Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

First-Year Students

Below are some frequently asked questions about New Student Orientation Program (NSOP) for incoming first-year students. 

Still have questions? Email for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

First-Year Student Orientation

How do I register for NSOP?

By completing all the necessary steps listed in your Countdown to Columbia checklist, you will be automatically registered for NSOP. 

I heard that I’ll be meeting a lot of new people. Do you have any tips on how to remember everyone’s name?

Don't fret! This is why name badges were invented. Both staff and students will wear one throughout orientation week. They are required for all NSOP events, so people’s names will always be accessible.

What events will be happening during NSOP?

The NSOP 2020 schedule will be available in August. 

What should I do if I must arrive before NSOP?

If you must arrive before the general move-in date, are not participating in a special program and do not have special permission from the Housing Office, you will need to secure off-campus accommodations. A list of area hotels and other options is available on the Columbia University Travel Portal.

What should I do if I'm coming from far away and can't pack everything?

There are many places near campus where you can purchase toiletries and other supplies for your room. We also offer a free shuttle bus to and from the Bed Bath & Beyond at Lincoln Center (1932 Broadway, New York, NY 10023) during NSOP! You can ship packages to your school address starting two weeks before orientation.

When does NSOP officially begin and end?

NSOP 2020 will begin on Sunday, August 30. Students who do not apply or are not accepted for a pre-orientation program will move in on this date. NSOP ends on Monday, September 7.

We expect to host all orientation programs in August 2020 as originally planned. We will update applicants should any changes be made to programming in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We thank you for your patience, and we look forward to welcoming you to campus!


When will I receive information about moving in if I'm participating in COÖP, CUE, or the International Student Orientation Program (ISOP)?

If you're participating in one of these special programs, you'll get an email informing you of your acceptance and your alternate move-in date.

Where can I learn about resources on campus, like housing, dining, and health services?

Please visit the New Student Resources website, which also provides a checklist of the actions you must take to complete requirements by given deadlines to prepare for your move to campus.

Will I have time to relax during orientation week?

While most days are packed with mandatory programming, we have made a sincere effort to add numerous breaks to the week. To plan your week, we recommend marking required programs, events of interest to you and all of the breaks in your schedule book to make the week seem less hectic. Making time to relax and hang out with your new friends is an important part of NSOP!

Will there be an orientation program for families and parents?

Yes! Please visit the Family Engagement website for more information. The Convocation ceremony on Sunday, August 30 will conclude at 8:00 p.m. After the event, students will begin their required programming. 

Will there be anyone to answer my questions during orientation week?

The orientation leaders (OLs) are always available to help you. Your resident assistant (RA) will be another invaluable resource for you throughout orientation and the rest of the year. In addition, the NSOP Committee Office will be running an information booth during the week of orientation, and you will also meet with your advising dean.



515 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-3612

Fax: 212-854-6972

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

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