Housing for First-Year Students

Everything you need to know about life in Columbia Housing as a First-Year resident.

About First-Year Housing

Incoming First-Year students are required to live on campus and have guaranteed housing for up to four years, provided they maintain eligibility.

Residence for First-Year students in Columbia Housing begins in late August and continues until mid-May, including all University holiday breaks.

First-Year Residential Options

Students are placed in residence halls in the First-Year Area. Proximity to Butler Library, Alfred Lerner Hall, John Jay Dining Hall, JJ's Place, and Columbia Health make these residence halls a convenient connection to the Columbia community.

Five different housing options are available to First-Year students: Carman Hall, Furnald HallJohn Jay Hall, Wallach Hall, and Hartley Hall*. Students should review each residence hall to learn more and to help narrow down their preferences.

*Note: Hartley Hall will provide some housing for First-Year students but will be primarily occupied by Sophomores.

The Housing Application & Assignment Process

You will be notified when the Columbia Housing First-Year Application becomes available, typically in early April. Through the application, you will indicate your preference for a particular hall. You may also request to participate in Bag Drop Day, which allows for early access to your room to drop off your suitcases and other items the day before Check-In. Participation in Bag Drop is not guaranteed. Confirmation will be shared with your room assignment.

Assignments are not processed until after the application deadline has passed; assignments are not made on a first-apply, first-assigned basis.

Housing assignment notifications will be sent via email by July.

Special Accommodations

Disability Accommodations

Accommodations are provided for students whose disabilities may impact their ability to live in Columbia’s traditional housing arrangements. Incoming First-Year students should submit their request for disability accommodations by May 1.

Accommodations Related to Gender Expression or Identity

Students with questions about housing accommodations related to gender expression or identity should contact Residential Life.

Accommodations are reviewed case-by-case by Housing in partnership with Residential Life and other campus partners.

First-Year Residential Requirement

All First-Year students are required to live on campus unless they have approval from Residential Life to commute from the home of their parent(s) or guardian. First-Year students are also prohibited from living in fraternity or sorority housing at any time during their first year at Columbia.

If there is an extenuating circumstance that warrants additional discussion, please contact Residential Life via email or by phone at 212-854-6805. Students who plan to submit a commuter request to Residential Life should still complete their Housing Application as commuter requests are not guaranteed. When prompted in the Housing Application, please indicate that you are applying for commuter approval. Note: indicating that you plan to be a commuter does not mean that you have approval to do so.

Additionally, commuter First-Year students who intend to move on-campus their sophomore year must register for Room Selection during Spring term of their first year in order to maintain eligibility and guaranteed housing status.