Check-in is an exciting and busy time. In order to ensure everyone's experience is as stress-free as possible, the first-year class check-in is divided into two groups based on geographic location. The information provided here is so you can begin to make your arrangements now.

When to Arrive

Arrival for first-year students is on Monday, August 26, with Check-In taking place from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Students traveling a great distance to Columbia (see qualifying Primary Residence listing below) may move in a day early on Sunday, August 25. Qualifying students received an email on July 29 confirming that they reside in a qualifying state and asking that they confirm their intention to arrive early on the Housing Portal. Registration must be completed by August 15 to confirm early arrival on August 25.

  • Students with Primary Residence in the following locations are invited to move in on Sunday, August 25, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 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 may move in on Monday, August 26, 2013 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 Transfer and Combined Plan students is Tuesday, August 27, 2013, with check-in taking place between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Unless you received an early arrival confirmation email on July 29, or you are participating in a special orientation program, you may not move into your room prior to Monday, August 26. If you must arrive after August 26, please let us know in writing as soon as possible at We do advise, however, that you attend as much of your orientation as you can. It will be your introduction to Columbia and is an important time to meet new friends and prepare for the academic year.

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 arrive earlier than August 26. Your particular program will send you instructions that include information on check-in and how to store your belongings in the period preceding orientation.

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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 Hall descriptions online at Depending on the residence hall in which you will be living, 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.

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

Air Conditioning

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. 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. 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. During evening hours, you may use the Morningside Heights Shuttle Bus to travel the neighborhood. See the Columbia Transportation website for information on the shuttle.

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Deadlines Info

30 Days Before Registration

Submit proof of MMR immunity 30 days before class registration.

Certify your meningitis vaccination decision online before class registration.

2 Weeks Before Your School Orientation

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

September 12, 2014 - 5:00pm

Payment due for the first Fall E-Bill.

September 30, 2014 - 11:59pm

Confirm, upgrade, or request a waiver from the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan.

Past Deadlines

August 2, 2013 - 5:00pm

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