Mar 23, 2018  
American University Catalog 2017-2018 
American University Catalog 2017-2018

Dual Degree Engineering: The Combined Plan Program

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Faculty Liaison Teresa Larkin, Department of Physics

American University is an affiliate of Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). In cooperation with Columbia University, students have the opportunity to pursue a five year or six year dual degree program, resulting in the award of two bachelor's degrees. In this 3-2 or 4-2 dual degree program students spend three or four years at American University followed by two years at Columbia University. Students typically concentrate in a major field in the College of Arts and Sciences at American University in order to combine the advantages of both liberal arts and professional education. This program option is available to all students at American University, regardless of their major, providing all of the prerequisite coursework has been taken and other requirements for admission to the program have been met.

Students are strongly encouraged to choose a major field in one of the natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, or computer science at American University. Students may choose to complete a major in the arts, humanities, or social sciences, provided that the engineering program requirements are also satisfied. This option requires careful planning and may result in an extra semester or more of coursework. In addition, this option may require a student to pursue a double major at American University to satisfy Columbia University's engineering admission requirements, which include a significant number of courses in the sciences.

Students pursuing this degree option work closely with the faculty liaison and an advisor in the major field of study. They work together to individually tailor course selections to meet the student's interests and needs. Throughout the course of their studies, students must obtain a minimum B grade for all courses listed in the Combined Plan Program at Columbia University. Completion of all requisite courses must be done during the three or four years of study at American University in order to complete the requirements for an engineering degree in five or six years. Students pursuing the five year (3-2) program will not receive their degree from American University until the two years at Columbia University are successfully completed.

The engineering program options at Columbia University include applied mathematics or applied physics; biomedical engineering; chemical engineering; civil engineering; computer engineering; computer science; earth and environmental engineering; electrical engineering; Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR): engineering management systems; IEOR: financial engineering*; IEOR: industrial engineering; IEOR: operations research; engineering mechanics; materials science and engineering; and mechanical engineering.

* Note: Students may not apply directly to the IEOR: financial engineering program because this concentration in operations research requires an application after one semester at Columbia University.

Admission to the Program

Students should view Columbia University's Combined Plan Program Admissions website for information about admission requirements.

Students in the five year plan (3-2 program) apply to the engineering program during their third year, with the recommendation of the pre-engineering faculty liaison. Admission to the program with Columbia University is guaranteed if a student successfully completes all of the following requirements:

  • Full-time enrollment at American University for at least three years
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.30, inclusive of all coursework taken for credit
  • Minimum pre-engineering GPA of 3.30, inclusive of all science and mathematics prerequisite coursework. Additionally, a minimum grade of B (3.0) must be obtained on the first attempt in all science and mathematics prerequisite coursework
  • Successful completion of both the foundational and major-specific coursework by the end of the spring semester of application
  • Successful completion of the degree and major requirements of American University by the end of the spring semester of application
  • Favorable recommendation letters: one each from the Combined Plan liaison, a science instructor and a math instructor
  • Proficiency in English as directed by Columbia on their website

Students who do not meet the above criteria may still apply to the program with Columbia University, but admission is not guaranteed. Their applications will still be reviewed with the aforementioned requirements as a guideline for admission.

Course Requirements

The engineering program at Columbia University has basic foundation course requirements for all students. These courses are outlined on Columbia University's Combined Plan Program Admissions website, and can also be obtained from the faculty liaison. Additional major-specific requirements may apply depending on the students intended area of study at Columbia University.

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