Master's Program F.A.Q.

General

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Advising

What type of students do you look for?

To be admitted to our MS program, students must demonstrate B-average or better performance in a science or engineering undergraduate curriculum. Besides undergraduate GPA, the MS admissions committee also considers GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. All MS applicants are expected to have completed General Chemistry I and II, Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III (multi-variable calculus), and an Ordinary Differential Equations Course. While most applicants for the MS program have an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, this is not necessarily a requirement. The field of chemical engineering is broad in scope, so we encourage applicants who hold undergraduate degrees in chemistry, polymer science, physics, materials science, or any engineering discipline to apply. While the exact program for each student is adapted to his or her previous training, students admitted without a chemical engineering undergraduate degree are normally required to participate in the Scientist to Engineer program. This special program saves the MS student both the time and expense of the undergraduate chemical engineering program. http://cheme.columbia.edu/masters-program-2

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May I provide you with any background information about myself, such as GPA, education/experience, and or test score results to learn about my chances for admission or the possibility for financial aid before applying?

This a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) from the GSA SEAS’s web site,http://gradengineering.columbia.edu/frequently-asked-questions-2. Here is the answer from that web site:  “Unfortunately, we cannot evaluate your candidacy prior to submission of a complete application.  There is no specific cutoff for standardized test scores or GPA.  If you are interested in admission we encourage you to submit a complete application through GSA SEAS along with the required documents.” ChemE MS Program requirements may be found here:  http://cheme.columbia.edu/masters-program-2

Graduate Student Affairs at SEAS handles all applications.  If you are interested in admission, we encourage you to submit a complete application along with the required documents at the following link:http://gradengineering.columbia.edu/onlineapplication 
Questions about the MS Express application requirements should be directed to GSA at SEAS.  

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What are the admission requirements?

To be admitted to our MS program, students must demonstrate B-average or better performance in a science or engineering undergraduate curriculum. Besides undergraduate GPA, the MS admissions committee also considers GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. All MS applicants are expected to have completed General Chemistry I and II, Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III (multi-variable calculus), and an Ordinary Differential Equations Course. While most applicants for the MS program have an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, this is not necessarily a requirement.  The field of chemical engineering is broad in scope, so we encourage applicants who hold undergraduate degrees in chemistry, polymer science, physics, materials science, or any engineering discipline to apply.  While the exact program for each student is adapted to his or her previous training, students admitted without a chemical engineering undergraduate degree are normally required to participate in the Scientist to Engineer program. This special program saves the MS student both the time and expense of the undergraduate chemical engineering program. http://cheme.columbia.edu/masters-program-2

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Would the MS Express track change the outcome or just make the application process faster?

For those eligible the MS Express track allows for ease of application, hence it is faster to apply this way.  Check the following link for the list of eligible schools: http://gradengineering.columbia.edu/ms-express-application-columbia-university-undergraduates  Questions about the MS Express application requirements should be directed to GSA at SEAS.  Generally, it is great to see MS express applicants and this can make the evaluation process more rapid, but just because someone is an MS Express applicant does not guarantee faster outcome.  All applications must be submitted through the SEAS. Here is the application link:http://gradengineering.columbia.edu/ms-express-application-columbia-university-undergraduates

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 Do you recommend preparatory chemistry classes?

All MS applicants are expected to have completed General Chemistry I and II.  http://cheme.columbia.edu/masters-program-2 Physical Chemistry is a recommended course, but not required.  

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Are there any specific pre-requisite courses I need to have taken before applying?

To be admitted to our MS program, students must demonstrate B-average or better performance in a science or engineering undergraduate curriculum. Besides undergraduate GPA, the MS admissions committee also considers GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. All MS applicants are expected to have completed General Chemistry I and II, Calculus I, Calculus II, Calculus III (multi-variable calculus), and an Ordinary Differential Equations Course. While most applicants for the MS program have an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, this is not necessarily a requirement. The field of chemical engineering is broad in scope, so we encourage applicants who hold undergraduate degrees in chemistry, polymer science, physics, materials science, or any engineering discipline to apply. While the exact program for each student is adapted to his or her previous training, students admitted without a chemical engineering undergraduate degree are normally required to participate in the Scientist to Engineer program. This special program saves the MS student both the time and expense of the undergraduate chemical engineering program. http://cheme.columbia.edu/masters-program-2
 
 
Is there a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) for application?
 
To be admitted to our MS program, students must demonstrate B-average or better performance in a science or engineering undergraduate curriculum. http://cheme.columbia.edu/masters-program-2 
 
 
Is work experience required?
 
While not required for MS applicants, we do recommend that prospective students have some professional experience, either in the form of a full time position or an internship.

What type of financial aid is available?

The teaching assistant (TA) positions are positions that are filled by the PhD. candidates.

There are limited funding opportunities for master's students.  Eligible applicants to the master's degree program can be considered for the School's NSF S-STEM SEGUE program:
 
The GEM fellowship is another possible funding opportunity for eligible students:http://www.gemfellowship.org/
 
Most master's degree students take out loans while enrolled.  There are also external funding opportunities for graduate students at the master's degree level.  For example, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program:http://www.nsfgrfp.org/
 
-Federal Student Aid Information and Application (Federal Loans): https://fafsa.ed.gov/
 
-Most master's degree students take out loans while enrolled. 
 
-Columbia College's Fellowship Search Tool:
 
-Society of Women Engineers: 
 
-Other aid search sites:
 
Funding is a concern for nearly all prospective students.  For students pursuing MS degrees the options for funding are all external since the university, like the majority of IVYs, does not provide funding for the MS degree.  There is funding provided for doctoral students.  There are various organizations and federal or private loans for which MS students may be eligible.  Those require separate applications and some work on the part of the student to find opportunities, check eligibility, and complete the necessary forms, etc. Contact information for the University's financial aid office can be found at: http://cc-seas.financialaid.columbia.edu/content/graduate-engineering-aid .”

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If I do research at Columbia, I know it counts as credit, but do I also get a stipend for working?  

Master's research is conducted as a course, CHEN E9400, for which you can get course credit toward your degree.  After the first semester, students will have the opportunity to request to joining a research group as part of their program.  Some, but not all MS students take a research course.  You can take up to 6 points of research credit.  First, you are required to have written approval by the specific professor with whom you are taking the course in order to enroll in CHEN E9400.  There is no stipend that goes with taking the course.  Research positions are occupied by Ph.D. and Post Doctoral students. Students may explore an option with a specific professor, but there are not specific paid research positions for MS students http://cheme.columbia.edu/program-requirements-0

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Can I be a paid researcher as an MS student?

Master's research is conducted as a course, CHEN E9400, for which you can get course credit toward your degree. After the first semester, students will have the opportunity to request to joining a research group as part of their program.  Some, but not all MS students take a research course.  

You can take up to 6 points of research credit.  First, you are required to have written approval by the specific professor with whom you are taking the course in order to enroll in CHEN E9400.  There is no stipend that goes with taking the course.  Research positions are occupied by Ph.D. and Post Doctoral students.  Students may explore an option with a specific professor, but there are not specific paid research positions for MS students. http://cheme.columbia.edu/program-requirements-0

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Are there research opportunities available for MS students? If so, could these potentially offset tuition?

Master's research is conducted as a course, CHEN E9400, for which you can get course credit toward your degree.  After the first semester, students will have the opportunity to request to joining a research group as part of their program.  Some, but not all MS students take a research course.  You can take up to 6 points of research credit.  First, you are required to have written approval by the specific professor with whom you are taking the course in order to enroll in CHEN E9400.  There is no stipend that goes with taking the course.  Research positions are occupied by Ph.D. and Post Doctoral students. Students may explore an option with a specific professor, but there are not specific paid research positions for MS students http://cheme.columbia.edu/program-requirements-0

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When is MS orientation for Fall 2017 MS students?

Columbia University in the City of New York Master of Science in Chemical Engineering Program Fall 2017 New Student Orientation starts at 9:00 AM Tuesday 29 August 2017. All MS students admitted for the Fall 2017 semester, meet at Room 801 Mudd.  Continental Breakfast is scheduled to be served.

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How long does it take to complete the MS program?

Students can complete the MS in Chemical Engineering program in two semesters by taking 15 points (usually five courses) per semester, but 18 months is recommended.  The option to complete the program in three semesters by taking fewer courses each semester costs less per semester and allows for summer internships.
 
 
How long does it take to complete the S2E MS program?
 
The S2E program takes 3 semesters (approximately 18 months) to complete. Here are some of the details form the web site. "A student who is admitted to the MS program without an undergraduate degree that is equivalent to an ABET accredited chemical engineering baccalaureate degree is given Scientist to Engineer (S2E) status. These students must complete CHEN E4001, Essentials of Chemical Engineering A, and CHEN E4002, Essentials of Chemical Engineering B, in their first semester. These courses cover essentials from the undergraduate chemical engineering curriculum in an intensive, accelerated way in 6 credits. These 6 points of credit must be taken and passed in addition to the 30 points of graduate credit required for the MS itself, so that these students need a total of 36 credits to graduate. Typically this can be accomplished in 3 semesters.
After completing CHEN E4001 and CHEN E4002, students admitted with S2E status must also take CHEN E4010, Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering, as part of the core requirement, and a graduate-level chemical engineering course with substantial design content as one of their technical electives.http://cheme.columbia.edu/scientist-to-engineer
 
 
If I am an international student how many points must I take in a semester?
 
As specified at the ISSO website am international student on VISA status must be registered as a fulltime student. While some students may take 15 points, all full time students are required to take 12 points in order to be considered full time. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/isso/incoming/Immigration_Essentials.pdf  In the case of the MS in Chemical Engineering Degree, a student that takes 12 points per semester for the first two semesters will have earned 24 points and will only be required to take 6 points during the final semester.  Taking less than 12 points in the final is pre-approved as an exception to the policy and the student does not need to apply for a reduced course load in the final semester.  Please see this link for evidence of reduced course load authorization for the final semester (https://www1.columbia.edu/sec/cu/isso/Reduced_Course_Load_request.html)
 
 
Something is wrong with my I20 VISA form. Whom should I contact? 
 
Please contact the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) for VISA information.   The phone number is (212) 854-3587, or you can send an email to isso@columbia.edu.  The ISSO office is located at 524 Riverside Drive (between West 122 Street and Tiemann Place),.  Also, information about F-1 visas is available athttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/isso/visa/F-1/index.html.
 
 
Is housing available for accepted graduate students?
 
Housing questions should be directed to University Apartment Housing University Apartment Housing. (www.columbia.edu/cu/ire/). Please contact the housing office for more details.
 
 
What kind of professional development opportunities are there within the department?
 
The Department encourages all students to engage in professional development activities including professional etiquette workshops, interview workshops, taped mock interviews, resume workshops, employer presentations, industry speaker events, networking socials, recruiting events, etc. These initiatives are largely sponsored and offered by the Columbia University Center for Career Education. (http://www.careereducation.columbia.edu/). Students may also contact our career counselor, Irina Khenkin for assistance. Information about internships can be obtained through our career counselor, Irina Khenkin and through the Center for Career Education.
 
 
Where can I find more information about careers for Chemical Engineers?
 
You can find information about careers for Chemical Engineers at http://www.aiche.org/resources/careers
For our students we have our career placement officer in the department, Irina Khenkin. The Department encourages all students to engage in professional development activities including professional etiquette workshops, interview workshops, taped mock interviews, resume workshops, employer presentations, industry speaker events, networking socials, recruiting events, etc. These initiatives are largely sponsored and offered by the Columbia University Center for Career Education. (http://www.careereducation.columbia.edu/). Students work though our career counselor, Irina Khenkin for assistance.  Information about internships can be obtained through, Irina Khenkin and through the Center for Career Education.
 
 
Where can I find starting salaries for someone with a Chemical Engineering Master's?
 
A good reference for or chemical engineering starting salary data ishttp://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/careers/salaries/surveys.html.   
Chemical Engineering Progress from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers has salary data as well.http://www.aiche.org/resources/publications/cep/2015/june/2015-aiche-salary-survey.  This publication is accessible with a free membership in AIChE for undergraduate students (http://www.aiche.org/community/membership) and though most college libraries.  

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When do I register for classes?

Graduate student must register during the designated registration period or risk loss of student status. Registration for classes is done through student services on line: https://ssol.columbia.edu/  Graduate student course registration dates are dictated by the CU Registrar Office and posted at the Columbia Academic Calendar site. http://registrar.columbia.edu/event/academic-calendar  MS advising forms may be obtained at http://cheme.columbia.edu/ms-advising
 
 
Who is my adviser and when will I meet my adviser?
 
Advising of MS students is currently the responsibility of the Masters Committee.  Each incoming MS student will be assigned an advisor who will approve courses.” (2015-2016 Columbia Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Handbook: http://cheme.columbia.edu/masters-program-2)
MS student advising takes place close to the registration period.  Typical advising weeks are the week prior to classes starting for entering students and the week prior to the academic calendar registration dates for each subsequent Spring or Fall semester.  Students will be informed of advising dates via Columbia email.  Students are required to meet with their academic advisor during that time.  Students are informed at orientation of core and suggested elective courses.  All course selections must be approved by an academic advisor.  Student will be informed of course options via email or other means for subsequent semesters.  MS advising forms may be obtained at http://cheme.columbia.edu/ms-advising
 
 
What should I do in preparation for meeting with my adviser?
 
Prior to meeting with an academic advisor, an MS student must record all current and requested courses and grades on the academic advising sheet in order to inform the advisor of the current program structure.  This is done to save the student time as evaluation of student progress in the program is needed prior to making changes.  MS advising forms may be obtained at http://cheme.columbia.edu/ms-advising
 
 
What should I do when I register in SSOL and the course that I have chosen is listed as “full” in SSOL?
 
If you find that the course you have chosen is full when you try to register, you may enter your name on the wait list for that course and then wait and see if a slot opens up. It is suggested that you attend the first few lessons of the course so that if you come off the wait list, you will not be behind on the material.  You may choose to contact the professor about availability in the course.  You must have a backup plan as if the course is full you may not be able to take it at the semester of offering and thus you must take another course.  Your academic plan must be agreed upon between you and your academic advisor.  Any changes made to your academic plan must be approved in writing by your academic advisor. Any back up courses need to be approved by your academic advisor so that you meet all graduation requirements.  You must manage this request for change carefully. 
 


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