Dorm Life

Living on Campus

We will have a fully residential program for summer 2023. Students will need to be vaccinated to join the program and follow Columbia University's COVID-19 precautions.

We don't have a dorm assignment yet for 2023, but students can expect something similar to last summer, when our students lived in Hartley Hall on 115th Street and Amsterdam. The dorm features single rooms with semi-private bathrooms in large suites. Students are separated by gender assigned at birth, and supervised by undergraduate Residential Teaching Assistants (RTAs) who live in the dorms with the students.

Students will sleep in the dorms on Sunday - Thursday nights, and spend Friday and Saturday nights at home.

Meals are in Lerner Hall at Ferris Booth. The Ferris menu includes daily hot specials, regular pizza and pasta, fruit and salad bars, and special Halal, Kosher, Vegetarian, and Vegan options at all meals.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dorm Life on Campus

All students must be fully vaccinated with a booster shot if their last dose was before February 1, 2023. Students will also need to sign a campus compact indicating their willingness to follow the health guidelines from the university. You can learn more about Columbia's Covid-19 response here.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate at home for a minimum of five days. The first day of symptoms is considered day zero. Students will not be permitted to return to class or campus activities until day six. Students may be brought home to isolate.

Students who have close contact with someone who tests positive will need to get tested and wear a mask, but will not have to isolate as long as they remain asymptomatic and test negative.

Yes! Like in college, each suite or hall has residential staff who are there to keep students safe, healthy, and emotionally supported. Our residential teaching assistants (RTAs) are undergraduate students who live in the same halls or suites as students and are always present whenever students are in the dorms. They also help students with nightly homework assignments and plan social programming and community-bonding activities.

Our professional staff and public safety officers are also available 24/7 for emergencies. 

We expect students to have single rooms this year. If students need to share rooms or suites we will send out a questionnaire before the summer for you to request specific roommates or make general requests. 

Weekends away from campus allow our students to catch up on sleep, do laundry, see family and friends, and eat some home cooked food. It also allows our residential staff to do all that too. 

Friday mornings students pack a bag with everything they want to take home for the weekend (i.e. laundry). Friday afternoons we take field trips and some of our destinations allow students to bring small bags (duffel bags and backpacks--not massive suitcases) which permits our students to be dismissed right from our field trip. Other students may choose to travel back to Columbia's campus to pick up their bags before going home for the weekend. 

Once students leave the dorms on Friday they are not permitted back in the dorms until Sunday evening at 5:00pm

Columbia Dining was rated #2 by The Daily Meal for best college food in America. Still, you may get sick of eating at Ferris three meals a day for 4 weeks. Students are allowed to store snacks and food in their dorm rooms, go to campus cafés during the day, and visit local food vendors in the evenings. Area favorites include Shake Shack, Chipotle, and Sweet Green.

We’re all about community, but we definitely understand the need to have time for yourself each day. Free time (1:30 - 4:00pm) and wind down time (10:00 - 11:00pm) can be spent with classmates in the dorm or by yourself in your room.

Yes, to keep everyone safe we need to know where you are at night. Curfew is from 11pm to 6:30am, and students may not leave their halls during that time. 

Yes, but only during specified free time and in the area between 116th street and 110th street on Broadway and Amsterdam. 

Students may leave (with prior permission from our executive director) for essential medical or religious purposes, but not during morning seminars (9:30 - 11:30am).

Yes. And they get COLD! Bring warm pajamas!

Besides your school supplies and clothing for the week we recommend students bring:

  • Sheets to fit a twin XL bed
  • Blanket (it gets cold at night!)
  • Pillow and pillowcase
  • Towel(s)
  • Toiletries (soap, toothbrush/paste, deodorant, comb/brush, shampoo/conditioner)
  • Shower shoes

You can leave all this behind when you leave for the weekend on Fridays--your dorm room will be locked until you return Sunday evening!

View a complete packing list here.

Do NOT bring: Television, DVD player, microwave, mini refrigerator, air conditioner, or hot plate. They will not be allowed in your dorm room.

Yes, but if the games are a distraction or hinder community-building, our staff may ask you to take them home. Games can be played during off hours (dorm time, shower time, wind down time) but not during any programming time. You may leave consoles and games locked in your room over the weekend if you choose. 

We encourage you to bring sports equipment and games to play with others during free time.

Yes. There are communal televisions in dorm lounges which can be used during free time.

Nope! We encourage students to dress in a manner that is comfortable to the student and shows respect for their professor and peers. 

Columbia University Housing Video on Hartley Hall