.

Since computers have become the platform for every science, coding allows me to contribute to numerous fields. When I started at Einstein College of Medicine last year, I knew nothing about computational biology. Our project showed me that basic programming was all I needed to find fascinating results in the mostly unstudied mountains of genomic data.

As a person, I’m drawn to seemingly impossible challenges, in particular, the quest to teach machines and create mechanical consciousness. When I started taking online courses in AI, I became fascinated by the gradient descent method in machine learning. The method casts complex input data (e.g. photos) as thousand-dimensional surfaces and attempts to descend to the lowest points (minima) of those surfaces. It works best on data with underlying patterns, like pictures of human faces. This indicates that, in some way, the very nature of what a ‘face’ is, what unique structure is shared by nearly all faces, is found in the minima that AI models descend towards. My dream is to do foundational artificial intelligence research.

If you're trying to get into Columbia, you'll need to stand out from the competition. These 5 Columbia essays that worked showcase successful examples of responses to the Columbia writing supplement for 2022.

What did you think of these Columbia essays?

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Princeton Admitted Essay

People love to ask why. Why do you wear a turban? Why do you have long hair? Why are you playing a guitar with only 3 strings and watching TV at 3 A.M.—where did you get that cat? Why won’t you go back to your country, you terrorist? My answer is... uncomfortable. Many truths of the world are uncomfortable...

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Her baking is not confined to an amalgamation of sugar, butter, and flour. It's an outstretched hand, an open invitation, a makeshift bridge thrown across the divides of age and culture. Thanks to Buni, the reason I bake has evolved. What started as stress relief is now a lifeline to my heritage, a language that allows me to communicate with my family in ways my tongue cannot. By rolling dough for saratele and crushing walnuts for cornulete, my baking speaks more fluently to my Romanian heritage than my broken Romanian ever could....

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A cow gave birth and I watched. Staring from the window of our stopped car, I experienced two beginnings that day: the small bovine life and my future. Both emerged when I was only 10 years old and cruising along the twisting roads of rural Maryland...

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columbia application essay

How to Write the Columbia University Supplemental Essays 2019-2020

columbia application essay

Located in the heart of New York City, Columbia University is one of the world’s leading institutions for research and commitment towards education. With its 265 years of history and ideal location, Columbia has had a major influence in history and continues to be at the forefront of innovation to this day. Offering both a rigorous curriculum as well as ample opportunities to explore one of the largest cities in the world, Columbia attracts thousands of top-performing students from all across the world.

However, with an ever-expanding reputation also comes the increased difficulty of gaining acceptance. For the class of 2023, Columbia admitted only 5.3% of its applicants, making it a highly selective institution. Yet, despite the competition, having a strong set of supplemental essays will be the first step in standing out in the admissions process. Want to know your chances at Columbia? Calculate your chances for free right now.

Want to learn what Columbia University will actually cost you based on your income? And how long your application to the school should take? Here’s what every student considering Columbia University needs to know.

Columbia University Application Essay Prompts

Columbia has four supplemental “essay” questions they want applicants to answer. These essays can be broken down into two groups:

Group 1: The first group of essays are specific to Columbia. Instead of requiring you to write a traditional college “essays,” Columbia instructs you to provide lists, such as what you look for in an ideal college community, what you’ve read over the past year, and more. 

Group 2: These questions will get to the heart of why exactly you want to attend Columbia University, how you have prepared for your intended course of study. 

Luckily, the experts at CollegeVine are here to help you navigate the Columbia essays so that you have the best chance possible for admissions. Keep reading for our suggestions on writing the Columbia essays so that you stand out to adcoms. 

Prompt #1: In 150 words or fewer, please list a few words or phrases that describe your ideal college community.

The first thing you should notice about this prompt is the limited number of words you are given to answer. As such, you should keep your answer sweet and simple. There is no need to open with a flowery but vague introduction, as that will only serve to use up the space that you could actually be using to talk about Columbia. That being said, even lists can be written in a way that allow for some personality.

To answer this question, listing out words and phrases that would encapsulate your ideal community and separating the terms with periods would definitely be a valid method. Content-wise, make sure that as you are compiling this list, you go in-depth into what kind of person you are as well. Even though this essay is not asking about you directly, your personal passions and life experiences shape what kind of college you would like.

For example, stating that you are looking for a top university in an urban setting with opportunities to work with top finance companies is a good start, but that information can be found with any cursory glance at Columbia’s website—as well as dozens of other schools’ websites. To show that you would really fit into Columbia’s community as a contributing member, you might try to say something along the lines of wanting a community that welcomes a history buff who also wants to learn more about the intricate workings of the solar system . The key is to be honest with what would really make you excited to go to a school. After all, you are being asked to list qualities in your ideal school.

Also keep in mind that the word “community” can be as large or as small as you make it. Your professors, friends, and whoever else you come into direct contact with on a daily basis are an obvious choice, but don’t forget about the food vendors just outside the gates of campus, the multi-talented subway performers just a stone’s throw away, or the friendly residents of Morningside Heights.

The possible ways of writing this essay are truly endless, which is what makes this essay really fun as there is the potential to get really creative with the terms that you choose. That being said, the one thing you should be careful of doing is using terms that sounds very good, but are actually very vague in nature and sounds more like it belongs in a campus advertisement. Writing things like a university that values academic debate and challenges the status quo not only applies to most universities, but doesn’t reveal much about who you are either.

Prompt #2: For the four list questions that follow, we ask that you list each individual response using commas or semicolons; the items do not have to be numbered or in any specific order. No narrative or explanatory text is needed. It is not necessary to italicize or underline titles of books or other publications. Author names may be included, but are not required. You do not need to fill the entire space or use the maximum number of words; there is no minimum word count in this section, so please respond to the extent that you feel is appropriate.

At first, you may think that this prompt is a trap and that Columbia is expecting you to include specific works. However, we assure you that that is not the case. Honesty should be a general policy for all of your essays, but with this type of question that is even more the case. Remember that you are not just sending in your supplemental essays. The college sees what classes you are taking, as well as the kinds of extracurriculars you are involved in. As a result, the admissions counselor already has some sort of idea of what kind of interests you have, so being as truthful as possible in your list will only serve to strengthen your whole application.

That being said, make sure that the books and publications you do list are reflective of a high school level of reading, and if you want to throw in a few series for nostalgia, have a good balance between the more unique titles and your other titles. As an institution which highly values interdisciplinary studies and the idea of a universal foundation of knowledge, don’t be afraid to list books that span a wide variety of fields. That will only show that you are intellectually curious and would enjoy the Core Curriculum that all Columbia students go through.

Part 1: The titles of the required readings from courses during the school year or summer that you enjoyed most in the past year

This question is pretty straightforward, as should be your answer. Just think back to all the English classes you have taken and choose some of the titles that you genuinely enjoyed working through. If you are an international student, feel free to include titles that are not commonly found in an American high school curriculum. This may include readings that are in another language, but as long as you give the translated title, it will still be a good choice. We recommend a minimum of three books and a maximum of around ten.

Part 2: The titles of books read for pleasure that you enjoyed most in the past year

This list will be a bit broader as you can showcase the kinds of books that you read outside of an academic setting. That means including titles in both the fiction and non-fiction categories. For example, you may include Fun Home by Alison Bechdel—an autobiography of the author as she discovers who she is and explores her relationship with her father in the process—or Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami—a story about the circumstances surrounding one girl’s disappearance.

Whatever you list, the titles should not be ones that you have read in school, unless it’s a book that you have read before it was taught in a class you were in. Additionally, try to stick with things you have read in the past year as it will reflect your most updated level of reading. Like the previous part, including anywhere between three to ten books is a good amount.

Note on formatting: If you read these titles in a language other than English, feel free to make a small note in parentheses after each title noting this, for example, Les Misérables (read in French).

Part 3: The titles of print or electronic publications you read regularly

Since most publications are available both in print and online, there is no great need to try and find examples for both of these requirements. Publications spanning across all fields can be included, and some example of publications include (but aren’t limited to): The New York Times, Nature, The Economist, Time Magazine, National Geographic, etc. A list of three to ten schools should be sufficient.

Something to be aware of is that there are a lot of “news” outlets floating around that don’t necessarily follow strict journalism integrity. A prominent example of a site like this which has recently come under fire is InfoWars by Alex Jones. If that is an outlet that you really do follow regularly, then it is up to your discretion as to whether or not you should include it. That being said, as a controversial site, you may want to elaborate with a sentence or two your reasoning for following the site. As an example, you may say that it is a source you read often so that you can see how much of an influence popular media sites can have on the everyday viewer.

Part 4: The titles of the films, concerts, shows, exhibits, lectures and other entertainments you enjoyed most in the past year

This category is in some ways the most casual, as it is the most general category. Really all that it is asking is that you list other forms of media that you spend your time on that are not reading related. Feel free to include whatever you are currently following, and aside from the entertainment options listed in the prompt, you can also consider including video games. As always, try to keep your list between three to ten titles.

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columbia application essay

Our chancing engine factors in extracurricular activities, demographic, and other holistic details.

Our chancing engine factors in extracurricular activities, demographic, and other holistic details. We’ll let you know what your chances are at your dream schools — and how to improve your chances!

Prompt #3: Please tell us what you value most about Columbia and why. (300 words or fewer)

This essay can really be thought of as a more detailed version of the first prompt. Now, instead of creating your “ideal” campus, you want to explain why Columbia is that ideal. The admissions team wants to know why Columbia in particular attracts you out of all the other fantastic institutions in the country, so doing your research is key.

Try to avoid looking at the admissions page for your information, as the admissions page is designed to give you a brief overview of the programs of study and other offerings but not deep information. Instead, take your time and really go through each of the pages on the main university website. Try to find things that genuinely make you excited about the school, as that excitement will carry over into your writing if it is genuine.

Please note that the prompt is asking what you value most about Columbia, so base your answer around your own interests. What the admissions team or another student values about the university could be completely different from your own reasons.

In general, mentions about Columbia’s location, its famed Core curriculum, and spirit of activism are very commonly mentioned . This is not to say that you can’t include one or all of those points in your essay (if those things really matter to you), but it may not be the best idea to center your essay on any one of those three topics.

A good idea would be to start from either an academic interest of yours or an extracurricular interest and then try to see if Columbia has programs that would satisfy your passions. From there, expand your search to include things like what sports and clubs you may want to try out as well as what you hope to gain from the city environment.

Be as specific as you can, and wherever possible, try to make connections between Columbia programs and your own interests instead of just praising the institution. For example, if journalism and social justice is something you are really passionate about, then you may want to focus on the recent work done by Columbia’s School of Journalism in reporting on the issue of deportation in the US.

Program Specific Essays

For columbia college applicants:, if you are applying to columbia college, tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted in the member questions section. if you are currently undecided, please write about any field or fields in which you may have an interest at this time..

In this question, the committee is interested in knowing what fascinates you and what steps you have taken to learn more about that specific field. This is a question designed to really gauge your intellectual curiosity, and to see if you will be a student who will take advantage of the stellar academic programs the college offers.

If you have a specific major in mind when answering this question, be prepared to answer the following questions:

1)    Why do you want to study this subject?

2)    Why are you qualified to study this subject?

3)    What would you potentially want to use this major for?

Your essay should answer all three questions in some capacity — be as specific as you can. While having general interests is fine, in this essay you really want to show that you are serious about the field that you have indicated and that you understand at least some of the intricacies that go into that major.

If you are currently undecided, don’t fret! Even most college students are still exploring their options and don’t know exactly which major they should choose. In this case, you should still list some general interests you have, and instead of focusing on describing why you are qualified to study said subjects or what you want to do with it later, focus more on the fact that you are intellectually curious and show what you have done to further that specific academic interest.

For the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science Applicants:

If you are applying to the fu foundation school of engineering and applied science, please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted in the member questions section..

In many ways, this prompt is very similar to the prompt in Part 1. The only difference is that since you are applying specifically to an engineering school, your academic interests should fall within the STEM fields, and more specifically within an area of engineering.

Still, the same three questions apply:

1)    Why do you want to study this field of engineering?

2)    Why are you qualified to be in this field?

3)    What would you potentially want to use your training for?

Try to highlight more of your problem-solving skills, and draw connections to how certain instances in your life make you a better engineer. As always, try to inject a personal narrative to your essay. For example, if you are really intrigued by computers, you may share a story of how you took apart an old desktop to see how the pieces fit together or maybe how your interest in coding took flight after you decided to create your own website.

For Sciences Po Dual BA Applicants:

“describe how your experiences or ideas have shaped your decision to pursue the dual ba program. why is an international academic experience and a two-year focus on the social sciences important to you as you consider the ways in which it may influence your future (750-1000 words) successful essays should not only identify and describe specific elements of the dual ba program that meet your needs as a student, but should also explain why the region of focus that you have chosen for your time at sciences po is compatible with your aspirations, academic or otherwise.”.

Unlike all the other Columbia supplements up to this point, this essay has the greatest word count. The increased space also means the possibility to go more in depth into the reasons applying to such a specific program. Let’s break down this prompt into its individual questions:

1)    Why do you want an international academic experience?

2)    Why is a two-year focus on the social sciences important to you and the kind of future you want?

To answer the first question, try to avoid general statements about how experiencing different cultures can make you a worldlier person or that it allows you to start traveling at a young age. You need to be specific about what an education internationally can offer you that you wouldn’t be able to find at just Columbia.

While we usually recommend that people stay away from name dropping professors in most essays, this program is specific enough where mentioning the work of the professors at the partner school would be a good way to explain your interest. One thing you may want to mention is how living in the country that you are learning about offers a more robust experience. You will probably have greater and easier access to a lot of first-hand source material, added with the bonus of interacting with the greatest academics in your field of choice.

Beyond that, talk about the kinds of hands-on work opportunities you will have in a foreign country. Just be sure to explain in detail how the work experience fits into your goal for a future career.

As for the second question, once again you can answer in the same way you would respond to a “Why Major” essay. While it may be daunting to tackle the entire question at once, break it further into three smaller prompts:

1)    Why do you want to study social sciences?

2)    Why are you qualified to study this field?

Start by brainstorming a list of answers that immediately come to mind when reading these questions. Then, see if there is a common thread that connects what you have written down. While you are answering the last prompt, it is also a good idea to include mentions of how the Sciences Po curriculum and other offerings will aid you in your endeavors.

As a mathematician in ancient Greece, Euclid made a famous statement to King Ptolemy, “there is no royal road to geometry”. Given your success, can you describe a failure, either personal or academic, that you have experienced (where you “lacked a royal road” to be followed), and what you have learned from this experience? (500-750 words)

This prompt already starts by giving you two possible paths—a personal or academic failure—to follow. The broadness of these two options gives you a lot of freedom in choosing the topic of your essay, so anything that you can justify as a “problem” will be a valid topic to write about.

Regardless of whether you end up choosing an intellectual research challenge or a personal ethical dilemma, make sure that you are choosing a problem that genuinely concerns you and is also one that you have really thought through. To answer this prompt fully you will not only need to walk the reader through the way that you solved the issue, but also why it matters in the first place. You can do this by either recalling how your interest in the subject at hand originated (if you are describing a research question, for example) or why the potential consequences are bad (if you are writing on an ethical dilemma).

One thing to keep in mind if you are writing on a more academic-focused issue is that you stay away from jargon that would slow down the pace of the essay and cause more confusion for the readers. Try to simplify the academic issue down to the level where any reader will be able to understand, since the problem itself is not the main focus of the essay. More so, you are describing how you found an answer to some obstacle.

It’s always safer to spend more time describing the process of how you came to solve the problem, and the specific steps you took. Each step of the way, try also to highlight your thought process and show your process for working through similar issues that may come up in the future.

For Trinity College Dublin Dual BA Applicants:

Describe how your experiences or ideas have shaped your decision to pursue the dual ba program. why is an international academic experience important to you as you consider the ways in which it may influence your future successful essays should not only identify and describe specific elements of the dual ba program that meet your needs as a student, but should also explain why the academic course you have chosen for your time at trinity college dublin is compatible with your aspirations, academic or otherwise. (750-1000 words).

Unlike all the other Columbia supplements up to this point, this essay has the greatest word count. With the increased space also means the possibility to go more in depth into the reasons applying to such a specific program.

To answer the question of how an international academic experience can enhance your education, try to avoid general statements about how experiencing different cultures can make you a worldlier person or that it allows you to start travelling at a young age.

You need to be specific about what an education internationally can offer you that you wouldn’t be able to find at just Columbia. While we usually recommend that people stay away from name dropping professors in other essays, this program is specific enough where mentioning the work of the professors at Trinity College would be a good way to explain your interest.

One thing you may want to mention is how living in Ireland can offer you a more robust experience. You will probably have greater and easier access to a lot of first-hand source material, added with the bonus of interacting with the greatest academics in your field of choice.

Beyond that, talk about the kinds of hands-on work opportunities you will have in Ireland, possibly mentioning how the proximity of the European countries will offer you greater opportunities to find internships in your chosen field. Just be sure to explain in detail how the work experience fits into your goal for a future career.

Additionally, you should take this essay to be another iteration of the “Why Major” essay. To sufficiently explain why you are interested in studying the majors offered in this program, be sure to answer the following three questions:

4)    Why do you want to study this major?

5)    Why are you qualified to study this field?

6)    What would you potentially want to use your training for?

Start by brainstorming a list of answers that immediately come to mind when reading these questions. Then, see if there is a common thread that connects what you have written down. While you are answering the last prompt, it is also a good idea to include mentions of how the Trinity College curriculum and other offerings will aid you in your endeavors.

Similar to the advice given in part 4, the essay you write for this prompt should explore a problem that genuinely concerns you and is also one that you have really thought through. To answer this prompt fully you will not only need to walk the reader through the way that you solved the issue, but also why it matters in the first place. You can do this by either recalling how your interest in the subject at hand originated (if you are describing a research question, for example) or why the potential consequences are bad (if you are writing on an ethical dilemma).

Since the focus of this program is based heavily around English and European history, you may want to consider discussing an obstacle that relates to either of these two fields. Give yourself ample space to discuss what the issue is, or in other words, setting up the background. Then, aside from explaining how you tackled the issue, it’s also important to discuss the implications of your problem in a larger context, whether that’s your local community, country, or even the whole world.

For School of General Studies Applicants:

Tell us about your educational history, work experience, present situation, and plans for the future. please make sure to address why you consider yourself a nontraditional student and have chosen to pursue your education at the school of general studies of columbia university. successful essays should not only identify and describe specific elements of the program, academic or otherwise, that meet your needs as a nontraditional student, but should also explain why gs is the place for you. (1000-2000 words).

As a nontraditional student, a very valuable part of your application is simply your experience! Returning to school is a very big decision and you probably wouldn’t be applying in the first place unless you have already thought long and hard about the benefits that doing so would provide. Therefore, this essay is simply a place for you to put those thoughts on paper.

Though the prompt asks a series of questions, you should still try to weave the answers to each of those questions into a larger narrative that shows the admissions committee more about who you are as a person. Since this essay allows up to 2000 words, one way you can break down the components would be to spend the first 1000 words discussing your background and answering the questions of:

1)    Why do you consider yourself a nontraditional student?

2)    What is your educational history?

3)    What is your work experience?

4)    What is your present situation?

The next 500 words or so should be spend answering questions that are more specific to your future goals and what kind of support you would need from an institution that would help you get there. Then, use the remaining space to tie in that list of support to programs and resources that Columbia offers. This way, not only have you provided a good background on who you are as a person, but you’ve also explained what you are looking for in a college and why Columbia fits that ideal.

In Conclusion…

It’s true that Columbia requires quite a few supplements, and that can definitely be overwhelming. However, more supplements also means that you have more chances to show Columbia how amazing you are and all the unique things that would make you a great addition to their campus.

We hope that this guide has been helpful to get you started on your writing, but don’t be afraid to look for essays of applicants who have successfully been admitted to Columbia either. While you can’t and shouldn’t use their ideas directly, it will show you the kinds of profiles that really speak to the admissions officers. Best of luck from the CollegeVine team!

Want help with your college essays to improve your admissions chances? Sign up for your free CollegeVine account and get access to our essay guides and courses. You can also get your essay peer-reviewed and improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.

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columbia application essay

Columbia Business School Essay Questions And Strategic Guidance, 2023-2024

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columbia application essay

Columbia Business School (CBS) asks three essay questions as part of its application process. Through your essay responses, the school hopes to better understand your experiences and career goals, as well as your rationale for wanting to pursue your MBA at CBS specifically. We at Gatehouse appreciate the program’s range of essay topics because it allows applicants to communicate a broad picture of their candidacy.

Essay 1: Through your resume and recommendation, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next three to five years and what is your long-term dream job? (500 words)

  • Columbia has been asking this question for several years now. We appreciate this because it has allowed us to see a number of success stories, which have shown us what makes a good essay response. Even better, we also know where applicants are likely to stumble. Our first piece of advice is to answer the entire question. CBS is asking for two distinct things: your career goals over the next three to five years and your long-term dream job. Too often, candidates combine these two parts into one when crafting their essay. Instead, follow the prompt and answer each one distinctly!
  • With respect to your goals, focus on what you will be doing (role, industry, and/or function), as well as the kind of impact you want to have—the problems you want to solve, the products you want to create, the team you want to build. This is especially important when you are describing your “dream job.” Your dream job likely inspires you, and the admissions committee wants to know why. Also, make sure that your short-term goals flow logically into your dream job. They should ideally prepare and position you to achieve that dream job.
  • The essay prompt does not explicitly ask how your goals relate to where you are now, but that does not mean you cannot address the connection. Although the admissions committee is all but telling you not to rehash your resume here (which would make for a poor MBA application essay for most schools, anyway), you can certainly include some references to past accomplishments or experiences if doing so provides context that is relevant to understanding your goals or assessing your likelihood of reaching them.
  • This essay is a kind of goal statement essay. The core components of a goal statement essay are (1) a vision of the future, (2) an explanation of how that vision relates to where you are today, and (3) the reasons you need to attend business school to make that vision a reality.  You will also address (3) in CBS’ Essay 3, but you can still make a clear case for needing business school in this essay response as well.

Essay 2: The Phillips Pathway for Inclusive Leadership (PPIL) is a co-curricular program designed to ensure that every CBS student develops the skills to become an ethical and inclusive leader. Through PPIL, students attend programming focused on five essential diversity, equity, and inclusion skills: Creating an Inclusive Environment, Mitigating Bias and Prejudice, Managing Intercultural Dialogue, Addressing Systemic Inequity, and Understanding Identity and Perspective Taking.

Tell us about a time when you were challenged around one of these five skills. describe the situation, the actions you took, and the outcome. (250 words).

  • We at Gatehouse are excited to see this question in CBS’s application. Not only does the prompt give applicants a sense of how CBS is adjusting its MBA experience to meet the leadership needs of the moment, but it also offers candidates the chance to share a specific experience. When executed well, doing so can reveal much about your motivations, unique candidacy, and ability to observe, learn, and grow.
  • While you can choose which of the five highlighted skills you want to focus on, Columbia is clear about what it wants you to share: the situation, actions, and results—or, SAR. We encourage you use the fuller STARR—Situation, Task, Actions, Results, and Reflection—approach in crafting your response. Each of these elements is important in storytelling. The Situation helps your reader “see” your world. The Task conveys the challenge or goal at hand. The Actions, as well as your thought processes behind them, illustrate who you are as a doer. The Results are perhaps obvious (the “so what” of the story!), but we at Gatehouse also encourage you to Reflect. How did this experience affect and shape  you ? Why was it meaningful to  you ?
  • Applicants often assume that because they are applying to business school, they should recount only positive stories—stories in which they are the hero or did everything right. You can absolutely choose such a story (as long as you can still explain how the situation affected and shaped you). However, you could instead focus on an experience that did not end positively or one in which you were not at your best. If you choose to highlight this sort of experience, really lean into that last “R”—the Reflection—and be sure to think about and discuss how you have developed since that experience. Columbia is not expecting perfection; on the contrary, the school’s MBA program exists expressly because CBS believes you are capable of more growth and change ahead.

Essay 3: We believe Columbia Business School is a special place. CBS proudly fosters a collaborative learning environment through curricular experiences like our  clusters and learning teams , co-curricular initiatives like the  Phillips Pathway for Inclusive Leadership , which aims to equip students with the skills and strategies necessary to lead in an inclusive and ethical manner, and career mentorship opportunities like our  Executives-in-Residence program .

Why do you feel columbia business school is a good fit for you academically, culturally, and professionally (250 words).

  • A well-executed essay response to this prompt will present clear connections between you and the aspects of the business school that you find compelling. Make a case for why you need an MBA (i.e., the experiences, skills, knowledge, and/or connections you are lacking), and then prove to the admissions committee that you know how CBS specifically can fulfill those needs. Note the resources and offerings (whether well-known or somewhat obscure; they do not have to be arcane!) that resonate with you and will help you advance toward your career goals. You can also mention the clubs and activities you hope to participate in and why they are so important to you.
  • We strongly caution you to avoid empty pandering! Simply describing CBS in glowing terms and praising its resources does nothing to enhance your candidacy. By telling the admissions officers what they already know about the school they represent rather than what they want to know about you, you run the risk of losing their attention—and worse, their support.

Also, note that CBS asks the following important short-answer question that you should develop in tandem with your essays:

What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:

“Work in business development for a media company.”

“Join a strategy consulting firm.”

“Launch a data-management start-up.”

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.

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Early Decision for Fall 2024 Update

We are nearing the end of our application review and will soon notify Early Decision candidates of our decisions.

The Columbia community is committed to environmental responsibility; in keeping with this commitment, we will provide some admissions decisions only online, not via regular mail. We plan to  post all decisions online   on Thursday, December 14, 2023, after 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

If you have previously created an account to track the status of your application, please use the same credentials you created at that time. If you have not yet created an account or if you have any difficulty logging in, follow the instructions to reset your password .  This step should be completed as soon as possible to avoid a delay in receiving your admissions decision.

If you have questions, please contact Undergraduate Admissions at  [email protected]  or (212) 854-2522. 

Opinion | Teaching and Learning

Writing a college essay that stands out, with heightened pressure around the college essay, students need more experience and confidence in narrative writing., by janelle milanes     dec 8, 2023.

Writing a College Essay That Stands Out

As the college essay program manager for Write the World, a nonprofit writing organization for teens, I oversee a group of advisers who guide students through the essay writing process. I have seen firsthand the anxiety that students experience when it comes to writing their college essays.

Many of the students we serve say they lack confidence in writing their college essay, sharing that they feel uneasy and unprepared. We commonly hear from students that they have much more experience with academic writing.

This increased anxiety and lack of confidence is understandable. The college essay is more important than ever, with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on affirmative action and the move toward test-optional and test-blind admissions . The essay is, after all, a student's primary opportunity to connect with admissions officers on a personal level and highlight their unique identity, values and voice. Unfortunately, too many students feel unprepared to tackle this task.

We regularly poll our students and one question we ask is for them to identify what feels most daunting about the college essay writing process. The top factors that have surfaced are pressure to write an excellent essay, difficulty explaining themselves and an unfamiliarity with narrative writing.

Our students also reported feeling immense pressure to craft an essay that stands out. That’s understandable — the growing competitiveness of college admissions has heightened the expectations for these essays.

Many students now perceive the college essay as a key opportunity to convey their racial identity, which is not surprising given that after the court ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts said , “Nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration or otherwise.” The reliance on narrative writing to convey the complexity of a student’s identity adds even more weight to the essay's importance in the application process.

In response, some colleges have adapted by incorporating supplemental questions designed to allow students to share more about themselves and their lived experiences in essay form. Duke University, for example, added an additional supplemental essay prompt that reads, “We believe a wide range of personal perspectives, beliefs, and lived experiences are essential to making Duke a vibrant and meaningful living and learning community,” and invites students to share more in this context. Johns Hopkins University updated its supplemental essay prompt to more explicitly invite students to discuss elements of their identity. The prompt asks applicants to, “Tell us about an aspect of your identity (e.g. race, gender, sexuality, religion, community, etc.) or a life experience that has shaped you as an individual.” The prompt is followed by a note with additional context on the shift.

columbia application essay

Similar to the personal statement, these supplemental essay questions require students to write about themselves in an authentic, meaningful way. Personal narrative writing has become the main vehicle that sets students apart in the college admissions process. Yet many students, even those who perform well in high school English classes and those who enjoy writing, struggle to express themselves effectively through personal essays. They are unclear on the distinction between academic writing and the personal narrative style required for college essays.

The challenge lies in the fact that while the college essay is essentially a personal narrative, this is a genre in which students receive little experience in traditional high school curricula. Most of the writing taught in high schools focuses on analytical or evidence-based writing, but creative writing, in particular the personal narrative genre, underpins the college essay.

Some teachers also lack the confidence and experience as writers to adequately teach their students elements of the craft. A 2016 study of nearly 500 teachers across the country found that less than half had taken a college class focused on teaching writing, while fewer than a third had received training on specifically teaching children how to write. This lack of education among teachers has contributed to a gap in students’ writing proficiency and their ability to convey their life experiences in written form.

The dismal student-to-counselor ratio in American high schools is another challenge. Counselors can be instrumental in guiding students through brainstorming topics, honing their writing abilities and refining their essays. They also play a crucial role in delivering in-depth, constructive feedback to students on their college essays. Yet, while the American School Counselor Association recommends a student-to-counselor ratio of no more than 250-to-1, the national average in public schools is 415-to-1 , almost double the recommended rate.

So, how can schools help students overcome these challenges? First, schools should invest in professional development and training opportunities for teachers to enhance their own writing skills and deepen their understanding of how to effectively teach writing to students. Additionally, weaving more creative and narrative writing opportunities into the curriculum from a young age and nurturing this practice throughout high school can help students develop the skills and confidence they need to express themselves in written form. Students should learn the basics of narrative writing, including how to develop an essay theme, demonstrate growth and self-reflection, and use storytelling elements such as sensory description and dialogue.

With a foundation of personal narrative writing in place, increasing access to counselors or advisers who can provide students with individualized guidance on the college essay writing process is key.

It is important to note that these solutions require significant investments. Many schools lack the resources and budget to implement these changes. In the absence of systemic change, students, particularly those in schools that lack a robust writing curriculum or access to counselors, will continue to face barriers to writing a strong college essay. Students without the means to pay for private college essay tutors or workshops are left to learn the basics of narrative writing on their own, and often too late.

Investing in our students' creative writing education is essential for their lifelong success. Creative writing helps students develop the skills and confidence they need to write effectively, not only in the college admissions essay, but also in all aspects of their academic and professional careers. Beyond that, creative writing fosters critical thinking skills , helps students generate diverse ideas , and improves mental health . By addressing this gap in schools, we can empower students to excel in this vital aspect of their college applications and beyond.

Janelle Milanes is an educator, writer and is the college essay program manager for Write the World, a nonprofit writing organization for teens.

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columbia application essay

How to Apply Understanding the Process First-Year Applicants Transfer Applicants Combined Plan Applicants Visiting Students International Applicants Affordability & Aid Cost & Aid Cost Calculator Applying for Aid Academics Columbia College Columbia Engineering Outside the Classroom Visit Virtual Experiences Campus Visits Contact Us

Columbia University Application Essay Prompts Short Answer List Prompt for All Applicants For the list question that follows, there is a 100-word maximum. Please refer to the below guidance when answering this question: - Your response should be a list of items separated by commas or semicolons.

One of the essays you'll have to write when applying to Columbia University is the "Why Columbia" essay. In this essay, you'll need to convince the admissions committee that Columbia is your dream school and that you'd be a great fit on the campus. The "Why Columbia" essay question can be intimidating for students.

The admissions process at Columbia is a one, which means that all parts of the application help inform our evaluation. Columbia is test-optional and does not have a "cut-off" GPA or test score for admission, and academics are considered alongside the full application. We read your personal statement to try to understand your perspective and how ...

How to Apply Understanding the Process First-Year Applicants Transfer Applicants Combined Plan Applicants Visiting Students International Applicants Affordability & Aid Cost & Aid Cost Calculator Applying for Aid Academics Columbia College Columbia Engineering Outside the Classroom Visit Virtual Experiences Campus Visits Contact Us News & Updates

The Columbia application essay is a critical component of your application, and understanding the evaluation criteria can help you craft a more effective essay. Here are some key factors that the admissions committee considers: Content. The content of your essay should be meaningful and relevant. It should provide insights into your personality ...

The supplemental materials section of the Columbia application for admission consists of two sections: four Columbia-specific essay questions and two list answer questions. The Columbia essay prompts offer you plenty of opportunities to show off your qualifications as an applicant and wow the admissions committee.

Part 1: Introduction Part 2: Columbia University admissions requirements Part 3: Applying to Columbia early decision vs. regular decision Part 4: 2023-2024 Columbia supplemental essays (examples included) ---- Part 1: Introduction

Columbia University 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations The Requirements: 1 lists of 100 words; 4 essays of 150 words each Supplemental Essay Type (s): Community, Why, Short Answer List questions For the list question that follows, there is a 100 word maximum. Please refer to the below guidance when answering this question:

To start, each of these Columbia essays that worked have flawless spelling and syntax. So, like these examples of Columbia supplemental essays, your essay should have perfect spelling and grammar. Moreover, in the Columbia essays examples above, students demonstrated a proficient use of language. Spelling, grammar, and syntax errors can be ...

Looking at Columbia supplemental essay examples can be helpful for students who are preparing their college applications for Columbia, any of the Ivy League Schools, or other highly selective institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Essay Example 1 - Mechanical Engineering Prompt: Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? We encourage you to consider the aspect (s) that you find unique and compelling about Columbia. (200 words)

For more help with your Columbia University essay supplements, check out our 2020-2021 Columbia University Essay Guide! For more guidance on personal essays and the college application process in general, sign up for a monthly plan to work with an admissions coach 1-on-1.

What are the Columbia University supplemental essay prompts? How to write each supplemental essay prompt for Columbia Prompt #1: "Intellectual development" essay Prompt #2: Short answer questions Prompt #3: Short answer questions Prompt #4: "Why us?" essay Prompt #5: Columbia College: "Why major?" essay Prompt #5: Columbia Engineering: "Why major?"

Tip #1: Determine Your Why. Ruminate on why you want to apply to Columbia. It could be a specific major, a professor you're interested in learning from, or extracurriculars that the school has to offer. You want to articulate what Columbia means to you so the admissions team understands why it's your top pick.

The 2020-2021 Columbia-specific application questions, with tips for how to write them. ... We walk you through how to write the Columbia-specific essay questions for 2020-2021. Columbia doesn't just want extra essays for you. They also want lists. Lists! If you feel it's a bit much, we validate those feelings.

by Ryan Chiang - Updated Nov. 29, 2022 If you want to get into Columbia University in 2023, you can make sure you have the best chances of getting accepted by writing powerful essays. In this article I've gathered 5 of the best college essays that got accepted into Columbia University to help you improve your own essays.

Columbia University Application Essay Prompts. Columbia has four supplemental "essay" questions they want applicants to answer. These essays can be broken down into two groups: Group 1: The first group of essays are specific to Columbia. Instead of requiring you to write a traditional college "essays," Columbia instructs you to provide ...

Columbia Business School Essay Questions And Strategic Guidance, 2023-2024. Columbia Business School (CBS) asks three essay questions as part of its application process. Through your essay responses, the school hopes to better understand your experiences and career goals, as well as your rationale for wanting to pursue your MBA at CBS ...

212 Hamilton Hall Mail Code 2807 1130 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10027. 212-854-2522. [email protected]

A grad school essay, otherwise known as a statement of purpose, is a required part of the grad school admissions process that tells school officials who you are, what your academic and ...

The prompt asks applicants to, "Tell us about an aspect of your identity (e.g. race, gender, sexuality, religion, community, etc.) or a life experience that has shaped you as an individual.". The prompt is followed by a note with additional context on the shift. Class of 2028 supplemental essay prompt. Source: Johns Hopkins University.

Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science received 6,009 early decision applicants for the class of 2028, according to Columbia Undergraduate Admissions. The pool marks the third largest early decision applicant pool in Columbia's history and an almost 5 percent increase from last year's 5,738 early decision ...

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