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    Apr 17, 2024  
American University Catalog 2015-2016 
American University Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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 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.

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 pre-engineering 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 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:

  • Students must have been enrolled full-time at American University for at least the past two academic years, and must be currently enrolled full-time.
  • Students must meet the minimum 3.3 overall and pre-engineering grade point average. They must also obtain a minimum grade of a B on the first attempt of each requisite course (both foundational and major specific).
  • Students whose first language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency in accordance with Columbia University requirements.
  • Students must complete both the foundational coursework and major-specific coursework, along with major and degree requirements at American University by the end of the spring semester of application.
  • Students must submit official transcripts from all institutions attended. All foundational and major-specific coursework and credit must be noted on the transcript from American University.
  • Students must submit three letters of recommendation, one each from the faculty liaison, a science instructor, and a mathematics instructor.

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.

Non-technical (27 credit hours)

  • 27 non-technical credit hours with approval of faculty liaison.