The Columbia Housing team is excited to greet the students arriving to campus in January for the first time this Academic Year as well as to welcome back those returning after the Fall Term. We're working with our partners across the University to plan for your arrival and a smooth and safe Check-In.

While this year's Check-In won't be quite the same as a traditional year, we're taking steps to ensure the health of our entire campus community. Review the step-by-step instructions for Check-In below, as well as our interactive Check-In map which will help you get to where you need to go when you arrive on campus.

Two students sitting on Columbia University's campus wearing protective face masks.

Make sure to Keep the Compact: Wear a protective face covering and maintain social distance.


Here's a step-by-step overview of the Check-In process for students living on campus for the Spring 2021 term.

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Drop Off Your Belongings

Drop off your belongings at the Hamilton Lawn tent. Staff will be on hand to keep items safe until you return. If you arrived by car, you may choose to keep your belongings in your car until you are ready to move into your building.

Image of one person welcoming another - both are wearing protective face masks.


Check-In with

Proceed to Cafe 212 in Alfred Lerner Hall to check-in. Enter through the doors on the east side of the building, closest to Butler Library.

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Get Tested for

After checking in with Housing, you will be directed to the Lerner Hall auditorium to complete COVID-19 testing. This step is required to move in to the residence halls.

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Move In To Your Room

Return to Hamilton Lawn to collect your belongings and proceed to your room assignment. Blue bins will be available to help you transport your items, if necessary. Make sure to wear your face covering and observe physical distancing from others while moving in. 

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Unpack & Settle In

All students will need to quarantine for 24-36 hours until confirmation of a negative COVID-19 gateway test result. Some students may need to complete a longer quarantine per NY State Travel guidelines. Instructions will be provided by Columbia Housing and Columbia Health staff.


The map below is built in Google Maps and will allow you to see where you need to go when you arrive on campus for Check-In. Clicking on a point on the map will provide additional details. If you are using a mobile device, you can utilize the Directions feature in Google maps to get step-by-step directions for getting to the location by car, mass transit, or by foot.

In addition to this interactive map, a printable PDF Check-In map is also available.

Please note: Students arriving by taxi or car service should arrive to 1124 Amsterdam Ave (115th St) so that they can enter campus through Hartley/Wallach Gate. Students arriving by mass transit or by foot can use any campus entrance, but the Hartley/Wallach gate provides the most convenient way to get to Hamilton Lawn for luggage drop-off.

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Use the Map Legend

Click the icon at the top left of the map that looks like the one above to open the legend.

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Click the Map Markers

Clicking the markers will reveal additional information about the location and further instructions. The green star is where Check-In is being conducted. The suitcase indicates luggage drop-off, and so forth.

Map icon with medical symbol.
Temporary Assignments

Per NY State guidelines and other factors related to COVID-19, some students may receive a temporary assignment at Check-In but will then move into their permanent assignment following quarantine.