Registration and Enrollment

About Registration and Enrollment

Registration is the systematic process that reserves seats in particular classes for eligible students. It is accomplished by following the steps announced by the student’s home school in advance of each semester’s registration period.

Enrollment is the completion of the registration process, and affords the full rights and privileges of student status. Enrollment is accomplished by the payment or other satisfaction of tuition and fees and by the satisfaction of other obligations to the University.

Registration alone does not guarantee enrollment; nor does registration alone guarantee the right to participate in a class. In some cases, students need to obtain the approval of the instructor or of a representative of the department that offers a course. Please check your school’s bulletin and the registration instructions contained in Student Services Online (SSOL) at for all of the approvals required.

To comply with current and anticipated Internal Revenue Service mandates, Columbia University requires all students who have a Social Security Number at the time of admission to report it. The University recognizes that international students are not eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) unless they are employed and that not all students will be eligible to obtain an SSN during their program of study. International students who will be employed on-campus should follow the ISSO instructions for applying for an SSN soon after their arrival in the United States.

According to University regulations, each person who completes registration is considered a student of the University during the semester for which they register, unless the student’s enrollment status is altered. No student registered in any school/college of the University shall at the same time be registered in any other school/college, either of Columbia University or of any other institution unless there is an existing registration agreement between the two schools.

The privileges of the University are not available to any student until they have completed enrollment. A student who is not officially registered for a University course may not attend the course. No student may register after the stated period unless he or she obtains the consent, written or electronic, of the appropriate dean or director.

The University reserves the right to withhold the privilege of registration or any other University privilege from any person with an unpaid debt to the University. Students are also held accountable for absences incurred owing to late enrollment.

Information on registration and enrollment for Summer Session courses is located here.