Special Interest Communities

About SIC Housing

The Special Interest Communities (SIC) Program is designed to promote the cultural, intellectual, and social development of students living in the undergraduate residence halls. SICs allow students with common interests to live together in a supportive environment and promote a unified campus by exploring the diversity within each community. SIC members serve as educational resources for a residential area, promote interaction with faculty and administrators in the Columbia community, and connect with community leaders beyond our gates.


There are a number of SIC options for students to pick from, managed by Residential Life, or the Intercultural House (ICH), managed by Multicultural Affairs.


Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors within Columbia College and SEAS are invited to apply to SICs each year in advance of the Room Selection process. In some years, a process is opened to invite new communities into the residence halls.  
Barnard College students who are guaranteed housing are eligible to live with CC and SEAS students in select SICs.  Due to the Columbia-Barnard Housing exchange and the history of selection and placement in the respective communities, there is a cap on the number of BC students who can reside in select SICs.  Following is the BC cap for select SICs: 
  • Pan African House – 2
  • Casa Latina – 2
  • Community Health House – 2
  • Q-House – 2
  • IRC-ICH -4

Apply to the SIC Program

Visit the Special Interest Communities Program website for more information about SIC housing options and the application process. Students may also email the SIC Program with any further questions.

Visit the Intercultural House website for more information about the application process for the ICH. Students may also email Multicultural Affairs with any further questions..

Assignment Procedures

Residential Life and Multicultural Affairs provide SIC assignments to Columbia Housing prior to Room Selection. However, students who plan to reside in a Special Interest Community must still complete an academic year Housing application during the Room Selection registration period. Students who fail to complete their Housing application during  Room Selection registration lose their guaranteed housing status and must follow the Non-Guaranteed Housing application process. After SIC assignments are made, Housing notifies applicable students to log into the Housing Portal and complete their Housing application, including signing the Statement of Intent step and the Occupancy Agreement step.

Room swap and transfers request forms within SIC must be signed by a resident’s AD.