Campus Visits

Sometimes there’s no substitute for firsthand experience. We find that’s true of New York City in general, but especially true of Columbia. A visit to Morningside Heights is your chance to engage with our diverse, dynamic community, explore our one-of-a-kind campus, imagine the life you’ll build here—and dream big about where a Columbia education could lead you.

In-Person Campus Tours Available

Undergraduate Admissions and the Visitors Center are excited to welcome prospective students and families to campus for in-person campus tours. You must register online in advance in order to attend a tour; unfortunately, we will be unable to accommodate walk-ins. Please note that tour registration is non-transferable.

To comply with University policy and social-distancing measures, visitors will not be permitted to enter any buildings during the tour. Tours will occur rain or shine, but may need to be cancelled in the event of severe inclement weather.

We are limiting each prospective student to one guest, who must be indicated at the time of registration. Both the student and the guest will need to complete the Undergraduate Admissions Visitor Compact upon registration. Guests not indicated at the time of registration will be unable to attend the tour.

Given limited tour capacity at this time, we request that visitors only register for one tour session so that we can accommodate as many interested students as possible. If your plans change, please email ugrad-ask@columbia.edu to cancel your registration so that your spot may be released to another guest.

General information

In-person tours  begin on the steps of Low Memorial Library near the Alma Mater statue. Tours will be occur rain or shine, so please plan your attire accordingly. As this is an outdoor-only tour, there are no public restrooms available. 

We will also continue to offer several virtual programming options, include information sessions, live virtual tours, student panels and chats, and other special events. You can explore our events calendar to see a full list of information sessions and tours, or to make a reservation. Tours and information sessions are not offered during University holidays, so please visit the website before making travel arrangements.

Campus tours

Tours of Columbia's campus last one hour. All tours are conducted by current undergraduate students who are members of the Columbia Undergraduate Recruitment Committee. The tours provide a general overview of academic and student life at both Columbia College and Columbia Engineering and feature the guide’s personal anecdotes and experiences as a member of the undergraduate community.

Register now

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Photo of Low Library with 100+ students walking around and sitting on the steps.
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Three students stand in front of Butler library, facing the camera. They are smiling and chatting.

Self-guided tours

There’s nothing quite like visiting Columbia to experience the campus, the neighborhood and the City for yourself. Please feel free to visit the campus anytime. Although our Visitors Center is closed for 2021-2022, you can guide yourself with our convenient PDF Campus Map—and be sure to download an audio walking tour guided by Andrew Dolkart, a popular New York City architectural historian and a professor of architectural history at Columbia's School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. We also have a detailed campus guide that provides information about 25 campus locations and our Morningside Heights neighborhood.

Download campus guide now

Visitors Information

Accessibility

For more information on wheelchair accessibility, please call Disability Services at (212) 854-2388.

Campus map

Please refer to these printer-friendly PDF maps to navigate around campus on your visit.

Directions

By New York City Public Transit

Five bus lines (M4, M5, M11, M60, M104) and one subway line (the No. 1 local) serve the Columbia neighborhood. The M60 Select Bus Service is a direct link between the campus and LaGuardia Airport. The Columbia stop for the buses and the subway is Columbia University/116th Street. Please note: if you begin your subway journey on the #2 or #3 express train, be certain to transfer at 96th Street to the #1 train, as the #2 and #3 trains turn away from Manhattan’s Upper West Side before 116th Street.

Maps of bus and subway routes are available on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) website. Fares on subways and local buses are $2.75 per ride, with free transfers available; riders can purchase a MetroCard at all subway stations or use contactless payment.

By Intercity Train or Bus

Train service to New York arrives at Grand Central Terminal or Penn Station; bus service arrives at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. From any of these locations, public transportation or taxicab service is available to the campus.

By Air

LaGuardia Airport is the closest to the campus; a taxi ride is about $35 (not including a 18% tip), and the M60 Select Bus Service goes directly from LaGuardia to the campus every half hour for $2.75. For visitors arriving at any area airport (including Newark International Airport), public transit is available to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (see paragraph above). Coach service and taxicabs are another option; for example, a taxi directly to campus from Kennedy Airport costs approximately $65 (not including a 18% tip).

By Car

The GPS address of the Visitors Center, Morningside Heights campus, is 535 West 116th Street New York, New York 10027​

From Riverside Drive and West 95th Street

Go north on Riverside Drive to 116th Street. Turn right and go two blocks to Broadway and the University’s main gate (which is not open to traffic).

From the North

Take the New York Thruway (I-87) or the New England Thruway (I-95) south to the Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95) in the direction of the George Washington Bridge. Take the exit for the Henry Hudson Parkway south (last exit before the bridge). Exit the Parkway at West 125th Street. Merge onto Marginal Street (0.2 miles). Turn left onto 125th Street (0.2 miles). Turn right onto Broadway and continue south to 116th Street. The university main gate is on the left. The main gate is not open to vehicular traffic.

Alternatively, take the Saw Mill River Parkway south to the Henry Hudson Parkway south. Cross the Henry Hudson Bridge into Manhattan. (Please note that this bridge is run by the MTA and therefore does not accept cash for tolls; click here for more information on how to pay.) Exit the Parkway at West 125th Street. Merge onto Marginal Street (0.2 miles). Turn left onto 125th Street (0.2 miles). Turn right onto Broadway and continue south to 116th Street. The university main gate is on the left. The main gate is not open to vehicular traffic.

From the South or West

Take the New Jersey Turnpike north or I-80 east to the George Washington Bridge. After crossing the bridge, take the exit for the Henry Hudson Parkway south. Exit the Parkway at 125th Street. Merge onto Marginal Street (0.2 miles). Turn left onto 125th Street (0.2 miles). Turn right onto Broadway and continue south to 114th Street. Make a U-turn and continue to 116th Street. The university main gate is on the right. The main gate is not open to vehicular traffic.

Alternatively, drivers can enter New York City via the Lincoln Tunnel. Take I-280 north to I-95 north. From I-95, take Exit 16E toward the Lincoln Tunnel/NJ-3 ($12.50 cash toll heading into New York; westbound to New Jersey is always free). Keep left at the fork and merge onto NJ-495 east. Leaving the tunnel, take the exit toward 42 St./I-495 E/New York 9A; bear to the left and continue under the underpass onto Dyer Avenue. Turn left onto West 41st Street. Turn right onto 12th Avenue, the Henry Hudson Parkway. From the Parkway, take the West 96th Street exit. Merge onto 96th Street and turn left onto Broadway. Continue to West 116th Street. The university main gate is on the right. The main gate is not open to vehicular traffic.

From Long Island

Take the Long Island Expressway or the Grand Central Parkway west to the Cross Island Parkway north. Cross the Throgs Neck Bridge onto the Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95 south) and proceed as in “By Car from the North.”

From the New York Airports

LaGuardia: Take the Grand Central Parkway east to the Whitestone Parkway (I-678). Follow it across the Whitestone Bridge and onto I-95 south. Follow directions above for  "From the North."

Kennedy: Take the Van Wyck Expressway (I-678) to the Whitestone Bridge and across. Take I-95 south and follow the directions above for "From the North."

Newark: Follow directions above for "From the South or West."

Hotels

There are a number of hotels close to campus on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Columbia University has negotiated deals with several local options for campus visitors. Please visit the Travel Portal and click on NYC Hotels (in the Visiting Columbia section) for more information on specific Columbia rates and instructions on how to make reservations at participating hotels.

Budget Accommodations Near Campus

517 West 121st Street  (212) 678-3235

891 Amsterdam Avenue (and 104th Street) (212) 932-2300

Parking

Information on parking near the Morningside Heights campus may be found on the Visit Columbia website.

Visitors Center

For more information, please contact the Visitors Center at (212) 854-4900.