Email Policy

Student Email Communication Policy

All Columbia Public Health students are to follow the email policies set forth by Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) Information Technology. Students are expected to check their CUIMC email on a frequent and consistent basis. A student's failure to read University communications in a timely manner does not absolve that student from knowing and complying with the content of such communications.  

Microsoft Exchange Accounts

Affiliation with the Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) requires the use of the CUIMC Exchange Email System. Once activated, your Exchange email address – – will be your exclusive address for conducting University business and the only address where all official correspondences will be sent. Access to the Exchange System offers feature-rich and secure services for personal information management (e.g., email, calendar, contacts, notes, and tasks). CUIMC now has a site license allowing those with a current CUMC/Office 365 email account to download and use the latest version, Office 365 ProPlus. Other computer software options are available at a discount or for free with active Exchange accounts.

Your Columbia email may not be forwarded to any non-Columbia email addresses (e.g., Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.). CUIMC Information Security policies and guidelines prohibits forwarding to ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations.

The Office of Student Affairs must request the creation of Exchange accounts for all incoming. New students can expect to receive a temporary password and setup instructions from CUIMC IT at their personal email address (often the address which they used to apply to the School). Please be sure to follow and complete all instructions provided in that activation email. A preview of these instructions can be found below. 

Incoming students who have an affiliation with Columbia University prior to their matriculation to the School of Public Health (i.e., University employees, students who have already begun a dual degree program, or anyone who already has a UNI), may be exempt from this process as they may already have a Columbia-assigned email. 

Activating Email

Entering students can expect to receive their Exchange account activation emails from the Columbia University Irving Medical Center Information Technology Office (CUIMC IT) by mid to late-July. To ensure you receive this important information, double check your spam and trash folders for an email from CUMC_Mail_Admin with the subject “CUMC IT: Temporary Password for Your New CUMC Exchange Email Account”. Please read the email from CUMC IT in its entirety and follow all instructions. In that email, you will be asked to:

  1. Change your temporary password
  2. Verify your new password and Exchange account combination by logging into your email. 
  3. Set up automatic forwarding from to (Exchange email). 

Review all the different methods and set up instructions for connecting your email to various devices (e.g., computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc.).  

Students may contact CUIMC IT at 5-HELP (212-305-4357) or visit in person at the Help Desk on the second floor of the Hammer Health Sciences Building for assistance with any setup.

Dual Students and CUIMC Exchange Email

Dual Students and CUIMC Exchange Email

If you are entering the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and already maintain a Columbia University email inbox, such as LionMail, you will retain access to that inbox while enrolled with the School of Public Health. While affiliated with the Columbia University Irving Medical Campus (i.e., semesters when you are paying tuition to the School of Public Health), compliance with HIPAA protocols is mandatory. As such, dual degree students must follow the instructions for UNI Mail Forwarding and forward their to (Exchange email). You will not lose access to your previous emails, as you are still be able to login to you @columbia inbox. To avoid the need for checking more than one email account, forward your email to the HIPAA approved Exchange Email server (