Residential students live in Columbia's dormitories, 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 placed randomly in either single or double rooms on single-sex floors or in single-sex suites. The residence halls have shared lounges, bathrooms, and—in some cases—kitchens.
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 his or her stay. Included are two sheets, a pillowcase, and a towel.
All dormitories 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 often with kitchens. Cooking utensils or supplies are not provided; cooking other than very simple food preparation such as using a microwave is not encouraged.
Free washers and dryers are available in the basement of each of the residence halls.
Security personnel are stationed at entrances to the residence halls 24 hours a day. No individual without a University identification card or special clearance for dormitory access is allowed to enter a dormitory. Parents/guardians are allowed into the dorms only during check-in and check-out, to help students move. Non-residential Summer Program students are not allowed into the dorms. 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 cannot request housing with another student or in a particular building, on a particular floor, or in a particular suite or room.
Students are supervised by live-in resident advisers who are responsible and carefully selected college or graduate students. The resident advisers have completed an intensive two-week training program and are devoted to looking after the safety and well-being of students round-the-clock; they do not take classes or hold other jobs. The RA/student ratio is approximately 1 to 10.
Further information about the residential program is available on our Residential Life page.