Veterans Resources and Initiatives

GS Veteran Initiatives Mission


To create and foster a supportive environment for veteran students as they realize their academic goals by providing an integrative hub of resources, programs, and opportunities.

Core Strategy

By recognizing the diversity and specific needs of the veteran student, we sustain communication, collaboration, and innovative engagement with both the veteran and non-veteran community to provide the platform needed for veterans to successfully integrate, participate, and graduate - ultimately pursuing their goals within society.

Veteran Programs & Resources

The General Studies Veteran Mentoring Program is designed to facilitate a peer-assistance structure for transitioning veterans into Columbia life. Through this program, Incoming veteran students are matched with current veteran students to provide experiential and personal support.

The consistent feedback from current veteran students is that they wish they would’ve asked for information earlier. When students arrive at General Studies, they find a plethora of veteran resources and support but need help navigating it. The amount of information available can be daunting, not easy to decipher, and take time to understand. Having lived through the challenges of a first semester, Veteran Mentors will be able to assist new students, and provide answers as early as possible.

Because we encourage and support resiliency as part of the transition from military to academia, the Mentorship Program is designed to last no longer than the first semester. As veteran students grow into their new role as a GS student, they will be able to utilize resources on their own. It is our Mentors’ goal to help them get started on that path to sustaining themselves as students, and beyond.

2019 - 2020 GS Veteran Mentors

Rachel Ballew, Ted Chritton, Sean Dugan, Taylor Eval, Merrill Healy, Robert Henegar, Adrian Kramer, James Leandro, Zachery Macintyre, Andrew Meador, Rico Pesce, Jenna Rackerby, Nathan Smalley, Rodrigo Soza, Mark Thompson

To connect with the GS Veteran Mentors please email

U.S. Military Veterans of Columbia University (official student group)
MilVets provides military veterans with resources, opportunities, and support at Columbia University, in order to facilitate a successful education and to provide a strong foundation for years to come.

U.S. Military Veterans of Columbia University (MilVets)
2019-2020 Welcome Letter

Additional Groups and Initiatives
Other campus groups and initiatives include Women Veterans, MedVets (veteran postbacs and those interested in premed), Arts, Family Support, LGBTQA+, Community Service, etc. If you wish to connect with these groups, or start your own group, please email Dean David Keefe.

Family Support Network
Contact the GS Student Life Office.

Community and Capacity-Building Workshops 
Throughout the year, GS provides connective workshops for veterans and other communities to connect and find commonality through transformative art making and innovative processes. These workshops include many forms of making, ranging from papermaking to poetry, painting to installation, community and participatory art. Workshops will be announced in the monthly GS Veterans Newsletter. For more information, contact Dean David Keefe

Deciding where to live as a GS student is a very important decision, one to which serious consideration should be given. New York's many and diverse neighborhoods combined with an extensive public transportation system offer a variety of housing options that are convenient to the Columbia campus.

GS students reside in many different housing situations. A number of students stay in University-owned housing, many live at home, and some secure other non-University housing in the New York area.

Additional information about Columbia Housing and off-campus Housing:

Navigating NYC Housing for General Studies Veterans Packet

GI Bill Landlord Letter

For questions, please email Dean David Keefe at


Columbia University Center for Career Education (CCE)
CCE works to empower you to make smart career choices, develop the tools necessary for a successful internship/job search, and connect professionally with employers through workshops, career events, online resources, and meetings with counselors. 

Graduate School Coaching

The Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration (CVTI)
CVTI supports excellence and innovation in transition programming for current and former members of the armed forces. CVTI is dedicated to creating free courses that will help to break down barriers to your successful transition between military service, student life and civilian workforce. These online courses are free and available for all. For a list of all courses and more information, visit here.

Career Coaching Opportunities 
Students have the potential to be connected with career coaches within their desired industry. For more information, email Dean Dave Keefe.


Employment at Columbia University – Columbia University is seeking to hire veterans for these jobs: Careers at Columbia University


Columbia participates in the Army, Air Force, and Naval ROTC programs. These programs include students from schools throughout the New York City area.

The New York City Army ROTC program is based at Fordham University. The New York City Air Force ROTC program is based at Manhattan College. The New York City Naval ROTC program is based at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx.

For more information, please contact Dean David Keefe at

Any student who is a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the armed forces of the United States or of the state-organized militia and is called or ordered to active duty will be granted a military leave of absence for the period of active duty and for one year thereafter.

Upon return from military leave of absence, the student will be restored to the educational status attained prior to being called or ordered to such duty without loss of academic credits earned, scholarships or grants awarded, or tuition or other fees paid prior to the commencement of active duty. The University will credit any tuition or fees paid for the period of the military leave of absence to the next enrollment period or will refund the tuition and fees paid to the student, at the student's option.

Students in need of a military leave of absence should contact their advisor in the Dean of Students Office.

Veteran Health & Wellness

Columbia Health has several helpful videos explaining available resources, as well as insurance basics.

GS Health and Wellness Resources

CPS has programming for veterans called Veterans Concerns. They have 5 total counselors on staff with training from the VA and experience working with veterans. They also have 2 counselors on staff with experience in the Israeli Defense Force. These counselors encourage veterans to utilize their drop-in hours, and the veteran support group. Please see attached flyer, and visit their site for more information.

Students seeking accommodations or support services from Disability Services are required to register with the office in advance of any referral for an assessment.

Part of the Dean Hope Center at Teacher’s College, The Resilience Center provides counseling and psychological assessments. For an assessment, please register and get a referral from ODS first.

Transitioning Out of Military Service

The Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration (CVTI) supports excellence and innovation in transition programming for current and former members of the armed forces. CVTI is dedicated to creating free courses that will help to break down barriers to your successful transition between military service, student life and civilian workforce. These online courses are free and available for all.

University Studies for Student Veterans
This course helps veterans transition smoothly from military service to college, and helps them maximize their success once they arrive.

New York State Division of Veterans Affairs

Provides benefits counseling and advocacy for veterans.

VITAL (Veterans Integration TAcademic Leadership) is VA’s approach to reaching out to student Veterans to help facilitate the transition from service member to student.