If you have come to this page, it's because you have questions that haven't been answered on other parts of our website. Find the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions, whether you want to know more about how Columbia students take advantage of the arts in New York City, what campus dining is like or which application type is right for you.
Will any courses I’ve taken elsewhere (at non-affiliate institutions and/or study abroad programs) fulfill Columbia's prerequisite courses for the Combined Plan program?
Please speak with the liaison at your school, who should be familiar with your school’s policies. If the course appears on your home institution's transcript and if your liaison approves by noting this in their recommendation letter, we will accept credit taken at other institutions as fulfillment of the prerequisite course. Official transcripts from all institutions attended are required. Please note that additional information about your school's credit policies may be required as part of your application.
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.
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.
What if a Combined Plan prerequisite class is not offered at my affiliate school?
Please speak with the Combined Plan liaison at your school to determine how the prerequisite class may be taken. Depending on the course, you may be able to take the class at another institution or through independent study.
Are there quotas for the number of Combined Plan students admitted?
No. The Combined Plan Committee on Admissions will review applications individually.
Why can’t I apply to the Financial Engineering major as a Combined Plan student?
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.
Combined Plan students interested in the Financial Engineering track should consider Operations Research, Engineering Management Systems or Industrial Engineering as fields of study.
Do you offer a Combined Plan program for the M.S. in Engineering degree?
For all information about the graduate study of engineering at Columbia, please contact the Office of Graduate Student Services at email@example.com.
May I reapply to the Combined Plan program?
Yes. You will need to resubmit a new application with an updated transcript and materials.
How many classes do Combined Plan students 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).
Will I be able to take non-technical liberal arts electives as a Combined Plan student?
Depending on your department and schedule, you may be able to take non-technical elective courses.
Do Combined Plan students have to take physical education classes?
No. Combined Plan students are exempt from the Columbia Physical Education requirement.
What kind of housing do Combined Plan students receive?
Combined Plan students are guaranteed housing in their first year.
While Columbia will do its best to accommodate students’ requests to live on campus after the first year, there is no guarantee that Combined Plan students will be offered a room on campus beyond the first year of the program. Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) assists Columbia students and affiliates in their search for housing in non-Columbia owned buildings in the metropolitan area. The OCHA website provides advice, resources and an online database of available housing.
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.
What assistance is available to help Combined Plan students with their post-graduate plans?
Combined Plan students have full access to the Center for Career Education, Preprofessional Advising and Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, which provide individual advising, programming and rich resources to help students explore and prepare for internships and jobs, graduate school and fellowship programs. Graduating student survey results demonstrate that Columbia Engineering students are equipped to pursue a variety of paths upon graduation.
Will I get the same financial aid package from Columbia as I received from my Combined Plan affiliate school?
Columbia will meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for admitted Combined Plan Students. As Columbia awards only need-based financial aid, however, your aid package may change from your affiliate school. Please see the financial aid section on our website for more information.
Can foreign/international Combined Plan applicants get financial aid?
We will meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted Combined Plan students.
All applicants who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, as well as students granted refugee visas by the United States, DACA recipients and undocumented students, are read in a need-blind manner, no matter where they attend school or where they reside. The term “need-blind” means financial need has no bearing on the admissions decision. All other applicants are evaluated in a need-aware manner, which means that the admissions committee takes into consideration how much financial aid a student requires when rendering an admissions decision.
Do you offer fee waivers for the Combined Plan application?
Yes. Please obtain documents demonstrating eligibility from your Financial Aid office and contact the Combined Plan program by email.
How long can I study at Columbia in the Visiting Student Program?
Upon successful completion of your initial semester on campus, Visiting Students may have the option to continue their enrollment at Columbia for the immediate following semester, pending approval from Columbia. More information will be emailed to you once you are enrolled and on campus.
Can I take any course at Columbia as a Visiting Student?
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 for 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 adviser at your home institution to help plan your curriculum at Columbia and ensure that Columbia credits will transfer.
Is the Visiting Student Program open to high school students?
No, only undergraduates in degree-seeking programs may apply for the Visiting Student Program.
How can I get more information about Columbia?
We encourage you to browse our website for lots of helpful information on campus life, academic life, applying, the admissions process, required standardized exams, financial aid, visiting Columbia, events, international students, diversity, parents and families, guidance counseling, alumni, frequently asked questions and more!
Students interested in receiving additional information from Columbia may fill out our inquiry form.