New Student Checklist

After you have accepted the offer of admission, please complete the following checklist to begin your transition to Columbia:

Activate Your UNI and Columbia Email Address

Your UNI (University Network ID) grants you access to a number of important functions at Columbia, including registration, billing, and email. Your designated UNI (which consists of your initials and a four-digit number) will be sent to the email address with which you applied to GSAS. If you have not yet received that email, then we are still in the process of creating a UNI for you. Once you receive your UNI notification email, follow these instructions to activate it.
Activating your UNI will also activate your Columbia email account (known as LionMail). You should check this account regularly; all official correspondence from the university will be sent to your Columbia email account.

International Students: Apply for Your I-20

If you have not already done so, we strongly urge you to apply for your I-20 online as soon as possible to expedite the process of obtaining a student visa. Please contact the International Students and Scholars Office at isso [at] with any questions.

Apply for Housing

To apply for housing, complete the University Apartment Housing (UAH) application by the deadline indicated in your letter of admission. You will need your sign-up code and PID number, also included in your letter of admission.

See the Housing page for links to apartment-hunting resources and special information for PhD students and MA students.

Fulfill Immunization Requirements

Students must fulfill two immunization requirements at least 30 days prior to registering for classes. Students will not be able to register until the requirements are met, and late submissions will not be expedited.

You must:

  • Document immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Document that you have either received the meningitis vaccine or that you have declined to receive it

To provide documentation and for more information, see the Columbia Health website.

Submit a Photo for Your Columbia ID Card

You must submit a photo online to be used on your Columbia ID card. You will be able to pick up your ID card in person in 109 Low Library during the week of GSAS New Student Orientation. (A government-issued photo ID, such as a passport or driver license, is required for pick-up.) Please note that it can take up to three to four business days to generate your ID card after you have submitted your photo.

Submit Final Transcripts

If you haven't already done so, you must submit transcripts showing the conferral date of any degrees you have previously received, including degrees received from Columbia University, to the GSAS Office of Admissions, by mail or in person at the address below. Transcripts must meet all of the following criteria:

  • final (showing the conferral date of the degree pursued)
  • official (generated by the school)
  • sealed (by the issuing institution in the original envelope)
  • in paper (not electronic)

Note: The electronic transcripts that you uploaded in support of your application are not acceptable. You will not be able to register for classes until GSAS receives the final, official, sealed paper transcript showing conferral of your undergraduate degree. If conferral of the degree is not recorded on the transcript, a paper copy of the diploma or degree certificate must also be submitted.

GSAS Office of Admissions 
Columbia University
107 Low Library, MC 4303 
535 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027

Complete All Pre-Arrival Tutorials

GSAS students are expected to exhibit the highest level of personal and academic integrity as members of the Columbia University community. Accordingly, GSAS asks that you familiarize yourself with Columbia’s core community values and policies on Academic Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research and Sexual Respect.

Incoming master’s and doctoral students in Arts and Sciences programs must complete several online tutorials in these areas prior to arrival on campus, and over the course of the summer will receive emails with instructions on how to satisfy these requirements.

If you have any questions, please contact the gsas-studentaffairs [at] (GSAS Office of Student Affairs)

Register for Classes AND a Full or Fractional Residence Unit

Students entering in the fall will be able to register online during the week of GSAS New Student Orientation, and will receive emails with detailed instructions over the course of the summer.

If you have any questions, please contact the gsas-studentaffairs [at] (GSAS Office of Student Affairs)

Understand Your Columbia Health and Student Medical Insurance Options

Columbia Health Program

By paying the Columbia Health Fee, students enroll in the Columbia Health Program and are granted access to the programs and services provided on campus through the five Columbia Health departments. The fee is mandatory and automatically billed to 1) all full-time students and 2) those who elect enrollment in the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan (see below). Other students may elect enrollment in the Columbia Health Program. Visit the Columbia Health website for full program details and benefits.

Columbia Student Medical Insurance

University policy requires all registered full-time students to have acceptable health insurance coverage. Columbia University offers the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan, which provides Gold and Platinum levels of coverage. Full-time students and students living in Columbia housing are automatically enrolled in the Gold level of the plan and billed for the insurance premium in addition to the Columbia Health Fee. Part-time students may elect enrollment in the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan.

Students who enroll in the plan may also choose to make use of the optional insurance for eligible dependents.
Students who wish to enroll in the Gold plan, upgrade to the Platinum plan, or request a waiver from Columbia Student Medical Insurance (if they have comparable or better coverage elsewhere) must do so by the deadline. Visit the Columbia Health website for full plan details and benefits.