COVID-19 Information for Students

Information on returning to campus, including public health guidance for students, can be found under Return to Campus: Employees and Students

Additional information, including what to do if you are a student with symptoms, can be found below. 

VP&S medical students may also access timely announcements and other relevant information via SharePoint (login required).


Testing & Daily Attestations

To provide an additional layer of safety to the ongoing public health and preventive efforts, Columbia University will require an initial single COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test of all faculty, staff, and students within the 14 days prior to returning to campus. A negative test result is required prior to return to campus.  For information on testing eligibility, locations, scheduling, and process, please see COVID-19 Testing Process.

All graduate students living in non-dormitory settings, and all Columbia faculty and staff, after their initial testing, will be randomly sampled for COVID-19, with frequency and sample size adapted based on key COVID-19 indicators. For more information, please see COVID-19 Public Health Protocols.

All members of the Columbia community are expected to monitor their health daily before coming to campus or leaving their residence hall room. All affiliates must attest to being free of any COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering campus each day. For more information, please see Symptom Self-Checking

As of November 18th, the University has increased options to include weekly voluntary testing for those accessing campus regularly.  For voluntary testing you simply select the “voluntary testing” option when scheduling online.  Voluntary testing is currently available at the William Black Building (CUIMC) and Lerner Hall (Morningside) locations. 

The University has now released its Spring 2021 Test and Trace Program. Check this page for updates to the testing program made in anticipation of the Spring term, which include mandatory gateway testing for CUIMC clinical faculty.

COVID-19 Safety Training

As the ramp-up continues, an important requirement for everyone working on campus is to complete online COVID-19 safety training, before returning to their workplace, or as soon as possible for essential personnel. Principal Investigators, supervisors, and departments are responsible for ensuring that their personnel (faculty, staff, and students) complete the required training. Everyone will complete the Columbia Community Health Compact as part of this training.

Students with symptoms

For up-to-date guidance on self-isolation and quarantining, please reference the Coronavirus Isolation Guide for Students and the Coronavirus Quarantine Guide for Students.

If you are a student with symptoms (including cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills, and/or loss of taste or smell), stay home and please schedule an appointment with Medical Services for a virtual consultation via our online health portal.

If your symptoms are mild, you may not need to seek in-person medical care. If you are a member of a higher risk group (including immunocompromised or severe chronic medical conditions) or your symptoms are severe, such as difficulty breathing, contact the CUIMC Student Health Service by calling 212-305-3400 (for after-hours assistance, press option 7).

Residential housing for students

Columbia University must significantly reduce the number of students in our residential buildings at the medical center. From a public health perspective, buildings such as Bard Hall present a challenge not only because of the large number of students in residence but also because of the number of shared bathrooms, showers, and kitchens, which increase exposure and would limit our ability to self-isolate any who are exposed or become sick.

For more detailed information, please read the FAQs on Student Housing and COVID-19 webpage and contact with further questions.

Student travel

All academic- or work-related travel, domestic or international, is suspended. For more information, see Travel Restrictions for Fall 2020.

Columbia faculty, staff, and students are required to follow local, state, and federal travel restrictions, and should consult with CDC guidance. Read the Updated New York State Travel Guidance to learn more about how travel to and from New York will affect testing and quarantine requirements.

Contacts for each school


     Coordinated Doctoral Programs in Biomedical Sciences:

College of Dental Medicine

Mailman School of Public Health

School of Nursing

Coping with the stress of a pandemic: a mental health guide for CUIMC students

During this uncertain time, it is important for students to take care of their mental health. The CUIMC Student Health Service has created a webpage with resources for students to cope with COVID-19-related stress