Housing Portal

Postdoctoral Fellows and Law Associates

Welcome to Columbia Residential! Below you will find all you need to know about obtaining University housing as a fellow. Use the quick links below for easy navigation. 

How to Apply

Postdoctoral Fellows and Law Associates interested in obtaining University housing should submit an application for Columbia Residential. Your school, department or institute will first need to provide login information. Please contact your housing liaison for information about your eligibility and the housing approval process.

Postdoctoral Fellow Housing Liaisons

Applications for housing must be submitted through the Housing Portal. You will need to create an account before accessing the portal. Your housing liaison will provide the information you need to create an account and submit a housing application.

Columbia Residential forwards all fellow housing applications to the appropriate housing liaison for review and approval. No housing assignment can be made without department and school approval, and assignments are subject to availability at the time of the housing request.

If you requested direct assignment, an Offer of Assignment will be emailed to you after we receives approval from your sponsoring department/school (approximately 30 days before the start date of your appointment). These procedures are more fully described below.

Any fellow with a disability or health condition that may affect his or her assignment is urged to apply for housing as early as possible and to indicate the disability on the application. These fellows must also contact the Office of Disabilities Services (212) 854-2388; TDD: (212) 854-2388; Fax: (212) 854-3448; E-mail:

back to top


Columbia Residential for approved postdoctoral fellows is only for the duration of a full-time appointment and in no event may exceed a period of three years. Approval for housing is obtained from one's department or school, and postdocs must contact the Columbia Residential housing office within 30 days of receiving notice of approval. 

Postdocs in the following departments, institutes & schools may be eligible to apply for housing through Columbia Residential:


  • Columbia Business School
  • Columbia Law School
  • Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science
  • School of Journalism
  • Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) 
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics (CAL)
  • Biology
  • Center for Science + Society
  • Chemistry
  • Committee on Global Thought
  • Ecology, Evolution & Environmental Biology (EEEB)
  • Frontiers of Science
  • Harriman Institute
  • INCITE / Robert Wood Johnson
  • Institute for Social & Economic Research & Policy (ISERP)
  • Italian Academy
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Mathematics
  • Physics / ISCAP
  • Psychology
  • Society of Fellows
  • Statistics
  • Weatherhead East Asian Institute
  • Zuckerman Institute

back to top

Types of Housing Available

Columbia Residential housing is managed by Columbia University Facilities & Operations. These properties consist of apartments, primarily located within a few blocks of the campus. Fellows with a family (spouse/partner and small children) are typically accommodated in one or two bedroom apartments, subject to availability. Studio efficiencies and smaller one bedroom apartments are generally designated for singles and couples. 

Most accommodations are unfurnished, with only a very few furnished units available. These units may include a single bed (full sized mattress for couples' housing), desk, chair, dresser, and lamp in the bedroom, with a couch, coffee table, and/or chairs in the living room, as well as a dining table with chairs, space permitting. Linens, cooking utensils, dishes, and cutlery are not provided.

A stove and refrigerator are installed in all units, furnished and unfurnished. In general, air conditioners, dishwashers, and microwave ovens are not provided. Additionally, we do not maintain a listing of furniture or other household items that may be for sale by current or vacating residents. 

Please carefully review the descriptions and rate information presented below to determine the type of housing unit most suitable for your needs and personal budget. 

1.  Efficiency/Studio Apartments

Typically efficiencies or studios are one-room apartments under 500 square feet, with a private bathroom and a kitchen either along one wall of the room, or separated slightly from the main room. Studio efficiencies are designated mainly for single tenants, or couples seeking affordable housing. Heat and hot water are included in the cost of all units. Utilities (electricity, gas) may or may not be included in the rent, depending on the building. Efficiency apartments are limited in number and demand usually exceeds availability.

2.  One and Two Bedroom Apartments

One and Two Bedroom apartment units have multiple rooms: a living room, kitchen facilities, one or two separate bedrooms and a bathroom. They vary in size and cost, and almost always are unfurnished. Utilities are generally not included in the rent.

One bedrooms are generally reserved for couples and fellows with children. Though single fellows may be offered an one bedroom if no studio efficiencies are available. Two bedroom apartments are very limited in supply and are strictly reserved for fellows with families (spouse/partner and small children).

back to top

Rental Rates

Below are the monthly rate ranges for each type of accommodation. Heat and hot water are included in the cost for all units. It should be noted that for most units utilities are NOT included in the rent, and an additional cost of approximately $60-100 per month per unit should be anticipated for electricity and/or gas. It is the fellow's responsibility to contact Con Edison (800-752-6633) to arrange for their services, either before or immediately after signing a lease. Phone and cable television are not included; contracting providers for those services is also the responsibility of the fellow. In units without Ethernet, fellows must contact the phone or cable company for internet service.  

2018-2019 Monthly Rental Rates*

  Unfurnished  Furnished 
Studio/Efficiency   $1600 - $2100 $1700 - $2200
 One Bedroom  $1800 - $2600 $1900 - $2750
 Two Bedroom   $2100 - $3200  n/a

*Please note that rental rates vary depending on apartment/room size, layout, furnishings, location, and building amenities. 

back to top

Information for Couples & Families

Columbia Residential is unable to provide housing to accommodate friends or relatives other than, in very limited number, partners and/or dependent children. If both partners are fellows and are both eligible for housing, only one application will be considered and one offer given (if approved).

In order to move into couple or family housing, the following documentation must be presented at the Columbia Residential office at the time of the move-in appointment:

  • Photo ID for each resident
  • Birth certificate for each dependent child (if applicable).
    Families with dependent children 18 & 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).
  • Partner (if applicable) must be present to sign part B of the Housing Compliance Form. If partner is not present at move-in, resident must provide proof of partner's arrival date. If such proof is not provided, applicant will not be permitted to move in. Only the partner listed in the original housing application may move into the unit.
  • Partner and/or children must move in and complete Housing Compliance form within 30 days of resident's move-in date; failure to comply with these regulations may result in a reassignment or the termination of the housing agreement.

The Housing Compliance Form asks residents to agree to the terms of Columbia Residential couple or family housing:

  • 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.
  • Only the partner listed in the original housing application may move into 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 agree to furnish any further documentation that Columbia Residential may require regarding their status.
  • Any false or misleading statements made may result in the cancellation of the housing agreement.

Selecting an apartment

Postdoctoral fellows approved for housing may self-select an apartment that best fits their needs. This process may begin as early as one month prior to their intended move-in.

Approved applicants will be invited to participate in a housing selection round, during which they may review a list of available units (including address, apartment number, square footage, rent and building amenities) and rank three choices. Fellows whose status is single or couple may choose from studio and 1-bedroom units, and families with children may choose from 1- and 2-bedroom units. 

Accepting a Housing Offer and Scheduling Move-in

Fellows approved for housing will be sent up to three housing offers, viewable in the Housing Portal. To accept an offer, a deposit of first month's rent + security deposit (equivalent to one month's rent) must be paid before the offer expires. The security deposit will be returned upon vacancy according to the terms of the lease.

If an apartment is vacant, prospective residents may view the units assigned to them during viewing hours (Monday - Friday, 9 - 11:30 AM or 1 - 3:30 PM) with authorization from the housing office. Please contact us to confirm whether the units are vacant and viewable.

back to top

Signing your Lease 

  1. Accept an offer, pay deposit & schedule move in appointment
  2. Sign the Housing Agreement
    The housing agreement will be sent by email one week prior to move in date through DocuSign. Once you sign your housing agreement, you will not be able to make changes to your move in date/agreement start date.
  3. Pick up keys & Move in
    Please review Moving In for more information.

More Information

  • Are utilities included? Please review the offer in the Housing Portal for more information.
  • Keys cannot be mailed or picked up by anyone other than the tenant of record, after the housing agreement has been signed and processed.
  • No deliveries will be accepted prior to move-in. Plan your arrival accordingly.
  • It is not possible to move in on weekends, after 4 PM. on weekdays, or on University designated holidays.
  • Please note: Move ins and key pickups may be scheduled Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 3 PM (excluding holidays). Weekday moves and key pickups must be completed by 4 PM. Residents who move items outside of these hours wil be charged $50 per hour.

Moving In

Fellows are required to sign a lease before obtaining apartment keys (see section above).

After the lease is signed, fellows may pick-up keys from the building superintendent at their appointment time. Move-in instructions will be sent to you by email a few days prior to move-in. Please review Moving In for more information.

No deliveries will be accepted on behalf of fellows at Columbia apartments before lease signing and move-in.

Moving hours are Monday through Friday between 9 AM and 4 PM. Furniture may not be moved at other times. 

back to top


For information on establishing utilities, billing, vacating procedures, and other housing related issues for new and current tenants, please see Policies, which includes basic resident information. Please refer to this page during your stay in Columbia Residential. If you have questions or encounter problems please feel free to write to the appropriate University staff as indicated.

back to top