Naturally, we offer an outstanding selection of academic majors in engineering and the applied sciences, all highly acclaimed programs designed to help you acquire the technical skills and intellectual discipline you'll need in order to become a leader in industry, government or education. Our undergraduate programs are based on excellence in teaching and research in such diverse fields as biomedical engineering, computer science, telecommunications, plasma physics and materials science, as well as in the traditional engineering disciplines.|
Our manageable size greatly facilitates the teaching of design -- one of the greatest challenges in most engineering programs. We take the point of view that design is an art as well as a science, and we've worked hard to develop a sequence of courses that will progressively introduce you to the tools as well as the process of creative engineering design.
Many of our students take part in faculty research projects -- easy, since the faculty-to-student ratio is a highly favorable one-to-five for juniors and seniors in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Moreover, our academic departments are small enough for people to get to know each other, and students and faculty members enjoy a great deal of one-to-one interaction. This is not a school where you'll sit through lectures with hundreds of other students.
As a key element of your work in the school, we'll require you to complete twenty-eight points of credit in non-technical elective courses. That's significantly more non-technical courses than most other engineering schools require. What that means is that you'll get a very broad liberal education. Yes, you'll study engineering, applied mathematics or applied physics in depth. But you'll also do serious, meaningful work in the social sciences and the humanities. As you may suspect, our programs are attractive not only to students who plan to pursue careers in engineering, but also to students who wish to acquire a strong background in engineering or an applied science as a part of their preparation for an eventual career in a field such as medicine, law, business or journalism.
Your four-year program. What shape will your four-year program take? That depends a great deal on which major you eventually choose; you'll find the specifics for each departmental program in our academic bulletin. Your academic advisor will be on hand to help as you plan your schedule. In the meantime, however, we can be somewhat more definite about your first two years.
During your first and second years, you'll acquire a firm grounding in the three major introductory areas of technical inquiry: mathematics, physics and chemistry, completing rigorous courses in Columbia University's acclaimed science and mathematics departments. You'll also study computer science and economics, and you'll take a number of courses to satisfy the requirement for non-technical electives -- some of them prescribed, other of your choosing.
A significant component of your studies during these first two years will be your work in the core curriculum. For example, students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science will usually take either Art Humanities or Music Humanities during their first year. Each is a one-term course. During their sophomore year, most students will choose one of the following two-term core course sequences:Literature Humanities, Contemporary Civilization orAsian Civilizations. In addition, you'll be allowed to take courses in areas of the humanities and social sciences such as art history, foreign languages and cultures, history, music, philosophy, political science, religion and sociology.
You'll be expected to declare a major near the end of your sophomore year, and when you reach the junior-senior level, you'll join the department that offers the program you've selected.