How it Works


Room Selection in 6 Easy Steps

Room Selection is an annual process during which current undergraduate students select on-campus housing for the following academic year. Students choose from a variety of housing arrangements that include living with a group in doubles, suites, or apartments, or living in a single in a corridor-style room or studio apartment.

Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the options and selection steps.

photo of students checking in with Housing.
What About First-Year Students?

First-Year students do not participate in Room Selection, but are instead assigned to one of our First-Year residence halls.

Step 1
Explore our Buildings

Use our Residence Hall Directory to research your options. Learn more about Special Living Communities. Attend info sessions and building tours. 

Step 2
Understand Eligibility and Special Populations

Understand eligibility for Room Selection and special considerations for Rising Sophomores, study abroad, leave, students registered with Disability Services, or living with Barnard students. 

Step 3
Mark Your Calendar

Note important dates and deadlines, including the deadline for students to register for a disability accommodation. Missing a critical step in the process could impact your ability to secure on-campus housing.

Step 4
Pick a Group Leader

If you plan to form a group, decide on a Group Leader. Have an open and detailed conversation as a group about where you do and don’t want to live. During selection, the Group Leader will have the responsibility to make a choice on behalf of the whole group. 

Step 5
Register for Room Selection

Register for Room Selection. All Columbia students must register, even if they intend to live elsewhere next year. Registration lets us know your intended plan and is important in maintaining guaranteed housing status. 

Step 6
Select a Room

After registration closes, individual students or groups will receive a lottery number and appointment time. During your appointment time, students can pick from available options. After you select your room, be sure to sign the Occupancy Agreement. Your assignment is not finalized until you and all members of your group have submitted the Agreement through the Housing Portal


Updates for AY 22-23

  • The third floor of River Hall will be used for SIC housing
The Columbia flag waving in the wind against a bright blue sky

Room Selection Videos

Check out our collection of videos designed to help you learn more about our residence halls and the Room Selection process so that you can successfully choose a room for the Fall Term as part of a group or as an individual. Many of the videos feature your fellow students providing their personal tips and recommendations, including our featured video, "How Room Selection Works" which was created in collaboration with the Residence Hall Leadership Organization (RHLO).