Columbia Housing | Availability & Eligibility | Timeline |
Application Information
| Wait List | Non-Columbia Housing | Contact Us

Where Should You Live?

Deciding where to live during a student's time at Columbia 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 a range of housing situations. A number of students stay in University-owned buildings, many live at home, and some secure other non-University housing in the New York area. The housing information provided below, as well as in the acceptance packet, should provide enough information to begin looking for housing that will best meet each student's needs.

Back to Top

Columbia Housing

GS students are housed in facilities operated by Columbia Residential. Since few studio apartments are available, GS students are usually accommodated in apartments or dormitory-style suites shared by other Columbia students. Typically each student has his or her own bedroom while sharing kitchen and bath facilities.

Back to Top

Housing Availability and Eligibility

Student demand for housing regularly exceeds the allotment and housing is not guaranteed. The School is allotted a limited number of spaces by Columbia Residential each semester for new assignments. 

Columbia Residential is available to students as well as couples and students with dependent children on a limited basis, and priority is given to those students moving from great distances. Students may apply for housing as soon as they have been admitted to the School of General Studies. Please consult the Housing Application Timeline section of the website for more information about housing decision notifications. Please note, only new students who have submitted a tuition deposit along with an acceptance reply form will be considered for housing. Students who live within 50 miles of campus will most likely be placed on the waitlist.

In order to be eligible for Columbia Residential, students must be enrolled full-time at GS (12 or more points per semester). Postbaccalaureate Premedical students enrolled for less than 12 points are eligible for University Housing if they are registered for at least 9 points and are simultaneously fulfilling their clinical volunteer work requirement of at least 3 hours per week and 42 hours per semester.

It is easier to be assigned Columbia Residential as a new student than as a continuing student. Students who think they may want University Housing are advised to apply for it now. Students may decline an offer if they later decide they do not want University Housing.

Back to Top

Housing Application Timeline

Fall Semester
Application Opens March 1
Application Deadline July 1
Review Process Early to Mid-July
Housing Assignments* Early to Mid-July
Wait List Opens Mid-July
Wait List Closes Late September
Spring Semester
Application Opens October 1
Application Deadline December 1
Review Process Mid-October to Mid-December
Housing Assignments* Mid-October to Mid-December
Wait List Opens Mid-December
Wait List Closes Mid-February

*Students who do not receive housing assignments will automatically be placed on the waitlist.

Back to Top

Application Information

Log-in Information

  • Sign-up Code: lion0203
  • CUID: Students will also need their CUID in order to complete the application, which can be found in the footer of your admissions letter.

To apply, please follow these steps:

  1. Review the Housing Essentials and Types of Accommodations sections of the UAH website.
  2. Sign-up for a My Housing Portal account.
  3. Complete the Columbia Residential application.

Back to Top

Wait List

The Wait List Housing Process operates after regular fall and spring housing assignments are made. Students who do not receive a housing assignment are automatically placed on the waitlist. 

Students will be notified on a rolling basis about coming off the waitlist, as space becomes available, and will have 24 hours to accept or decline the offer.

The likelihood of receiving a housing offer during the waitlist process varies from year to year and depends on available units and the demand for apartments across all schools at the University. While it is possible to receive an offer for housing as part of the waitlist process, housing is not guaranteed, and it is important to investigate options on the open market while managing the waitlist process.

Contact Us

Questions concerning University Housing may be directed to gs-housing@columbia.edu.

Back to Top

Non-Columbia Housing

Non-Columbia Housing is comprised of rooms and apartments owned and operated by landlords other than the University that is not subject to inspection or approval by Columbia University. Many apartments are located within convenient walking distance; others require a commute by subway or bus. While we cannot recommend any spaces, we can give you some help with where to look.

Columbia's Off-Campus Housing Assistance Office (OCHA)

The Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) office maintains an online database of available apartments and rooms for rent in the greater metropolitan area. A UNI is required to sign up for OCHA; new students can activate their UNI accounts here. Students who do not yet have a UNI may create a guest account.

In addition, the OCHA Apartment Hunting Webinar offers valuable information for those searching for housing off-campus. It is available 24/7 and features detailed PowerPoint slides in a recorded webinar format.

Other Resources

Apartment Hunting Resources
Contains links to apartment listings databases, including OCHA, a free service available only to Columbia University students, as well as additional pertinent resources.

Long-Term Housing Options
Contains information on the many different types of long-term residential options available to students in New York. Students are advised to read the requirements for each residence carefully.

Short-Term Housing Options
Prospective students who wish to visit Columbia or students still looking for permanent accommodations may wish to consider the short-term housing options found on this page.

Back to Top