Registration is the process whereby an eligible student reserves a seat in a particular course or selects an academic registration status. It is accomplished by following the procedures announced in advance of each term’s registration period. Enrollment is the completion of the registration process and affords the full rights and privileges of student status.
Registration at the Graduate School is a two-part process that consists of registering for individual courses and registering for a Residence Unit.
1. Course Registration
Students register for courses through Student Services Online (SSOL). You may only register during your designated Registration Appointment times. A list of your Registration Appointments is available in SSOL. For general information regarding registration periods, see the Registration Dates page on the Registrar's website or the Academic Calendar.
To register, you will need a course's 5-digit call number, which is available in the Directory of Classes. When registering, you should follow the guidelines and requirements of your department or program and consult with an appropriate advisor. Additionally, individual courses may require completion of prerequisites and/or permission from the department or instructor; these and any other special instructions will be listed in the course entry in the Directory of Classes.
2. Residence at the University
Note: The information in this section does not apply to Master’s students in American Studies, East Asian Studies, Human Rights Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Modern European Studies, or South Asian Studies.
In addition to registering for individual courses, GSAS students register for a full or fractional Residence Unit. The Residence Unit is used to determine tuition and is required of all registered students.
Two Residence Units are required for the M.A. earned as part of a Ph.D. degree; four additional Residence Units, for a total of six overall, are required for the M.Phil., Ph.D., and D.M.A. degrees. Two Residence Units are required for the free-standing Master of Arts degree. For more information, see the Registration Categories page.
Doctoral students may only register for full Residence Units; Master's students may register for full or fractional Residence Units.
To register for a full or fractional Residence Unit, search for the correct five-digit call number in the listings for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (listed under Departments) in the Directory of Classes, then register in SSOL (following the same process as in Step 1).
Call numbers for Residence Units (RU):
- Full RU: 99991
- Half RU (for three or fewer courses): 99992
- Quarter RU (for two or fewer courses): 99993
Extended Residence and Matriculation and Facilities
Doctoral students who have completed six Residence Units should register for either Extended Residence (ER) or Matriculation and Facilities (M&F) in order to fulfill the Continuous Registration requirement. For more information, see the Registration Categories page.
All GSAS students must be registered for either at least one class or a full or partial Residence Unit by the end of the day on Friday, January 18, 2013. You do not need to register for your full complement of courses, and you may change your registration after January 18; however, any student who is unregistered by the end of the day on Friday, January 18 will be assessed a late fee.
- A $50 late fee will be charged to students who register for the first time during the first two weeks of the semester.
- A $100 late fee will be charged to students who register for the first time after the first two weeks of the semester.
You may add or drop courses without penalty through Friday, February 1.
Consult the Registration Dates page on the Registrar's website and the Academic Calendar for more information. For tuition and refund information, see the Educational Financing section of the website.
Students taking six or more credits must meet the University's immunization requirements. Students will not be able to register until the requirements have been fulfilled. To provide documentation and for more information about how to meet the requirements, please see the Columbia Health website.
According to University regulations, each person whose registration has been completed will be considered a student of the University during the term for which he or she is registered unless the student’s connection with the University is officially severed by withdrawal or otherwise. No student registered in any school or college of the University shall at the same time be registered in any other school or college, either of Columbia University or of any other institution, with the exception of students participating in the Exchange Scholar Program or the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium.
The privileges of the University are not available to any student until he or she has completed registration. A student who is not officially registered for a University course may not attend the course. No student may register after the stated period unless he or she obtains the written consent of the appropriate dean or director.
The University reserves the right to withhold the privilege of registration or any other University privilege from any person with an unpaid debt to the University.
Students who register for a course offered by another school at the University are subject to the registration policies and procedures of that school.
- 1000 and 2000
These are undergraduate-level courses; typically but not always, 1000-level courses are general introductions to a broad field and 2000-level courses are introductions to an area or aspect within a broad disciplinary field. Introductory and intermediate language courses are typically numbered at the 1000 level.
3000-level courses are advanced undergraduate courses, generally offered either in a seminar or lecture format. Courses at the 3000 level in language departments may involve the study of literature rather than practice in reading or speaking.
Generally, though not in all departments, graduate students and advanced undergraduates may register for 4000-level courses.
- 6000 and higher
These are graduate-level courses; some 8000- and 9000-level courses are reserved for Ph.D. students only.