Living on Campus

Residential Experience

"I found out what it was like to live on my own while being surrounded by great people who wanted to help me succeed and be comfortable.”
– Simon S.

Residence Halls

Residential students live in Columbia's residence halls, 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 randomly assigned to either single or double rooms on single-gender floors or in single-gender 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 is provided in a room?

    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 their stay. Included are two sheets, a pillowcase, and a towel.

  • What are the building features?

    The residence halls have shared lounges and bathroom facilities. Free washers and dryers are available in the basement of each of the residence halls. All dormitories and campus buildings are equipped with wireless internet. 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 some with kitchens. Cooking utensils or supplies are not provided; cooking other than very simple food preparation, such as using a microwave, is not encouraged.

  • What are the safety measures and protocols?

    Columbia University Public Safety personnel are stationed at the entrances to the residence halls 24 hours a day. No individual without a University identification card or special clearance is allowed to enter a residence hall building. Parents/guardians are allowed into the residence halls only to help students move during check-in and check-out (policy pending COVID-19 health and safety restrictions). Non-residential Summer Immersion Program students are not allowed into the dorms except to access Public Safety in the case of an emergency. 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 are supervised by live-in Resident Advisers. The Resident Advisers complete an intensive two-week training program and are devoted to looking after the safety and well-being of students around-the-clock.The are also professional staff and administrators on call to respond to student issues 24/hours a day. Our staff to student ratio is 7-1.


Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided for residential students from Monday through Friday. The meal plan consists of a wide variety of food served cafeteria-style and includes vegetarian and vegan options. Kosher and halal meal plans are also available and can be requested upon enrollment in the program.

Food Allergies

Columbia Dining Services can accommodate virtually any allergy-based restrictions. The dining hall is set up so as to accommodate most common food allergies; Dining Services will arrange special menus for students with more uncommon or complicated restrictions. Students and parents with questions or concerns or who have special requirements are welcome to contact Dining Services to speak with a registered dietitian.

Meal Times

  • Breakfast: 7:30–10:30 a.m.
  • Lunch: 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
  • Dinner: 5:00–7:00 p.m.

Weekend Dining Options

Students are able to dine off campus at local eateries

  • Using their Flex Cards (where Flex is accepted); or
  • Using cash or card (we recommend students bring money for weekend meals as they are not included in the meal plan)

Campus Resources

Students have access to various University resources during their time on campus. Detailed information can be found on the Campus Resources page.