Graduate Programs

Graduate programs of study in The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science are not formally prescribed, but are planned to meet the particular needs and interests of each individual student. Departmental requirements for each degree, which supplement the general requirements given below, appear in the sections on individual graduate programs.

Applicants for a graduate program are required to have completed an undergraduate degree and to provide an official transcript as part of the admissions application. Ordinarily the candidate for a graduate degree will have completed an undergraduate course in the same field of engineering in which they seek a graduate degree. However, if the student’s interests have changed, it may be necessary to make up such basic undergraduate courses as are essential to graduate study in their new field of interest.

A maximum of 15 points of credit of graduate-level coursework, completed at Columbia University before the new program is approved and not used toward another degree, may be counted toward the degree. Students registered in the School have a minimum requirement for each Columbia degree of 30 points of credit of coursework completed at Columbia University. The student must enroll for at least 15 of these points while registered as a matriculating student in a degree program in the Engineering School. (See also the section Nondegree Students and the chapter Columbia Video Network.) Students wishing to change from the Ph.D. degree to the Eng.Sc.D. degree must therefore enroll for at least 15 points while registered in the School. For residence requirements for students registered in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences or those wishing to change from the Eng.Sc.D. degree to the Ph.D. degree, see the bulletin of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Students admitted to graduate study are expected to enter upon and continue their studies in each succeeding regular term of the academic year. Any student who fails to register for the following term will be withdrawn unless a leave of absence has been granted by the Office of Engineering Student Affairs.

While many candidates study on a full-time basis, it is usually possible to obtain all or a substantial part of the credit requirement for the master’s or Eng.Sc.D. degrees through part-time study.

Under special conditions, and with the prior approval of the department of their major interest and of the Assistant Dean, a student may be permitted to take a required subject at another school. However, credit for such courses will not reduce the 30-point minimum that must be taken at Columbia University.

For graduation, a candidate for any degree except a doctoral degree must file an Application for Degree or Certificate on the date specified in the Academic Calendar. Candidates for a doctoral degree must apply for the final examination. If the degree is not earned by the next regular time for the issuance of diplomas subsequent to the date of filing, the application must be renewed. Degrees are awarded three times a year—in October, February, and May.