Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below answers to frequently asked questions about the Master of Science program.

If your question isn't answered here, please e-mail [email protected].

What is the duration of the MS program?

Students typically finish their MS degree requirements in 2-3 semesters.

What are the maximum points (credits) allowed in one semester?

21 points

What are the minimum points allowed in one semester (international students only)?

International students are required to register for at least 12 points of coursework each semester in order to maintain their F-1 student status in the US. Please contact the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) with any questions or concerns.

Can I obtain a paid TA or RA position?

TA positions for MS students are offered on a volunteer basis. MS students can elect to take up to 6 credits worth of research under the guidance of BME faculty, which may be applied toward the MS degree.

Is it possible to do research outside of the BME department?

Yes, with Departmental approval and in consultation with your academic advisor.

Are we required to complete a thesis?

Students in the MS program are not required to complete a thesis. However, if you are interested, there is a Master’s Thesis option. You should register for BMEN E9100 and consult with your BME faculty advisor.

If I chose the Master’s Thesis option, how long will it take to graduate?

Students who chose the Master’s Thesis option typically complete their degree and dissertation in 3-4 semesters. International students are required to complete the MS thesis option in 3 semesters in most circumstances.

What courses are REQUIRED for completion of the MS degree?

1. Computational Modeling of Physiological Systems (BMEN E6003)
2. 2 semesters of BMEN E9700
3. 1 graduate-level advanced mathematics course
4. 4 graduate-level BMEN technical electives
5. 4 graduate-level SEAS technical electives

Can I take a probability or statistics course to fulfill my math requirement?

No. You are required to take an applied mathematics course.

Can I take a course outside of Columbia Engineering?

Yes, you are permitted to take 1 graduate-level course outside of Columbia Engineering with permission from your academic advisor.

What are the pre-requisites?

All applicants to our MS program should have a solid foundation in mathematics, including multivariate calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations and experience in computer programming (Matlab or Python).

Do you recommend preparatory math classes?

For applicants who have not taken a math course for several years, we do recommend some type of refresher course in order to excel in the program. If you are required to take a math course as part of conditional acceptance to the program, we will accept the grades from any accredited college or university. For high quality courses offered online, we recommend Columbia Video Network.

Graduate Student Affairs FAQ

For answers to general questions about graduate admissions at Columbia, visit the Graduate Student Affairs (GSA) site.