Resources and documents that may be helpful for incoming international students. 

Columbia Engineering welcomes students from around the world. Our campus thrives as a multicultural community, and we can't wait to have you join us.  As you prepare to arrive on-campus, we ask that you review the information below and begin to work with the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) to apply for your Form I-20, and receive or transfer your student visa. New, incoming international students should email [email protected] should you have any questions regarding your visa application process.


Master of Science Program Information

During your visa interview, you may be asked for additional information about your Columbia Engineering Master of Science program. These packets provide more detailed information about your curriculum and future Faculty. Please select your department or program below to find your program information.

Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics

Biomedical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Computer Engineering*

Computer Science

Data Science**

Earth and Environmental Engineering

Electrical Engineering

Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

Mechanical Engineering

Doctoral students should print out information related to their Faculty Adviser and future research lab. If an Adviser and lab have not been assigned yet, provide information on the research occuring throughout the department. Please contact the department directly for additional materials. 

* The Computer Engineering M.S. program is jointly offered by the Department of Computer Science and Department of Electrical Engineering

** The Data Science M.S. program is jointly offered in collaboration with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Statistics, and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Department of Computer Science and Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research.

How to Get a Visa

ISSO’s video on how to get a visa.

Apply for your Form I-20

International students at Columbia enter the United States on an F-1 or J-1 student visa. You will need an I-20 for F-1 status or DS-2019 for J-1 status issued by Columbia’s International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) before making your visa appointment at a U.S. consulate to apply for your visa. 

Watch ISSO’s video on how to get a visa. You will need to: 

1. Prepare your documents (bank statements, passport, and other supporting documents)
2. Log in to Compass to apply for your I-20 / DS-2019
3. Receive I-20 / DS-2019
4. Apply for Your Visa at a U.S. Consulate (the visa cannot be issued more than 120 days in advance of your program start date)