Columbia University Policies

Since policies and procedures are subject to change, please check the Columbia University website for the most current information. 

Reservation of University Rights

This Bulletin is intended for the guidance of current Columbia students and faculty, as well as for the guidance of persons applying for or considering application for admission to Columbia College of Columbia University.

In general, this Bulletin sets forth the manner in which the University intends to proceed with respect to the matters set forth herein, but the University reserves the right to depart without notice from the terms of this Bulletin. The Bulletin is not intended to be, and should not be, regarded as a contract between the University and any student or other person.

Valuable information to help students, faculty, and staff understand some of the policies and regulations of the University can now be found in University Policies, which includes information on the following:

  • Additional Policy Sources for the Columbia Community

  • Central Administration of the University's Academic Programs

  • Consumer Information

  • Crime Definitions in Accordance with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program

  • Essential Resources:

    • Campus Safety and Security

    • Disability Services

    • Ombuds Office

    • Transcripts and Certifications

  • FERPA - Policy on Access to Student Records under the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as Amended

  • Gender-Based Misconduct Policies for Students

  • Information Technology Policies

  • International Travel Planning Policy

  • Involuntary Leave of Absence Policy

  • Military Leave of Absence Policy

  • Non-Retaliation Policy

  • Policies on Alcohol and Drugs

  • Policies and Procedures on Nondiscrimination and Harassment

  • Policy on Partisan Political Activity

  • Protection of Minors

  • Social Security Number Reporting

  • Student Email Communication Policy

  • University Event Policies

  • University Regulations (Including Rules of University Conduct)

  • Use of Hoverboards on University Campus and Property

  • Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems on University Campus and Property

  • Voluntary Leave of Absence Policy

  • Involuntary Leave of Absence Policy

Student Grievance Policies at Columbia University

Columbia University is committed to fostering intellectual inquiry in a climate of academic freedom and integrity. Its members, students, and faculty alike, are expected to uphold these principles and exhibit tolerance and respect for others. The following procedures are part of a process to ensure that student concerns about experiences in the classroom or with faculty are addressed in an informed and appropriate manner.

Please note that the policies and processes listed here are meant to address any potential concerns about a faculty member's professional conduct and behavior toward students in the classroom or in other instructional settings. Potential concerns about grades awarded by a faculty member are covered by separate policies and procedures, which can be found on the College's website under "Academics".

Columbia believes that both students and faculty have the right to express their views freely, within an atmosphere of tolerance and civility. Faculty may present students with ideas and interpretations that surprise, and even offend them. But they must do so in an environment that is open to divergent views. Faculty, of course, must not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or other inappropriate categories.

The University offers several avenues of assistance to students who feel that their professors have not lived up to these responsibilities. These range from informal counseling and mediation to formal grievance processes. It is a violation of University policy to retaliate against any student who brings a grievance procedure in good faith.

The Ombuds Office

When students encounter problems that they feel they cannot discuss with their professors, they may, instead, turn to the University Ombuds Office ( for information, clarification of University policies, and confidential advice. The Ombuds Officer may refer students to other offices for further assistance or engage in informal mediation at the request of students. The Ombuds Officer does not have the authority to conduct formal investigations.

Deans and Department Chairs

Students may also approach the chair of the department in which their course is given for advice and assistance in resolving problems with individual faculty. If they are not satisfied with the assistance they receive or consider the chair to be part of the problem, they may seek assistance from the dean of the School within which they are enrolled or the dean or vice president overseeing the School within which the course is offered. The deans and vice presidents are authorized to conduct formal investigation of student complaints against their professors and, when they consider it appropriate, provide relief to the student or impose sanctions against the professor in a manner that is consistent with the University’s disciplinary policies for faculty. The form such investigations take is left to the discretion of the deans and vice presidents.

Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

When students believe that they have been the victims of discrimination or sexual harassment by faculty, they may seek assistance from the Office of the Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action ( As described in the University’s Policy Statement on Discrimination and Sexual Harassment, the Associate Provost for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action is empowered to conduct investigations of their complaints, with certain exceptions, as well as provide confidential advice and engage in informal mediation. The Associate Provost may exercise those responsibilities herself or delegate them to a designee. If at any time a complaint is filed with a governmental agency or court, the University procedures must cease immediately.

See the list below for links to school-specific guidance. 

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Columbia College


The B.A. degree is typically awarded three times during the year: in February, May, and October. Under special circumstances, a degree scheduled to be awarded in May may be awarded in June instead. 

Each May, the College celebrates the students who have completed the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College in its Class Day ceremony. Information on the College’s Class Day is shared each Spring with students who have completed or will complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree in the academic year ending that May.

Each May, the University confers degrees on the students who have completed the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College in the University-wide Commencement ceremony (see Academic Calendar). For complete Commencement information, please visit the official Columbia University Commencement website.

Diplomas are mailed to students after the degree has been officially conferred by the University.

Graduation Requirements

You should consult with your academic advisor within your school or department to be sure all of your graduation requirements have been met. In order to be eligible to graduate, Columbia College students must have completed 124 points of academic credit, which must include the full Core Curriculum and all requirements for a major, and must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Students in Columbia College can use the Degree Audit Report (DAR) through SSOL. The DAR is used by both students and staff as a tool to help track students' progress toward the degree. The DAR is a tool for advising and is not considered the equivalent of an official transcript by the College or the University.

Note: Deans and advisors are the final authorities on whether graduation requirements have been met.

Degree/Certificate Application

In order to be considered for a degree or certificate, you must file an application with your school or department.

You should submit the Application for Degree or Certificate by the appropriate deadline.

For 2024-2025, the dates are:

September 1, 2024 - Degrees conferred October 16, 2024

November 1, 2024 - Degrees conferred February 12, 2025

January 1, 2025 - Degrees conferred May 21, 2025

March 1, 2025 - Degrees conferred June 30, 2025

Columbia College students should consult the section Academic Regulations–Graduation above for more details on applying for the Bachelor of Arts and on receiving the diploma of the degree.

Additional Information:

Immunization Requirements

Before students are permitted to register for classes, there are several immunization requirements that all students—regardless of credit load—must complete. For this reason, a hold is placed on registration for all incoming students.

Documentation is upon admission or at least 30 days prior to a student’s scheduled registration date.

1.      Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR): New York State public health law and University policy requires that all students born on or after January 1, 1957 document immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. 

2.      Meningitis decision: New York State public health law and University policy requires that students certify their decision about receiving the meningococcal meningitis vaccine (menACWY) on the Patient Portal. Those indicating they have received the vaccine must upload documentation showing the vaccine was received in the last 10 years.

Submit Documentation

Submit the University immunization form and all proof/documentation via the Columbia Health Patient Portal (Immunization Record section under Medical Clearances). All documentation must be in English or accompanied by a certified translation.

Records may also be sent via other options as outlined on the Columbia Health website, though records submitted outside of the Patient Portal process may experience significantly longer processing times.

All forms are processed in the order in which they are received.  Columbia University does not expedite processing of late forms. As such, any delays in submitting or an incomplete submission will result in registration delays.


Columbia University is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and supportive experience for all students and recognizes medical contraindications to vaccination as well as student observance of their faith as it pertains to the practice of immunization. 

To request a medical or religious exemption, please complete the appropriate request forms, read the required Vaccine Information, attach all supplemental materials, and upload all documents to the Columbia Health Patient Portal (Upload Immunization Record section under Medical Clearances) prior to the deadline.  Note that students requesting an exemption must submit separate forms for each vaccine exemption request. Learn more about exemption requests on the Immunization Compliance page.

For information about these requirements visit the Immunization Compliance page, or email

Immunization Recommendations

Columbia Health recommends that students receive all routine childhood vaccinations, an updated tetanus booster, vaccination for Hepatitis B (three-dose series), and varicella (chicken pox). These vaccines are available at Columbia Health Medical Services.

Students who have paid the Columbia Health & Related Services Fee are not charged for the following vaccines when administered at Columbia Health Medical Services:

  1. Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)*

  2. Hepatitis A

  3. Hepatitis B

  4. Hepatitis Combination A and B

  5. Influenza

  6. Meningococcal Meningitis

  7. Pneumococcal (if clinically indicated)

  8. Tetanus-Diphtheria

  9. Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis

  10. Varicella

  11. Up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination (strongly recommended)

For all other vaccinations, students are charged for the cost of the vaccine. Vaccinations are available to students who have not paid the Columbia Health & Related Services Fee for a minimal cost.

*MMR vaccine cost will be charged if it is administered to meet pre-matriculation immunization requirements.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

Columbia University is committed to providing a learning, living, and working environment free from unlawful discrimination and to fostering a nurturing and vibrant community founded upon the fundamental dignity and worth of all of its members. Consistent with this commitment, and with all applicable laws, it is the policy of the University not to tolerate unlawful discrimination in any form and to provide persons who feel that they are victims of discrimination with mechanisms for seeking redress.

The University prohibits any form of discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, pregnancy, religion, creed, marital status, partnership status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, disability, military status, or any other legally protected status in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, employment, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other University-administered programs.

Nothing in this policy shall abridge academic freedom or the University’s educational mission. Prohibitions against discrimination and discriminatory harassment do not extend to statements or written materials that are relevant and appropriately related to the subject matter of courses.

Inquiries or complaints regarding any form of discrimination or harassment may be directed to:

Title IX Coordinator/Section 504 Officer for Columbia University, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (New York Office),

Religious Holidays

It is the policy of the University to respect its members’ religious beliefs. In compliance with New York State law, each student who is absent from school because of his or her religious beliefs will be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study, coursework or class requirements that he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days.

No student will be penalized for absence due to religious beliefs, and alternative means will be sought for satisfying the academic requirements involved.

Officers of Administration and of Instruction responsible for scheduling of academic activities or essential services are expected to avoid conflict with religious holidays as much as possible. If a suitable arrangement cannot be worked out between the student and the instructor involved, they should consult the appropriate dean or director. If an additional appeal is needed, it may be taken to the Provost.

Student Policies and Procedures on Discrimination and Harassment, Gender-Based Misconduct Policies for Students and Consensual Romantic and Sexual Relationships

Columbia University is committed to providing a learning, living, and working environment free from discrimination, harassment and gender-based and sexual misconduct. Consistent with this commitment and with applicable laws, the University does not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or gender-based sexual misconduct in any form and it provides students who believe that they have been subjected to conduct or behavior of this kind with mechanisms for seeking redress. All members of the University community are expected to adhere to the applicable policies, to cooperate with the procedures for responding to complaints of discrimination, harassment and gender-based and sexual misconduct, and to report conduct or behavior they believe to be in violation of these policies to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

Columbia University's Sexual Respect website ( provides additional information and resources for students, faculty, and staff. Students who attend Barnard College and Teachers College as well as Columbia University are covered by these policies. The use of the term “gender-based misconduct” includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, stalking, and intimate partner violence. 

Complaints against students for other forms of discrimination and harassment are processed in accord with the policies and procedures found on the website for the Columbia Gender-Based Misconduct Office ( 

Complaints against employees and third parties affiliated with the University for discrimination and harassment are processed in accord with the Employment Policies and Procedures on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Stalking. The use of the term “discrimination and harassment” includes discrimination, discriminatory harassment, gender-based harassment, stalking, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.

Columbia University maintains policies regarding consensual romantic and sexual relationships between faculty and students, and staff and students. The Policy on Romantic and Sexual Relationships between Faculty/Staff and Undergraduate Students states that no faculty or staff member shall initiate or accept sexual or romantic advances or engage in a romantic or sexual relationship with any undergraduate student enrolled in Columbia College, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of General Studies, or Barnard College or other affiliate of Columbia, regardless of whether the faculty member has a supervisory role over the student. 

For further information and assistance, contact:

Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action,

Gender-Based Misconduct Office,

Additional Resources

Columbia offers a number of confidential resources to students who believe they have been subjected to discrimination, harassment or gender-based or sexual misconduct and who do not wish to report to the University:

Columbia Health Sexual Violence Response and Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center (Confidential),, 24/7/365 Helpline: 212-854-4357 (HELP)

Columbia Health Medical Services (Confidential),, 212-854-7426

Columbia Health Counseling and Psychological Services (Confidential),, 212-854-2878

Ombuds Office,, 212-854-1493

Office of the University Chaplain,, 212-854-1234 

Undergraduate International Travel Policy

All matriculated undergraduates participating in Columbia-Led, Columbia-Facilitated and/or Columbia-Recognized international travel will be required to obtain School Sponsorship at least 4 weeks prior to departure.

Application for School Sponsorship is comprised of the following steps. All steps must be completed prior to travel departure:

1. Complete and Submit a School Sponsorship Request Form - including all travel destinations and side trips while abroad.

2. Complete Pre-Departure Orientation.

3. Abide by all University requirements, including:

a. Register all travel with the University’s international travel assistance services – International SOS (ISOS).

b. Maintain a health insurance policy that will also provide coverage outside the U.S. for routine, urgent, and emergent care (such as the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan).

4. Complete the Assumption of Risk, Waiver and Release Form, which must be signed by the undergraduate.

5. Complete or adhere to any additional safety protocol measures recommended by the Undergraduate Travel Review Committee.

Undergraduates are expected to begin the application for School Sponsorship as soon as an opportunity that would require international travel has been secured, and submit a completed application no later than 4 weeks prior to departure.

Once School Sponsorship is approved and issued, undergraduates may continue their work with a sponsoring unit/program to begin/continue their preparation for a specific Columbia-Led, Columbia-Facilitated and/or Recognized travel program.

Undergraduates are required to immediately notify the Undergraduate Travel Review Committee should any changes to their location occur during the duration of their travel so their School Sponsorship file may be updated.

The undergraduate schools reserve the right to revoke sponsorship, support and funding if any step of the School Sponsorship process is not completed or acknowledged prior to departure and/or if the Undergraduate Travel Review Committee determines after review that the travel would be imprudent, based on assessment of the risk variables involved and/or the particular facts of the application. The purchase of travel protection insurance is strongly recommended to potentially mitigate financial loss in case of trip cancellation or interruption.

If a country or region is placed on the medium, high, or extreme risk list during travel, the Undergraduate Travel Review Committee will assess the risks of remaining in or departure from the country or region. Undergraduates will be advised of the risks and, if necessary, provided a recommended course of action. The undergraduate schools reserve the right to revoke sponsorship, support and funding should the undergraduate not follow the recommendations of the Undergraduate Travel Review Committee (UTRC).

The full Undergraduate International Travel Policy can be found on the UTRC website:

Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018

In accordance with Title 38 US Code 3679 subsection (e), this school adopts the following additional provisions for any students using U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from the VA. This school will not:

  • Prevent nor delay the student’s enrollment;

  • Assess a late penalty fee to the student;

  • Require the student to secure alternative or additional funding;

  • Deny the student access to any resources available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution, including but not limited to access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities.

However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:

  • Produce the Certificate of Eligibility by the first day of class;

  • Provide written request to be certified;

  • Provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies.