Housing for First-Year Students

An incoming student is considered to be anyone joining the Columbia community for the first time, including First-Year Students, Transfer Students, Exchange Students and Visiting Students.

About First-Year Housing

Incoming First-Year students have guaranteed housing for up to four years based on their guaranteed housing status (for additional information visit Room Assignments and Room Transfers within the Guide to Living) and their admission standing. Housing options are varied – singles or suites, halls or brownstones – and depend on class year and availability.

Residence in Columbia Housing begins in late August or early September and continues until mid-May, including all University holiday breaks. Students continuing their studies at Columbia may also stay throughout the year by registering for summer housing.

First-Year Residential Options

All first-year students are housed in the Southfield section of campus, the heart of undergraduate life at Columbia. Proximity to Butler Library, Alfred Lerner Hall, John Jay Dining Hall, JJ's Place, and Columbia Health make these residence halls a convenient connection to the Columbia community.

Four different housing options are available to first-year students: Carman Hall, Furnald HallJohn Jay Hall, and the all-class integrated Living Learning Center in Wallach and Hartley Halls. Each hall has a unique set of features and benefits, from singles in corridor-style residences to shared doubles with an adjoining bathroom. Students should review each residence hall to learn more and help narrow down their preferences.

Once all options are considered, complete the Columbia Housing First-Year Application to indicate your preference for a particular hall, a single or double room, a single-sex floor or to submit a roommate request. Housing assignment notifications will be sent via email by late June or early July. Please note that only Carman Hall and Furnald Hall offer single-sex accommodations. John Jay Hall, Hartley Hall and Wallach Hall do not have single-sex floors.

Special Communities

Special housing options are available for all students who wish to apply. First-year students are not eligible to live in Fraternity & Sorority Life (FSL) housing or Special Interest Community (SIC) Housing.

Living-Learning Center

The Living-Learning Center (LLC) is comprised of Hartley and Wallach Halls, and is the only all-class, integrated residence hall at Columbia University.

Disability Accommodations

Accommodations are provided for students whose disabilities substantially limit their ability to live in Columbia’s traditional housing arrangements.

Accommodations Related to Gender Expression or Identity

Columbia Housing is sensitive to the needs of students who are transitioning or have other reasons to desire alternative housing accommodations due to gender expression or identity-related needs. 

First-Year Residential Requirement

The residential experience is an essential component of a Columbia education. All First-year students are prohibited from living off-campus (this includes FSL housing) at any time during their first year at Columbia, unless they are commuting from the home of their parent(s) or guardian.

If there is an extenuating circumstance that warrants additional discussion, please contact Residential Life via email or by phone at 212-854-6805. If you plan to submit a request for consideration to commute, you should indicate this when prompted on your application in the Housing Portal. Additionally, commuter First-Year students who intend to move on-campus their sophomore year must register for Room Selection during Spring term of their first year in order to maintain eligibility and guaranteed housing status.