Veterans Resources and Initiatives

GS Veteran Initiatives Mission


To create and foster a transformational environment for veteran, military-connected, and NROTC students by providing a hub of resources and opportunities rooted in ongoing transitional support for a life-long journey of learning and well-being.

Core Strategy

By recognizing the unique, diverse, and ever-changing needs of the veteran, military-connected, and NROTC student, we are committed to sustaining communication, collaboration, and engagement with the veteran and non-veteran community to provide the supportive platform of opportunities needed for veterans to integrate, participate, and graduate - ultimately pursuing their goals within society.

Veteran Programs & Resources

The GS Veteran Mentoring Program is designed to facilitate a peer-assistance structure for transitioning veterans into Columbia life. Through this program, student veterans are matched with current veteran student mentors to provide experiential and personal support.

To connect with the GS Veteran Mentors please email [email protected].

Military Veterans of Columbia University (MilVets) (official student group)
MilVets provides military veterans with resources, opportunities, and support at Columbia University, in order to facilitate a successful education and to provide a strong foundation for years to come. For more information, visit their website above or email [email protected].

Additional Groups and Initiatives
Other campus groups and initiatives include Women Veterans, MedVets (veteran Postbac Premeds and undergraduates interested in premed), Arts, Family Support, LGBTQA+, Community Service, Columbia University Family Support Network (CUFSN), etc. If you wish to connect with these groups, or start your own group, please email Dean David Keefe.

Community-Building Events, Workshops, and Opportunities 
Throughout the year, GS provides and supports events, workshops, and opportunities for veterans and other communities to participate, connect, and find commonality through various programming, creative processes, and innovative engagement. These opportunities are announced in the monthly GS Student Veteran News & Announcements emails. For more information, contact Dean David Keefe

GS students reside in many different housing situations. A number of students stay in University-owned housing, many live at home, and some secure other non-University housing in the New York area. Information about Columbia Housing and off-campus housing is available on the Housing page of the GS website.

Navigating NYC Housing for General Studies Student Veterans Packet
Deciding where to live as a GS student is a very important decision, one to which serious consideration should be given. New York's many and diverse neighborhoods combined with an extensive public transportation system offer a variety of housing options that are convenient to the Columbia campus.

GI Bill Landlord Letter
Qualifying student veterans pursuing higher education in New York City may utilize G.I. Bill housing allowances to subsidize the cost of renting an apartment. The New York City Department of Veterans’ Services and the New York City Commission on Human Rights aim to provide landlords and student veterans with helpful information about legal protections under New York law for tenants seeking to finance their rent with G.I. Bill housing allowances. For questions, please email Dean David Keefe at [email protected].

Graduate School Coaching
From the JD to the PhD, the MBA to the MS, the graduate school application process is both exciting and daunting. Graduate School Coaching is designed to help students develop the skills necessary to determine which programs meet their individual circumstances, needs, and goals, and to gain admission to the often highly-competitive world of graduate school.

Columbia University Center for Career Education (CCE)
CCE works to empower you to make smart career choices, develop the tools necessary for a successful internship/job search, and connect professionally with employers through workshops, career events, online resources, and meetings with counselors.

Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration (CVTI)
CVTI is dedicated to creating free courses that will help to break down barriers to your successful transition between military service, student life and civilian workforce. These online courses are free and available for all.

Career Coaching Opportunities
Students have the potential to be connected with career coaches within their desired industry. For more information, email Dean David Keefe.

Columbia participates in the Army, Air Force, and Naval ROTC programs. These programs include students from schools throughout the New York City area.

For more information, please contact Dean David Keefe at [email protected].

Any student who is a member of the National Guard or other reserve component of the armed forces of the United States or of the state-organized militia and is called or ordered to active duty will be granted a military leave of absence for the period of active duty and for one year thereafter.

Upon return from military leave of absence, the student will be restored to the educational status attained prior to being called or ordered to such duty without loss of academic credits earned, scholarships or grants awarded, or tuition or other fees paid prior to the commencement of active duty. The University will credit any tuition or fees paid for the period of the military leave of absence to the next enrollment period, or will refund the tuition and fees paid to the student, at the student's option.

Students in need of a military leave of absence should contact their advisor in the Dean of Students Office.

Veteran Health & Wellness

Columbia University offers a multitude of world-class health and wellness resources for veteran students and their families. Because there are many departments, referral processes, and points of contacts, this packet is designed to help students navigate those resources.

Veterans and Families Health and Wellness Resource Packet for Students

Columbia Health has several helpful videos explaining available health-related resources on campus, as well as a video explaining explaining insurance basics and tips to help both on and off campus.

The Health and Wellness page on the GS website also provides a listing of resources from across Columbia's campus that can be utilized by students, including some provided by GS.

CPS has six counselors on staff with training and experience working with veterans.

Please visit the Columbia Health site for information about currently-available support groupsindividual appointments on a variety of topics as well as counseling, and same-day support.

Transitioning out of Military Service

The Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration (CVTI) supports excellence and innovation in transition programming for current and former members of the armed forces. CVTI is dedicated to creating free courses that will help to break down barriers to your successful transition between military service, student life and civilian workforce.

University Studies for Student Veterans
This course helps veterans transition smoothly from military service to college, and helps them maximize their success once they arrive.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Provides veterans the world-class benefits and services they have earned—and does so by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability, and stewardship.

New York State Division of Veterans Affairs
Provides benefits counseling and advocacy for veterans.

Veterans Integration To Academic Leadership (VITAL) from the Department of Veterans Affairs was created to reach out to student veterans to help facilitate the transition from service member to student.

Veteran Claims
Disabled American Veterans
Veteran Affairs' Veteran Benefits Administration (VBA)

Additional Resources
Student Veterans of America
NYC Department of Veteran Services
Warrior-Scholar Project

Primary Contact Information
David Keefe
Senior Assistant Dean of Student Veteran Initiatives 
403 Lewisohn Hall
[email protected]

GS Student Veteran Newsletter Request
To be added to recipient list for the GS Student Veteran News & Announcements email, complete the GS Student Veteran Newsletter Request Form.

Columbia University Emergency & 24/7 Support

VA Veterans Crisis Line
Call: 1-800-273-8255 then press 1
Text: Any message to 838255
Start an Online Chat

Additional VA Contact Information