Residence Hall Access

Text: COVID-19 Update

See updated access protocols as of March 25.


Residence halls are access-controlled buildings. Access is granted based on one’s status within the Columbia Undergraduate Residential Community, with special considerations for non-residents or commuter students. Non-residents or commuter students are defined as students who are enrolled but who do not live in Columbia Undergraduate Housing.

Resident Access

Building Access

Current Columbia Undergraduate Housing residents have access into all undergraduate residence halls except for brownstones.  Access is programmed onto residents’ Columbia University ID cards at the beginning of each academic year and will be updated as needed. 


  • Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL)  – All FSL student members have access to their organization’s brownstone regardless of residence hall assignment
  • Special Interest Communities (SIC) – Access is restricted to SIC residents of that brownstone
  • Residential – Access is restricted to the brownstone’s residents

Room Access

Residents use their Columbia University ID card to access their rooms unless living in hard key lock buildings. Residents living in suites are granted access to the suite entrance and their individual room assignment.   

Non-Resident/Commuter Access

Non-residents or commuters are defined as students that are currently enrolled but do not live in Columbia Undergraduate Housing.  

Non-residents or commuter students can apply for Commuter Access into the residence halls through Undergraduate Student Life. Commuter Access allows students to access communal spaces in the residence halls. Applications are reviewed at the beginning of each semester and are considered for currently enrolled undergraduate students in CC/SEAS. Non-residents or commuter students must be in good disciplinary standing and must abide by the terms of the Guide to Living while in the residence halls. 

Special Access Policy

Residents of East Campus, Broadway Hall, and Hogan Hall can request special access to additional entrances in order to transport personal belongings in or out of the building. East Campus residents can request access to the B2 entrance, which leads into the Faculty House courtyard. Broadway Hall and Hogan Hall residents can request access to the street-level doors which lead onto West 114 Street.   

Residence Hall Lounges

Lounges are always available to residents unless there is a scheduled event. Please do not leave personal belongings unattended in lounges. Columbia Housing and Residential Life are not responsible for misplaced belongings. Please be respectful of community spaces and clean up after yourself.

Resident Access

Building Access

All residential buildings require Columbia University ID (CUID) card for entry.  

Tap your card at the card reader at the building entrance or at the Public Safety desk in the building lobby  in order to gain access.

The first time you use your card you will need to tap twice to activate access.


Room Access

Most rooms can be accessed electronically using your CUID, but some buildings use hard key locks.  

Hard Key

Hartley and Woodbridge Halls are hard key buildings. Residents will receive their key when they check in.  

Please note: access to individual rooms is by hard key; access to the building is by CUID.

CUID Swipe Access 

Insert your CUID into the nearest encoder to activate pre-programmed door access. 


East Campus, Wallach Hall, River Hall, Wien Hall, Schapiro Hall, Harmony Hall, 600 W 113, Furnald Hall, Broadway Hall, SIC House, John Jay Hall, Ruggles Hall, Hogan Hall, 47 Claremont, 548 W 113, 604 W 114, 606 W 114 – Offline Lock​​​​​​

CUID Tap Access

Tap your CUID at the door lock to activate preprogrammed door access.  

If the door does not open, please wait 30 seconds and try again. 

Residences: Carman Hall, Carlton Arms, 627 W 115, ICH, IRC, KDR, Q House, SDT, AXO, KAT, SN, SPE, DSP, SC

Non-Resident/Commuter Access

Update: For Fall 2021, undergraduates that wish to apply for non-resident swipe access must complete the off-campus questionnaire that will be distributed via email by CC/SEAS. Students that do not complete the form by the September 10 deadline will not be eligible for swipe access for the fall semester.

Applications for Commuter Access are accepted beginning two weeks prior to the first day of classes each semester and are processed by Residential Life. Applications submitted outside of this timeframe will not be reviewed. Once approved, access will be added to the student’s Columbia University ID card. To enter the residence halls, non-residents or commuters must swipe their CUID at security desk or card reader. 

For additional questions or concerns regarding non-residents/commuter access, please contact Residential Life

Special Access

To submit a request, complete the Special Access Request Form. Signs are also posted by these access points with QR codes to complete this form. Requests are reviewed during the Hartley Hospitality Desk hours of operation. Approvals are sent through a confirmation email with instructions.