New Student Orientation

Students smiling at the New Student Welcome during Orientation

Monday, January 10 - Sunday, January 16

The New Student Orientation Program is mandatory for all entering students. The week includes a series of events that provide an introduction to the stimulating intellectual and social environment at Columbia, as well as the abundant resources available at GS and the University. The primary goals of Orientation are to help students navigate the University environment and meet fellow incoming students.

The New Student Orientation Program is designed to:

  • Familiarize students with University standards and principles of our academic community
  • Present tips and key information that will make students' first days at Columbia, and their transition to GS, go smoothly
  • Introduce students to resources critical to personal and academic success at Columbia including administrators and faculty members
  • Provide the opportunity to meet other new and continuing GS students, many of whom will become part of a network of support at Columbia
  • Acquaint students with GS traditions within the context of University history
  • Provide students with the opportunity to meet peers in Barnard College, Columbia College, and Columbia Engineering
  • Share a portrait of the incoming class in all its diversity and richness as new students are welcomed into the vibrant GS community
Register for Orientation 

For questions regarding Orientation, please contact

    Spring 2022 Orientation Event Details

    • Various on-campus events, including community meet & greets; socials; interactive workshops; and panels.
    • Independently reviewed materials available through CourseWorks, the University’s online learning system. These materials include pre-recorded presentations, resource handouts, and worksheets.

    Additional details forthcoming based on the University’s COVID-19 Task Force decisions around in person event policy for the Spring 2022 semester.

    Additional Information Forthcoming 

    The GS New Student Orientation Program is being planned with strict adherence to the University’s event guidelines and COVID-19 safety protocols. The following policies are in place:

    • A Green Pass in the ReOpenCU App will be required each day and checked at each event entry in order to participate in GS NSOP events.
    • All individuals (vaccinated and unvaccinated) will be required to wear masks when indoors.
    • Unvaccinated individuals will be required to wear masks and to maintain physical distance at all times (indoors and outdoors).
    • Meals will be provided in an individually wrapped format with outdoor seating available. Eating and drinking will not be allowed indoors at any time.

    Please note that distanced seating options will be very limited. If you are concerned about maintaining physical distance, please be in touch with regarding alternative participation options.

    Campus Access Requirements
    Please consult the University’s COVID-19 resource guide which outlines all details regarding safety protocols for attending in person events and classes for the upcoming semester.

    Melanie Bernitz, Senior Vice President, Columbia Health and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, outlined the steps students need to take in order to access campus in her July 21, 2021 message to the community. Please ensure you have completed all steps prior to the first day of Jumpstart, including:

    • Download the ReOpenCU app.
    • Review and sign the revised Columbia Community Health Compact.
    • Complete the Safety Training.
    • Complete the gateway testing requirement and receive your negative PCR test result.
    • Review the approval status of your COVID-19 vaccination documentation by logging into the Columbia Health Portal and viewing the “Medical Clearances” section in the left menu. Please note: students who have not uploaded vaccine documentation, received a medical or religious exemption, or completed the international students’ temporary authorization form should review the email sent to all GS students on Tuesday, August 10 to learn more about required next steps. Your ability to attend classes, participate in student activities, and live in Columbia housing is based on completing the steps included therein.

    Please note that a travel quarantine is also required for unvaccinated individuals arriving from an international location.

    Questions and Concerns
    Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any technical issues, questions, concerns, or feedback – we’re here to help! You can reach our team at

    Special Population Orientation Programs & Events

    International Students Orientation Program

    Friday, January 7
    9 a.m. - 1 p.m. ET
    Incoming School of General Studies students are invited to attend a half-day orientation aimed at introducing international students to the resources and support available at Columbia. At this program you will learn how to create a meaningful and balanced lifestyle as you navigate Columbia.


    Veterans & NROTC Orientation Program

    Friday, January 14
    9 a.m. - 2 p.m. ET

    Incoming School of General Studies student veterans are invited to attend a half-day orientation designed to introduce military veteran and NROTC students to the resources available to them in support of their transitions from the armed forces to student life at Columbia.


    Family Orientation

    Monday, January 10
    Time TBA

    Family Orientation will be hosted virtually.

    We recognize that the GS community extends well beyond the University, and invite your families and significant others to join us for a livestream of the New Student Welcome and virtual Family Orientation, which includes special virtual programming for family members, including welcome remarks from Dean Rosen-Metsch, a Dean of Students Office resource presentation, a student/alumni panel, and a faculty lecture.

    Registration Information Forthcoming 

    Orientation Accessibility Statement

    The School of General Studies is committed to providing a New Student Orientation experience that is accessible for all. If you have any questions, or would like to request accommodations for our program, please e-mail  We also strongly recommend that you register with the Office of Disability Services at, as they will be able to assist with comprehensive accommodations for GS Orientation and for your full Columbia experience.