The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (popularly known as SEAS or Columbia Engineering) is the engineering and applied Science School of Columbia University. Columbia, originally chartered as King’s College in 1754, is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science was founded as the School of Mines in 1863 and then the School of Mines, Engineering and Chemistry before becoming the School of Engineering and Applied Science. It is the country’s third such institution and the oldest in New York City after the New York University Tandon School of Engineering. On October 1, 1997, the school was renamed in honor of Chinese businessman Z. Y. Fu, who had donated $26 million to the school.
Today, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science is a premier and exclusive engineering school known for the depth and breadth of its offerings as well as its cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research with other academic, corporate institutions including NASA, IBM, MIT, and The Earth Institute. It is also known for numerous patents which generate over $100 million annually for the university. SEAS faculty and alumni are responsible for technological achievements including the developments of FM radio and the maser. As of today, Columbia Engineering is the only academic institution to hold a share of patents for MPEG-2 technology.
The School’s applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, and computer science programs are each regarded as one of the strongest programs in the United States according to US News and the National Research Council; its financial engineering program in operations research is one of the best in the nation and is ranked in the top 3 worldwide. The current SEAS faculty include 27 members of the National Academy of Engineering and one Nobel Laureate in a faculty size of 173. In all, the faculty and alumni of Columbia Engineering have won 10 Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine, and economics.
The small engineering school with around 300 undergraduates in each graduating class also draws upon Columbia University’s endowment, in excess of $7 billion, and maintains close links with its undergraduate liberal arts sister school Columbia College which offers Bachelor of Arts degree. The School’s current dean is Mary Cunningham Boyce, who was appointed in 2013.
Similar to the Columbia College requirements, there is a rigorous set of required “core engineering classes” in empirical science, computer science, and math. The core classes typically consist of a semester or more of classes in each of these disciplines: calculus, chemistry, physics, and computer science. Columbia engineers also take non-technical courses which fall into two basic categories: the Columbia College Core, or other non-technical courses. Engineers are required to take classes from Columbia College’s famous Core Curriculum.