Department of Mechanical Engineering Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science Columbia University

New York, NY
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
in-state | out-of-state tuition
December 15
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
0 Department and Program
departments and programs


A Globally Recognized Center for Research and Learning

Columbia University's Department of Mechanical Engineering is part of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, originally founded in 1864 as the School of Mines at Columbia College. Today, Columbia's engineering school is a world leader in patents and counts among its patent holdings the MPEG-2 technology that underpins high-definition television. Within the mechanical engineering department, the faculty members lead research on robotics, nanotechnology, energy systems, biomechanics, and other interdisciplinary topics.

Despite the school's high profile and full slate of research, the mechanical engineering graduate program stands out for its low faculty member-to-student ratio of 7 to 1, giving students an opportunity to take meaningful roles in the department's research, academic competitions, and classroom life. Overall, the School of Engineering and Applied Science enrolls some 2,800 graduate students, out of an overall Columbia University student body of approximately 29,000 undergraduate, graduate, and medical students.

Traditional Master's and Doctoral Degree Programs

Students who want to earn master's degrees in mechanical engineering can choose among the standard track and 2 special tracks, the concentration in Energy Systems and the Micro/Nanoscale Engineering concentration, with coursework approved by a special track adviser and advisory committee.

The Mechanical Engineering Department offers 2 doctoral degree options for post-graduate students: the Doctor of Engineering Science (Eng.Sc.D.) degree program and the Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering (Ph.D.) degree program. Both programs help students master specialized areas within the discipline of mechanical engineering.

Distance Learning and Professional Degree Options

Students anywhere in the world can pursue master's degrees in mechanical engineering through Columbia's distance-learning program, the Columbia Video Network. Classes in the distance learning graduate program are tailored to the student's interests, on topics such as robotics, fluid dynamics, controls, and other graduate-level topics. Prospective students must apply to Columbia's Graduate Engineering Distance Learning Program.

Columbia's Mechanical Engineer (M.E.) degree program gives mechanical engineering master's degree holders a pathway to more education outside a traditional doctoral degree program. The M.E. degree program blends analytical and applied study in one or more mechanical engineering disciplines.

Express Admission and Simultaneous B.S. and M.S. Choices

The Mechanical Engineering Department's Master of Science (M.S.) degree program Express option allows current Columbia Bachelor of Science degree program students with qualifying GPAs to transition into the master's degree program without taking the GRE or TOEFL. This program lets students do specific long-term course planning, take graduate program courses as seniors, and apply summer research credit projects toward the master's degree program, with adviser approval.

Faculty-Run Laboratories with Global and Individual Impact

The mechanical engineering department hosts more than a dozen labs run by faculty members. The Sustainable Engineering Lab, part of Columbia's Earth Institute, collaborates with governments, NGOs, industry, and other universities to run energy, irrigation, and public health projects in countries throughout the developing world.

The Robotics and Rehabilitation Lab works with Columbia's medical campus to develop robotic arm and leg exoskeletons for stroke patients with loss of limb control, robotic carts for mobility-impaired infants and toddlers, and tactile feedback shoes for Parkinsons patients.

Research led by the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Laboratory, a joint effort of the mechanical and biomedical engineering departments, studies cartilage and cellular mechanics as well as cartilage tissue engineering.

Biomechanics and Soft-Tissue Mechanics Research

Faculty member biomechanics research covers topics such as the electromechanical behavior of cartilage, cervical structure and function changes during pregnancy, the molecular mechanics of stem-cell differentiation, and clinical inquiries into the role of biomechanics in disease.

Control, Design, Robotics, and Manufacturing Research

The mechanical engineering department conducts diverse robotics, control, and design research on topics from assisted movement for mobility-impaired patients to earthquake damage assessment and laser micromachining processes for industrial manufacturing.

Research into Micro-electromechanical Systems and Nanotechnology

Micro-electromechanical Systems (MEMS) and nanotechnology projects led by mechanical engineering faculty members cover topics such as photonic nanostructures, microcantilever dynamics, carbon nanotube synthesis, and nanoscale bioimaging, among many others.

Bioengineering and Biomechanics Research

Columbia's Department of Mechanical Engineering is known for its research into the mechanics of cartilage and joint function. Other lines in inquiry include techniques for the creation of biofunctional nanoarrays with possible regenerative medicine applications, stem-cell differentiation research, and the potential monitoring of glucose via implantable microelectromechanical systems.

Energy, Fluid Mechanics, and Heat Transfer Research

Studies of energy, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics by mechanical engineering faculty members cover topics that impact the environment, such as the removal of carbon dioxide from the air, and tribology topics including performance improvements to power generation equipment.

Access to Interdisciplinary Labs and Research Opportunities

Columbia University's mechanical engineering faculty members and students work within the School of Engineering and Applied Science and with other schools to apply engineering to medicine, nanotechnology, materials research, and global climate study. The department has ongoing collaborations with Columbia University Medical Center as well as with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory on the Hudson River, run by Columbia's Earth Institute. Other mechanical engineering interdisciplinary projects involve the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center and the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, both run by Columbia's Center for Integrated Science and Engineering.

Extensive Graduate Student Financial Aid

Graduate students in mechanical engineering can apply for School of Engineering and Applied Science Fellowships that provide funding, research and networking opportunities, and academic prestige. These fellowships include Presidential Distinguished Fellowships; Graduate Minorities in Engineering Fellowships for students of African-American, Hispanic-American, and Native-American heritage; and Special Fellowships for engineering graduate students.

Columbia also offers 4 National Science Foundation-funded Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training Fellowships for multidisciplinary research and study in 4 specific fields: information technology, urban infrastructure, multiscale phenomena in soft materials, and biological systems sensing and imaging.

The Columbia Comprehensive Educational Financing Plan pulls together public and private funding sources, lines of credit, payment plans, and other services in conjunction with carefully vetted financial service providers.

A College Steeped in History and Rich in Resources

Columbia University in the City of New York, founded in 1754, is currently ranked 4th among national universities by "U.S. News and World Report." "The Princeton Review" lists Columbia as a Best Value Private College and rates its library 1st among American universities. The school also stands out for its socioeconomic diversity and its location in Manhattan's Morningside Heights neighborhood. Notable Columbia alumni include President Barack Obama, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, and evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, along with more than 40 Nobel Prize recipients.

Location & Contact

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science
Columbia University

116th Street and Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Dr. Jeffrey Kysar

Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering

Phone: 212-854-7432
Fax: 212-854-3304

Sandra Morris

Department Administrator

Phone: 212-854-6269
Fax: 212-854-3304

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Mechanical Engineering Doctor of Engineering Science (Eng Sc D)
      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Engineer (Engr)
      Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 69
    • Doctoral Degrees 12
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? Yes
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


41% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 505
    • Accepted 209
    • Acceptance Rate 41
    • Enrolled 98
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $85
    • Application Fee - International $85
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline December 15th December 15th Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline October 1st October 1st Yes
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test, minimum GPA of 3.3
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesGRE General Test
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, IELTS required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *Not Reported
    • Out-of-state tuition *Not Reported
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year feesNot Reported
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsDecember 15
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Research Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students209
    • Female Percentage21%
    • Male Percentage79%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students209
    • Part-time Percentage25%
    • Full-time Percentage75%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino4%
    • Black / African American10%
    • White / Caucasian56%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian21%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races3%
    • Unknown6%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty26
    • Full-time Percentage65%
    • Part-time Percentage35%
    • Female Percentage12%
    • Male Percentage88%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchMusculoskeletal biomechanics; nanomechanics, nanomaterials and nanofabrication; manufacturing; optical nanostructure; biofluidic micro systems
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported




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