Getting Into the School Groove

Now that you’re somewhat settled in, let’s check out some tips to stay ahead of the curve. Our returning students have been there and done that, so they have the best insider info.

Study Hacks

Hidden Spots in Hammer

The 3rd floor lounge has a great view of the medical campus. It also has vending machines, including one with healthy options instead of junk food. Tip: Get there early because there are only a few tables. The second floor computer lab, equipped with Macs and Windows, is also often overlooked. The IT help desk close is right there and you have access to Microsoft Word, Stata, SAS, and many more applications just in case you accidentally leave your laptop at home. There are three black-and-white printers, and one that prints in color. Empty classrooms are also a great study spot, just make sure you check the schedule posted outside the door to see if there are any upcoming classes. Lastly, the study carrels located just past the group study/collaboration rooms are awesome places to hit the books. They are first-come, first-serve and you can stay as long as you want. Each space has a desk, lamp, overhead space—and productive isolation.

–Chidinma Egbukichi

Checking Out Reserved Books

Using the Course Reserve books is a great way to avoid spending hundreds of dollars on required textbooks. The librarians keep a copy of most required textbooks behind the desk on the first floor of Hammer. Note: that part of the library is only open until 11pm (unlike the rest of Hammer which is 24/7), so make sure you get your book before the library closes.

–Chidinma Egbukichi

Research Librarians

As a Mailman student, you will have access to the Columbia University library system, which spans 22 libraries and over 12 million volumes. Research librarians can help you navigate these text and electronic resources to build your familiarity with the breadth of research materials. Subject specialists are also on-hand to guide you when developing a bibliography for your papers. Assistance is accessible in-person, over the phone, through text messaging, by email, and via instant messenger.

–Jennifer Fearon

Group Study Locations


Whether studying for a midterm, completing a team-based assignment, or coordinating an extracurricular, much of your Mailman experience will involve collaboration. Consequently, you will need a group study space at some point during your time here. While there are ample places for groups to meet ad hoc, there are also quite a few spaces that can be reserved in advance, like the group study rooms in Hammer or the numerous locations in the Butler Library.

–Jennifer Fearon

Deliveries to Hammer (you’ll be here often)

Empire Szechuan Noodle House

Food delivery was an absolute life saver, especially during Core classes, but also throughout the rest of the year. Empire Szechuan is very close to campus, so you can take an extended break to eat-in, order (by phone or Seamless) and get a quick delivery. Their menu includes staple Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine.

–Amina Foda

Tung Thong Thai and Dallas BBQ

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Tung Thong Thai has some pretty awesome Thai food. It’s just down the street, so delivery is usually pretty quick. You can order by calling the restaurant or by going online at GrubHub or Seamless. Enjoy!

There’s nothing better than a sweet and savory BBQ meal when taking a break from a long study session in Hammer. Located on the corner of Broadway and 166th, order from Dallas BBQ and you’ll have everyone in the room staring you down with envy.

–Chidinma Egbukichi

Campus 101

CU Intercampus Transportation


Columbia offers a FREE shuttle bus between the Morningside campus and CUMC. Every week day anyone with a Columbia ID can board the bus at multiple locations and get to the other campus (approximately 20-25 min drive from Morningside to CUMC). Buses come every 30 mins, but later in the evenings slow to every hour or so. Make sure to check the schedule for the right times and locations.

–Lauren Bachman

Campus Escort

Whether you’re studying late in Hammer or stayed way too late at a friend’s apartment, Campus Safety is a quick and safe way to travel around Washington Heights at night. The Campus Escort runs from 7 pm to 7 am from 163rd to 181st streets across all the avenues.

  • Escort Service -Morningside Campus: Call 854-SAFE (4-SAFE).
  • Escort Service – Medical Center Campus: Call  212-305-8100 (7-8100)

–Praise Iyiewuare


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