Frequently Asked (COÖP) Questions:

For non-COÖP related questions, please refer to the following Columbia websites:

Academic Center


New Student Orientation Program

If your question is not answered below, feel free to email us at coop@columbia.edu or call us at (646) 926-6731. Our office is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10am-4pm.

Who can sign up for COÖP?

COÖP is open to incoming first-years enrolling in Columbia College (CC) or the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). At this time we do not take Barnard, General Studies (GS), transfer, or Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) students.

If I rented equipment, when and how do I get it?

We will be distributing rental equipment as we prepare for the trip on Wednesday the 20th. If you did not rent equipment but would like to do so, please e-mail us (coop@columbia.edu).

Does the menu accommodate people with special dietary needs (vegan, vegetarian, kosher)?

Our menu is vegetarian-friendly. In fact, all of our meals are vegetarian, with an option of tuna or the popular meat-stick. Vegans can adjust to our menu too, which consists of lots of rice, beans, fruits and veggies.  While most of our food is kosher, we do not keep a kosher kitchen on the trail. If you have concerns about your kosher diet, please email us (coop@columbia.edu).

What kind of food will I eat on the trip?

Coop staples include GORP, macaroni and cheese, pita, hummus, oranges, and S’mores. Come hungry.

If I wear contact lenses, what should I do?

Most contact lens wearers are fine on our trip, although some prefer to wear glasses for the four days. Whatever you decide, please bring a backup pair of glasses or an extra pair of contact lenses. Make sure to bring a flashlight for nighttime removal of lenses. Some people sing the praises of antibacterial hand gel as well.

Should my parents/family/loved ones come on the first day of regular orientation?

Family Orientation takes place on Monday, August 25th.  Your families should receive registration information separately.  Families are welcome, if it is feasible, to stay or return for Family Orientation.  Family Orientation, however, is not mandatory and many COÖP families choose not to attend. Students are also welcome to arrive alone and have their parents meet them after the COÖP trip. If your parents/family are interested in staying in a hotel room, Columbia keeps a listing of area hotels.

Should I pack all my stuff for COÖP move-in or should I send packages separately?

As a COÖP student you are moved directly into your fall housing.  If you are driving to campus, pack all your stuff. If you are flying, you can ship your belongings (that you don’t need for your COÖP trip) to your Lerner Hall mailbox.  You should receive your mailing address/shipping information in other University mailings.

Where does my family park?  How do we get to Columbia?

COÖP family caravans usually park along 114th street between Broadway and Amsterdam (beware: parking is limited), though any location around the Columbia campus is fine.  Directions to campus can be found here.  Columbia Security will be available to guide you to where you can legally park your car.

Will I be able to spend time with family on the Wednesday evening before the trip?

COÖP officially starts immediately after move-in and continues until the Sunday evening we return. COÖPers are engaged in activities for the duration of Wednesday afternoon and evening, and leave on their trips early Thursday morning. Accordingly, students should be considered unavailable for any and all non-COÖP interactions beginning Wednesday at 2pm.

What time is move-in on August 20th?

Check-in runs from 8am to 2:30pm on Wednesday, August 20th at Van Amringe Quad, right in front of Hartley and Wallach halls on South Campus. COÖP activities begin shortly thereafter! Families should say goodbye before COÖP activities start at 3pm.