Assignment Policies

The following provides assignment policies for various categories of students or living arrangements.

First-Year Students

First-year students of Columbia College and SEAS are guaranteed residency for eight semesters. First-year students may elect housing to begin in their second year and still be assured of guaranteed residency, provided they apply for accommodation during Room Selection in the spring term of their first year.

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General Studies/Special Programs

Undergraduate students admitted through the School of General Studies or the Division of Special Programs may be eligible for housing in Columbia Residential only. They are not eligible for Room Selection. For additional information, contact Columbia Residential at 212.854.9300. Columbia Residential is located at 401 West 119th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue & Morningside Drive.

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Transfer Students

Transfer students admitted to Columbia College or the standard, four-year SEAS undergraduate program are guaranteed housing for a number of semesters proportional to their year of entry, provided they accept their assignment in the first semester of attendance at Columbia.

Newly enrolled 3-2 SEAS transfer students registered in the Combined Plan Program may apply for housing and are eligible for housing in Carlton Arms or Wien their first year at CU. 3-2 SEAS transfer students are not guaranteed housing during their second year. There is a separate Housing lottery for 3-2 students to determine who may participate in Room Selection for the second year of the program

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 Visiting Students

Visiting students admitted to Columbia College are eligible for housing during the Spring term only. If space is available during the Fall term, Admissions may opt to admit a limited number of visiting students with housing privileges.

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 Five-Year Programs

Students who enter Columbia as first-year students in the 3-2 SEAS program are guaranteed housing for 10 semesters. Students admitted into other authorized five-year programs, such as 4-1 SEAS or ASP, are also guaranteed housing for ten semesters. They are invited to participate in Room Selection for their final year. They will have a point value of 30 during both the fourth and fifth year. Not all five-year programs are guaranteed housing, so verify ahead of time.

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Study Abroad

Students who study abroad for one or two semesters under a program approved by their respective schools and who pay tuition to Columbia are guaranteed housing upon their return. Students participating in an approved study abroad program in the spring semester must register and participate in Room Selection by joining or group or individually. Students who plan to study abroad in the fall semester must register for Room Selection as study abroad. They may not select a room during Room Selection during the spring preceding their semester abroad. However, their time away counts toward their eight- or ten-semester eligibility as described above.

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Privately-Owned Residences

Students who move into a privately-owned brownstone or other residence are no longer guaranteed housing with the exception of ADP. ADP students will sign a Columbia Housing contract and an ADP contract for their residency in the brownstones and may participate in Room Selection, including making swaps and transfers in accordance with stated rules.

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Medical Leave

Students in CC and SEAS who are granted a medical leave of absence by their respective schools are guaranteed housing upon readmission provided they were in-residence and had guaranteed housing at the time of their departure. Students on medical leave may not participate in Room Selection. They must complete the Returning Student application and are  assigned over the summer.

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Voluntary Leave

Students who take voluntary leave of absence are not guaranteed housing upon readmission.

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Participation in Room Selection

Undergraduate CC and SEAS students who are guaranteed housing must participate in Room Selection to maintain guaranteed status. If a student wishes to study abroad or apply for Special Housing (Resident Advisers, RA Riders, members of fraternities and sororities, those participating in the Living-Learning Center and Special Interest Communities), they must indicate this choice during the Registration process. Rising sophomores who participate in the lottery, but who are unable to select a room due to a shortage of available space at their appointment time must complete the Waitlist application prior to the end of the Room Selection period.  

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 Loss of Guaranteed Housing

A student may lose guaranteed housing status for any of the following reasons:

  • Voluntary withdrawal from Columbia College or SEAS
  • Mandatory withdrawal from  school
  • Election to move off-campus
  • Disciplinary sanction by school
  • Study abroad not approved by school
  • Failure to graduate on time (i.e. ninth semester seniors or extra-semester transfers)
  • Failure to live in-residence during the first-year and subsequent failure to apply for housing during the Room Selection period.
  • Failure to live in Columbia Housing the first semester of acceptance as a CC or SEAS new transfer student 
  • Failure to participate in or complete the Room Selection process.

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Married Couples

We do not offer housing to married couples, nor do we offer accommodations for children.

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