Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Brownstone Application

Undergraduate Student Life is pleased to open the brownstone selection process to all Columbia College and Engineering residential students with guaranteed housing. This exciting and distinct opportunity offers students the ability to form a group around a specific theme or focus and create a living and learning environment in a brownstone on 113th Street. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, December 8 at 11:59 p.m.

The following brownstone will be available for residency, beginning in the 202223 academic year:

  • 531 West 113th St.: 16 beds (12 singles and 2 doubles)

Note: A resident adviser (RA) will be placed in the brownstone so only 11 singles are available to the incoming group. If a fraternity or sorority is selected, efforts will be made to choose an RA from the organization. The brownstone has a kitchen, laundry facilities and programming space.

Please contact Associate Dean Tara Hanna at with any questions about this application.

About This Opportunity

Brownstones provide unique facilities for groups to create integrated educational or service experiences in a residence-based community, and they offer exciting new potential for student-faculty or student-administrative interaction and collaboration. We invite Fraternities and Sororities, Special Interest Communities, new groups, or other groups of students with common interests to apply.  Recommendations will be made by the Brownstone Review Committee to the dean of Undergraduate Student Life, who will make the final selection in consultation with the associate dean of Undergraduate Student Life. 

Through Residential Life, we offer learning opportunities beyond the classroom that support the academic mission of Columbia College and Columbia Engineering. Residential Life provides experiences to students in residence that promote intellectual, social, emotional and interpersonal growth and development. Residential life also fosters a variety of living and learning environments that allow for the expression of individuality balanced with a shared sense of responsibility for the Columbia community.

Application Guidelines

Applications should not exceed ten (10) total pages in length and should be double-spaced. Responses to each question should be thorough, yet concise. Please be sure to indicate each of the five sections below in your application.

General Information
  • Provide a description of your group’s role at Columbia to include:
  • A statement of the group’s values.
  • A description of the group's on-going benefit to the Columbia community including evidence of any previous achievement in meeting its goals.
  • If you are affiliated with a national/regional recognizing body, please provide a letter indicating that your organization is in good standing. 
Mission and Values
  • Explain how your group plans to use the brownstone to advance the mission/values of your organization.
  • Describe how the brownstone will increase a sense of community, both for your group or the greater Columbia community.
  • Explain how the group’s goals extend beyond the community.
Programming and Events
  • Describe any successful programs the group has sponsored in the past.
  • Provide examples of the types of events/programs that might be planned.  (Note that the maximum occupancy capacity of each of the brownstones is 74.)
  • What is the larger Columbia community access to events? What type? How many?
  • How will others be “invited” into the house?
  • If this is a new Special Interest Community, explain the intended focus of the programming.
Membership and Expectations
  • Please provide information on how membership has grown or been maintained over the last two-three years. Given the Covid-19 pandemic, if your group has not grown over the last two-three years, please share how you plan to grow your group in the future. 
  • Describe the expectations of group members with regard to participation in the group’s activities.
  • Explain how members will be held accountable for participation by the organization.
  • Provide information on how members of your group will be selected to live in the brownstone.
  • Explain why living in a Brownstone will benefit the group.
  • Organizations with other housing assigned should explain why the Brownstone will be a better option for housing.

Note: Only existing Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) communities or Special Interest Communities (SICs) with current housing allocations in the residence halls in which the Columbia University/Barnard College exchange applies may include Barnard College students at the existing cap.

Important Dates

Application released: Wednesday, November 17
Brownstone Selection Process Information Session: Friday, December 3, 11:00am–12:00 p.m., Schapiro Main Lounge (First Floor)
Applications due: Wednesday, December 8 at 11:59 p.m.
Group presentations: A limited number of applicants will be invited to present their group proposal to the Brownstone Review Committee on Friday, February 4. If you are selected to advance to the group presentation, you will be notified by Monday, December 13. 
Final Notification: Monday, February 7 

Group Representative Information
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Group Information
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Number of Students
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Undergraduate Student Life


505-515 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-3612

Fax: 212-854-9801

Office Hours
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