First-Year Students

Two Orientation Leaders waving Columbia College flags at move-in

NSOP 2024: Important Dates

August 24: Move in for International Students and optional Bag Drop
August 25: Move in for Domestic Students, Convocation, and Family Orientation
August 25—September 1: New Student Orientation Program

Please note that all students will be assigned a move in day – either August 24 or August 25 – after they receive their housing assignment.

What to Expect

The New Student Orientation Program (NSOP) for incoming first-year students takes place the week before Labor Day weekend and introduces new students to one another and Columbia’s campus culture. The week begins with Convocation, open to students and families, followed by two-day immersion experiences and on-campus community building.


Convocation is the formal celebration of students' arrival at Columbia and the beginning of the undergraduate academic experience. Held on Low Plaza, the event assembles members from the Columbia College, Columbia Engineering and Columbia University community, including family and loved ones who are invited to attend the ceremony with their incoming students.

The 2024 Convocation ceremony will be held on Aug 25, 2024, following move-in and check-in activities.

Immersion Experiences

NSOP 2024 will continue to offer two-day Immersion Experiences for all first-year students on Monday and Tuesday of orientation week. Students will create connections with their classmates and begin building their Columbia community before academic programming begins. In June, you will receive a questionnaire that will be used by the Orientation team to place you in one of the following themed experiences:

Explore NYC

The Explore NYC program offers students the opportunity to engage with their new home, and all it has to offer. Through exploring the arts, theater, food, and history of the city, students will explore all five boroughs, from the Top of the Rock to the Coney Island boardwalk. Explore NYC will include trips to your favorite parks, the top of New York's tallest buildings, and get you acquainted with the subway system. 

Columbia Outdoor Orientation Program

One of Columbia’s oldest traditions, COÖP provides students with an outdoor experience to get off campus and get outside.  All students will camp overnight at the Delaware River Gap, where they will have a short rafting trip and spend time roasting marshmallows around the fire. 

Arts and Media

The Arts and Media program celebrates the talents and passions of our artist student communities in dance, theater, music, and visual arts. Students will both participate in and learn about the countless art experiences of New York, including participating in dance and music workshops, and learn from our talent Orientation Leader community. 

Community Action, Responsibility and Engagement

CARE allows students to meaningfully engage with one another around topics of social justice, activism, and serving the New York City community Columbians call home. Through workshops, dialogue, and community service, CARE introduces students to the community engagement ecosystem of both Columbia and NYC. all students will engage in a short service project during their time in CARE. 

Building Community

Following the Immersion Experiences, NSOP programming during the day will primarily focus on academic and wellness resources on campus. Orientation Leaders will assist students in navigating the schedule for both required and optional programming.

Social programming in the evening will introduce students to the small, unique communities that make up Columbia, as well as the larger undergraduate four school community. Students will also participate in NSOP traditions that have been established over decades!

The NSOP schedule will go live in mid August. Orientation Leaders will reach out for an introductory email in early August. Look out for their message!


Additional Program Information

A variety of additional programming will be available for International students and other communities. Be on the lookout for these programs when the full NSOP schedule is announced.

International Students

International Students specific programming will begin on International student move in on Saturday, August 24 and span throughout NSOP week and into the weekend before Labor Day. 

International@Columbia will be hosting both required and optional events and excursions for new international students during the week of NSOP. The full schedule of programming will be available later this summer. 

Look out for virtual webinars this summer for opportunities to connect with current international students and ask questions as you prepare for your transition to campus.

First Generation/Low Income (FGLI) Students, LGBTQ Students, Students of Color, and Students with Disabilities

Multicultural Affairs will be hosting events throughout the week of NSOP to provide an introduction to the resources and opportunities for students of different backgrounds and identities. Join in to learn more about how you can find support and connect with Multicultural Affairs.


Countdown to Columbia

In early July, check the Countdown to Columbia website for your to-do list for move-in, orientation, and the start of classes. You'll be able to explore the site for information, resources, and ways to engage with your new community.

In the meantime, check out the Summer Send-off homepage to see if there's an event in your area. These local gatherings bring together Columbia alumni and current students to welcome incoming students and families to the Columbia Community. 





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