Frequently Asked Questions

We know there’s a lot of Housing-related information to cover. To help you as you navigate the world of on-campus housing, we’ve compiled some of our most frequently asked questions and organized them by resident type.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Feel free to reach out to us at

Am I eligible to apply for on-campus housing?

To apply for on-campus housing a Columbia University Irving Medical Center, you must be enrolled full-time in one of the following Columbia University schools or programs:

If you are not eligible for on-campus housing or prefer to live off-campus, you can search for apartments, rooms, and roommates using the Off-Campus Housing Assistance website.

Am I guaranteed housing at Columbia University Irving Medical Center?

We cannot guarantee you'll be housed in accommodations that satisfy your first choice of type, location, and price range because the number and type of student housing units available for rent at any given time varies throughout the year. 

However, all single Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (MD, MD-PhD and Genetic Counseling only) and single Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS- CUIMC Only) applicants are guaranteed housing. 

What is the priority for assigning housing?

To ensure fairness, housing is not first-come, first-served. An applicant invitation to live on-campus is based on home address, according to the following priority scale:

  • International applicants
  • Applicants within the United States coming from farthest west, then moving eastward
  • Applicants from the tristate area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut)

If invited to live on-campus, you will be provided a randomly generated selection time. Most students will have the opportunity to self-select their apartment/room. 

Due to limited room availability, you may be placed on a waitlist based on the date we receive your application and your home address’ distance from campus. We will notify all students regarding the status of their application. If you have been placed on the waitlist, we will contact you if an accommodation becomes available.

How do I request disability housing accommodations?

We provide accommodations for students whose disabilities substantially limit their ability to live in CUIMC’s traditional housing units. Review our guidelines on disability housing.

Does CUIMC offer housing for postdoctoral research fellows and research scientists?

Yes. CUIMC offers housing at both the medical center and Morningside campus to full-time postdoctoral research fellows and full-time postdoctoral research scientists through a monthly lottery. Find out about eligibility and accommodations for postdoctoral fellows and scientists.

What is available for singles versus couples?

Whether you are single or planning to live with a spouse or domestic partner, we have housing options to suit your needs.

  • Singles Housing: We offer dorm room accommodations in 50 Haven Ave.; apartment living in Towers 1, 2, and 3 and the Georgian Building; or studio apartments at 154 Haven Ave.
  • Couples Housing: Couples housing is available to married couples and couples in domestic partnerships. We have one-bedroom apartments in the Towers, 154 Haven Ave., and Georgian Residence, depending on availability. You must provide documentation in order to qualify as a married couple or domestic partners.

Is couples housing furnished or unfurnished?

With the exception of the apartments at 154 Haven Ave., all couples apartments are unfurnished.

Do you provide any housing assignments that are pet-friendly?

Unfortunately, we do not allow pets of any kind in any CUIMC residence hall or apartment building unless you have written permission from the Office of Disability Services

Do you provide any housing assignments that are family-friendly?

Couples who have children often opt to live in our full-size, one-bedroom apartments. However, while we can accommodate couples and their children, we cannot offer housing for parents or siblings.

How do I apply for on-campus housing?

  • Navigate to our Housing Portal.
  • Click on Resident Login, located in the center banner at the top of the webpage.   
  • Select Login with One Time Use Code from the Authentication drop-down menu and click Continue.   
  • Enter your non-CUIMC email that is on file with your housing application form and click Save & Continue.  
  • Check your personal email account for an email from the Office of Housing Services; click the link in the email to automatically sign in to the housing portal.
  • Select the term for which you are applying.
  • Select the appropriate information that best describes you, and click Save & Continue at the bottom of each page.
  • Enter your your emergency contact information; you will not be able to continue with the application without providing this information.
  • Select your preferred housing arrangements, ranking your preferences (1 = most desirable).
  • Review the occupancy agreement as a preliminary understanding of the terms and conditions of living on campus. Signing the occupancy agreement does not guarantee you will be housed. 

When should I apply for on-campus housing, and when can I expect to hear back?

Our housing assignment notifications vary by school and program start date. Refer to our website to determine your appropriate application timeline. We will not consider any applications submitted outside of their appropriate application timelines.

Can I request my roommates?

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate any roommate requests, although you can indicate any preferences on your housing application.

If you select a room within a multiple occupancy apartment, you may be housed with students of different schools or programs and with different graduation dates. Only students of the same gender can select a bedroom within an occupied apartment. Roommate information will be available once you accept your housing assignment.


I selected a housing unit. What happens next?

Your space will be held for a 72-hour period so that you can accept and e-sign the required paperwork via the housing portal. Failure to complete this within the given time frame will result in the hold being removed, making this room available to the general selection pool. If you applied for couples housing, documentation in support of your status should be emailed to As a reminder, falsely certifying your couple status may result in disciplinary action.

During the summer months, rooms are unavailable for viewing. Some are occupied by current tenants, and others are being refreshed to prepare them for your arrival.

I didn’t receive a housing selection time. What should I do?

If you're a full-time CUIMC student or postdoctoral research fellow who requested on-campus housing, our goal is to provide it. If we can't accommodate you, or if you choose to live off-campus, you can search for apartments, rooms, and roommates through Columbia University's Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) office. If you have questions about OCHA, email or call 212-854-2773.

What furniture is provided in the rooms and apartments?

Please visit our Residences Page for full details of our accomodations. 

Can I park on-campus?

Due to limited availability, parking in CUIMC facilities is not available to students. Learn more about alternative transportation and commercial parking options.

Where can I find the closest grocery store (or bank, post office, etc.)?

View our tips for on-campus life, an interactive map that includes nearby grocery stores, banks, and more resources to help you adjust to your new neighborhood.

How do I pay for my housing charges?

All housing charges are billed monthly for students to their student account via the Student Financial Services Office.  There is no security deposit required for new residents. 

How do I pay my housing charges?

Student Financial Services, in conjunction with the Office of Housing Services, handles your housing billing. Housing charges are billed monthly to your student account. Payment for each month is due on the date listed on the bill where the housing charge appears.

When a new student account statement is released and ready to view and/or pay online, you will receive an email via your Columbia University email account. The University does not mail paper bills.

Who can I talk to about my housing charges?

If you have questions regarding room charges, contact the Office of Housing Services at For questions regarding payments options and account balance, contact Student Financial Services.

May I remove any of the furniture that is provided in my room?

The bed is the only item that can be removed from the furnished units. You must place a work order to have the bed removed. 

I would like to transfer to another room or building. How can I change rooms?

Learn about how to apply for a transfer.

What do I do if I lose my key?

  • 50 Haven Ave. and Georgian Residents: You can request a replacement key by submitting a work order. The cost is $25 per key. For lockout assistance, see the Tower 1 door attendants or the security guard at the Georgian lobby to request access. You may be charged $50.
  • Towers 1, 2, 3; 154 Haven; and 390 Fort Washington Residents: You can request a replacement key by submitting a work order. The cost ranges from $5 -30. For lockout assistance, see the door attendants or security guard of your building. You may be charged $50.

How do I submit a maintenance or facilities request?

You may submit any non-urgent maintenance requests online. After you submit your request, you'll receive a confirmation email that includes your request number, which you can use to track your request.

  • For urgent requests—such as floods, gas leaks, broken apartment door locks, or broken windows—call us immediately at 212-305-HELP (4357), option 3, from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. For emergencies occurring outside of these hours, see front desk security.
  • For any on-campus emergencies, including fires, call Public Safety at 212-305-7979 and 911.

Remember: It's your responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of your room and apartment.

Unsure how to use our online system? Read our easy how-to instructions.

When is the mailroom open?

Package Pick-up Locations by Residential Building

390 Fort Washington Ave.: Packages may be delivered to the lobby; however, if a package needs a signature, you must sign for it. Security will not sign or hold packages.

All other Residential Buildings: Residents may pick up their packages and mail at the centralized mailroom and package center, 1st Floor of Tower 1, open Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m. –7:00 p.m. and Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 


Where can I borrow a hand-truck or dolly for large packages?

Please see the door attendants in Towers 1, 2, and 3 to borrow a hand-truck or dolly. You must provide a CUIMC ID. While door attendants in other buildings cannot offer this resource, residents of other buildings are welcome to request a hand-truck or dolly at Towers 1, 2, and 3.

Do I have to vacate my residence hall during winter breaks?

No, you can stay for the duration of the break.

Do I have to vacate my residence hall during summer break?

All occupancy agreements for students end May 31. You may continue living in your current unit, as of June 1, as long as you renew your occupancy agreement.


Is there an increase in my rent every year? If so, how much?

Each year Columbia University assesses the annual increase to housing charges.  Increases are typically 2 – 6 %.  Housing charge increases will be emailed to students prior to the new occupancy agreement term and room renewal process. 


When does my occupancy agreement end?

All occupancy agreements end on May 31.  Postdoctoral leases end on June 30. 

Students who have an eligible and confirmed graduation date in the occupancy agreement period can move out by the last day of the month of their graduation date.  There is no occupancy agreement penalty fee for students who are graduating and leaving on campus housing during their occupancy agreement period. 

I currently live on campus, how do I renew by CUIMC occupancy agreement?

Current students wishing to remain living on-campus will receive room renewal information, via email, during the month of February.  Students will sign into the housing portal to request the room renewal and sign all necessary room renewal documents. 

Learn more about your Occupancy Agreement Renewal options.

If I am graduating, what are my housing options?

May Graduates: If you are graduating in May, you must move out by the last day of your occupancy agreement.  A student may request a housing extension for up to 14-days via the move-out section in the housing portal. Extension requests will be reviewed and approved on a limited, case-by-case basis. Due to operational logistics, extensions beyond May 31, are not guaranteed. If approved, students will be responsible for the prorated rent during the extension until you officially move out and return your keys. 

On-Campus VP&S Students Matched with CUIMC/NYP

If you are continuing at CUIMC as a medical resident of Columbia University Irving Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian, you can apply to continue living on campus for an additional year. Depending on your current assignment, you may be required to move to a single occupant unit (i.e. studio or 1-bedroom apartment) as matched residents are not eligible for student shared spaces (i.e. 2-person shared apartment, 3-person shared apartment, etc).

All residents must be in compliance with the terms and conditions of the occupancy agreement.  You must notify the Office of Housing Service via email once you have been confirmed as a matched resident

On-Campus Students Transitioning to a CUIMC Post Doc Fellowship

Students offered a Post Doc Fellowship with Columbia University Irving Medical Center who are already living in housing may be eligible to stay in their same apartment for one additional year if currently residing in a single-occupant unit (i.e. studio, 1-bedroom apartment, etc). If you are not residing in a single-occupant unit, you will be required to move to a single-occupant unit for your one-year extension.

If you need housing for more than a year, you will be required to move to 390 Fort Washington or secure off-campus housing. 390 Fort Washington is housing exclusively for post doc fellows.

All residents must be in compliance with the terms and conditions of the occupancy agreement. You must notify the Office of Housing Services via email once you have been offered a Post Doc Fellowship.

Dental Students continuing as Dental Grads

Students continuing studies in Endodontics, Orthodontics, Periodontics, or Prosthodontics are considred full-time students and thereby eligible to live on-campus.

Advanced Education in General Dentistry Certificate students may require proof of enrollment as a full-time student from the Director of the program.



Is there a penalty for breaking my occupancy agreement?

The terms and conditions of the residence occupancy agreement are binding for the entire occupancy period. However, under certain circumstances, the Office of Housing Services permits the termination of the occupancy agreement, subject to the conditions described below, including payment of charges for administrative expenses and the cost of re‐letting the space.

Prior to Moving-In (New Residents) 

Students who elect to cancel an occupancy agreement prior to moving-in must do so in writing by sending an email to the Office of Housing Services. The application fee is non-refundable. The commitment fee is 50% refundable through July 1, 2023. After July 1, the commitment fee is forfeited. 

The cancellation fee is $1,750 and has the following deadlines to cancel:

For new fall 2023 students, July 15, 2023 is the last day to cancel without additional penalty.

For new spring 2024 students, December 15, 2023 is the last day to cancel without additional penalty. 

For current/continuing students, May 1, 2023 is the last day to cancel without additional penalty.    

During the Occupancy Agreement

Students who elect to cancel an occupancy agreement during their assigned occupancy period for any reasons other than graduation, withdrawal or leave of absence will be held responsible for a cancellation penalty of $1,750.00.  Students who would like to cancel their housing during their assigned occupancy period must complete an "Occupancy Agreement Cancellation Request" at least 30 days before moving out. You can access this form by clicking "Move-out" on the housing portal

Who should I contact for storage in the summer?

We do not provide storage. You may contact the following companies or look for additional storage options on your own:

The storage companies listed above are recommended by Columbia University's Morningside campus. The CUIMC Office of Housing Services has no affiliation with any of these companies and has provided this information solely for your convenience.

After I move out, when can I expect to get my deposit back? (if applicable)

Security deposits (where applicable) are held by a bank, and as a result, refunds can take up to 60 days to process. Before we process your security deposit refund, we will inspect your room or apartment for damages and deduct the cost of any major repairs or furniture or appliance replacements from your deposit.

For any questions regarding your security deposit, contact Jeffrey Schnepf, Office of the Controller, at or 212-854-1077.