The residence halls are an important focal point of campus life outside the classroom, with the University housing more than 95 percent of the undergraduate population in residence halls on or near the campus. A trained Residential Life staff lives with the students in the halls. They work to create an atmosphere conducive to educational pursuits and the development of community among the diverse student body. Throughout the year the Residential Life staff presents programs in the residence halls and off campus that are both social and educational.
Columbia guarantees housing for all undergraduate students (except Combined Plan students and visiting students) who have filed their intent to reside on campus by the stated deadline and who have continuously registered as full-time students. Each spring, continuing students participate in a room selection process to select their accommodations for the next academic year. Students who take an unauthorized leave of absence are placed on the nonguaranteed wait list upon their return and are on the wait list for each subsequent year.
A variety of residence hall accommodations are available to Columbia students. Carman, John Jay, Wallach, Wien, Furnald, McBain, Schapiro, Harmony and Broadway Residence Halls are traditional corridorstyle residence halls. Of these, all but John Jay, and Carman have kitchens on each floor. Carlton, East Campus, 47 Claremont, Hartley (which, together with Wallach, comprises the Living- Learning Center), Hogan, River, Ruggles, 600 West 113th Street, Watt, and Woodbridge offer suite-style living, and all have kitchens. All residence hall rooms are either single or double. Both single and double rooms are available in all halls except Carman, which has only doubles, and Hogan, which is all singles.
The residence halls are also home to a variety of Special Interest Communities. These communities provide an opportunity for students with a common interest to live together and develop programs in their area of interest. The themes may vary from year to year. First-year students are not eligible to live in Special Interest Communities but are welcome to attend events.
Upperclass Columbia students also have the option of living in brownstones, a limited number of fraternity and sorority organizations, and certain Barnard College halls. These rooms are also chosen through a room selection process, which takes place each spring.
For more information, please visit the Housing website.
Graduate students have a number of housing opportunities in the Morningside Heights neighborhood. The three main sources are University Apartment Housing (UAH), International House, and Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA). UAH operates Columbia-owned apartments and dormitory-style suites in the Morningside Heights and Manhattan Valley areas within walking distance of the campus, as well as in Riverdale, in the Bronx. For further information, see UAH’s website. International House, a privately owned student residence near the campus, has accommodations for about five hundred graduate students, both international and American, who attend various area colleges and universities. It provides a supportive and crosscultural environment with many activities and resources, and it is conveniently located two blocks from the Engineering building. For more information, write or call: International House, 500 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10027; 212-316- 8400; or check their website.
There are also a number of resources available for searching for off-campus housing opportunities. Columbia’s Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) office assists Columbia students and affiliates in their search for rental housing in the metropolitan area. OCHA manages a database known as the Housing Registry that contains listings of available rooms and apartments in non-Columbia-owned buildings in NYC. The Registry also contains listings of sublets of rooms and apartments in Columbia-managed housing. Prospective roommates can post and search profiles on the Roommates section of the Registry. OCHA offers one-on-one counseling and is supported in these efforts by a cooperative relationship with two New York City real estate/relocation agencies, Citihabitats and Douglas Elliman, which also offer a discounted broker fee. Only students/affiliates with a UNI or admission acceptance letter are permitted to use the Registry. Office hours and instructions are posted on their website. Start your search by watching OCHA's Apartment Hunting Webinar on OCHA's homepage.
UAH application information is sent along with acceptance packets from the Office of Graduate Student Affairs. Information on applying for housing is also available in the Office of Graduate Student Affairs and the UAH Office. You can also seek additional information Columbia Students Page.
Due to the growing demand for housing, graduate housing is no longer guaranteed, but every effort is made to accommodate you. It is critical that you follow the instructions in your acceptance packet. Housing applications received after the set dates are not guaranteed housing. The order of priority for selection is: graduate fellowship recipients, Zone 1 students (those who live further than 250 miles from campus), and then Zone 2 students (those who live between 50 and 250 miles from campus). All continuing students and applications from Zone 3 areas (within 50 miles) are automatically placed on a waiting list. Depending on availability, students placed on the UAH waitlist receive housing assignments between late December and January for the spring term, and between early August and late September for the fall term.
Students will be properly notified of Graduate Orientation and Registration, which are generally held the week before the first day of class. If a student needs to move in earlier, proper documentation from the department in support of the request is necessary. Select move-in periods on the UAH application accordingly, and update your application as needed. For spring, the housing application approval process begins late November and concludes by the end of December. For fall, the housing application approval process begins mid-May and concludes mid-July.
For additional information on housing, you can refer to this website.