Undergraduate Visiting Student Program at Columbia Engineering

The Visiting Student Program at Columbia Engineering is an opportunity for students to broaden their college experience and supplement the undergraduate programs at their home institutions by studying at Columbia for up to two semesters. Visiting Students can explore courses in nine departments taught by renowned faculty members and become a part of Columbia Engineering’s history of invention and innovation.

Founded in 1864 as the School of Mines, Columbia Engineering is the nation’s third oldest engineering school. New York City is arguably the world’s most impressive example of built environment, from skyscrapers to the comprehensive subway system. There’s no better place to study engineering and applied science.


The Visiting Student Program at Columbia Engineering is open to students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree-seeking program. Please note that students attending a degree-seeking program outside of the United States will apply through a separate application.

Applicants to the Visiting Student Program at Columbia Engineering will have completed at least one full year of college credit by time of enrollment. While the program is designed for junior undergraduate students, sophomore (or second-year) and senior (or fourth-year) students may be considered.

Engineering applicants must complete the following prerequisite courses prior to enrolling at Columbia:

  • 2 semesters of Calculus
  • 1 semester of Chemistry
  • 2 semesters of Physics

Admissions Information

Please note that Visiting Students to Columbia Engineering are not permitted to apply for transfer admission. Prospective Visiting Students cannot apply to both Columbia College and Columbia Engineering at the same time.

The Visiting Student Program accepts students to enter Columbia Engineering in either fall (September) or spring (January) semesters; students may enroll for a maximum of two semesters (either consecutive fall/spring semesters or spring/fall semesters), pending approval by Columbia.  

Please note that a complete application includes:
  • The Visiting Student Application, which includes short answer questions, submitted electronically
  • A signed Statement of Eligibility from the applicant’s academic advisor or an equivalent official (such as university registrar) who verify that an applicant is enrolled full-time; confirm that the applicant is in good academic and civic standing at his or her university/college; and verify that the applicant is permitted to study elsewhere as part of the Visiting Student Program. This statement should not be a letter of recommendation from an instructor.
  • A letter of recommendation from a professor in a math or science class.
  • An official transcript from your current institution is required.  To be official, the transcript must come from directly from your institution or from a school official via email, fax or mail. We strongly prefer electronic transcripts for faster processing, sent to ugrad-confirm@columbia.edu by a school official. We cannot accept transcripts submitted by candidates as official. Any documents that are part of your application file and are not in English, such as transcripts or recommendations, need to be officially translated into English and submitted along with the original documents. If mail is the only option available to you, please send materials to the following address:
    • Office of Undergraduate Admissions
      Attn: Visiting Students Program
      212 Hamilton Hall, Mail Code 2807
      1130 Amsterdam Avenue
      New York, NY 10027  
  • An official score report of English language proficiency testing, if applicable
  • A non-refundable $85 application fee, submitted electronically

SAT or ACT test scores are not required for admission to the Visiting Student Program. However, to be considered for admission to Columbia, you must be comfortable with rapid and idiomatic spoken English. If your home language is not English and if your primary language of instruction has not been English for at least five years, you are required to submit official scores from an English proficiency examination. For scores to be official, they must be reported directly to Columbia by the testing service; students cannot provide their own copies of score reports.

Admissions Requirements

  • Students must be eligible (see Admissions Information above).
  • Students should have a minimum 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) and be in good standing at their home institutions
  • The responses to the short answer questions should clearly express an applicant's knowledge of Columbia and how the Visiting Student Program will help enhance his/her overall educational experience

Applicants to the Visiting Student Program at Columbia Engineering must complete the following prerequisite courses:

  • 2 semesters of Calculus
  • 1 semester of Chemistry
  • 2 semesters of Physics

These requirements are important, as the admissions process is competitive.

Dates and Deadlines

Applications for Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 are now available

For entry in Spring 2019, the application deadline is October 15, 2018.

For entry in Fall 2019, the application deadline has been extended to April 15, 2019.


All applications must be completed online. For additional questions, please visit our online FAQsAny additional materials, correspondence and questions should be addressed to our mailing address ougrad-visiting@columbia.edu.