F.A.Q. Regarding William&Mary and Columbia university combined (engineering) program

by Dr. Eugeniy E. Mikhailov

F.A.Q. foreword

The material below provides additional information to the officially posted. It covers question which I often see in initial communications with students who inquire about the 3+2 and 4+2 combined degree with W&M and Columbia.

Where can I find the list of prerequisites?

The Columbia list of prerequisites located at their website. Here you can find list of prerequisites with W&M class equivalents.

Is my admission guaranteed if I fulfill all prerequisites?

For students entering W&M in Fall 2019 and after, the admission to Columbia is no longer guaranteed.

According to Columbia:

Guaranteed admission is not available for candidates who began college, whether at an affiliate school or not, in Fall 2019 or later. All applicants who began college in Fall 2019 or later will be considered under the competitive review process. This is a holistic process that evaluates a candidate’s preparation for Columbia Engineering’s curriculum, fit for the university, character and recommendations, among other factors.

I am interested in the combined program how do I apply?

There is no special application or form at the admission or during the first years at W&M. From the W&M point of view, you are a normal student with intent to transfer. Every year around December, Columbia opens electronic application form where you indicate your desire to transfer along the combined degree track. You complete this application either during the 3rd (3-2 program) or 4th (4-2) year at W&M.

Do I need to do anything prior my first semester at W&M?

There is no need to worry or do anything special.

I have some AP credits. Do they count?

Yes. As long as the W&M registrar’s office counts them as equivalent for a particular class. They are also not counted as part of your GPA.

I would like to take some prerequisites somewhere else. Will they count?

No. Columbia specifically states that all prerequisites must be taken at affiliated institution, i.e. W&M.

I am transfer student. Does above means that I have to retake classes in the prerequisites list?

No. As long as the W&M registrar’s office counts them as equivalent for a particular class. They are also not counted as part of your GPA.

I am considering to take a class Pass/Fail, is it OK?

In short, if the class is in the list of prerequisites, you should take it for real grade. Other classes are OK to be in Pass/Fail mode. Below is the official response from Columbia:

For Spring 2020, if courses were moved to online for the remainder of the year, we went with whatever policy the school adopted, for all courses including any prerequisites that normally have to be taken for a grade. So if schools went all P/F, or gave students the option to select some courses to be P/F or CR/NC, even if they were prerequisites, that was fine. For Fall 2020, we’re flexible in terms format (online, in-person, hybrid), but will resume requiring that prerequisite courses be taken for a grade. Non-prerequisite courses can otherwise be taken P/F according to individual campus policy.

When I am at Columbia what tuition do I pay?

While at Columbia you pay their tuition.

Will I get a master’s degree if I follow the 4+2 track?

No. You will get an additional BS degree in engineering from Columbia. Please also see the answer to the next question.

What is the difference between 3+2 and 4+2 programs?

There is none. Both tracks give you an additional BS degree in engineering from Columbia. Some people need an extra year to fulfill pre-requisites or/and take classes of their choice or for their major requirement.

How many people transfer to Columbia every year?

This information is not available for W&M liaison. Once students made their decision, they do not report back to the liaison.

What I know is how many students apply for the transfer every year. Below is the yearly statistics

Year # W&M majors
2023 1 Business Analytics with Data Science
2022 5 Math, Applied Math, Economics, Finance, Psychology
2021 5 Psychology, Applied Math, Mathematics, EPAD
2020 3 Chemestry, Finance, Mathematics
2019 8 Business Analytics, Computer Science, Finance, Goverment, Economics, Interdisciplinary Studies Economics, Biology
2018 10 Computer Science, Accounting, Mathematics, Physics, Finance
2017 8 Neuroscience, Mathematics, Financial Economics & Mathematics (Self-Designed) major, Applied Mathematics, Finance, Computational Science (Self-Designed)
2016 4 Mathematics, Economics, Geology
2015 2 Economics, Chemestry
2014 2 Mathematics, Computer Science
2013 3 Chines, Psychology, Goverment

If I choose to apply for Master/Ph.D. program at Columbia, is my admission guaranteed?

This is outside of the scope of the combined degree program which aims to give you a second BS degree in engineering. If you do apply to a Master/Ph.D. program at Columbia then your admission is not guaranteed. You are in the common cohort of applicants.

There is no way I can take the required 120 credit hours in 3 years at W&M. What should I do?

Do not worry. Extra classes taken at Columbia will be counted toward your W&M degree.

I fail to fulfill all prerequisites. Can I still apply?

According to Columbia: Applicants who do not meet the above criteria are welcome to apply as part of our competitive review process, where admission is not guaranteed.

What additional paperwork should I do before moving to Columbia?

Below are requirements of the W&M registrar office

  1. Students must complete the Committee on Degrees petition form. They just need to check the “Other” box and explain that they are participating in the 3:2 program.
  2. Students must complete the account extension request form managed by the Dean of Students.
  3. Students must complete the notice of candidacy to graduate
  4. Students must complete the Withdrawal and Leave of Absence form
  5. If students need to have courses transferred back to W&M to count toward their W&M degree, they will need to complete the permission to take course elsewhere form as well before they leave

I have more questions

Please, contact Dr. Eugeniy E. Mikhailov via email, phone or schedule a meeting. I will do my best to answer all of your questions.