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Choosing the Right College/Transfer to Columbia University


I know this is really hard to believe(my counselor was pretty speechless too a couple years back) but I have a perfect SAT score, alone with perfect scores in SAT Math and Physics; but my gpa was a 2.0. I really goofed off during high school, I was depressed and it affected my grades suffered considerably. I go to City Tech now and my GPA is a 4.0, I'm trying to be a Civil Engineer. I want to transfer into Columbia but I don't know what my chances are. Whatever my course of action is, I really want to get a graduate degree from Columbia.

Hi Mohammad,

There are many questions that come to my mind, some of which are...
1.  Why do you think you goofed off in high school?  What has changed, has it changed?
2.  When you say "depressed", do you mean in colloquial or clinical terms?
3.  How if any has your sitation since changed?
4.  Do you have the requisite courses to transfer?  Major, pre-major, and/ or GE requirements?
5.  Is your goal to become civil engineer or to transfer into Columbia?
6.  Transfer means for B.S. Civil Engineering, but you said graduate degree, which do you mean?
7.  You really should meet with your transfer counselor at City Tech to help guide your prospect for TRANSFER if that's what you are really aiming for.  If your goal is to become civil engineer, gain work experience or internship in the field BEFORE you apply to graduate programs.  They will certainly look for this.
8.  Strong test scores are nice but it raises a big red flag for schools, shows student doesn't always expend full effort.  You'll need strong extracurricular to offset your extremely low GPA.  I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but virtually all graduate programs require a minimum gpa of 3.0.  Of course there are always exceptions...

Best to finish strong at some four-year instituion then apply for grad program at Columbia.  You will have an utmost unpleasant experience if you narrowly define your option to Columbia's CE program.  Therefore, set up multiple paths toward the same goal of becoming a civil engineer.  

Choosing the Right College

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Joon Kim


I can help with all questions related to education, including college admissions related questions. I can also help in the areas of motivation, learning strategies, and topics that may be categorized under educational psychology. However, don't expect me to have the secrets to getting into your school of your dreams, because they don't exist. I can provide answers to help you better navigate through our educational system in the US. I cannot answer questions related to international educational systems and policies. My expertise is mainly in the areas of letters, arts, and sciences, with specialty in pre-health. Humanities and the arts are beyond the scope of my expertise.


I have been an educator for over 12 years and have experience at various levels. From multiple subject elementary substitute teacher, single subject science middle school teacher, undergraduate academic advisor, and most recently administrative director at small private graduate school. I've also taught adult learners in the area of food safety guidelines and practices. My experience has mainly been in higher education, both undergraduate and graduate in the natural sciences.

AERA(American Educational Research Association) NAAHP (National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions) IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association)

BA Psychology, Master of Education Higher Education Administration, Doctor of Education Educational Leadership & Educational Psychology, UCLA College Admissions Counseling Certificate Program

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