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Teresa Larkin
Program Director, Dual-Degree Program

AU physics students

American University offers a joint degree program in partnership with Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. Students spend three or four years as full-time students at AU, followed by two years as full-time students at Columbia University. Students graduate with a BA or BS from AU in the natural sciences or liberal arts and a BS in a specific engineering major from Columbia University. Columbia's Combined Plan program is the first dual-degree engineering program in the United States. AU joins more than 100 colleges and universities that are already Columbia Combined Plan affiliates. Note that this program is open to any student with any major at AU providing the prerequisite courses needed to apply to this program have been taken.

Why enroll in the dual-degree program?

Columbia's engineering school reports that the dual-degree students have had better job opportunities, with higher starting salaries, than students who go directly through traditional engineering programs. Students gain experience with critical thinking, problem solving, and reasoning while pursing the BA. These skills are highly sought after from employers and when paired with the technical course work in engineering, graduates have increased opportunities for employment, research, and graduate studies.

Columbia University offers engineering programs in the following areas: 

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Physics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Earth & Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Engineering and Management Systems
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Operations Research