University and School Policies, Procedures, and Regulations



Registration is the process that reserves seats in particular classes for eligible students. It is accomplished by following the procedures announced in advance of each term’s registration period.

Enrollment is the completion of the registration process and affords the full rights and privileges of student status. Enrollment is accomplished by the payment or other satisfaction of tuition and fees and by the satisfaction of other obligations to the University.

Registration alone does not guarantee enrollment; nor does registration alone guarantee the right to participate in class. In some cases, students will need to obtain the approval of the instructor or of a representative of the department that offers a course. Students should check this bulletin, their registration instructions, the Directory of Classes, and also with an adviser for all approvals that may be required.

To comply with current and anticipated Internal Revenue Service mandates, the University requires all students who will be receiving financial aid or payment through the University payroll system to report their Social Security number at the time of admission. Newly admitted students who do not have a Social Security number should obtain one well in advance of their first registration. International students should consult the International Students and Scholars Office, located at 524 Riverside Drive (212-854-3587), for further information.

Special billing authorization is required of all students whose bills are to be sent to a third party for payment. Students who are not citizens of the United States and who need authorization for special billing of tuition and/or fees to foreign institutions, agencies, or sponsors should go to the International Students and Scholars Office with two copies of the sponsorship letter.

University Regulations

Each person whose enrollment has been completed is considered a student of the University during the term for which they are enrolled unless their connection with the University is officially severed by being withdrawn or for other reasons. No student enrolled in any school or college of the University shall at the same time be enrolled in any other school or college, either of Columbia University or of any other institution, without the specific authorization of the dean or director of the school or college of the University in which they are first enrolled.

The privileges of the University are not available to any student until enrollment has been completed. Students are not permitted to attend any University course for which they are not officially enrolled or for which they have not officially filed a program unless they have been granted auditing privileges.

The University reserves the right to withhold the privileges of registration and enrollment or any other University privilege from any person who has outstanding financial, academic, or administrative obligations to the University.

Continuous registration until completion of all requirements is obligatory for each degree. Students are exempted from the requirement to register continuously only when granted a leave of absence by the Committee on Academic Standing (for undergraduate students) or the Office of Engineering Student Affairs (for graduate students).

Registration Instructions

Registration instructions are announced in advance of each registration period by the Registrar. Students should consult these instructions for the exact dates and times of registration activities. Students must be sure to obtain all necessary written course approvals and advisers’ signatures before registering. Undergraduate students who have not registered for a full-time course load by the end of the add period will be withdrawn, as will graduate students who have not registered for any course work by the end of the add period. International students enrolled in graduate degree programs must maintain full-time status until degree completion.