Recruiting Policy

Policies and Guidelines for Employers

All employment professionals participating in the Career Services recruiting program are required to work within a framework of professionally accepted recruiting, interviewing and selection techniques as stipulated in the NACE Principles for Professional Practice.  By posting a position for our students on CareerLink, participating in on-campus recruiting or career fairs, or conducting presentations on campus, you indicate that you agree to these policies and the policies listed below; these policies are also part of our terms of use for CareerLink.

Employers are expected to:

  • Ensure their job descriptions are accurate, and include accurate descriptions of the work and accurate depictions of the compensation offered.
  • Refrain from recruiting, considering the applications of or extending offers to candidates who have already accepted offers.
  • Use valid, job related criteria when evaluating candidates.
  • Follow all federal, New York State, and New York City laws, including those regarding equal employment opportunity and minimum wages. Federal laws prohibit job discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, equal pay, genetic information, and disability. These guidelines are available from The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In addition, The New York City Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination based on gender (including gender identity and sexual harassment), sexual orientation, marital status, and partnership status; additionally, questions regarding salary history are prohibited by NYC law.
  • Honor all commitments made on its behalf.

Failure to meet any or all of these expectations may jeopardize an employer’s ability to continue to recruit at Columbia Mailman School. Mailman Career Services reserves the right to make decisions regarding an employer’s participation in its recruiting programs, at its discretion.

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

We are committed to ensuring our students and alumni find satisfying careers in environments where their identities and abilities are valued and they are free from discrimination. Therefore, when employers conduct on-campus presentations, we ask all employers to discuss their organization's specific initiatives around diversity, culture and inclusion, including addressing institutional racism and ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities. We also ask all employers to specify whether they are open to hiring international students. 

Event Scheduling

In order to ensure the best possible attendance at on-campus presentations and events, we request that employers reach out to us to in the summer prior to their fall recruiting programs; or with at least 4 weeks' notice prior to scheduling an event, in order to best accommodate employers, find space on campus, and promote the event to students. We cannot guarantee accommodation of employers who request events with less than 4 weeks’ notice.

As a general policy, all of our employer events are open to all Mailman students. We are glad to help create marketing and publicity materials to encourage students from specific academic departments or backgrounds to attend events.

On-Campus Interview Program

Only current Mailman School of Public Health students are allowed to participate in the On-Campus Interview Program (unless there is an agreement in advance with another school at Columbia University to collaborate on scheduling).

Interview Policies/Offer Deadlines

We request employers to give students at least 72 hours’ notice prior to scheduling an interview.

Employers must accommodate student requests for alternate second-round interview dates if they present a legitimate scheduling conflict.

Employers recruiting Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health students are asked to follow the following offer guidelines. Employers are encouraged to accommodate reasonable student requests to extend offer deadlines. 

Students will have two weeks from the date a written offer letter is received or until the deadlines below, whichever is later. Our offer deadline policy is in alignment with the Columbia Center for Career Education as follows:

  • All full-time job offers extended to previous summer interns or as a result of 2022 summer or fall recruiting efforts should be held open until October 21, 2022.
  • Full-Time and Internship offers as a result of Fall 2022 on-campus recruiting should be held open until Oct. 21, 2022.
  • Full-Time and Internship offers as a result of Spring 2023 on-campus recruiting should be held open until Feb. 17, 2023. 

Exploding Offers

Exploding offers (i.e. requiring students to decide on a job offer within a specific, 24-48 hour deadline or else have the offer rescinded) are prohibited. Sign-on bonuses should be honored whenever the student accepts the offer.

Second-Round Interviews

Employers are required to provide students with 72 business hours’ notice of a second round interview date, and must accommodate student requests for alternate second-round interview dates if students present a legitimate scheduling conflict (i.e. class, work assignment or previously scheduled interview).

Job and Internship Postings

We reserve the right in our sole discretion to make a determination on the appropriateness and number of all postings in CareerLink. All employer contacts who post in CareerLink must have an email address associated with their organization (personal emails are not acceptable), as well as a professional website. Postings should be relevant to public health or health administration graduate students and alumni.

Career Fair & Employer Presentation Cancellation Policy

Employers who no-show or cancel their attendance the week before a career fair or employer presentation may be barred from attending future career fairs or scheduling employer presentations for a period of time.

Collaboration with Student Clubs/Group Leaders

In order to ensure positive experiences for recruiters and ensure that recruiting events are open to students across the entire Mailman School wherever possible, we have created the following policy regarding career-related events which are organization by or with student groups at the Mailman School.

Recruiting Presentations

Any events in which there is a recruiter or employer organization requesting an on-campus presentation for the express purpose of recruiting Mailman School students should be organized by Career Services. Recruiters are strongly advised always to work with Career Services rather than scheduling recruiting presentations directly with student clubs or academic departments, to ensure that all eligible students have an equitable opportunity to be considered as candidates for positions, to ensure that long-term, school-wide recruiting relationships are maintained, and to avoid scheduling multiple, competing events at the same time. We are glad to ask student groups or academic departments if they would be willing to co-sponsor or cross-promote events.

Informal Presentations, Networking Events, and Workshops

Recruiters may approach student leaders to request to speak at student group meetings in an informal capacity, but should always carbon copy/CC the Career Services on these inquiries to ensure that multiple, competing events are not scheduled simultaneously. Some examples may include:

  • Workshops on a certain topic (case interviewing, breaking into a certain industry etc.)
  • Alumni panel discussions
  • Networking events

Rescinding or Deferring Employment

Employers needing to rescind or defer employment should carefully review the guidelines and follow the NACE recommendations on Rescinded or Deferred offers and Principles for Ethical Professional Practice. The NACE guidelines urge employers to adopt a two-part approach to employment offers under consideration for revocation. The first emphasizes the need for a commitment to high standards in recruiting. The second offers a reasoned approach to dealing with rescinded and deferred offers. NACE recommends that employers who must revoke a commitment to do everything possible to avoid rescinding offers, to consider alternatives that do not require rescinding employment offers. These may include changes in job responsibilities, salary reduction and/or reduced workweeks, changes in job locale, delayed starting dates, and other reasonable options.

For candidates whose start dates are deferred, employers are urged to:

  • Provide services to aid the candidates in securing other employment.
  • Provide financial assistance if the deferral will be longer than three months.
  • Communicate to candidates as soon as possible.
  • Contact Career Services.
  • Stay in communication with candidates and the Career Services regarding start dates. We expect all employers to treat candidates in an ethical manner. We reserve the right to deny access to on-campus recruiting to any employers who we determine have not conducted their recruiting efforts ethically.

Recruitment of International Students

Employers who hire international students for internships or jobs should work with the student to ensure that the dates and conditions of employment are in alignment with the students' visa requirements.  If a student works without proper work authorization (such as starting work before the effective date of their Optional Practical Training work card, or working longer than authorized for Curricular Practical Training), the student may be subject to deportation and the company may be subject to fines and penalties for employing an unauthorized worker.

Student Complaint Procedures

Career Services understands that employers strive to maintain a professional demeanor during all of their interactions with students. However, occasionally we receive complaints from students about offensive, insensitive, and/or discriminatory behavior on the part of employer representatives. If our students encounter any such behavior, they are instructed to contact our office immediately.

When we receive a complaint from a student, the Career Services director may take one or more of the following actions:

  • Call the employer involved to discuss the incident(s) giving rise to the complaint and seek clarification regarding the conduct in question. To the extent that we conclude that the employer, while fully intending to comply with the Mailman School’s Policies and Guidelines Applicable to Employers, acted improperly, the director of career services will request that the improper conduct be modified. If we determine that conciliation is possible and may be useful, he/she may work with the student and the employer to resolve the matter in a manner agreeable to both parties.
  • Ask the student to file a complaint, preferably in writing, addressed to the Career Services director. Once we review the complaint, if we determine that there has been a violation of our Employer Policy, it may respond by: 
    • placing the offending employer on probation for a specified period;
    • barring the employer from participating in recruiting activities managed by career services for a specified period

Third-Party Recruiters

While the Mailman School’s career services program allows third-party recruiters (staffing firms) to post positions on the Mailman School’s  job board, we do not typically grant access to our resume books or career fairs to third-party recruiters. Third-party agencies should clearly indicate that they are recruiting on behalf of a third-party client.

Fee-Based Programs

We allow employers to post positions in rare cases which have a small application fee (for example, civil service examinations with fees). However, we do not post positions which charge students a significant fee (for example, tuition-based work abroad programs; programs with significant required training fees that candidates must pay prior to employment, etc.).


Employers will offer students a safe and appropriate work environment for students.


Employers will pay wages to students as agreed upon and as stipulated by the New York State Department of Labor.

Unpaid Internships

Columbia University expects companies to appropriately compensate students for the work that they perform during an internship. In order to allow students access to learning opportunities who cannot afford to work as unpaid interns, we strongly suggest for internships to be paid if possible. We recommend that unpaid internships should be limited to 10-15 hours/week maximum.

In addition, we expect that all employers abide by the standards established by the Fair Labor Standards Act and accompanying regulations. The U.S. Department of Labor has outlined six criteria for unpaid internships to confirm that an internship does not represent an employment relationship. If any of these criteria are not met, the intern must be paid.

Additionally, employers seeking interns to work in the State of New York, attention must also be paid to the requirements set forth by the New York State Minimum Wage Act and Wage Orders.

Discrimination & Harassment

Columbia University is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. Consistent with this commitment and with applicable federal, state and local laws, it is the policy of the University as both an educational institution and an employer to prohibit unlawful discrimination and harassment and to provide faculty, students, and staff who believe that they may be the victims of either with mechanisms for seeking redress.

We recommend that all students, alumni, vendors, and employers engaged in activities with the Mailman career services review Columbia’s Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure.

If a student or staff member engaged in an activity sponsored by Career Services (including but not limited to job listings, workshops, panels, advising sessions, employer presentations, career fairs, interviews, mentoring, internships, off-campus recruiting, and employment) believes that the Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure may have been violated, he or she is urged to contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, a member of the Columbia University Panel on Discrimination and Sexual Harassment, or the Director of Career Services at the Mailman School. If the conduct complained of involves a person or persons within the Columbia community, the actions provided for under the Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure may apply. If the conduct complained of involves, in addition to a member of the Columbia community, a party or parties outside the Columbia community, career services may conduct an inquiry. In the event we determine that the complained-of conduct occurred or the outside party chooses not to participate in the inquiry, we may act to sever the relationship between career services and/or Columbia University and the outside party or organization.


Alcohol is prohibited in the recruiting process as outlined in the NACE Principles for Professional Practice. Open bars, paid bars, and holding recruitment events in a bar are inappropriate.