The 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 the built environment, from skyscrapers to the comprehensive subway system. There’s no better place to study engineering and applied science.

Apply for the Fall 2024 Visiting Student Program by the priority deadline of April 1, 2024.

Apply to the Visiting Student Program

Admissions Information

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. Please note that students who are interested in applying for the Combined Plan Program are eligible to apply to and attend the Visiting Student Program. 

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.  



The Visiting Student Program at Columbia Engineering is open to students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree-seeking program in the United States. 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
Application Requirements

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 the applicant is enrolled full-time; confirm that the applicant is in good academic and civic standing at their 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.
  • 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 four years, you are required to submit official scores from an English proficiency examination.
  • A letter of recommendation from a professor in a math or science class.
  • An official transcript from the current institution. To be official, the transcript must come directly from the institution or from a school official via email, fax or mail. We strongly prefer electronic transcripts for faster processing, sent to 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:

    Columbia Undergraduate Admissions
    Attn: Visiting Students Program
    212 Hamilton Hall, Mail Code 2807
    1130 Amsterdam Avenue
    New York, NY 10027 

Admissions Requirements

  • Students must be eligible (see Eligibility section 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 their overall educational experience

Dates & Deadlines

The Visiting Student Program offers rolling admission. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. The earlier students apply, the sooner they will receive their decision, which will be 4-6 weeks after complete application submission. 

We encourage applicants to submit their complete applications at their earliest opportunity and before the final deadline. With rolling admission, applicants can find out their admission decision as early as 4 weeks after submission. 

Applications for Fall 2024 are now available. For entry in Fall 2024, the priority deadline is Monday, April 1, 2024, and the final application deadline is Saturday, June 15, 2024.

Entry Term Priority Application Deadline Final Application Deadline Admissions Decision Notification
Spring 2024 -- November 15, 2023 4-6 weeks after submission
Fall 2024 April 1, 2024 June 15, 2024 4-6 weeks after submission

Life at Columbia for Visiting Students

As a Visiting Student, you’ll take advantage of most of the programs and activities available to Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students. You’ll have an Advising Dean through the Berick Center for Student Advising who assists with course selection and connects you with campus resources. You may take advantage of certain resources through the Center for Career Education (such as career fairs, workshops and panels and networking nights) with the exceptions of on-campus recruiting, the national and international internship programs and individual counseling. Visiting Students can participate in any extra-curricular organization with the exception of our Division I athletic teams.


Visiting Students may be eligible to take any course in Columbia Engineering. Visiting Students are also eligible to enroll in select courses in Columbia College and Barnard College, as long as those courses are open to Columbia Engineering students. 

Columbia does not guarantee that Visiting Students will be able to enroll in any specific class until the time of registration, and we therefore encourage students to have a wide selection of courses ready at the time of registration. Visiting Students may not enroll in any of Columbia's graduate schools (including Columbia Business School) without first consulting their Advising Dean in the Berick Center Student Advising. 

Visiting Students must maintain full-time status by registering for a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester and may take a maximum of 18 credit hours. Most students schedule 15-18 credit hours (approximately 5 classes) per semester. We recommend that you consult with your dean/academic advisor at your home institution to help plan your curriculum at Columbia and ensure that Columbia credits will transfer.


All applications must be completed online. For additional questions, please visit our online FAQs. Any additional materials, correspondence and questions should be addressed to our mailing address or