Spotlight on Columbia Engineering

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Prodigy Finance - May, 11 2024

7 min read

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At Prodigy Finance, we're committed to helping international talent to achieve their education dreams. We offer international student loans to qualified individuals attending top master's programmes in the US.

Ready to learn everything you need to know about the Columbia Master’s Programme acceptance rate, and STEM masters degrees at Columbia University? You're in the right place!

Columbia University is one of the most prestigious schools located in the heart of New York City.

Established in 1754, the university is broken into 20 different schools, including the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Getting admissions isn’t easy, especially considering that the Columbia University's acceptance rate is one of the lowest in the world, but as any of the numerous and notable alumni will tell you - it’s definitely worth it.

Columbia University fast facts

Private university - Ivy League

University enrollment: 31,455

Living alumni: 310,000+

Full-time graduate students: 23,675

Engineering grad students: 1720

Engineering masters students: 3218

International grad students: 10,810

Countries represented: 150+

Most represented countries: China, India, France, Taiwan (China), Canada

Where is Columbia University?

  • City: New York City, New York (NY)
  • City population: 8.82 million
  • Region: Eastern seaboard region
  • Climate: Humid subtropical: winters are cold, damp, and windy (Jan avg: .3°C/32.6°F) and snowfall varies from light to heavy dependent on the year; summers are warm to hot and humid (Jul avg: 24.7°C/76.5°F)
  • Nearest airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • Time zone: EST from November-March (GMT -4); EDT from March to November (GMT-5)

What can you study at Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science?

In addition to the high ranking of Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science as a while, the individual departments are all tout great positions on their own. Columbia masters programmes acceptance rates are quite low, but students will certainly find each of these programmes as rewarding as they are challenging to get into.

Columbia School of Engineering’s Rankings for different degrees:

DepartmentColumbia University World RankingDegrees
DepartmentColumbia University World Ranking

no rank available


MS in Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics

MS in Medical Physics

DepartmentColumbia University World Ranking



MS in Biomedical Engineering

DepartmentColumbia University World Ranking



MS in Chemical Engineering

DepartmentColumbia University World Ranking



MS in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

DepartmentColumbia University World Ranking



MS in Computer Science

DepartmentColumbia University World Ranking



MS in Earth and Environmental Engineering

DepartmentColumbia University World Ranking



MS in Electrical Engineering

DepartmentColumbia University World Ranking



MS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

MS in Financial Engineering

MS in Management Science and Engineering

MS in Operations Research

DepartmentColumbia University World Ranking



MS in Mechanical Engineering

Columbia Fu Foundation engineering job placement

Columbia engineering masters students have plenty of opportunities to secure a great job after graduation. A key way to meet with potential employers is at the university’s career fairs.

Of the biggest interest for engineering students are:

  • Engineering Career Fair (autumn)
  • Spring Career Fair (late winter)
  • Startup Career Fair (spring)

These fairs attract between 50 and 100 dedicated companies and students are able to access the information they need to connect with recruiters beforehand.

Last year, 6463 one-on-one career counselling session were hosted on campus and 371502 jobs and internships were posted on Columbia’s dedicated job portal.

There are also career advising sessions students can attend and plenty of workshops or events to prepare for American job recruitment - and to understand the visa processes and options for international students.

Columbia University as a whole - and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering specifically - have impressive employment statistics; it’s in everyone’s interest to maintain these figures so there is no shortage of support for any student that wants to take advantage of them.


Eng students has 1+ internships during their studies


19.1% of 2020 grads earn atleast $100,000


jobs and internships posted to Columbia job board last year


2020 grad students are employed or studying further

What's it like to live at Columbia University?

New York, New York - the location of Columbia certainly is one that’s founded on and continues to inspire dreams. The big city may be a little intimidating at first, but Columbia University goes out of its way to ensure students, especially masters of engineering students can find their feet quickly.

Want to know what it's really like for Columbia University international students? See what Jaydeep has to say in this video.

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Campus housing is available, though you need to accept your spot and pay your deposit before you can begin the housing application process. As this is one of the most cost-effective forms of housing in New York, it’s definitely worth considering first.

Additionally, the university does provide support to students hoping to find an apartment off-campus. The housing market in New York is, however, competitive and expensive and you’ll need to put plenty of effort into your search. International students do have the added advantage of a potential spot at the independent international house in the city.

The dining plans are a win with many graduate Columbia University international students whether they live off campus or on. There are a couple of plan options, and plenty of places around campus to use them. Columbia University meal plans are cost-effective, even when students plan to cook for themselves as often as possible.

Cars are more of a hassle than a benefit in New York City and parking is difficult to come by at the best of times. Public transport, walking, and sometimes bicycles are the easiest way to get from point A to point B. Columbia operates campus shuttles to move students around and these join the greater Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) routes to make it easy for students to get around town.

How hard is it to get into Columbia University Grad School?

Columbia masters acceptance rate:

As an Ivy League school, Columbia is a dream university for many applicants - and that alone demands that the Fu Foundation School of Engineering be selective in their admissions processes. The current Columbia Engineering masters acceptance rate is around 28% while the general Columbia grad school acceptance rate is just 5.1%.

Columbia Graduate Admissions: Applications & Requirements

Crafting a strong application for Columbia require critical self-assessment of skills as well as demonstrating a realistic career plan post-graduation. It’s absolutely fine for your post-grad plans to include additional study, so long as your academic record merits it.

And, there is no denying that Columbia engineering will put you in the heart of New York City; you’ll have access to incredible opportunities alongside a myriad of potential distractions. If you don’t address this in your Statement of Purpose (SOP) essay, the admissions team will have a difficult time working out whether you’ll cope during your studies.

What about What about the Columbia University's Average GRE score requirements?

Not just the Columbia master’s program acceptance rates, but the average GRE test scores, as well as undergrad GPAs, are impressive to say the least. That’s not to say these are requirements, but if you don’t meet the following minimums, you might want to address it in your SOP:

  • Average undergrad GPA: 3.7
  • Average Columbia University GRE scores: 155 verbal, 167 quantitative, 4.2 analytical writing
  • Mean TOEFL score: 105 iBT

Columbia School of Engineering: Admissions requirements

Columbia University application deadline - Fall admission: 15 February (some departments have other deadlines)

Application fee: $85

Resume: required

SOP essay: required

Recommendations: 3, completed online

GRE test: required, no min score

GPA: no min specified

Language test: required for applicants who did not complete their undergrad in an English-speaking country; no waivers given, even if undergrad was completed in English; TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE results are accepted; min scores may vary by department

Min TOEFL score: 96 iBT, 590 pBT

Min IELTS score: 6.5

Columbia University fees for international students - Fu Foundation engineering cost of attendance (for 2021-22 academic year)

Tuition: $54,528

Books and supplies: $2100

Room and board: $25,245

International student fee: $240

Health insurance: $3,892

Health service fee: $1,246

Document fee: $105

Facilities fee: $1,002

Personal expenses: $6,075

SEAS graduate student activities fee: $600

Transportation: $1,143

Total CoA for 1 year: $96,176

TIP: There is one other critical aspect you need to know about applying to Columbia engineering: you may not apply to more than one programme per term. Doing so will invalidate all of your applications. If you’re interested in multiple Columbia masters programs, take some time to consider your top choice before application.

Does Columbia University offer scholarships to international students?

Columbia University does offer need-based fellowships across all of their schools, though accepted students will need to speak to a financial aid advisor in the engineering department to ensure they’re considered for this funding.

You may also be eligible for departmental (engineering) aid packages which don’t require any additional application steps as long as you mark your intentions with your application.

All prospective students should spend time perusing external scholarship opportunities and which Columbia provides information for on their financial aid pages.

Of course, just because need-based and merit-based funding is available, it does not mean that any one student is entitled to specific funds; you’ll want to start the application and financial aid processes as early as possible. And, keep in mind that many students still require loans on top of any fellowships and scholarships they may receive.

Prodigy Finance international student loans for Columbia University

Prodigy Finance offers loans for international masters students at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University.

Students from supported countries pursuing Columbia masters programmes that can be completed in less than 2 years are eligible to apply.

  • Maximum loan amount: up to 100% of the school-provided cost of attendance (tuition plus living expenses)
  • Minimum loan amount: $15,000
  • Typical interest rates: 7 - 8% (fixed) over the 3-month US Libor base rate (variable)
  • All loans disbursed directly to the university according to due dates
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