Columbia University

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Updated August 6, 2020

Columbia University is located in the heart of New York City, and it is home to some of the most distinguished science and arts programs in the United States. The school counts 82 Nobel Prize winners as alumni and is a diverse university with the 4th largest population of international students in the United States. The university's staff are distinguished, and the university is home to 51 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 17 members of the National Academy of Engineering. With over 50 languages on offer and 500 clubs and organizations to choose from, students at Columbia University are offered a unique multidisciplinary education in both the arts and the sciences.

Columbia University Accreditation Details

Columbia University has been awarded accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Columbia University Application Requirements

To apply to Columbia University, applicants must apply directly to the school they wish to join. There are four main undergraduate schools within the university. Each school has different application requirements and procedures, but Columbia does give guidance in applying. Candidates must submit an online application to their prospective college, and students will also be required to submit the officials scores of their SAT, ACT or SAT II tests.

Columbia University provides guidance on how it reviews the applicants to its programs. The committee makes their decision based on the following factors:

  • Grades and curriculum
  • Candidate's family background, community, interests and access
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Personality and character
  • Whether or not the student is right for the Columbia experience
  • Letters of recommendation

Tuition and Financial Aid

The tuition rates are all dependent on the program, school and location that a student has applied to.

Students who are participating in General Studies will pay tuition of $26,690 per year. This does not include fees.

The estimated tuition for students pursuing a degree in engineering is $24,323. This does not include fees.

Columbia University accepts the following forms of financial aid:

  • Private loans
  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Work Study Programs

Online Degree(s) Available

Bachelor of Science Information Science

The Information Science degree is hosted by the General Studies department at Columbia College. A degree in Information Science is designed to be both interdisciplinary and an inclusive study of the way information travels today. The aim of this degree is to teach students how information is accessed, distributed, stored, and organized within an organization's system. This degree allows students to choose from a science focus or an interdisciplinary focus.

Students are required to take 33 points worth of required courses. This includes five core requirements such as:

  • Introduction to Information Science
  • Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Java
  • Honors Introduction to Computer Science
  • Data Structures in Java
  • Probability and Statistics

Following these courses, students will also choose from six elective courses. These electives must be approved by the faculty advisor so that students are choosing courses along one theme. For example, if a student wants to focus on information science within contemporary society, they might be encouraged to take the following courses to satisfy study areas such as psychology, sociology and human-computer interactions:

  • Introduction to Databases
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • User interface design
  • Cognition: mind and brain
  • Six Degrees and the New Science of Networks
  • Financial markets
  • Biological Sequence Analysis

Students may also choose another pathway such as Information Science and the Economy. By choosing this path, students would be taking classes that would pair information and economics. Students should take courses in statistics, econometric and machine learning to better understand the algorithms and systems used in economic modeling. Students should take courses such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Introduction to Databases
  • Principles of Economics
  • Economics of Business Organizations
  • Optimization Models and Methods for Financial Engineering
  • Industrial Budgeting and Financial Control

Department of Engineering

Columbia's department of engineering, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, is the third oldest engineering school in America. As one of the oldest and most prestigious engineering schools in the country, Columbia offers students the chance to engage in and conduct meaningful research throughout their undergraduate study. Students can choose from 16 majors and dozens of minors from across the liberal arts school. The majors offered by the school include:

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Physics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Earth and Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering Management Systems
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Financial Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Operations Research

Bachelor of Science Biomedical Engineering

Declaring a major in Biomedical Engineering will prepare successful graduates for employment and graduate studies in biomedical mechanics, engineering and other related fields. This degree is designed to provide students with the ability to apply mathematics, engineering and science in a multidisciplinary field of experiments. During the first and second years in this program, students will take classes in:

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • English Composition
  • Computer Science
  • Physical Education
  • The Art of Engineering
  •  Nontechnical requirements
  • Technical requirements

During their third and fourth years, students will find more specialist courses available such as those in cell and tissue engineering, biomechanics, biosignals and biomedical imaging.

Bachelor of Science Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering is an interdisciplinary area of science that combines the study of materials, technologies and processes. This degree is designed to give students the foundation education they need to enter the chemical engineering industry as well as prepare them for both further academic studies and alternative career paths. In the first and second years of this degree, students will take courses in the following areas:

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • English Composition
  • Required Nontechnical Electives
  • Chemical Engineering requirements
  • Computer Science
  • Physical Education
  • The Art of Engineering

In their third and fourth years students will find specialty courses such as the following:

  • Analysis of chemical engineering problems
  • Principles of chemical engineering thermodynamics
  • Reaction kinetics and reactor design
  • Process and product design
  • Engineering separations processes
  • Organic chemical labs
  • Chemical engineering control labs
  • Chemical Engineering lab
  • Several required electives of both technical and nontechnical engineering

Columbia University offers a well rounded and distinctive education in both arts and sciences that prepares students for employment or graduate work in their chosen field of study.

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