Residential students live in Columbia's dormitories, all of which are near the center of campus and within a few minutes’ walk of classrooms, the dining hall, the libraries, the gym, and Health Services. Students are placed randomly in either single or double rooms on single-sex floors or in single-sex suites. The residence halls have shared lounges, bathrooms, and—in some cases—kitchens.
Every bedroom is provided with a bed, pillow, blanket, desk, chair, chest of drawers, closet, and either a window air conditioning unit or central air conditioning. Rooms are illuminated by fluorescent light. A loaner package of linen is provided to each residential student at the start of his or her stay. Included are two sheets, a pillowcase, and a towel.
All dormitories are equipped with wireless internet. Each room is also provided with one or more Ethernet jacks. Most dorms also have their own computer labs, though students will not be able to work in the labs after curfew.
All public areas in each suite and on each floor are cleaned on a regular schedule.
Floors and suites are equipped with small refrigerators and often with kitchens. Cooking utensils or supplies are not provided; cooking other than very simple food preparation such as using a microwave is not encouraged.
Washers and dryers are available in the basement of each of the residence halls.
Security personnel are stationed at entrances to the residence halls 24 hours a day. No individual without a University identification card or special clearance for dormitory access is allowed to enter a dormitory. Parents/guardians are allowed into the dorms only during check-in and check-out, to help students move. Non-residential Summer Program students are not allowed into the dorms. Residential students are permitted to be only on the floor or in the suite to which they are assigned; they are not permitted to visit other floors or suites.
Students cannot request housing with another student or in a particular building, on a particular floor, or in a particular suite or room.
What to Bring
We recommend that students wear cool, comfortable clothing; there is no dress code.
Students may want to bring a bathing suit for swimming at the gym or trips to the beach and one dressier outfit for activities such as trips to the theater. Comfortable shoes for walking are highly recommended. They may wish to bring an alarm clock, a desk lamp, and clothes hangers. Although a linen package that includes a blanket, two sheets, a pillowcase, two towels, and a washcloth is provided, some students may opt to pack an additional blanket and extra towels.
Students may find it useful to bring laptops, as they will not have access to computer labs after curfew. The dormitories are equipped with wireless internet access.
Students should also have cellphones that function in the United States.
We recommend that residential students have access to a minimum of $1,500 in spending money per session. ATM cards are recommended.
Students are supervised by live-in resident advisers who are responsible and carefully-selected college or graduate students. The resident advisers have completed an intensive two-week training program and are devoted to looking after the safety and well-being of students round-the-clock. The RA/student ratio is approximately 1 to 10.
Further information about the residential program is available on our Residential Life page.