Residential Life

Barnard maintains a diversified residential program. Residential options include traditional residence halls, a variety of suite arrangements, and apartments in College-owned residential buildings on or adjacent to the campus. In a cooperative exchange with Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a limited number of Barnard and Columbia juniors and seniors participate in a housing exchange program. In addition, some students live in independent housing they secure in the campus vicinity. The College offers all incoming first-year students the opportunity to elect to live in campus housing.  On average, the residential rate among first-year students is 98%, while the average residency rate among upper-class students is 90%. 


All Barnard College owned or operated residence halls are completely smoke-free. Under the leadership of the Associate Dean for Campus and Residential Life, the College provides substantial supervision of student life. This includes associate directors, graduate staff and undergraduate student assistants, 24-hour desk attendant coverage, and regular security guard patrols.

Brooks, Hewitt, Reid, and Sulzberger Halls, or the “Quad,” at the south end of the campus, are operated as a single complex with space for about 920 students. This residential complex provides community amenities, including computer rooms. The first eight floors of Sulzberger Hall, Reid, and Brooks house first-year students, who are assigned to double, triple, and quad rooms. There are also wheelchair-accessible rooms located in the Quad. The “Tower,” floors nine through 16 of Sulzberger Hall, houses seniors in suites with lounges and kitchenettes.

“616” West 116th Street, an apartment-style residence directly across the street from the Quad, provides housing for 200 students in suites of single and double rooms. Each suite has a kitchen and bath.

“600” and “620” West 116th Street are College-owned buildings comprising a majority of student apartments of one to five single or double rooms with kitchen and bath and some apartments for community residents.

Elliott Hall, adjacent to the west side of campus, houses 96 students. Rooms are on common corridors in suites with shared baths, kitchenettes, and lounges. Elliott Hall houses more than 50% of the new incoming transfer students.

Plimpton Hall, a suite-style residence hall on Amsterdam Avenue and West 121st Street, a short walk from the main campus, but adjacent to Columbia and Teachers College, provides housing for 280 students in suites of five single rooms. Each suite has a kitchen and bath.

601 West 110th Street has housing for approximately 175 Barnard students (mostly sophomores and juniors) who live in suites and seniors who live in studios. This option provides independent living with an active residential life program.

The newest member of our residential family is Cathedral Gardens. This building is located at 110th St. and Manhattan Ave. This community is the perfect location for mature students who are looking for a tranquil retreat from hectic campus life. It is also well-suited for groups of students with shared interests in community engagement and off-campus work experience and internships. Building residents will find lovely views overlooking Morningside Park or the Morningside Heights neighborhood. CG offers a community lounge, laundry facilities and a 24-hour security desk. Within each apartment, students will enjoy beautiful hard wood floors, new furniture and fixtures, as well as a dishwasher and full refrigerator in every kitchen. The spaces range from four to six-person apartments containing mostly single rooms and some doubles.


Eligibility criteria have been established in order to assign available space on an equitable basis. These regulations may be changed as needed at the discretion of the College, but insofar as possible, the following criteria will determine eligibility:

  • Eligibility for residence is limited to Barnard students and approved visiting students who have both completed the registration and program filing processes and have made all required payments by the payment deadlines. Some Columbia students may also be eligible,  providing they meet the requirements for the Barnard/Columbia Housing Exchange as defined by Columbia University Undergraduate Housing. Students must be enrolled on a full-time basis, with the exception of seniors in their final semester of College before graduation.


Returning upper-class resident students select their rooms on the basis of a random lottery number system and room selection process. Incoming first-year students, readmitted upper-class students, and transfer students are assigned rooms by the Office of Residential Life and Housing.


The rules and regulations regarding payments and refunds, and the use and occupancy of rooms are in the “Terms and Conditions of Student Residence in Barnard College Housing,” which is given to students selecting College housing and which must be agreed to before they may accept an assignment. This document may be reviewed via the Residential Life & Housing webpage.


All Barnard students are required to participate in a meal plan. All first-year students residing in Barnard housing will be enrolled in the College's Unlimited Meal Plan at an annual cost of $5,380 ($2,690 per semester). Upperclass students who reside in the Barnard Quad (Floors 2-8 of Sulzberger, Reid, Brooks, and Hewitt Halls) will be enrolled in the Quad upperclass Meal Plan at an annual cost of $3,730 ($1,865 per semester). Upperclass students who reside elsewhere in campus housing (including rooms on the Columbia campus through Barnard/Columbia Housing Exchange) will be enrolled in the Convenience Meal Plan at an annual cost of $600 ($300 per semester). Students outside the Quad may choose between different versions of the Convenience Meal Plan which will include different distributions of meals and points.

Students may upgrade their required meal plan to one offering more than the minimum requirements for their housing location. Kosher options are available for all plans at an additional charge. To upgrade the required minimum meal plan and/or select a preferred meal plan options, students must select their exact plan before September 17, 2011.

If a student moves out of Barnard housing but remains enrolled at the College (with the exception of an approved student abroad program), she must remain enrolled in a Barnard meal plan. Any meals remaining on any meal plan at the end of the fall semester are forfeited. Any meal plan points remaining at the end of the fall semester may be carried over to the spring semester providing that the student remains enrolled in a Barnard meal plan during the spring semester. Any meals or meal plan points remaining at the end of the spring semester are forfeited.

Married Students

A married student, as a rule, will not be allowed to remain in College housing with her significant other. They will be subject to financial obligations which pertain to any student who withdraws from the residence halls or from the College during the term.

Financial Aid for Room and Board

All students who live on campus will have their financial aid based on the resident student budget. A student who receives aid from the College based upon the resident budget must live in College housing billed by Barnard. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid when she decides not to reside on campus. Students who decide to live off-campus or commute from home will have their financial aid based on the commuter student budget. All first-year students who are receiving financial aid will have a resident budget based on the cost of a multiple room and the Platinum Meal Plan. All upper class students who are receiving financial aid will have a resident budget based on the cost of a multiple room and the Upper Class Quad Meal Plan. A student who chooses to reside in a single room or studio apartment must cover the difference between the cost of a single/studio apartment and double room from her own resources.

Resident Assistants

As part of the student support network, students in each residence hall are designated as Resident Assistants to be a campus resource for resident students, to provide referrals to other services, and to aid in residential programming.