For new students joining Columbia Engineering, the Office of Graduate Student Affairs has organized a comprehensive orientation program and a checklist to support you. 

Newly Admitted Students Next Steps

The orientation program and new student checklist will be invaluable and will include information on campus life, academics, and other pertinent topics.

If there is any additional information that the Graduate Student Affairs team can provide, please feel free to contact us at (212) 854-6438 or visit our office located in 530 Mudd Building.

The Office of Graduate Student Affairs looks forward to seeing you on campus.

Columbia University in the City of New York: "A Doubled Magic"

Academic Calendar for 2022-2023

Columbia University’s academic calendar for 2022-2023 has been adjusted as a result of the impact of the pandemic experienced globally in 2020. Below is the calendar for the year. 

Fall             September 6 - December 23
Spring        January 17 - May 12
Summer     *Dates Forthcoming*


Academic Calendar for 2021-2022

Columbia University’s academic calendar for 2021-2022 has been adjusted as a result of the impact of the pandemic experienced globally in 2020. Below is the calendar for the year. 

Fall             September 8 - December 23
Spring        January 18 - May 13
Summer     *Dates Forthcoming*



New Student Checklist

Activate Your Computing Account (Columbia UNI)

Learn how to activate your UNI. Once you have activated your UNI, check your University email account - stay up to date with deadlines and events by adding our calendar to your LionMail account. Clicking the (+) button on the bottom right will sync our Calendar with your LionMail!

The UNI and the password gives you access to both your Columbia email and Student Services Online (SSOL). The SSOL account gives you access to online course registration, student billing, and much more. Please ensure that we have your updated contact information in SSOL at all times.

Secure Your Student Visa (International Students)

Complete Your Visa Application

International students need to complete the necessary application for student visas.  For more information, please refer to International Students and Scholars website.

The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) website assists with online submission of your application for Certificate of Eligibility.

  • A Certificate of Eligibility is a document issued by the ISSO for an admitted student that is evidence of your eligibility for a non-immigrant student status in the United States.
  • New students who will study in F-1 Student status receive an I-20 form. International students must obtain an I-20 form before applying for an F-1 entry visa at a U.S. Consulate or a change of status if already in the U.S.
  • In the case you are asked to submit additional information regarding your graduate program of study in your visa application process, please refer to the CU Engineering Bulletin and your specific Department's website.
  • Visit the International Students and Scholars Office's website for details about eligibility, restrictions, and the online application.
  • For questions related to the visa application process or the status of your I-20, please email [email protected].

Watch Immigration Essentials Webinar

Complete Online Check-In Form

Complete Additional Registration Requirements

  • All registered full-time international students are enrolled in the Gold Level of the Columbia Health Insurance Plan offered by the University by default. Two charges for the selected Insurance Plan and the Columbia Health fee will appear on your first student bill. More information is available on the Columbia Health Website.
  • International students on F-1 or J-1 visas must maintain full-time registration (12 credits) per semester. Full time registration does not include American Language Program credits.
  • International students may only take less than 12 credits in their last semester of study.
  • Please review the guidelines from the International Students and Scholars Office on maintaining your status.

English Language Proficiency

  • Language proficiency is the responsibility of the student. Regardless of previous TOEFL/IELTS test scores, students should continue to work on maintaining adequate verbal and/or written abilities for successful integration within their classes and future professional endeavors.
  • As a rule, ISSO will not permit students to drop courses or fall below full-time registration (12 credits per semester) due to language deficiencies.
  • Several English improvement resources are available on and off campus. Please note that any credits earned for English improvement programs do not count towards engineering program requirements.

ISSO Visa Information Survey

If you have not already done so, please complete the ISSO Visa Information Survey. Follow the instructions below to log into Compass.

  1. Log in with your UNI, or
  2. Log in with your PID and PIN (request your PIN here)

Submit Required MMR Immunizations

Your vaccination documents are REQUIRED for all Engineering Students. If admitted less than 30 days before registration, your ability to register will be on hold until your MMR and COVID-19 vaccine documentation is received and processed.

Students MUST record their meningococcal meningitis vaccination decision online before registering for classes.

Immunization documentation may be submitted to the Columbia Health Immunization Compliance Office:

Preferred Methods

  • Online: Secure digital upload via the Patient Portal (Instructions)
  • In Person: Immunization Compliance Office, John Jay Hall, 3rd Floor, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Mail: Immunization Compliance Office, John Jay Hall 3rd Floor, MC 3601, 519 W. 114th St., New York, NY 10027

Alternate Methods

  • Fax: 212-854-5078
  • Email: [email protected] with the subject line Immunization Compliance Records - [Your Academic School/College] (Please note that communications sent via email over the Internet are not necessarily secure.  Columbia University cannot guarantee that the information and records submitted via unencrypted email will not be intercepted and read by other parties besides the University.)

To confirm if your records have been received, contact Columbia Health at (212) 854-7210 or [email protected].

You can contact the Insurance Office by email at [email protected] or by phone at (212) 854-3286.

If you have completed your first MMR vaccine and are waiting to receive a second, Columbia Health will lift the hold on your registration for 28 days (the required period between doses).


For more information on immunizations and vaccine policies, visit the Columbia Health site.

If your health-related documentation requirements have not been approved/cleared you will not be able to register for classes. 

Any questions relating to your health forms please send them to [email protected] 

Additional information relating to Columbia Health can be found here.

Submit COVID Vaccination Requirement - All Students

The university requires all faculty, staff, and students to be fully vaccinated. For any further questions about the university's vaccine policy, please click here

Update Survey

As we approach the start of the term, we ask that students admitted into a Master of Science program please update the MS Student Arrival Survey.

These updates will help us better prepare for your arrival. The survey should be resubmitted with an update once any of the following events occur:

  • When you apply for your I-20
  • When you receive your I-20
  • When you schedule a visa appointment
  • When you attend your visa appointment
  • When you solidify a date to arrive on-campus

Register for Columbia Engineering Grad Welcome Day

Fall 2022 Engineering Welcome Day/Orientation for new Fall 2022 students will be on August 26th and many programs have their Program Kick-Off scheduled around that time as well. Invitations and registration information will be sent to your LionMail account, so please be sure to activate your UNI as soon as you can.


Spring 2022 Engineering Welcome Day/Orientation for new Spring 2022 students will be on January 13th on Zoom and many programs have their Program Kick-Off scheduled around that time as well. Invitations and registration information will be sent to your LionMail account, so please be sure to activate your UNI as soon as you can.


Each Program or Department has a mandatory kick-off/orientation that is separate from Engineering Welcome Day. The dates will be announced soon.



Prepare for Professional Development and Leadership - ENGI E4000 (MS Only)

The Professional Development and Leadership (PDL) course empowers and educates Columbia engineers to maximize performance and achieve their full potential to become engineering leaders of today and tomorrow. The workshops provide engineers with skills and perspectives needed to succeed in a fast-changing technical climate. 

ENGIE4000 (Professional Development and Leadership) is required for all Master of Science students. Additional information, including a schedule, will be shared with you soon. You can also find more information on the PDL website. Any questions regarding the program should be sent to [email protected].

Complete Verification (MS Students Only)

All incoming MS students* must participate in the final verification process, in which we review and verify all academic, professional, and reference information provided during the application process. In order to satisfy this requirement, students must complete the MS Verification Survey. Instructions on how to do so will be sent out a month before the start of courses. Questions about this step can be sent to [email protected]

*MS Express students are exempt from this requirement. CS Bridge students must participate in the verification process.


Submit Final Transcripts

Fall students: Ensure that certified and secure online official transcripts are submitted directly to Columbia from your prior academic institution(s)’ Registrar Office to [email protected] by the deadline of October 15; among these must be a transcript indicating conferral of a Bachelor’s degree.

Spring students: Ensure that certified and secure online official transcripts are submitted directly to Columbia from your prior academic institution(s)’ Registrar Office to [email protected] by the deadline of March 15; among these must be a transcript indicating conferral of a Bachelor’s degree.

​An academic hold will be placed on your student account if you do not submit your transcripts by the deadline. This will prevent you from registering for the next semester.

Emailed, faxed, unofficial copies, non-sealed, and scanned PDFs of transcripts will not be accepted. Transcripts can not be delivered in-person.

How do I submit my Official Transcripts?

Admitted students who plan to enroll must submit official transcripts to Columbia Engineering. Certified and secure online official transcripts must be submitted directly to Columbia from your prior academic institution(s)’ Registrar Office to [email protected]; among these must be a transcript indicating conferral of a Bachelor’s degree. The policy for submitting official transcripts is as follows:

1) All students who have attended a college or university in the United States must submit electronic transcripts directly from their school to [email protected].

If a school does not offer electronic delivery, applicants must write to [email protected] to provide us with the link to their institution's webpage concerning transcript orders.  Applicants may also be asked to provide additional documentation to confirm the school cannot send transcripts electronically. After verifying that your institution does not provide an electronic option, we will then authorize a hardcopy submission mailed directly to us by the Registrar of your university in a sealed envelope.

 2) All students attending Chinese institutions will be required to contact CHESICC to arrange submission of a “Verification Report of China Higher Education Student's Academic Transcript” AND a “Verification Report of China Higher Education Qualification Certificate” (for those earning a degree in China) to Columbia at [email protected].

 3) All other students who have attended an international university must submit an electronic transcript if their school offers secure online delivery to [email protected].

If the school cannot send transcripts electronically via a secure, password-protected system, applicants must order a Course-by-Course Evaluation and International Credential Advantage Package to be sent electronically to [email protected] from World Education Services (WES).

Can I drop off my transcripts to the Office of Graduate Student Affairs?

No, transcripts may not be delivered in-person. Please review the instructions above for submitting official transcripts. 

What is a degree conferral date?

The degree conferral date is the date of when your degree was granted.
The degree conferral date must be clearly marked (ex: "June 20th , 2014" or "20, June 2014."
"Completed Bachelors" or "Successfully passed final exams" ARE NOT considered a degree conferral.

What if my transcripts do not have a degree conferral date?

If your transcripts do not have a degree conferral date, you may submit a separate official degree statement or copy of your original diploma; either document must be validated and sealed in an envelope by an authorized person(s) at your institution (i.e. Deputy Registrar).

How do I know if my transcripts have been received?

Please log in to your Status Portal to confirm the status of your official transcript(s). Any missing official transcripts will be noted with a red X on the checklist. If every item on the checklist is complete, nothing further is needed. Please continue to monitor your Enrollment Checklist as needed. If you have questions about other checklist items, email us at: [email protected].

FAQ Regarding Transcripts:

We have put together the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. If you do not see the answer to your question here, please e-mail [email protected].

Submit Final Official Standardized Test Scores

Official test scores must be submitted via the appropriate testing agency for all scores provided with your application for admission. All official scores must be provided by the appropriate testing agency at the time you accept your offer of admission.

Send official GRE and/or TOEFL scores (if submitted with your application) to our institutional code 2111

For International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores enter your TRF number on the application and provide the test center with the school name and address:

Attn: Admissions Assistant
Office of Graduate Student Affairs

Columbia Engineering
500 W. 120th Street
Suite 530, MC 4708
New York, NY 10027

Upload Photo for CU ID Card

All new incoming students must request a CU ID by submitting their photo online. Please make sure to read the directions on the ID Center's website.

IDs must be picked up during your Department Orientation. The ID Center will not have your ID.

All CU IDs must have an "EP sticker" indicating that they are enrolled in a Graduate Engineering Program. If your ID is missing an EP sticker, please request one at the front desk of the Office of Graduate Student Affairs, located in Room 530 of the Mudd Building. If you have an ID already, you do not need to get a new one unless your current ID has expired.

Register for Courses

Class schedules are available online through the University registrar, Student Services Online (SSOL), or students’ academic departments. Course information is available in the Online Directory of Classes.

Registration Guidelines

Students should report to their respective academic departments to review their course selection with a faculty adviser prior to registration.

Course registration details will be communicated to you by your Department Administrators.

Your advising appointment times will be available on SSOL two weeks prior to your group's registration period. Other registration policies and procedures, including registration dates are available here.

Course Add/Drop Deadlines (Spring 2022 Semester)

  • January 18: End of Change of Program period. Last day to add courses. Last day to drop courses for a refund.
  • March 24: Last day to choose Pass/Fail option. Last day to withdraw from courses (without refund).

Any questions related to academics can always be sent to [email protected].

Withdrawing After Registration

If you are registered for courses and have decided to no longer attend Columbia Engineering you must complete this form and select "Withdrawal".  Make sure to contact your department about your decision.

Enroll in Health Insurance

All Full-Time students must have health insurance. If you have your own health insurance and would like to continue using it, you may waive the Columbia University health insurance enrollment.

To sign-up for health insurance, please visit this website. For health insurance prices, please refer to this website.

International students: To ensure that students have comparable insurance coverage, all registered full-time international students are enrolled by default in the 90 level of the Plan offered by the University. A charge for the 90 level of the Columbia Plan as well as the Columbia Health fee will appear on the first student bill. Find additional information for International Students on the Columbia Health website.

Open Enrollment for the Summer 2022 Semester: May 1, 2022.  

Open Enrollment for the Spring 2021 Semester: Closed
DEADLINE to Enroll: Closed.

IMPORTANT:  Students who have taken no action by the deadline will be automatically enrolled into the 90 level of the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan.


Open Enrollment for the Fall semester 2021: July 15.

DEADLINE to EnrollSeptember 30.

Complete Required Columbia Engineering Orientation & OUL Tutorials

Columbia Engineering Orientation Tutorials
Over the summer, new students are automatically enrolled in three modules on CANVAS, also known as Courseworks2. You will receive an email when these tutorials are activated. The modules are in a course titled "SEAS Mandatory Orientation Tutorials"


Every student who is new to a degree program at Columbia must complete two required tutorials that introduce important University policies and valuable student resources. These tutorials convey values that are foundational to membership in the Columbia University community and provide skills and resources to help support you to excel during your time here. Both must be completed before your arrival on campus. Each tutorial takes approximately 40 minutes to complete. Click NEXT STEPS to learn more about this tutorials, to gain access to the tutorials, and to complete by the dedline. 

Tutorial 1: Welcome to Columbia
Tutorial 2: Sexual Assault Preventation

Spring deadline for Tutorial 1 and 2: First day of classes
Fall deadline: First day of classes


All incoming students must complete the required Columbia Engineering Tutorials located in Canvas. 

Deadline is October 15TH

Students who do not complete both tutorials by the respective deadlines will have a registration hold.

For questions related to the OUL Pre-Arrival Tutorials (Welcome to Columbia and Sexual Assault Prevention), please contact [email protected]
For questions regarding Academic Integrity programming and policies, please contact [email protected]


For your records, please see below for the Graduate Students of Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science Code of Honor.

​We, the graduate students of Columbia Engineering, hereby pledge that it is our responsibility to uphold intellectual honesty, mutual, and self-respect in the academic community.

As a graduate student of Columbia Engineering, I am accountable for any actions that do not instill intellectual honor, privilege, and freedom to learn, teach, and serve the world with my knowledge.

​I affirm that I will not plagiarize, use unauthorized materials, or give or receive illegitimate help on assignments, papers, or examinations. I will uphold equity and honesty in the evaluation of my work and the work of others. I do so to sustain a community built around this Code of Honor.

Report Outside Scholarships & External Payments

Students attending Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science are required to notify the Office of Student Financial Planning to report any outside funding

Congratulations and welcome to Columbia Engineering! Your hard work has brought you to this moment of becoming a part of our community. GSA will be here to assist you through this journey and we are dedicated to your successful transition into SEAS. To aid in settling into your program, we have created the above checklist for you. We look forward to welcoming you and your classmates at orientation!

Yannick L. Brookes, JD
Assistant Dean of Graduate Student Affairs

Engineering Graduate Student Council (EGSC)

EGSC is the student governing body of the graduate students at Columbia Engineering. Participation in EGSC through its various committees, student organizations, and executive board positions is highly encouraged.


Introduction to SSOL, Paying Your Bill, & More

The Student Service Center has put together several videos on navigating Columbia's services- including SSOL, Vergil, and Financial Aid. Please watch & learn more! Helpful Videos for you!

Health Resources

Columbia has a robust variety of health resources available on campus. 

Disability Services

The Columbia University Office of Disability Services serves students within all Columbia University schools and departments. The ODS works with each engineering student and Graduate Student Affairs to address specific needs. 

Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

212-854-2378 (tdd)
212-854-3448 (fax)
[email protected]


There are several immunization requirements that all students—regardless of credit load—must meet.

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.  This requirement applies before a student is permitted to register for their first term at Columbia.

Meningitis decision: New York State public health law and University policy require that students must also document that they either have received the meningococcus meningitis vaccine or have declined to receive it.  This requirement applies before a student is permitted to register for their first term at Columbia.

For MMR, Meningitis Decision, and COVID-19 vaccines, students must submit their documentation upon admission or at least 30 days prior to their scheduled registration date.


This compact is our community’s continued commitment to recognize our shared responsibility for community health, informed by science and founded on mutual respect.

All of us at Columbia—students, faculty, and staff—commit to doing what we can to reduce and stop transmission of COVID-19 within and around the University community. The University commits to doing the same.


Call Public Safety at (212) 854-5555