Visiting Student FAQs

BEFORE YOU APPLY
Are all electives at New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH)/Columbia University Medical Center?
No, we have several different affiliated hospitals. Please pay careful attention to the course catalog, where electives are listed by site, or to the guide below:

  • Electives ending in a P (for example UR01P Urology or OR01P Orthopaedics) take place at Columbia Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center OR the Allen Pavilion. The Allen Pavilion of Presbyterian Hospital is located at 5141 Broadway (near West 220th Street). It is not on the main Presbyterian Hospital site.
  • Electives ending in H (for example CR40H Cardiology or OP40H Ophthalmology) take place at Harlem Hospital.
  • Electives ending in a C (for example UR20C Urology or OR20C Orthopaedics) take place at Bassett Hospital in upstate New York.
  • Electives ending in S (for example, OB31S Ob/Gyn) take place at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut.

Please note that electives at Bassett Healthcare/Cooperstown, Northern Navajo Medical Center, Helen Hayes Hospital, Indian Health Service, St. Francis Hospital, and all international electives are not available to visiting students.

Do you allow two or three week electives?
No, all electives are at least 4 weeks in length. If alternate dates are arranged, the elective must be a minimum of 4weeks in length.
 

AFTER YOU APPLY
When will I receive a decision?
Students are notified 6 to 8 weeks before the start of their desired month. We cannot notify you of a decision any earlier than this timeline. All offers are final.

How are applications considered or processed?
We consider applications on a rolling, month-by-month basis 6 to 8 weeks before each month. Applications are always due no later than 60 days prior to the rotation month. We do not place students for multiple months at a time. Applicants are considered in the order their application was received.
 

AFTER YOU ARE ACCEPTED
What day does the rotation start/end?
All of our electives run from the first to the last day of the month. Most do begin and end on weekdays, but exact start and end dates are at the course director's discretion. Once you are approved for an elective though our online application, you can you confirm start and end dates with the course directors and coordinators directly.

Can I change the dates?
You should check with your school first to see if the dates are flexible on their end. Flexibility in dates is at the discretion of the course director, but you should only reach out to them after you have been approved. However, please understand that he/she is not obliged to honor your school’s dates.

How can I arrange housing? Does Columbia offer housing for visiting students?
May - September
Unfortunately, there is no Columbia housing available between May and September. We suggest you review the off-campus housing office's website. Otherwise, you may wish to do an Internet search or check New York-based newspapers to see if you can find any available sublets for your month at P&S. There are no sites or periodicals that we endorse.

October - April
On-campus student housing may be available from October through April. Please contact pselectives@columbia.edu for an application.

Do you provide parking to visiting students?
No, we do not offer parking passes or discounted parking to visiting students.

Are scrubs provided? What is the dress code?
No, we do not provide scrubs to visiting students. Some departments may be able to provide scrubs, please check with the coordinator for your elective. Otherwise, you should bring your own or you can purchase them from the campus bookstore at 3954 Broadway (bet. 165th & 166th Streets).

Many electives will require students to wear short white coats. You are encouraged to bring your own. If you need to, you can purchase a coat from the campus bookstore at 3954 Broadway (bet. 165th & 166th Streets).

 

DURING YOUR ROTATION
Do I have a UNI?
Students with a compelling reason for needing a UNI should contact pselectives@columbia.edu.

Where can I get my ID?
All students must obtain their temporary identification card at the ID Office located at 1-405-C P&S Building, 630 West 168th Street. We cannot guarantee that IDs will be ready any earlier than the first of the month, regardless of when you actually begin the elective. ID Office hours can be found on the CUMC ID Office website. If you are not able to pick up your ID before your first day, please report to your elective first.

How do I access patient files?
For students rotating at New York Presbyterian Hospital only (codes ending in "P"), you must also come to the Office of Student Affairs (Room 3-401, 630 West 168th Street) to obtain necessary passwords to access patient records. You will keep the same log-in for all of your Presbyterian Hospital rotations. Our office is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.

For students rotating at other hospitals, the department will provide access to any necessary systems.

Can I check books out of the library? Or the departmental library?  
Unfortunately, visiting students are not permitted to check books out of the library. If you need access to a departmental library, please ask your departmental administrator for access.

Who do I give my evaluation form to?
The P&S Education Office is not responsible for visiting student evaluations. It is your responsibility to bring the appropriate evaluation with you to give to the course director. In the event your evaluation is not submitted, you or a representative from your home institution must contact the course director or coordinator directly to resolve the issue.

I need ceritifcation that I attended CUMC/P&S for a license/residency program.
Unfortunately, we do not process any verification letters or forms for visiting students, and we do not release the details of your elective study.