Card Access

The CUID serves as identification to access many of the University’s facilities, services and resources. Many University buildings have a card access system which is activated by the Columbia University Identification Card (CUID). Card access can only be granted to cardholders with a valid CUID.

Reason for the Policy

Card access can only be granted to cardholders with a valid CUID.  It is the individual cardholder and his/her affiliated department/school’s responsibility to ensure that he/she obtains and possesses a valid CUID while at the University.  The campus security system automatically issues a basic access package to all permanent faculty, staff and students.  If a cardholder needs additional access to restricted areas, the department administrator must submit a service request through Public Safety ID Card Access.  

On the Description section of the form, please include the following information: 

  • Cardholder name 
  • Cardholder UNI
  • ID card number
  • Campus 
  • Access needed 

Access requests are mostly processed within 1 business day.  In cases where additional authorization is required, processing time could be extended.  
Access for casual employees and contractors are evaluated and granted on a case by case basis by Public Safety staff located in Low Library, Rm. 111A.  To obtain card access, casuals and contractors  should submit an access authorization letter, signed by the appropriate departmental administrator,  which clearly states the areas where one needs access and duration of the access before any access can be granted. 
If you are having card access problem to academic buildings at the Morningside Campus, Manhattanville Campus, or the Medical Center, please call 212-854-8500 or 212-853-3310.You may also visit the Physical Security Support Office at 111A Low Library or our Manhattanville office, located in Room 102 of 3270 Broadway during normal business hours.   

For questions and problems regarding access to Residence Halls, call 212-854-2779 or visit the Hospitality Desk located in the Lobby of Hartley Hall.

For questions regarding access to GYM, please contact the Membership Office in the lobby of Dodge Fitness Center at Morningside Campus or Bard Fitness Center in Bard Hall at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. 
Library access is automatically included for all faculty, staff and students.  Alumni may go to the Library Information Office at 201 Butler Library to inquire about an alumni reading card.   
For information acquiring an University ID card, please visit Columbia University Student Service Center.

Card Access Policy for Medical Center Campus

CUIMC ID cards are issued to employees upon receipt of an authorizing letter from your department. All CUIMC ID cards that are issued to employees are pre-programmed with minimum access privileges to various locations at Black Bldg., PH and the P&S complex.

While this may be sufficient for some of employees’ access needs, we strongly recommend that all employees come to the Security Office at 109 Black Building to have their ID card information and access level modified to meet their exact requirements upon receiving a new or replacement ID Card. The Security Office accepts access applications 24 hours a day. In most cases, an application will be processed by the next business day. Please test your ID card and call Security at 212-305-8100 if your card does not work 2 business days after you fill out your access application. Anyone who has special access needs to a restricted area must obtain proper authorization in a memo format and submit to the Security office for any change to be made to the database.