Participation in Fieldwork, Externships or Academic Exchange

Columbia Residential is committed to supporting the university's core educational and research mission as well as aiding students in harnessing the full range of resources at their disposal to enhance their academic journey and broaden their career opportunities. For students embarking on affiliated exchange programs, externships, or fieldwork opportunities, we provide two distinct options to address housing concerns: subletting and housing cancellation. 


For students engaging in single-semester enrichment opportunities and planning to return to Columbia for at least 30 days, subletting may be a suitable choice. It's important to note that students must be enrolled in a partner program where they maintain full-time affiliation and obtain approval from their prospective student housing liaison. Residents seeking to sublet must meet specific eligibility criteria and secure prior approval and sublets cannot exceed the maximum time of 365 consecutive days (i.e., 1 full year). For detailed information, please visit the subletting page on our website. 

Housing Cancellation

Residents who need to cancel their housing to participate in a Columbia-affiliated exchange, internship, or fieldwork beyond the New York Metropolitan area have the option to apply for a Cancellation Fee Waiver. To be approved for this waiver, students must complete their move-out by the end date of their last enrolled term (Spring - May 31, Summer - August 31, and Fall - December 31). After completing the approved enrichment opportunity, students must submit a new housing application to be considered for additional Columbia Residential housing. 

We are dedicated to facilitating your academic and career endeavors while ensuring a seamless housing experience. If you have any questions or require further assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. 

  • Only the partner listed in the original housing application may move into and reside in the unit. 
  • Residents' partner and/or dependent child(ren) must live full-time in the unit immediately upon signing the agreement and receiving keys. 
  • Partner and/or dependent child(ren) have no independent right of occupancy and must vacate upon termination of the housing agreement or their relationship to the resident, whichever occurs first. 
  • Residents must notify Columbia Residential immediately of any change in couple or family status and agree to be reassigned or vacate should their status change. Failure to report this change in status could result in a housing reassignment, immediate termination of the housing agreement and/or other administrative penalties. Residents agree to furnish any further documentation that Columbia Residential may require regarding their status. 
  • Any false or misleading statements made by residents regarding couple or family status may result in the termination of the housing agreement. 
  • Please note, 3041 Broadway, also known as Hastings Hall at Union Theological Seminary (UTS), and 517 West 121st Street, also known as New Residence Hall at Teachers College, cannot accommodate couple and family housing.

Prior to move-in or upon renewing the housing agreement, residents must sign the Housing Compliance form included in the housing agreement, agreeing to the terms of couple & family housing listed above.  

After move-in, residents will be contacted to schedule certification according to the following general timeline: 

  • Summer: new or transfer residents who moved in late spring, and current residents renewing their housing agreement for the next academic year 
  • Fall: new or transfer residents who moved in summer through early fall 
  • Spring: new or transfer residents who moved in late fall through early spring 

NOTE: Certification will happen after move-in; certification prior to move-in is no longer required. 

The following is required and must be presented during the certification appointment: 

  • Partner and/or children must be present at time of the certification appointment and in the same location as the resident. If the partner and/or children are not present, certification cannot be completed.  
  • Photo ID for each resident. 
  • Birth certificate for each dependent child (families only).  
  • Families with dependent children 18 and over must show proof that each child is a legal dependent. A legal dependent is defined as a child under the age of 19 (or under 24 if enrolled as a full-time student). 

All couples & families in housing will receive an email from Columbia Residential to schedule certification.

Once the email is received, residents must schedule their certification meeting within 60 days, using the booking link included in the email. 

Appointments are 20 minutes in length and are available on weekdays between 9 AM – 4 PM (excluding holidays). All available appointments will be listed in the booking calendar. 

Certification meetings are held virtually with a Columbia Residential staff member, through Microsoft Teams. Once the appointment is booked, residents will receive a confirmation email with the link to the virtual meeting. 

Appointments may be rescheduled directly by the resident using the booking link included in the confirmation email. Please note, appointments must be rescheduled at least 24 hours in advance. 

Appointments must be scheduled and completed within the required 60-day timeline. Residents who do not complete certification within the required timeline are considered out of compliance with the terms of the housing agreement and will be reported to Student Conduct & Community Standards for failure to comply with Columbia Residential policies. Residents with extenuating circumstances must contact [email protected] within 2 business days of receiving the email to discuss options and next steps. 

At the time of the certification appointment, residents and their partner and/or children must be together in the same location. All required documentation should be available and ready to be presented to staff during the appointment. 

Residents must use the Microsoft Teams meeting link to join the certification appointment as scheduled. After completing the appointment, if all documentation is confirmed, residents will receive an email confirming that certification has been successfully completed for the academic year. 

Residents may apply to transfer into couple housing through the Transfer Process. Availability is limited and transfers are not guaranteed. If approved to transfer into couple or family housing, residents will be required to complete couple and family housing certification as described above.