Registration, Academic Policies, and Procedures

What are the steps I need to take to register for courses?

What is the cost for tuition?
Tuition and fees
If the current year is not posted, please contact the Office of Graduate Student Affairs for updated tuition information.

Does it matter if I am part-time or full-time?
International Students (F-1 or J-1) are required to be full-time. These students should contact ISSO to inquire about dropping courses at any point during their program. All others should plan out their programs. Since the cost of tuition generally increases each academic year, students are encouraged to complete their program in the shortest time possible that fits with their own schedule and constraints.

Can I still add or drop a course after the official add/drop period?
Yes, but with faculty and school approval.  Students are cautioned that there are no refunds for courses dropped after the University's Change of Program Period.  Even if you are adding a course, the cost of the new course will not be “offset” by dropping (swapping) with a discarded course. Students will be charged in full for both courses. Because of this, we encourage students to be fully advised as to their intended course load each term. Students who desire to add or drop courses after the add/drop timeline will need to complete the Registration Adjustment Form available through the Registrar’s office. SSOL cannot be used for this purpose as faculty and school approval are required.

Is it possible to have my grading option changed after I have registered?
Please review the timeline established by the Registrar’s office for students wishing to change their grading options (i.e. Letter Grade to Pass/Fail etc.).  The Registration Adjustment Form is used for this purpose as well.

Can I take non-Engineering Courses?
The following should be noted:

  • Students can take courses outside of their requirements. However, they should be aware that these courses may not count towards their degree program.
  • Students who take undergraduate courses through Engineering will be charged graduate-level tuition for those courses.
  • Some courses require permission from both the students academic department the course is being offered with (cross-registration) as well as the school.
  • Funded students will need departmental permission to take non-program-related courses.
  • Course listing may also stipulate whether course registration is open to non-program students.
  • Students wishing to take graduate courses at the School of Business must receive permission from the Academic/Career Advisor in the IEOR department.
  • Students wishing to obtain academic credit for courses taken at Columbia but outside of the School of Engineering will need to inquire about advanced standing.

Can I take other Engineering courses other than my own academic department?
Some of the above still applies. Student’s academic department will determine if the courses will count towards your program. CVN courses require departmental approval and will also cost an on-campus student more per academic credit.

What is considered a full-time student?
M.S. and Doctor of Engineering Science (DES) students registered for 12 or more points during a semester are considered to be full-time students. Ph.D. students are considered full-time when they have registered for a full residence unit.

What are points?
Equal to "credits" at other institutions, one point represents one hour of contact with a professor each week for the length of the term. Most classes are three points.


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