Check-In is an exciting and busy time. In order to ensure everyone's experience is as stress-free as possible, the information provided here helps you start your planning now.

When to Arrive: Check-In 2015

Arrival for first-year students is on Sunday, August 30 and Monday, August 31. Students traveling a great distance to Columbia (see qualifying Primary Residence listing below) are scheduled to move in on the former date, while students with less travel required are scheduled to move in on the latter.

  • Students with Primary Residence in the following locations will move in on Sunday, August 30 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Puerto Rico, Guam and Countries other than the U.S.

  • Students with Primary Residence in the following locations will move in on Monday, August 31 from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. You’re welcome to arrive anytime between 7:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., but as you plan your own schedule, keep in mind that the Convocation ceremony begins at 2:00 p.m. and no move-in or check-in will be allowed to take place once it has started.

Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC and West Virginia.

  • Arrival for Exchange students is Sunday, August 30, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
  • Arrival for Transfer and Combined Plan students is Tuesday, September 1, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Special Arrivals

If you participate in one of the Columbia Outdoor Orientation Programs (COBOP, COHOP, COROP), Columbia Urban Experience (CUE) or the International Students Orientation Program (ISOP), you will need to arrive earlier than August 30. Your particular program will send you instructions that include information on check-in and how to store your belongings in the period preceding orientation.

  • Arrival for CUE students is August 23.
  • Arrival for ISOP students is August 24.
  • Arrival for COOP students is August 26.

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Living Arrangements

Your Room

Your room is furnished with a bed, chair, chest of drawers, desk, bookshelves, closet or wardrobe, and a wastebasket. Your windows are covered with miniblinds or shades. Bed heights are adjustable (to a maximum height of 33 inches) to allow for storage under the bed. For bed height specifics, please refer to the Residence descriptions on the Columbia Housing website. Depending on your residence, the floors of your room may or may not be carpeted. In either case, you are welcome to bring your own floor covering. You will need to bring your own pillows, linens, and blankets. Your mattress is extra-long (80” x 36”), so it will require special extra-long sheets.

Please note that you must keep all furnishings in your room, including bed frames and mattresses, and that you may not bring any additional furniture into your living space. Due to space limitations, we are unable to provide alternative storage for any furniture. Refrigerators are not provided in first-year residence halls. You may keep a refrigerator in your room, but it must meet certain outlined specifications. Columbia Housing facilitates refrigerator-microwave combination unit rentals for students through MicroFridge. Refrigerators can also be purchased at the Green Sale during Check-In. For more information, visit the Explore Campus Services page.

Please refer to the Guide to Living online at for more information.


Carman and Furnald are equipped with central air-conditioning, while Hartley, Wallach, and John Jay are not. Central air-conditioning is active from approximately May 15 to October 1 each year, depending on the seasonal variations in outdoor temperature. Please note that personal air-conditioners are prohibited in individual rooms.


Laundry facilities are located in each residence hall and are accessible 24 hours a day. You can pay for washers and dryers conveniently with Flex, a dollar-for-dollar declining balance account accessed through your University ID card. Machines do not accept coins. Learn more.

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Campus Security

Safety Inside the Halls

Shortly after your arrival, you will receive a University ID card with a photo. Housing residents receive encoding that allows access to all 18 undergraduate residence halls and SIC House. You may have visitors and guests according to the guest policies found in the Guide to Living. You must sign your guests in with the security desk attendant, and they must leave a photo ID with the desk for the duration of their stay.

Safety Outside the Halls

Morningside Heights is a safe neighborhood. Nevertheless, always be alert, especially at night or when traveling alone. If you feel unsafe at any time, call Public Safety at (212) 854-SAFE and an escort will be provided. Between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., a University shuttle serves the Morningside Heights and Manhattanville areas. See the Columbia Transportation website for information on the evening shuttle.

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Deadlines Info

May 1, 2015

Complete your Housing Assignment online in the Housing Application.

30 Days Before Registration

Submit proof of MMR immunity 30 days before class registration.

Certify your meningitis vaccination decision online before class registration.

June 12 (New Summer Trimester Session students only) or September 30 (New Fall Term students only)

Choose one of three insurance options online.

July 15, 2015 - 5:00pm

Submit a photo online for your University ID card. You will be able to pick up your card when you arrive on campus.

Billing Dates for Fall 2015

Billing dates for the Fall 2015 semester will be announced soon - watch this space for updates.

Past Deadlines

August 7, 2015 - 5:00pm

Last day to sign up parents/authorized payers to receive the first bill

September 18, 2015 - 5:00pm

Payment due for the first Fall E-Bill.