New Student Checklist

people walking on campus

After you have accepted the offer of admission, please complete the following checklist to begin your transition to Columbia:

Your UNI (University Network ID) grants you access to a number of important functions at Columbia, including registration, billing, and email. Your designated UNI (which consists of your initials and a four-digit number) will be sent to the email address with which you applied to GSAS. UNI creation typically requires three to five business days of processing time after accepting the offer of admission. Once you receive your UNI notification email, follow these instructions to activate it.

Next, activate your Columbia email account (known as LionMail). You should check it regularly; all official correspondence from the University will be sent to your Columbia account.

If you have not already done so, we strongly urge you to apply for your I-20 online as soon as possible to expedite the process of obtaining a student visa. Please contact the International Students and Scholars Office with any questions. 

International students are required to view these videos from the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO).

To apply for housing, complete the Columbia Residential application by the deadline indicated in your letter of admission. To apply, you will first need to successfully activate your UNI.

See the Housing page for links to apartment-hunting resources and special information for PhD students and MA students.

To comply with University policy, all students must complete several immunization requirements and submit documentation prior to registering for their first term.

You must complete the following requirements before you attend classes:

  1. Go to How to Submit Immunization.
  2. Certify your Meningitis vaccine decision.
  3. Upload your proof of MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccination or immunity to the Patient Portal

For more information, see the Columbia Health website.

You must submit a photo online to be used on your Columbia ID card. Instructions on picking up your ID card will be shared via email and on the GSAS website in the coming weeks.

Columbia University requires all incoming students to complete a credentials verification process for letters of reference and all post-secondary transcripts and degrees awarded. Instructions will be sent prior to your enrollment. For detailed information, please refer to our Credentials Verification page.

Columbia GSAS has contracted with Re Vera Services to assist with the verification of your letters of recommendation. We strongly suggest that you notify your recommenders that Re Vera will be contacting them to confirm that they have submitted letters for your application.

You may be contacted by a representative from Re Vera Services if they have any questions or need your assistance in reaching your recommender. Your timely replies to any such inquiries are required as part of the credentials-verification process.

All enrolling students must provide official final transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended, even if a degree was not awarded. Transcripts must include course names and grades for all work completed.

For a transcript to be considered official it must be sent from the Registrar’s Office directly to the GSAS Office of Admissions via the digital delivery service that works with your institution, or as a completed WES evaluation (if applicable). Any documents to which a student has had access, including any transcripts uploaded as part of the application, are automatically considered unofficial.

Please click here to review detailed instructions for the submission of Final Official Transcripts.

The Office of Financial Aid encourages you to review the below information sessions outlining the timing, process, and steps needed to avoid potential delays in your GSAS funding. The sessions are tailored to the specific requirements for typical first year funding based program of enrollment and citizenship status. Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

Session 1: US Citizen/Permanent Resident –Stipend

Session 2: US Citizen/Permanent Resident –Payroll
(Students in Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Statistics)

Session 3: International – Stipend

Session 4: International – Payroll
(Students in Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Statistics)