Visiting Scholar Requirements

Application Requirements: Visiting Scholar, Officer of Research, and Staff Officer of Research

To apply, interested scholars should compile the following items and e-mail them to [email protected] no fewer than three months before the anticipated start date:

  • Invitation from a Columbia Business School faculty member with expertise in your area of research. In order to be considered for Visiting Scholar, Officer of Research or Staff Officer of Research status, applicants must receive an invitation from a Columbia Business School faculty member willing to serve as the applicant's faculty sponsor while they are on campus. This is an academic advisory role and not a financial one. It is the responsibility of the applicant to locate a faculty sponsor.
  • Cover letter stating the purpose of research and desired dates of stay (not to exceed one year) in the United States. The statement of research should clearly indicate how research at Columbia Business School is critical to the outcome of the applicant's proposal.
  • Curriculum vitae

Visa Sponsorship

International scholars should obtain a J visa for the Visiting Scholar Program, as the purpose of the visit needs to match the visa status. Tourist visas are not accepted for one visiting for research purposes.

Federal regulations require that the applicant for J-1 status meets the health insurance requirements of the Exchange Visitor Program while in the United States and that the applicant has sufficient funds for the period of stay at Columbia. The current minimum funding requirement is $2800 per month. More detailed information can be found in the Scholars' FAQ.
If applying for a J-1 visa, the scholar must submit additional documentation required for the university to issue the DS-2019 form to support the J-1 application.  The Chazen Institute will provide the applicant with information about these required materials. Scholars are responsible for covering a university-mandated $500 fee to the ISSO, which is charged when the university prepares the scholar’s DS-2019 form, creates the designation, and prepares the email account for the scholar. This fee does not include visa fees charged by the US government.


In addition to visa fees and living expenses in New York, there is a mandatory monthly scholar fee, which covers the scholar's university ID card, email account, WiFi access, and additional administrative costs.

The fee structure for visiting scholars is as follows:

  • Visiting Doctoral Student: $100 per month
  • Visiting Professor: $225 per month
  • Practitioner or Corporate-Sponsored Scholar: $450 per month

This fee must be paid in full upon the scholar's arrival to campus. Please note that the monthly fee cannot be prorated. Payments can be made in the form of cash, check, or credit card.  We cannot accept debit cards or bank cards.  Please be prepated to provide an account address for the credit card you will be paying with.

Office Space

Due to the tight constraint on office space, no office space is provided to scholars. Scholars often work out of the university libraries. In exceptional cases, the sponsoring faculty member may arrange a temporary office space on his/her own.


Scholars are not eligible to receive university housing, as the housing resources allocated to the Business School are limited, and there is often an insufficient supply for full-time students. The Chazen Institute can provide some general resources for finding accommodations in the New York area, but visiting scholars are responsible for securing their own housing.

Language Proficiency

Scholars must demonstrate high English language speaking and writing proficiency in order for their application to be accepted. Those seeking the J-1 visa will need to provide sufficient proof of English language skills.

Auditing Courses

Visiting Scholars, Officers of Research or Staff Officers of Research may audit up to two classes per semester, provided they have expressed written permission from the instructor of the desired course. Scholars are not permitted to audit oversold courses (courses that are fully enrolled by full-time Columbia Business School students.) Scholars may also not audit courses listed in the Value Investing Program. Scholars are expected to notify the Chazen Institute of all courses being audited. Visiting scholars, officers of research, and staff officers of research may not attend any Columbia University courses until their visiting designation is officially approved (visitor must have a signed letter from the International Student and Scholars Office (ISSO) and have met with the Chazen Institute’s Program Coordinator.)