Combined Plan Applicants

The Columbia Combined Plan program is a chance to engage with the best of two distinctive, immersive, world-class educational experiences—and earn both a liberal arts and an engineering degree along the way. You’ll receive a B.A. degree in a liberal arts field and a B.S. in an engineering discipline from Columbia in as little as one additional year.

Program Details

The Columbia Combined Plan program is usually completed as a 3-2 sequence: three years in a liberal arts curriculum and two years in Columbia Engineering (with students applying in the junior year). The program may also be completed as a 4-2 sequence: four years in a liberal arts curriculum and two years in Columbia Engineering (with students applying in the senior year).

Combined Plan Applicant FAQs

Are there quotas for the number of Combined Plan students admitted?

No. The Combined Plan Admissions Committee will review applications individually.

Can I apply if I do not attend an affiliate school?

Yes. You are permitted to apply, and your materials will be reviewed by the Combined Plan Admissions Committee in a competitive review process.

As a Combined Plan student, you’ll participate in undergraduate research, student life (including groups such as Engineers Without Borders and the Engineering Student Council) and reap all the benefits of Columbia resources such as the Center for Career Education and the Center for Student Advising.

You’ll also be guaranteed housing during your first engineering year (either your fourth of fifth year of college, depending on whether you pursue the 3-2 or the 4-2 sequence). We do our best to accommodate requests to live on campus after the first year, but we’re not able to guarantee that Combined Plan students will be offered a room on campus beyond the first year. Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) can assist students in non-Columbia owned buildings.

Liberal Arts Affiliate Schools

The schools listed here have an affiliation agreement with the Combined Plan program and are prioritized in the admission process. If you’re interested in the Combined Plan program, you should contact your liaison as early as possible to plan your course of study and prepare for admission.

Please refer to the affiliate college's website and admissions office for more information about the institution, their undergraduate experience and their admissions requirements for first-year students prior to applying to the Combined Plan program.

How to Apply

You can apply to the Combined Plan program during either your junior year (for the 3-2 program) or senior year (for the 4-2 program). High school students should not apply until you’re enrolled in an undergraduate institution, and should contact your prospective institution for more information. (If you attend an affiliated liberal arts school, your application will receive priority in admission review.)

Application-Related Information

Application Requirements

Application

Columbia accepts the Combined Plan application for this program. The application includes:

  • Autobiographical information
  • Information about a student's prerequisite coursework
  • Short answers regarding interest in engineering, the Combined Plan program and Columbia

Transcripts

You must submit official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions that you’ve attended. Official transcripts may be emailed to ugrad-confirm@columbia.edu (preferred) or mailed in a signed, sealed envelope.

Recommendations

All recommendations from the following sources should be submitted electronically through the application system:

  • Combined Plan Liaison (or for candidates who attend a non-affiliate, an instructor or school official who can speak to your coursework)
  • Science instructor (instructor who has awarded you a final grade in a science course)
  • Math instructor (instructor who has awarded you a final grade in a math course)

English Proficiency Requirement

One of the requirements for guaranteed admission to the Combined Plan program is proof of English language proficiency. If your native language is not English, or the language of instruction in your secondary school was not English, you must demonstrate English language proficiency. 

The requirement may be fulfilled by obtaining a grade of B or higher in the prerequisite equivalent to English Composition (ENGL C1010 University Writing), a foundational prerequisite course noted in the Combined Plan Curriculum Guide that was issued in the year you began at your home institution [Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020].

Alternatively, this requirement may be fulfilled with standardized testing. If you are fulfilling the English language proficiency requirement with standardized testing, submit an official score report from the testing agency to Columbia Undergraduate Admissions. If test scores have expired, the admissions office will accept a copy of the official score report, submitted by you and certified by an official from your institution, from tests taken within the last five years. Self-reported scores will not be accepted. 

You must take all standardized test examinations no later than February 2022 for consideration for the fall of 2022.

Application Fee or Fee Waiver

An $85 nonrefundable fee is required as part of an application to Columbia University. We are unable to refund the application fee under any circumstances. More information about our application fee and fee waivers can be found here.

If paying the application fee is a significant financial burden for your family, we encourage you to request an automatic fee waiver through your admission application. You can determine your fee waiver eligibility today using this form. You will also be asked to confirm your eligibility within the Combined Plan Program application. Fee waivers will be automatically applied to applications of eligible candidates. 

Dates and Deadlines

  • Mid-October Application available online
  • January 12 Deadline to submit application materials. 
  • March 1 Deadline to submit financial aid materials. 
  • Late Spring Admissions decisions are released to candidates
  • August New Student Orientation Program (NSOP) is held each year for incoming Combined Plan students, and it is a mandatory orientation program.

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates who began at an affiliate school between Fall ’11 and Fall ’18

To be eligible for guaranteed admission, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Full-time enrollment at an affiliated school:
    1. for at least the past two years (for students who began between Fall ’11 and Fall ’15)
    2. for at least the past three years (for students who began between Fall ’16 and Fall ’18)
  2. An overall GPA in accordance with the agreement that your institution has reached with Columbia. For students attending affiliates with agreements prior to 2017, an overall GPA of 3.30 or higher is required. For students attending affiliates with agreements in 2017 or later, a GPA of 3.50 is required. To determine when your institution's agreement was updated, please see the list of affiliate colleges.
  3. A pre-engineering GPA of 3.30 or higher, as calculated by Columbia. Additionally, the minimum grade for each pre-engineering science or math course must be a B (3.0) or better on the first attempt.
  4. Three favorable recommendations: one each from your institution's Combined Plan liaison, math instructor and science instructor
  5. Successful completion, by the end of the spring semester in which you are applying, of the specific prerequisite courses for your intended major as listed in the Pre-Combined Plan Curriculum Guide
  6. Completion (before entering Columbia) of the major and degree requirements prescribed by your home institution for graduation
  7. Demonstration of English language proficiency as listed above
  8. Be in good standing at the member institution. Any student who has previously been placed on academic probation or disciplinary action may apply but will not qualify for guaranteed admission.

In order to be eligible for guaranteed admission, applicants must meet the requirements from the Curriculum Guide that was issued in the fall semester they began college. Students are not subject to the changes made to Curriculum Guides issued in subsequent years. For details, please review the Curriculum Guide that was issued in the year you began college [Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020].  

Candidates who do not meet the requirements for guaranteed admission, or who do not attend an affiliate institution, will be considered under competitive review. This is a holistic process that evaluates a candidate's preparation for Columbia Engineering's curriculum, fit for the university, character and recommendations, among other factors. We strongly recommend that candidates who fall under competitive review take the entire pre-engineering curriculum, as outlined in their curriculum guide, and have a 3.30 or higher overall GPA, although we welcome applications from candidates with overall GPAs above 3.0.

You should confer with the liaison at your school in order to determine which classes fulfill Columbia pre-engineering foundation and major-specific courses.

Please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for more information.

Candidates who began at a non-affiliate institution in Fall ’18 or later

Candidates who do not attend an affiliate institution will be considered under competitive review. This is a holistic process that evaluates a candidate's preparation for Columbia Engineering's curriculum, fit for the university, character and recommendations, among other factors. We strongly recommend that candidates who fall under competitive review take the entire pre-engineering curriculum, as outlined in their Curriculum Guide, and have a 3.30 or higher overall GPA, although we welcome applications from candidates with overall GPAs above 3.0.

Candidates who began at any institution in Fall ’19 or later

Guaranteed admission is not available for candidates who began college, whether at an affiliate school or not, in Fall 2019 or later. All applicants who began college in Fall 2019 or later will be considered under the competitive review process. Applicants who attend an affiliate institution will be prioritized in the admissions process. This is a holistic process that evaluates a candidate’s preparation for Columbia Engineering’s curriculum, fit for the university, character and recommendations, among other factors.

We strongly recommend that candidates review the following guidelines:

  1. Full-time enrollment at an accredited college or university for at least the past three years
  2. An overall GPA in accordance with the agreement that your institution has reached with Columbia. An overall GPA of 3.30 or higher is highly recommended.
  3. A pre-engineering GPA of 3.30 or higher, as calculated by Columbia. Additionally, the minimum grade for each pre-engineering science or math course must be a B (3.0) or better on the first attempt.
  4. Three favorable recommendations: one each from your institution's Combined Plan liaison, math instructor and science instructor
  5. Successful completion, by the end of the spring semester in which you are applying, of the specific prerequisite courses for your intended major as listed in the Pre-Combined Plan Curriculum Guide
  6. Completion (before entering Columbia) of the major and degree requirements prescribed by your home institution for graduation
  7. Demonstration of English language proficiency as listed above
  8. Confirmation of good standing at the member institution

In order to be competitive for admission, applicants should meet or exceed the recommendations outlined in the Curriculum Guide that was issued in the fall semester they began college. Students are not subject to the changes made to Curriculum Guides issued in subsequent years. For details, please review the Curriculum Guide that was issued in the year you began college [Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020]. 

You should confer with the liaison at your school in order to determine which classes fulfill Columbia pre-engineering foundation and major-specific courses.

Please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for more information.

Important Documents

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to our Combined Plan students. Please see our instructions for further information, including how to apply. Deadlines and documents can be found on the Financial Aid website.

The following should also be noted:

  • Columbia awards no merit scholarships; all financial aid is need-based only.
  • The Combined Plan program practices need-blind admission for all students; financial need does not affect one's chances of admission.
  • We do not guarantee that we can meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students. 
  • Financial aid for international students is extremely limited.
    • For financial aid purposes, students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States and who do not have refugee visas or asylum status are considered international applicants. Undocumented students, including DACA recipients, are considered as domestic applicants.
  • Candidates are not guaranteed the same financial aid package they received at their affiliate schools.

Accuracy & Authenticity

All applicants should review our Accuracy & Authenticity statement prior to submitting their application, as all applicants to Columbia University must confirm on their application that they understand and agree to adhere to the above expectations.

Contact

For questions about undergraduate admission and the application process, please visit our online FAQs. If you still can't find your answer, please contact us or email us at combinedplan@columbia.edu.