Columbia Residential & Off-Campus Housing
SPS students have the opportunity to apply for housing through Columbia Residential.
The Columbia Residential inventory consists of apartment shares and dormitory-style rooms. There are also a limited number of studio/efficiency, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units prioritized for couples and families. Most housing is located within walking distance of the campus in the Morningside Heights neighborhood. Students are also housed in Manhattan Valley, just south of Morningside Heights. Additionally, some students are housed in Riverdale, Bronx, at The Arbor. Shuttle service to and from The Arbor is provided.
SPS Housing Application
Housing applications for Spring 2024 opened Sunday, October 1, 2023. Full-time, in-person, Master of Science students are eligible to apply for on-campus housing. Housing is available on a first-come, first-reserved basis and is not guaranteed. Housing applications will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis.
SPS students who have been admitted, paid their deposit, have a PID number, and have activated their UNI will be able to log in to the Housing Portal and submit a housing application.
- The PID Number will start with a "C" followed by 9 digits (Cxxxxxxxxx). You can locate your PID Number via contacting your program’s advisor.
- The UNI is a unique identifier assigned to each University student, faculty, researcher, or administrator, consisting of your initials and arbitrary numbers.
SPS students seeking housing should complete the housing application and will be notified if they have been approved, or if they have been placed on the waitlist. Students approved for housing will participate in self-selection rounds to choose a room or apartment that best fits their needs. Once an offer is made, a $750 reservation deposit is required for students within 24 hours to accept a housing offer, payable by credit or debit card only. This deposit is credited to the Student Financial Services account after move-in and goes toward the first semester's housing charge.
SPS 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
All SPS students residing in university housing are expected to adhere to all Columbia Residential’s Policies and Procedures. For additional information regarding housing, you may contact Columbia Residential directly here.
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 a 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. 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 staff. An email will be sent, upon receiving the key, notifying the student that the key has been successfully returned.
If you are a current student planning to return to housing the following semester 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 damage or replacing any missing appliances or furniture will be deducted from their $750 pre-payment deposit. Click here to learn more about billing.
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.
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.
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.