Departmental Resources

Internal Resources

The answer to most of your questions will be found in 344 Havemeyer, the Chemistry Department office. Undergraduate program related questions, including graduate student teaching assignments, are handled in 340 Havemeyer, the undergraduate office (right next to 344). The graduate student bulletin board is just outside the Department office and we regularly post important information for you on this board. The a directory of Department staff, together with their phone numbers and e-mail addresses, can be found here.

The departmental website is kept updated with information about Seminars, as well as News and Events. Information about University-wide programs on events may be found through the University home page. Department information is disseminated in many ways. Check your mailbox regularly, your e-mail, the graduate student bulletin board outside 344 Havemeyer, and the seminar announcement case next to the Miller Room, 328 Havemeyer. Student-led seminar schedules, social event posters, and urgent news  will be posted near the elevators.

CUIT will assign an email account connected with your UNI immediately on entry into the graduate program. Your UNI will not change during your graduate career, but you can request an alias e-mail through CUIT if you so desire. You will not be charged for using e-mail.

You will be assigned a mailbox, and a mail code, immediately upon entry into the graduate program or beginning your work in the Department. This will be your “local”, or campus, address, as follows:

  • Your name
    Department of Chemistry
    Columbia University
    3000 Broadway, Mail Code 31XX
    New York, NY 10027

Most members of the Department share mailboxes, usually with other members of their labs or with their fellow graduate students. We ask you to respect the privacy of those sharing your mailbox: do not remove mail belonging to others from your mailbox. The key to your mailbox must also be returned to the Department, as indicated above, before you finally leave the Department. Occasionally you will find mail in your box for a person who has left the Department. Please bring this to 344 Havemeyer and we will forward it. Also, please keep the mailbox area neat, because it is for use of the entire department. Put junk mail and other trash in the appropriate wastebaskets.

The chemistry building complex, consisting of Chandler Hall, Havemeyer Hall, and Havemeyer Extension, is open during weekday business hours and for limited hours on weekends. Doors are kept locked at other times. Students with a “swipe activated” Columbia ID card have access to the building at any time. Some of the labs in the Department are located in the Northwest Corner Building, the University’s interdisciplinary sciences building. Students who work or use the facilities in NWC will also have swipe access to this building. ID card activation and building access is handled in the chemistry main office in 344 Havemeyer.

Labs and offices are generally kept locked at all times for the safety of building occupants and to prevent injury to visitors. Students are advised to keep personal belongings secure and to lock doors to empty offices and labs. In case of a security emergency, call the university Public Safety office, extension 99 from any campus phone or 854-5555 from any other phone. Security incidents should also be reported to the building Director at extension 4-4200.

Keys are distributed to you once you have a research sponsor and are assigned an office/lab. The staff in 154 Chandler between 9 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. distributes keys each day. In order to obtain keys and/or door access codes, Department members must fill out a key request form. Faculty advisors must sign off on requests for keys and or access. You are responsible for the keys distributed to you; if you lose one, you should speak with the staff in 154 Chandler. You must turn in your keys to 154 Chandler before finally leaving the Department.

In the Department office you will find two copy machines, a fax machine, a binding machine, typewriter, and a paper cutter. The outgoing postal mail gets picked up from our box in the hallway, outside the main office twice a day, around 10am and 2pm. Each research group has a User ID and password for the copier machines, which you will use once you have a research sponsor. Before then, if you need to use these copiers for graduate program requirements, the Program Manager will provide a User ID and password for that purpose. For use of this equipment to perform your teaching duties, you will be given a User ID and password by the undergraduate staff.

University equipment, supplies, and the Department’s Federal Express account cannot be used for personal purposes. The University must also be reimbursed for any personal Federal Express charges. Department facilities may be used for non-departmental activities only with advance permission from the Chairman of the Department.

Researchers order most supplies and chemicals online from a few specific vendors that have been selected by the chemistry department. Supplies not available from those vendors can be ordered from other sources using chemistry department requisitions. The costs for all orders are charged to the principle investigator’s budget. Ordering procedures vary among different research groups.

The chemistry department shipping and receiving area is located in room 154, Chandler Hall. There you can arrange for shipment of packages and for pickup of chemicals and other laboratory supplies that your research group has ordered. The shipping/receiving area also has a facility for obtaining cryogenic liquids and for storing flammable materials and compressed gas cylinders. The staff in the shipping/receiving area will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the services in their area.

The Department staff located in 154 Chandler Hall assists with repairs. Department members may request repairs of plumbing, air-conditioning, electrical, and other building services. These are provided free of charge by the University. The repairs are requested by sending an e-mail to [email protected] or by calling phone numbers listed on notices posted in all hallways and laboratories. The actual work is done by the university Facilities Operations department (4-2222), however, the building staff helps expedite repairs. You may contact the building staff by phone at 4-2160 to inquire about the status of a repair.

Modifications to building services (e.g., installation of a new electrical outlet) and other construction work that is not a repair is chargeable to an account number provided by your research sponsor. Estimates are provided before the work is done. Requests for these services are made directly to the chemistry building staff via phone (4-2160) or e-mail ([email protected]). Faculty approval is required for all chargeable requests.

The department provides assistance with desktop computer problems. Assistance can be requested by calling 1-2732 from campus phones [(212) 851-2732 from other phones] or by e-mailing [email protected].

External Resources

The Department of Chemistry is a member of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). GSAS offers academic and professional services, as well as support for grievance processes for academic matters. Please keep in mind that any reports made to GSAS are not confidential, and may trigger an investigation.

Learn more about GSAS

All full-time graduate students are assigned an account, and the Student Financial Services Office tracks students’ financial transactions with the University. You can view your account through Student Services Online. You will get monthly statements listing, credits, and amounts due the university. If you have questions about your account, or problems with it, you should contact the Graduate School Financial Aid Office (107 Low Library, 4-3808).

Health Insurance

All students are automatically enrolled in the University health service program, in partnership with Aetna Student Health, Inc. and coverage is underwritten by Aetna Life Insurance Company. Students may also enroll at their own expense in a Platinum Insurance plan, which provides enhanced coverage, as well as coverage of spouses and dependents. If you are insured by an outside insurer, you may waive the student insurance coverage. For more information on Platinum coverage, dependent coverage, or insurance waiver, please consult the Columbia Guide to University Health Service or speak with the Alix Lamia.

University Health Services

All graduate students have access to University Health Services, including access to Counselling and Psychological services. The medical services are confidential, and exempt from duty to report. This list includes Counseling and Psychological services, which are also confidential.

Medical Services

John Jay Hall, 4th floor
519 West 114th St., Mail Code 3601
New York, NY 10027

Scheduled Clinical Hours:
Monday – Thursday, 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m

Appointments: (212) 854-7426
After-Hours Urgent Needs: (212) 854-7426
Nutrition Counseling: (212) 854-7426
Travel Medicine Program: (212) 854-7426
Medical Records Fax Requests: (212) 854-0673
Medical Records phone line: (212) 854-8159
Open Communicator (secure online appointment system)

Counseling and Psychological Services

Appointments: 212-854-2878
After-hours clinician-on-call: 212-854-9797,
Psychiatric Emergency Room – St. Luke’s Hospital: 212-523-3347

Library services, including online journals, search engines, and software that can assist you in your graduate studies are accessible on the Science and Engineering library website. There, you can find detailed information about library services and how to contact library staff for assistance. The physical library is integrated into a new Science and Engineering library that is located in the Northwest Corner Building, adjacent to the chemistry building complex. Refer to the library website above for information on the hours of operation of the Science and Engineering library.

For any safety concerns, contact University Public Safety. For non-emergencies they can be reached at 212-854-2797. In case of an emergency, call 212-854-5555.

The University Chaplain’s mission is to foster learning through spiritual, ethical, religious and cultural exchange, and to promote service to the University and its surrounding New York City communities. The Earl Hall Center includes the Office of the University Chaplain, Community Impact and United Campus Ministries. In addition, the University Chaplain is available for confidential pastoral counseling to individuals, couples and families in the Columbia University community. Jewelnel Davis has served as the University Chaplain since 1996. This process is confidential.

Learn More

The University’s Omsbuds Officer serves as an informal resource for assisting members of the University community with conflict resolution. The Ombuds Office provides information, counseling and referrals to appropriate University offices. He or she will also mediate conflicts if both parties agree. However he or she does not have the authority to adjudicate disputes and does not participate in any formal University grievance proceedings (212-854-1234; [email protected]). Although some we sites describe this office as confidential, EOAA indicated to me that they do have a duty to report; in that sense they are not confidential, but are presumably otherwise discrete.

As an institution, Columbia University is committed to the principles of equity and excellence. It actively pursues both, adhering to the belief that equity is the partner of excellence. Columbia University’s aims to achieve both a workforce and a student body that reflects the diversity and talent of New York City, the larger metropolitan area, and the nation. In furtherance of this goal, Columbia has implemented policies and programs which seek to ensure that its employment and educational decisions are based on individual merit and not on bias or stereotypes. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action has overall responsibility for the management of the University’s Student Policies and Procedures on Discrimination and Harassment and the Employment Policies and Procedures on Discrimination and Harassment.

Students, faculty, staff and third parties may file a report directly to the EOAA for any incident involving discrimination, harassment or gender-based misconduct. Please keep in mind that this process is not confidential and can potentially trigger an investigation.

More information is available on the web at or by contacting EOAA over the telephone at 212-854-5511

For incidents regarding gender-based misconduct by a student, a report should be made to Student Services for Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct. Like with the EOAA, a report with the gender-based misconduct office is not confidential and may trigger an investigation.