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to Columbia University's Master of Science in Sustainability Science and Sustainability Certification programs!

Our students build on their backgrounds in science, math, and engineering, and related fields to advance sustainability in their respective professions. They are working professionals, who enroll in the program on a part-time basis, or more recent college graduates who study on a full-time basis. Students’ work experience includes environment health and safety, energy and utilities, engineering, manufacturing, regulatory compliance, and sustainability consulting.

New Student Resources


Enrollment Confirmation

In order to secure a place in the program you must complete the enrollment form within the online application system and submit a tuition deposit.


Begin the Visa Process (International Students Only)

Complete and submit the application for the form I-20 to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). Please note that this is only required of international students requiring a student (F-1) visa. If you are not a United States citizen or permanent resident, you must be a full-time student at Columbia in order to be eligible for a student (F-1) visa. If you have questions about the visa application process you can email the ISSO at

Fee payment must accompany the online application.


Apply for Housing

SPS students have the opportunity to apply for housing through Columbia Residential.

The Columbia Residential inventory consists of apartment shares and dormitory-style rooms. There are also a limited number of studio/efficiency, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units prioritized for couples and families. Most housing is located within walking distance of the campus in the Morningside Heights neighborhood. Students are also housed in Manhattan Valley, just south of Morningside Heights. Additionally, students are housed in Riverdale, Bronx, at The Arbor, which opened in 2008. Shuttle service to and from The Arbor is provided. Full housing information through the School of Professional Studies can be found here.


Submit Official Admissions Documents

All new students are required to send official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended to the Office of Enrollment Management prior to beginning their program. Official transcripts must be submitted by July 15 for new students enrolling in the fall term and by December 1 for new students enrolling in the spring term.

Official transcripts from your conferring undergraduate institution must include a notation certifying conferral of a bachelor’s degree. Falsification, forgery, and misrepresentation of any type, will risk forfeiture of admissions and/or enrollment. Forfeiture may occur whenever an integrity lapse is discovered, and may include admissions revocation, expulsion, or another sanction outlined within the Standards of Campus Discipline.

If your transcripts are from an institution in the U.S. or Canada, official transcripts must be submitted electronically if the institution has a process for emailing electronic transcripts (such as services available through eSCRIP-SAFE, Parchment, or National Student Clearinghouse). The registrar’s office may submit the transcripts to

If, and only if, the institution does not provide an electronic delivery option, official transcripts must arrive directly from the issuing institution, and in envelopes sealed by the issuing institution. Copies, opened or unsealed envelopes, unofficial printouts, or facsimiles will not be accepted. We will also not accept hard copy documents from institutions offering electronic delivery.

All international post-secondary credentials must be submitted in the original language along with both a certified English course-by-course credential evaluation and translation. You are required to use World Education Services, Inc. (WES) to fulfill this requirement.


Activate your University ID (UNI) and Email (LionMail) Account

Your UNI is created three to five business days after we receive your tuition deposit. To activate your UNI, click the “Activate Your UNI or LionMail Account” option on the Manage My UNI page. If you are unable to look up your UNI using the available search tool and more than five business days have passed, please contact


Complete Immunization Compliance

New York State Law requires that all students document their immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. To do so, you must submit the Columbia University Measles, Mumps, and Rubella form to the Columbia Health Immunization Compliance Office and confirm your Meningococcal Meningitis decision online.

Read more about immunization requirements.


Complete Pre-Orientation Modules

All SPS students are expected to complete online pre-orientation requirements through Canvas, our premiere learning management system. Canvas modules include: Academic Integrity, Campus Policies and Procedures, Haven - Sexual Assault Prevention Training, University Welcome, Career Competencies, International Student Services, Office of Student Life, Student Success Tips, University Health Services, Public Safety, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, and Gender-Based Misconduct. Failure to complete the designated required sections will result in a registration hold on your student account which will prevent you from registering for classes. New students will receive an email with details on how to access and complete the tutorials.



Register for and Attend New Student Orientation

To ensure your academic and professional success, all students are expected to take part in New Student Orientation. Orientation takes place in the last two weeks of August for students beginning in the fall and in early January for students beginning in the spring. Students will receive an email invitation that includes registration instructions.


Submit Photo to ID Center

To access libraries and secure campus locations, to purchase services at campus cafés and the University bookstore, and to take advantage of cultural discount programs in New York City, you must have a Columbia ID card. Read the instructions on how to submit your photo to the ID Center.


Complete the Sexual Respect Initiative Requirement

The Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative was created by students, faculty, and administrators, and asks students to examine the link between sexual respect and membership in the Columbia community. The goal is to reinforce, for all Columbia students, that sexual respect is integral to being a member of this University community. The initiative takes place during your first semester on campus. You will receive an email with details on how to fulfill this requirement.


Attend Orientation

Again, there will be a required program orientation prior to the start of the program. At orientation, you will receive additional information relevant to your new role as a student at Columbia University including details about and instructions for registering for classes.


Register for Classes

Register for classes utilizing the instructions provided at orientation. Review the academic calendar for a comprehensive list of registration dates and other important deadlines.


Select Insurance Option

If you are enrolling full-time (12 credits or more each term), you must confirm your enrollment in the Basic level of the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan, upgrade your selection to the Comprehensive level, or request a waiver. If you are enrolling in fewer than 12 credits each term, you may opt into receiving health insurance through Columbia, but are not required to do so.


Review Your Student Account Statement Online

Your E-bill statement will be available through Student Services Online (SSOL). You will receive an alert at your Columbia email address indicating that it is available. Please visit the Student Financial Services website to find out more about financial aid and tuition payment options.

Important University Resources

Office of Student Life & Alumni Relations

Columbia University Homepage

Columbia University Directory

Academic Calendar

Student Services Online (SSOL)


Directory of Classes

Student Financial Services

University Registrar’s Office

International Students and Scholars Office

Earth Institute Events

Study Spaces


Academic Integrity & Community Standards

For more information about Academic Integrity and Community Standards

Satisfactory Progress

For more information about Satisfactory Progress


Leaves of Absence

For more information about Leaves of Absence



For more information about Grades



Student Services Online (SSOL) Registration Instructions

  1. Log in to SSOL using your UNI and password.

  2. Check your registration appointment times are under “Reg Appts & PIN”. You may only register during your assigned registration appointment times, which are available on SSOL.

  3.  Select Registration from the Menu.

  4.  Click Add to include courses on your schedule, providing the 5-digit call number. The 5-digit call number can be found in the Directory of Classes.

  •  If you have successfully registered yourself for a course, you will see the following message: “Adding SUMA K1111 S001 was successful. The change is effective immediately. See the new schedule below.”

  • If you have not been successfully registered for a course, please follow the instructions provided by the error message OR select another course. Possible sources of error messages include adding courses for which you do not have Instructor or Department permission to register, selecting two courses that meet at the same time, selecting a course that is full or attempting to register for more than 18 credits per semester.



The School of Professional Studies produces a series of virtual orientation workshops to address many of the questions you may have, and we invite you to view the webinars to learn about important topics, including financing, professional development, international students, and unconscious bias.


The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is the science unit of the Earth Institute, Columbia University. Its scientists observe Earth on a global scale, from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean. They decipher the long record of the past, monitor the present, and seek to foresee the Earth's future.

From global climate change to earthquakes, volcanoes, nonrenewable resources, environmental hazards and beyond, the Observatory’s fundamental challenge is to provide a rational basis for the difficult choices faced by humankind in the stewardship of this fragile planet. With colleagues from the Earth Institute, this knowledge forms the core of trans-disciplinary studies and applications across the globe.

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