Housing & Dining

At Columbia, undergraduate housing is guaranteed for all four years, and about 90% of current students live on campus. Depth of variety and flexibility in living options makes residential life at Columbia incredibly appealing. From traditional corridor and suite-style residence halls at the center of campus—to apartment buildings, townhouses, duplexes and classic New York brownstones all just a short walk away. 

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Carman Hall, one of Columbia's first-year residence halls.

Your home in the heart of campus.

As a first-year student, you’ll find your home away from home at one of five first-year residence hall communities, each with different styles and features. Beyond a built-in network of friends, mentors and support, you'll have a beautiful place to live in one of the most exciting cities in the world. 

After your first year, your choices are even more varied, including the option of applying to Special Interest Communities. These unique residences—Casa Latina, Greenborough, Q House, Writers House and several more—give sophomores, juniors and seniors a way to explore and immerse themselves in one of their passions, presenting opportunities for students to connect with relevant faculty, administrators, alumni and community leaders.


Living in my first year residence hall allowed me to make many friends on my floor, learn about various campus resources and receive great mentorship from upperclassmen who lived on my floor.

Accra, Ghana
Students eating at dining hall

Amazing meals, any time of the day.

Traditional dining halls, campus cafés, late-night haunts and hangouts—Columbia offers an award-winning variety of dining options that span a spectrum of global cuisines, all featuring local and sustainably sourced ingredients. Made-to-order omelettes and pasta dishes, authentic New York City bagel bar, fresh-made sushi or breakfast until 2PM. These are just some of the popular picks and themed dining events you’ll find around campus. Daily menus are available online for each of Columbia’s dining facilities, so it’s always easy to find what you love. Even better—you can find food on campus 24/7 with a late-night dining hall.

Columbia Dining runs over a dozen dining halls, cafés and even a food truck on campus:

  • Chef Don's Pizza Pi
  • Chef Mike's Sub Shop
  • Faculty House
  • Ferris Booth Commons
  • Grace Dodge Dining Hall
  • JJ’s Place
  • John Jay Dining Hall
  • The Fac Shack food truck

My absolute favorite tradition one semester was breakfast at John Jay with my friends. After our morning class, we would head over to John Jay, and I would get the same thing every morning: a fresh omelette, a scallion cream cheese toast, and a delicious, refreshing cold brew. I would wash this all down with a smoothie from Luisa, one of my favorite staff at Columbia Dining. All of this deliciousness motivated me for the rest of my day!

Chicago, IL

And a Columbia dining plan also gives you access to great food across Morningside Heights and New York City. Dining accounts with Flex dollars can be used at local neighborhood partners, including grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops and drugstores, as well as on Grubhub to order meals from local restaurants, delivered straight to your residence hall.