Review this information before beginning your graduate application to Columbia Engineering.

Application Fee Waiver Eligibility Form

Eligible students are welcome to apply for an application fee waiver. Application fee waivers may be available for students who meet certain criteria including, U.S. citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled in a U.S. School with financial need, U.S. Military personnel/veterans, and students who participate in special programs (listed on the waiver form).

To apply follow the steps in the order listed below:

1. Create an online application account to begin to apply for admission and complete the program selection page.

2. Complete and submit the Application Fee Waiver Request Form with the required documentation.

Important Instructions

Please follow the instructions below to assemble and submit the online application.

The applicant must submit all materials directly, not through an agent or third-party vendor, with the sole exception of submissions by the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program and its three partner agencies IIE, LASPAU and AMIDEAST, and by the Danish-American Fulbright Commission (DAF), Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), and Vietnam Education Fund (VEF). In addition, the applicant will be required to attest to the accuracy and authenticity of all information and documents submitted to Columbia. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact the admissions office at seasgradmit@columbia.edu.

Academic integrity is the cornerstone of a university education. Failure to submit complete, accurate, and authentic application documents consistent with these instructions may result in denial or revocation of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, expulsion, or eventual revocation of degree. Applicants may be required to assist admissions staff and faculty involved in admission reviews in the verification of all documents and statements made in documents submitted by students as part of the application review process. 

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for the 2021 admission cycle. This includes Spring 2021 and Fall 2021. If you have taken the exam and would like to provide your scores, you may, but it is not required. Students who do not submit scores will not be penalized in the graduate admissions review process.

Students applying to the Applied Physics PhD or Applied Physics MS/PhD Track program may supply GRE Physics subject test scores, although it is not required. 

Application Accommodations

Applicants affected by special hardships (ex: region-wide internet outages) may request deadline extensions or other application accommodations by emailing seasgradmit@columbia.edu

The basic requirement for admission as a graduate student is the bachelor's degree received from an institution of acceptable standing. Ordinarily, the applicant will have majored in the field in which graduate study is intended, but in certain programs preparation in a related field of engineering or science is acceptable. The applicant will be admitted only if the undergraduate record shows promise of productive and effective graduate work.

The Master of Science (MS) degree is required for admission into the PhD and EngScD degree programs. A student who holds an appropriate bachelor's degree in engineering may apply for admission to either the MS only or MS leading to PhD program.

Consideration for admission will be based not only on the completion of earlier courses of study, but also upon the quality of the record presented and upon such evidence as can be obtained concerning the candidate's personal fitness to pursue professional work.

The application for the Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 term is now live. Please review our application options thoroughly. 

Requirements

The following materials must accompany the online application for on-campus graduate programs:

  • Official transcript copies from every post-secondary institution attended
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test Scores* 
    • Optional for Spring and Fall 2021 applications
    • School Code: 2111
  • Personal statement
  • Resumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Publications (optional)
  • An interview may be requested
  • $85 non-refundable application fee
  • International applicants or applicants whose undergraduate degree was received in a country in which English is not the official and widely spoken language must submit the following additional requirements with the application for admission:
  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic), or Duolingo English Test (DET). For the 2021 application year, we will accept the IELTS Indicator, TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, and TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution. The ETS School Code for the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science is 2111.
  2. Translation of the official transcript(s) and degree/diploma certificate(s) if the institution(s) attended does not issue transcripts in English. The translation must be conducted by a reputable service provider.  

If you have questions about any of the application requirements, please visit our FAQ. Students applying via an alternative application (MS Express, Integrated BS/MS, Barnard 4+1 Pathways, MD/MS in Biomedical Engineering) should refer to the application requirements as listed with the appropriate application.

*Applied Physics Doctoral applicants may also submit Official GRE Physics Subject Test Scores

Priority Deadlines

Fall Applications
Doctoral: MS/PhD, PhD, EngScD December 15
Master of Science Financial Engineering - January 5
Dual MS, Computer Science & Journalism Program, Computer Science (priority), Data Science (priority) - January 15
Civil Engineering Programs - February 1
All Other MS Programs - February 15
MS Express November 1 (priority)/May 30 (final deadline)
Integrated BS/MS April 30 (of Junior year)
BARNARD 4 + 1 Pathway December 1 (of Junior year)
Certificates Data Science Institute - February 15th
CAMPEP Accredited Certificate of Professional Achievement in Medical Physics - August 1
Spring Applications*
Master of Science + Doctoral: MS/PhD, PhD, EngScD October 1

Columbia Engineering reviews graduation applications on a rolling basis. We encourage applicants to apply by the priorty deadlines listed above. 

* Traditionally, Spring admission is not available for the following programs: Applied Mathematics (Ph.D.), Applied Physics (Ph.D., M.S.), Materials Science  (Ph.D., M.S.), Medical Physics (M.S.), Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Science, Data Science (M.S.), Business Analytics (M.S.), Financial Engineering (M.S.), Industrial Engineering (Ph.D.), Management Science and Engineering (M.S.), Operations Research (Ph.D.), and Mechanical Engineering  (Ph.D., M.S.). For the Spring 2021 cycle, the following programs will be reviewing a select number of applications: Business Analytics (M.S.), Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Science, Data Science (M.S.), Financial Engineering (M.S.), and Mechanical Engineering (M.S.). All other MS, MS/PhD, PhD, and Eng.Sc.D. programs will be accepting Spring applications unless otherwise stated.

Multiple Applications

It is against school policy to apply to more than one program at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science per term, including Columbia Video Network (CVN). Doing so may cause applications to be invalidated and application fees paid for additional applications will not be refunded.  If you have questions, please contact the Office of Graduate Student Affairs at seasgradmit@columbia.edu for clarification.

Application Materials

Review the information below for more detailed instructions on each application component.

Transcripts

On your application you must list all colleges and universities you have attended for at least one term, regardless of the number of credits received, including professional schools and summer study from which you have received academic credit. After listing your institution, you will be prompted to upload a copy of your transcript. The transcript copy you upload onto your online application must be an official copy, which is typically obtained from your college or university Registrar's office or the office that issues official transcripts to students.  Uploading anything other than a copy of your official transcript may cause delay in the review of your application.

If you are a currently enrolled graduate student at Columbia Engineering applying again to another department or degree level you must upload a copy of your transcript to your online application. This is required even if you are a student at Columbia Engineering already and whether or not it is your first semester and grades are available.

Official transcripts do not need to be sent from your institution to Columbia Engineering until after you are admitted and have accepted your offer of admission. Do not send us transcripts prior to this.  

Letters of Recommendation

Columbia Engineering requires three letters of recommendation.

Letters of recommendation should be written by faculty members with whom you have studied, who can assess your academic work, intellectual ability, academic potential for graduate work, address your suitability for the program and your ability to commit to the rigorous curriculum. You may also submit letters of recommendation from current or former supervisors. Personal references are not appropriate. Upon entering your recommendation providers contact information in your application, your recommendation providers will be contacted to supply the letter of recommendation. Under no circumstance should you write any portion of the evaluation, nor have any involvement in its drafting or submission.

Test Scores

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for the 2021 admission cycle. This includes Spring 2021 and Fall 2021. If you have taken the exam and would like to provide your scores, you may, but it is not required. Students who do not submit scores will not be penalized in the graduate admissions review process.

Students applying to the Applied Physics PhD or Applied Physics MS/PhD Track program may supply GRE Physics subject test scores, although it is not required. 

English Language Proficiency Exams

Applicants who earned their undergraduate degree in a country other than Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, and the United States of America must submit an official score from either the TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic test, or Duolingo English Test with their application. This includes students who transferred from or have participated in a combined or joint degree program in a country outside of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, or the United States of America. This requirement applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, Israel, the People’s Republic of China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and most countries in Africa. Only one English language test is required.

An exception will be made for applicants who have earned or will complete a Master's degree in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, and the United States of America, in this case the applicant is not required to submit English language proficiency exam scores for admission.

Columbia Engineering accepts the following exams: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic), or Duolingo English Test (DET). For the 2021 application year, we will accept the IELTS Indicator, TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition, and TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution.. Only one English language test is required.

Policies

All self-reported scores will be verified during the review process and if you are recommended for admission after the priority deadline. Scores sent from ETS to our School, code 2111, will typically arrive within two weeks. 

If you have taken any of the standardized tests on multiple occasions, please enter a complete set of scores from the test you wish to be considered with your application for admission, "superscoring" test scores is not allowed.

Please ensure your test scores are still valid. Expired test scores will not be accepted. All standardized test scores need to remain valid through the start of your first semester. GRE scores expire in five years. TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo scores expire in two years. If your scores will expire prior to this, we strongly encourage you to retake the exam.

Personal Statement

The purpose of the Personal Statement is for you to share more about your past experiences and to discuss how these experiences have contributed to your personal and professional growth. It allows the applicant the opportunity to explain to the admission committee the distinct qualities and commitment they can bring to their department and to the overall Columbia Engineering community.

A few topics that you may want to address in your Personal Statement include:

  • Describe how your background has prepared you to pursue an advanced degree in the field of engineering or applied science at Columbia University.
  • Describe the reasons you are interested in this program and discuss any relevant past experience.
  • If you have relevant work or research experience, please indicate how it helped you decide on your career path.
  • What are your post-graduation plans or career goals?
  • What do you hope to gain from this program?
  • What about this program excites you?
  • If there are any special circumstances that need to be brought to the attention of the Admission Committee, please include that information.
     

Resume/CV

This document should outline clearly and briefly the following:

  • Employment held (include title of jobs and start/end dates)
  • Research activities
  • Academic honors, including fellowships you have been awarded
  • Volunteer or community service
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Honorary societies, awards for service or leadership you have received
  • Publications

Publications

If you have made contributions to a publication, you may provide those details and upload a copy. You will be asked to describe your contributions to the paper, and provide a professor or advisor's email who can confirm your involvement to the paper.