Postdoctoral Housing

A wide variety of resources exist for postdocs seeking housing. 

Columbia reserves a small number of University apartments for postdoc housing.  Only postdocs approved by their school or department are eligible for this University housing. University housing policies and procedures differ based on the campus on which your department of appointment is located. You can find these policies and procedures below, listed by campus.


Columbia University Irving Medical Center offers housing around the CUIMC campus and at Columbia's Morningside location to select full-time postdoctoral research fellows and full-time postdoctoral research scientists through a monthly lottery, which is held on the 15th of each month.

Only full-time postdoctoral research fellows and full-time postdoctoral research scientists are eligible. Postdoctoral clinical fellows are ineligible for Columbia University housing. Postdocs unsure of their title can consult their offer letter or verify with their Department Administrator.

Eligible postdocs looking to join the lottery will submit a completed postdoctoral housing application with a letter from your departmental administrator or sponsor that lists your title and appointment dates to the Office of Housing Services. 

Full information about the CUIMC Housing Lottery, including the housing application, can be found here.

For all questions regarding the CUIMC Housing Lottery, contact the Housing Leasing Manager, Noemi Bueno at [email protected] or 212-304-7008.


*Residency Fellows: CUIMC only provides housing to newly appointed Postdoctoral Residency Fellows who graduated from the University and resided in CUIMC student housing immediately prior to their appointment. Individuals occupying single student designated housing are re-assigned to a campus studio apartment.

Housing for postdocs working at select departments within the Morningside, Lamont and Manhattanville Campuses is handled by Columbia Residential

Postdocs working in departments within the below institutes & schools may be eligible to apply for housing through Columbia Residential:



In addition to appointment through one of the previously outlined departments, postdocs must also hold one of the following titles:

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Postdoctoral Research Scholar
  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist 
  • Law Associate

Eligible postdocs must first obtain approval for housing from their department/school. See this list of department housing liasons to first get approval for housing through Columbia Residential. Postdocs should then submit an application through the Housing Portal. Please contact your housing liaison directly for information about your eligibility and the housing approval process.

Postdocs who are not guaranteed on-campus housing are encouraged to peruse the resources listed here. There are resources both at Columbia and externally to help you find housing that meets your needs.

The University’s Office of Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) helps postdocs in their search for rental housing in non-Columbia-owned buildings located in the metropolitan area. OCHA maintains an online database of available housing.Postdocs may use the services of OCHA to search for a room, sublease or apartment as well as advertise rentals.

OCHA does NOT operate as a real estate or rental agencies and while they do not charge for their service, some of the listers may charge a referral fee. Services provided include contact information for landlords and lower- or no-fee brokers, temporary housing resources, lease review, and information and advice for the metropolitan area.

Postdocs eligible for housing, including those who were not yet approved for housing by their department, can apply each semester for the Housing Waitlist. Through the waitlist, eligible postdocs may select from units that remain after the housing approval period has ended. Postdocs who receive housing from the waitlist are offered a one-year lease term. 



Postdocs, both international and domestic, are eligible to apply for housing through I-Housewhich offers housing for students, faculty and researchers from various NYC Universities. In addition to housing within a New York City historic landmark, the experience offers a unique array of programming and opportunities that foster cross-cultural connection and lifelong friendships.

It is home to approximately 700 Resident members from more than 100 countries. Dorm-style rooms and apartments are available to apply for. See the rates here. I-House also offers financial aid to qualifying postdocs, who can apply in the Fall and Spring semesters.

For more off-campus housing information, the CUIMC Office of Housing Services also provides contacts of landlords and realtors in the New York area. They also provide an email list of available housing.

Popular websites that showcase available apartments for rent in New York City:,NY/map_v (Rentals) *

*Craigslist is not regulated, so beware of potential scams. Never send money for an apartment before visiting it in person. For any of the above websites, if an apartment seems to be 'too good to be true', it probably is.


The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and Columbia University does not have an affiliation with any of these websites. Postdocs using these websites should do so with caution, as scams often occur on housing search webpages. Postdocs using these sites do so at their own risk.

Postdocs who are in need of emergency, short-term housing should contact the OPA at: [email protected].