SPS Housing

Columbia SPS has partnered with International House to provide single occupancy, dormitory style graduate housing to students who are enrolled in a full-time, Master of Science program (at least 12 credits or more per semester). Please note that there is limited availability and housing will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis.

I-House is located just 10 minutes from our Morningside campus. Located at 500 Riverside Drive, this vibrant residence fosters international understanding by empowering residents, as members of a diverse and inclusive lifelong community, to become the next generation of globally-minded leaders. To learn more about I-House, you may visit their website.

All bedrooms are furnished, single occupancy, private residential rooms. The rates vary according to factors such as size, floor, and view. The average room size is 8'×11' and some rooms include a sink. Furthermore, each floor has shared, single-sex bathroom facilities. On average, these spaces cost between $7,000 and $8,000 per academic semester. This rate includes a $5.50 per night dining fee, air conditioning, and all utilities.

You can also learn more about I-House by viewing their virtual tour. If you have any questions, please reach out to sps-studentlife@columbia.edu.

SPS Housing Application

A housing application link with log-in information is provided to students upon admission. Students must apply for housing via the housing portal, using the sign-up code below and their PID number:

  • Link to Housing Portal
  • Spring 2019 Sign-Up Code: uah102647
  • The PID Number will start with a “C” followed by 9 digits (Cxxxxxxxxx). You can locate your PID Number via your program’s advisor.

Students seeking SPS housing should complete the application and will be notified if housing is available, or if they have been placed on a waitlist. Students who are offered housing must pay a nonrefundable $1,000 deposit within five business days from the date of the offer in order to secure their housing assignment.

Students are encouraged to review Columbia University Facilities’ How to Apply section for more information about creating a housing account and submitting a housing application.

SPS Housing Agreement & Policies

Terms of Agreement

Residents are required to sign a housing agreement to live in housing units for the entire academic year. If you are an incoming student for the Spring semester, your housing contract will last until May unless you have extended your housing contract with SPS. Academic year is defined as fall and spring semester.

At the end of the academic year, students who are vacating their unit must do so following their last scheduled examination and/or commencement ceremonies if they’re a graduating student participating in commencement ceremonies.


SPS reserves the right to fill any vacancies in student rooms when necessary. Whenever possible, the SPS Student Life team will make an effort to consult with current residents in making changes in roommate assignments.

Financial Hardship and Other Special Cases

Occasionally students need to move in or out of or transfer within SPS housing due to financial hardship. These cases are handled on a case by case basis, and students are still required to file the necessary paperwork to SPS & UAH.

UAH and SPS Student Life work together to determine appropriate actions for students who are experiencing a hardship.

In rare cases, a student will want to move before the end of their lease term. If the student is in SPS housing, SPS Student Life will need to review the request. If the request is approved by SPS Student Life, then SPS Student Life can request that the student be allowed to move (assuming they filed a vacancy notice and followed procedure) without penalty, and having their rent prorated to the day they leave. UAH will have the final say if requests are allowed.

Vacating Your Unit

If the student intends to vacate their housing assignment, or is graduating, they must follow the below steps at least 30 days prior to the planned vacancy date.

  1. Fill out the SPS Housing Vacancy Form by clicking here.
  2. Submit your official notice of vacancy to UAH. A notice of vacancy may be submitted via My Housing Portal. Select the "Moving out" tab.

For those residing in SPS Housing, a space is considered vacated only if all personal items are removed from the unit, the unit is reasonably clean, and keys are returned to International House staff. An email will be sent, upon receiving the key, notifying the student that the key has been successfully returned.

The Student Checklist

When preparing to depart International House, please complete the following important steps:

  1. Return Your Keys and ID - Return your room and mailbox keys, and I-House Membership I.D. card to the Riverside Reception Desk by 11:00 am on your scheduled date of departure. You will be charged a late check-out fee if you check-out later than 11:00 am.
  2. Forward Your Mail - Complete the Departure Form online. 1. If you do not leave a forwarding address, I-House will return all mail to sender(s) after your departure. 2. If you leave a forwarding address, I-House will forward your first- and second-class mail for a MAXIMUM PERIOD OF 30 DAYS. First-class mail may be forwarded overseas, but the extra postage will be charged to the sender. Parcel Post can also be forwarded. At the end of the 30-day period, I-House will return all mail to sender.
  3. Learn About the Alumni Community - I-House offers its alumni numerous ways to stay in touch with the House and each other, including a variety of online services, such as an online directory, periodic events across the globe and volunteer opportunities.
  4. Clean Your Room -Remove all personal possessions and garbage from your room - The storage areas and the bike room. Only the items which you found in your room when you arrived should be there when you leave. We are not responsible for items left in your room after your departure. Please make sure that you:
    • Close the window(s)
    • Turn off all lights and ceiling fan
    • Do not unplug the phone
    • Return all furniture back to original position
    • Empty the refrigerator, kitchen cabinets, bathroom and common closets of all items belonging to you (I-House North)
    • Clean floors, kitchen and bathroom (I-House North)

  5. After you have left, the Facilities staff will evaluate the condition and cleanliness of your room. If you do not leave your room clean or if there is damage that is clearly beyond normal wear and tear, the Facilities staff will inform the Riverside Reception Desk of any damage and/or cleaning fees to be charged.

    A list of these fees is available at the Facilities Office and the Riverside Reception Desk.

    Storage Options

    If you are planning to return to I-House next year and you would like to store some items over the summer, please read here for more information.

    Billing & Damages

    After a student vacates, the room will be inspected for damages beyond normal wear and tear. The cost of repairing any such damages or replacing any missing appliances or furniture will be deducted from their $1000 pre-payment deposit.

    SPS Students live in units that are billed by term

    Students who live in units billed by term, like the International House, will not receive a refund of their pre-payment deposit, as this was applied to their Student Financial Services (SFS) account shortly after the contract was originally signed.

    Off-Campus Housing

    Columbia’s Off-Campus Housing Assistance Office

    Columbia’s Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) office maintains an online database of available apartments and rooms for rent in the greater New York metropolitan area. A University Network ID (UNI) is required to sign up for OCHA; if you are a new student, activate your UNI account here. If you are a recently admitted student and you do not have a UNI yet, you may create a guest account.

    Hotel Accommodations

    Columbia University has special rate arrangements with preferred hotels. When making reservations at one of these hotels, please specify that you are calling from Columbia University.

    Additional Off-Campus Housing Resources

    To learn more about off-campus housing in New York City, including short-term housing, long-term housing, and searching for a roommate, the Office of Student life has created a Student Housing Resources PDF.

    Columbia assumes no responsibility in connection with any rental agreement or services provided by our cooperating real estate/relocation agencies and recommends that all agreements between tenant and landlord be put in writing. Columbia expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any problems that may arise with regard to such property, rental unit, or roommate posting or with regard to disputes between landlords and tenants, or between roommates, concerning such property or rental units. All prospective tenants are encouraged to exercise their own good judgment when evaluating a prospective rental unit, landlord or roommate.