Tuition, Fees and Payments

The 2012-2013 tuition and fees are listed below. Tuition and fees are prescribed by statute and are subject to change at the discretion of the Trustees.

University charges such as tuition, fees, and residence hall and meal plans are billed in the first Student Account Statement of the term, which is sent out in August and December of each year for the upcoming term. This account is payable and due in full on or before the payment due date announced in the Statement, typically by the middle of September or the middle of January before the beginning of the billed term. Any student who does not receive the first Student Account Statement is expected to pay at registration.

If the University does not receive the full amount due for the term on or before the payment due date of the first Statement, a late payment charge of $150 will be assessed. An additional charge of 1.5 percent per billing cycle may be imposed on any amount past due thereafter.

Students with an overdue account balance may be prohibited from registering, changing programs, or obtaining a diploma or transcripts. In the case of persistently delinquent accounts, the University may utilize the services of an attorney and/or collection agent to collect any amount past due. If a student's account is referred for collection, the student may be charged an additional amount equal to the cost of collection, including reasonable attorney's fees and expenses incurred by the University.

Graduate students enrolled in M.S., Professional Degree, or Eng.Sc.D. program are charged $1,578 per credit, except when a special fee is fixed. Graduate tuition for Ph.D. students is $38,678, or $19,339 per Residence Unit. The Residence Unit, full-time registration for one semester, rather than for individual courses (whether or not the student is taking courses), provides the basis for tuition charges. Ph.D. students should consult the bulletin for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Comprehensive Fee/ Matriculation and Facilities
Eng.Sc.D. candidates engaged only in research, and who have completed their twelve (12) credits of doctoral research instruction, are assessed a comprehensive fee of $1,781 per term by The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Ph.D. candidates engaged only in research are assessed $1,781 per term for Matriculation and Facilities by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Mandatory Fees
University facilities fee:

  • Full-time master's programs: $432 per term
  • All other full-time programs: $400 per term

Health Service fee: $462 per term

International Services charge: $50 per term (international students only)

Transcript fee: $95 (one-time charge)

Other Fees
Application and late fees

  • Application for graduate admission:
    Eng.Sc.D., M.S. leading to Ph.D., and Ph.D. applicants: $80
    M.S. only, professional degree, and nondegree applicants: $95
  • Late registration fee:
    during late registration: $50
    after late registration: $100

Books and course materials: Depends upon course

Laboratory fees: See course listings

Health Insurance
Columbia University offers the Student Medical Insurance Plan, which provides both basic and comprehensive levels of coverage. Full-time students are automatically enrolled in the Basic level of the plan and billed for the insurance premium in addition to the health service fee. Visit for detailed information about medical insurance coverage options and directions for making confirmation, enrollment, or waiver requests.

Personal Expenses
Students should expect to incur miscellaneous personal expenses for such items as food, clothing, linen, laundry, dry cleaning, and so forth.

The University advises students to open a local bank account upon arrival in New York City. Since it often takes as long as three weeks for the first deposit to clear, students should plan to cover immediate expenses using either a credit card, traveler's checks, or cash draft drawn on a local bank. Students are urged not to arrive in New York without sufficient start-up funds.

Laboratory Charges
Students may need to add another $100 to $300 for drafting materials or laboratory fees in certain courses. Each student taking laboratory courses must furnish, at his or her own expense, the necessary notebooks, blank forms, and similar supplies. In some laboratory courses, a fee is charged to cover expendable materials and equipment maintenance; the amount of the fee is shown with the descriptions in the course listings. Students engaged in special tests, investigations, theses, or research work are required to meet the costs of expendable materials as may be necessary for this work and in accordance with such arrangements as may be made between the student and the department immediately concerned.

All students will be charged for damage to instruments or apparatus caused by their carelessness. The amount of the charge will be the actual cost of repair, and, if the damage results in total loss of the apparatus, adjustment will be made in the charge for age or condition. To ensure that there may be no question as to the liability for damage, students should note whether the apparatus is in good condition before use and, in case of difficulty, request instruction in its proper operation. Where there is danger of costly damage, an instructor should be requested to inspect the apparatus. Liability for breakage will be decided by the instructor in charge of the course.

When the laboratory work is done by a group, charges for breakage will be divided among the members of the group. The students responsible for any damage will be notified that a charge is being made against them. The amount of the charge will be stated at that time or as soon as it can be determined.

Tuition and Fee Refunds
Students who make a complete withdrawal from a term are assessed a withdrawal fee of $75. Late fees, application fees, withdrawal fees, tuition deposits, special fees, computer fees, special examination fees, and transcript fees are not refundable.

The Health Service Fee, Health Insurance Premium, University facilities fees, and student activity fees are not refundable after the change of program period.

Students who withdraw within the first 60 percent of the academic period are subject to a pro rata refund calculation, which refunds a portion of tuition based on the percentage of the term remaining after the time of withdrawal. This calculation is made from the date the student's written notice of withdrawal is received by the Office of Graduate Student Services.

Percentage Refund for Withdrawal during First Nine Weeks of Term

  • 1st week 100%
  • 2nd week 90%
  • 3rd week 80%
  • 4th week 80%
  • 5th week 70%
  • 6th week 60%
  • 7th week 60%
  • 8th week 50%
  • 9th week 40%
  • After 9th week 0%

Refund Policy When Dropping Individual Courses
Tuition for courses dropped by the last day of the Change of Program period is refunded in full. There is no refund of tuition for individual courses dropped after the last day of the Change of Program period. The Change of Program period is usually the first two weeks of the fall or spring semesters (please note that the first week of the semester usually begins on a Tuesday).

Please note: The prorated schedule above does not pertain to individual classes dropped (unless your entire schedule consists of only one class). The prorated schedule pertains to withdrawals. Withdrawal is defined as dropping one’s entire program.

For students receiving federal student aid, refunds will be made to the federal aid programs in accordance with Department of Education regulations. Refunds will be credited in the following order:

  1. Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  2. Federal Stafford Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loans
  4. Federal PLUS Loans (when disbursed through the University)
  5. Federal Pell Grants
  6. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
  7. Other Title IV funds

Withdrawing students should be aware that they will not be entitled to any portion of a refund until all Title IV programs are credited and all outstanding charges have been paid.

500 W. 120th St., Mudd 510, New York, NY 10027    212-854-2993