Frequently Asked Questions for New Students

Pre-Arrival Requirements

Where can I find my UNI, and how do I activate it?
Your UNI can be found in an email from the GSAS Office of Admissions that you receive within ten days of accepting the offer of admission and paying your tuition deposit. If you cannot find the email containing your UNI, please write to gsas-admissions [at] columbia.edu to request that your UNI be sent to you again. Alternatively, you can look up your UNI through CUIT. For instructions on activating your UNI and your Columbia email address, please visit the CUIT website.

What are the required pre-arrival tutorials, and where can I access them?
Before you arrive on campus, you must complete several tutorials: the Academic Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research tutorial and the Sexual Respect tutorials. These tutorials must be completed before you are allowed to register for classes. Instructions on accessing the tutorials will be sent to you via email in June. Please note that information regarding the Sexual Respect tutorial may come from the Office of University Life.

How will I know whether the GSAS Office of Admissions has received my official transcript(s)?
The easiest and fastest way to determine whether your transcript(s) have been received is to log in to your Application Status page. Please note that the GSAS Office of Admissions must receive your official transcript(s) by October 15. If you fail to submit your official transcript(s) to the Office of Admissions, a hold will be placed on your spring registration.

I have an immunization hold on my registration. How can I have this hold removed?
In order to have an immunization hold lifted, you must submit your immunization records to Columbia’s Immunization Office. You will not be permitted to register until the Immunization Office has received these records. Please note that you will not be contacted by the Immunization Office unless your records are incomplete. You may determine whether the immunization hold has been lifted by logging in to SSOL. Please contact the Immunization Office with any questions at immunizationcompliance [at] columbia.edu or (212) 854-7210.

Where can I receive assistance with I-20 and/or other visa issues?
International students should contact the International Students and Scholars Office with any questions or concerns regarding visas.

Orientation

Where can I find information about GSAS New Student Orientation?
GSAS New Student Orientation for the 2019-2020 academic year will be held on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. Programming will include an information session, a resource fair, and a barbecue with live music. Detailed information, including specific times, will be announced to incoming students via email in July.

Registration

When will I be able to register for courses?
Fall registration for incoming students opens in late August. To determine the specific dates and times when you can register, log in to SSOL and click on “Registration Appointments” in the menu. Registration appointments are published in SSOL in mid-August.

How do I register?
Registration primarily takes place online, through SSOL. For a complete overview of the registration process, please refer to the Registration section of the GSAS website.

If I cannot register until late August, will there still be open spots in the courses I want to take?
Courses generally will have open seats when registration begins. If you find that no seats remain in the course(s) you wish to take, you may join the waitlist.

How do I join a course’s waitlist?
If a course is full when you register for it through SSOL, you will be placed automatically on that course’s waitlist. Most waitlists are managed automatically on a first-come, first-served basis, and you will be enrolled in the class should a seat become available. Please do not submit a Registration Adjustment Form to the GSAS Office of Student Affairs if you are on an SSOL-managed waitlist. Other waitlists are managed manually by the course instructor. If this is the case, please contact the instructor to request a spot on the course’s waitlist. For more information about course waitlists, please visit the Registrar’s website.

May I take courses in schools other than GSAS?
Students may take some courses in other graduate schools at Columbia through cross-registration. Use the Directory of Classes to confirm that courses are open to GSAS students before beginning the cross-registration process. Please also consult your program administrator before submitting a Registration Adjustment Form to the GSAS Office of Student Affairs to enroll in courses offered by other schools.

Housing

When can I move into my campus housing?
Once you have signed your rental agreement with Columbia Residential, you will be allowed to move into your housing. You will need to schedule an appointment to sign your agreement; this may be done through your Housing Portal account. Please visit the Columbia Residential website for details and contact Kei Phillip, GSAS liaison to Columbia Residential, with any questions at k.phillip [at] columbia.edu.

Does Columbia assist students with finding housing off campus?
Columbia’s Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) is an excellent resource for students who will be living off campus. OCHA provides information about renting apartments in New York, operates a database for University-managed sublets, and offers a “roommate board” where students may search for roommates and open rooms.

Billing and Financing

How do I view my bill and pay my tuition?
Columbia no longer sends paper tuition statements or accepts cash or check payments. All billing is done electronically through SSOL. There you may view your bill by semester or month and pay your balance.

Does Columbia offer funding for MA students?
Please visit the Financing Your Education section of the GSAS website to learn about financing options for MA students. You may also consult your program about discipline-specific opportunities. External resources, such as Foundation Center, may also be helpful.