Jed-Joan Edziah is ready to enter Columbia.
Jed-Joan Edziah is ready to enter Columbia.

Schools partner on highly selective undergrad offering.

May 2017 – Three Drew University undergraduates have earned admission to a selective dual-degree engineering program at Columbia University.

Jed-Joan Edziah and Quitong Xin, both chemistry majors, were accepted into the “combined plan” program at the Ivy League school, as was Zoe Hughes, a physics major.

The Columbia 3-2 program allows science majors from liberal arts schools to earn two bachelor’s degrees—one from their institution and another from Columbia—in five years. (There is also a 4-2 option.)

Students complete all of their Drew requirements, including requisite science and pre-engineering courses, within three years before moving to Columbia for the final two years of study. To finish the Drew portion in time, students likely need to complete 20 credits (five courses) per semester or take classes in the summer. Those accepted must maintain a 3.3 GPA (B+) overall and in pre-engineering courses (mostly math and science), which is challenging given the rigor and pace of the coursework, according to Associate Professor Robert Murawski, who chairs Drew’s Physics Department.

The tandem degrees can offer the best of both worlds, as students are schooled in the humanities and nurtured in a small liberal arts community before heading off to a large, highly structured engineering school. Armed with their Drew science degrees, those students often bring a wider perspective and different problem-solving skills to more narrowly focused engineering-only programs, Murawski said.

Edziah feels well-prepared as she heads off to pursue chemical engineering at Columbia.

“Drew gave me a broader understanding to think deeply about concepts in general. Here there really was an emphasis on understanding the concepts rather than just regurgitating information,” said Edziah, who’s enthusiastic about the next step. “I always wanted to be an engineer. I always loved math and science.”