Study Abroad


Engineering today is a global profession. Study abroad allows engineering students to discover the field through the perspective of engineers working in a different language and culture, enabling them to learn the relationship of culture to science and develop the range of transferable skills that employers are seeking today. Study abroad will help students develop intellectually, emotionally, culturally, and socially.

Columbia Engineering undergraduate students can study abroad for either a semester (fall, spring, or summer) or, exceptionally, for a full academic year. Students from every engineering major have studied abroad, and most do so in the spring semester of their sophomore year or in their junior year. Although not a requirement, students are encouraged to have some foreign language skills in order to enhance their cultural competency and their overall study abroad experience.

The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement will help students identify the appropriate choice for their country of interest and their major. Undergraduate Student Affairs advisers and departmental advisers will help students with their course equivalencies for approved programs so they can graduate on time. Students can take nontechnical electives overseas, or with departmental permission, they may choose technical electives or courses in their major.

It is essential that students begin planning as early as possible. Students are encouraged to meet with advisers in the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement to review possible global opportunities. Students must obtain approval from their departmental advisers to ensure that their work abroad meets the requirements of their majors, as well as clearance from their Advising Dean in the James H. and Christine Turk Berick Center for Student Advising.


Eligibility Requirements

  • Currently enrolled student in good academic and disciplinary standing
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Making adequate progress toward finishing the first and second year requirements
  • Declared a major



  • Fall/Spring (academic year)
    • Billed by Columbia: tuition and health insurance
    • Billed by abroad institution/external vendors: room, board, living and travel expenses
    • Still eligible for financial aid
  • Summer
    • Student pays most expenses directly to the program and external vendors
    • Not eligible for financial aid

Academic Credit

  • Students in Columbia-sponsored programs receive direct Columbia credit, and the courses and grades appear on students' academic transcripts.
  • Credit from approved programs that are not Columbia-sponsored is certified as transfer credit toward the Columbia degree upon successful completion of the program verifiable by academic transcript. Students must earn a grade of C or better in order for credits to be transferred. Course titles and grades for approved programs do not appear on the Columbia transcript, and grades are not factored into students' GPAs.
  • Faculty from the Columbia Engineering academic departments have the responsibility to assess all work completed abroad and make decisions about how these courses fit into major requirements. It is imperative that students gain course-by-course approval from their department prior to departure on a study-abroad program.


  • Early October: to study abroad during the spring semester
  • Early to mid-March: to study abroad during the fall semester or for year-long trips
  • Early May: to study abroad during the summer term

For more information on study abroad, students should contact:

Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement
606 Kent Hall, MC 3948
1140 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027
[email protected]

SEAS Undergraduate Student Affairs
[email protected]