M.S. Express Application for Columbia, Barnard, and General Studies Students

The M.S. Express application is a simplified process of applying to Columbia Engineering graduate M.S. programs. Available only to currently enrolled seniors at Columbia Engineering, Columbia College, Barnard, and General Studies. A minimum cumulative 3.50 GPA is required. Columbia Engineering students enrolled in majors within the 9 departments at the School may apply to any engineering M.S. program using the express application. Students enrolled at Columbia College, Barnard, or General Studies, please refer to the chart of eligible majors and corresponding M.S. engineering or applied science programs below.

Application Requirements*:

  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Resume or CV
  • Contact information for three reference providers
  • Non-refundable $85 application fee**

*All Columbia Engineering students who apply using the M.S. Express application are not required to send official hard-copy Columbia transcripts to the Office of Graduate Student Affairs upon admission.  Columbia engineering students applying to an M.S. program within their home department may upload a copy of their "grades and registration status" from SSOL in place of a copy of the official transcript on the online application. In addition, engineering students applying to an M.S. program within their home department are not required to submit a personal statement or resume.  

Students applying to M.S. programs outside of their current major or department must upload copies of their official transcript (not an SSOL version) and the other application requirements listed above.

** Application fee waivers are available for students who meet certain criteria.


The early consideration deadline for M.S. Express applicants applying for the Fall term is November 15. The regular deadline is April 30.

Advantages of Continuing on to the M.S. Program at Columbia

Continuing on to an M.S. degree program at Columbia University offers several advantages to qualified students presently in the B.S. or B.A. program:

  • Advanced courses have been designed to have the exact prerequisites students have taken, or may be able to take, as undergraduates.
  • Some Columbia graduate courses may be taken during senior year and count towards the M.S. degree, provided these courses are not being counted toward the undergraduate degree, potentially reducing the time needed to obtain an M.S. degree.
  • There is more flexibility in course planning if M.S. requirements can be started in the senior year and do not need to all fit within two or three semesters. Such flexibility could make possible a more streamlined set of courses, as well as increased depth and breadth.
  • Students do not have to move to a new area, and will continue their studies in an institution and city they already know well. 
  • A summer project course taken at Columbia right after the senior year may count towards the M.S. degree, provided that the student has found a suitable adviser willing to supervise the project and its credits have not been applied toward the undergraduate degree.
  • Qualified seniors, including 3-2 Combined-Plan Program students are eligible to apply to the M.S. program using a simpler express application process. And if they apply early, they can get an early decision that may help with planning.

The B.S./B.A. and M.S. requirements must be satisfied separately before the corresponding degree is awarded.

Although the M.S. Express application simplifies the application procedure, it does not guarantee admission. Columbia and Barnard undergraduate student housing and undergraduate student financial aid packages do not carry over to an M.S. program at Columbia University. If the student later decides to apply for admission to the Ph.D. program at Columbia, he/she will have to satisfy all Ph.D. admission requirements.

Undergraduate students interested in applying to M.S. programs outside of their current major are strongly encouarged to meet with a program adviser to discuss prerequisite requirements and completing any deficiencies prior to the start of the term if possible. Students may contact the department of interest directly with questions about the M.S. program. 

Please contact the Office of Graduate Student Affairs if you have questions, otherwise please apply online.

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