Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Related FAQs

Will I get the same financial aid package from Columbia as I received from my affiliate school?

As Columbia awards only need-based financial aid, your aid package may change. Please see the financial aid section on our website for more information.

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.

When are financial aid forms due for Combined Plan applicants?

Forms should be completed as soon as possible, and no later than March 1, 2019.

How many classes will I take in a typical Columbia Engineering semester?

Depending on the course of study, Combined Plan students will take five or six classes per semester (including laboratory supplements to classes).

Can I apply to the Combined Plan program if I have not fulfilled all of the requirements for guaranteed admission?

Yes. Your application materials will be reviewed by the Combined Plan Admissions Committee.

Which classes count towards Columbia’s prerequisite courses?

Please speak with the liaison at your school in order to determine which classes fulfill Columbia pre-engineering and major course requirements. Our Pre-Curriculum Course Descriptions describe the topics covered through our prerequisite courses, which may help you guide you and your school liaison.

I received a B- in a required prerequisite class. Do I still qualify for guaranteed admission?

For students who began at an affiliate school in fall 2011 or later, the minimum grade for each pre-engineering prerequisite course must be a B (3.0) on the first attempt. As a B- is less than a B on a 4.0 scale, receiving a B- or less would preclude a student from guaranteed admission, and would put the student in our competitive review process. Students who began at an affiliate school prior to fall 2011, there are no minimum grade requirements for guaranteed admission.

Is there guaranteed admission for students from affiliate institutions?

For students entering an affiliate institution prior to Fall 2019, admission is guaranteed for students who fulfill certain requirements. For students entering an affiliate institution in Fall 2019 or later, admission will no longer be guaranteed. Columbia will review all applicants in a holistic and competitive review process. While we expect students to meet the guidelines provided on our website, we will also consider overall academic preparation and fit for Columbia.

What is the Combined Plan Program?

Columbia offers a five-year plan in which you can attend Columbia College for three years and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science for two additional years, graduating with both the B.A. and B.S. degrees. If you are interested in the Combined Plan Program (sometimes known as "3-2"), you should apply to Columbia College.

Another five-year program allows you to complete your four-year B.S. program in The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and then, with an additional year of study in Columbia College, to earn the B.A. degree as well. If you are interested in the "4-1" Program, you should apply to The School of Engineering and Applied Science.

How many Combined Plan students are at Columbia?

We have a total of approximately 150 students in the two years of the Combined Plan.

If I am a Combined Plan student, can I pursue an internship while I am at Columbia?

Yes! Combined Plan students have access to the Center for Career Education, which assists students with finding appropriate internship opportunities and preparing for postgraduate careers.

Why can’t I apply to the Financial Engineering major?

Financial Engineering is a concentration in the Industrial Engineering & Operations Research department that requires an application after at least one semester of study at Columbia. Entrance in this program is very competitive.


Students interested in the Financial Engineering track should consider Operations Research, Engineering Management Systems or Industrial Engineering as fields of study.

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