The Center for Career Education provides students with the tools to make informed career decisions and partners with employers to maximize their recruiting results. To ensure that the recruiting process is fair for all participants, please review the employer and student guidelines below.

By booking an on or off-campus event with us you confirm that you and your team will abide by these guidelines.

NACE Principles for Professional Practice

All employment professionals participating in our 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.

Interview, Offer, and Acceptance Guidelines

offer guidelines

Employers recruiting Columbia University 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.

Type of Offer Offer Deadline
Full-Time and Internship offers as a result of Fall 2023 on-campus recruiting October 20, 2023
Full-Time and internship return offers as a result of Spring 2023 or Summer 2023internships October 20, 2023
Full-Time and Internship offers as a result of Spring 2024 on-campus recruiting February 16, 2024
Full-Time and internship return offers as a result of Spring 2024 or Summer 2024 internships October 16, 2024

Exploding Offers

An exploding offer is when you extend an offer and give the student a strictly limited time and/or 24–48 hours to respond, and you tell the student their offer will be taken away if they do not respond in that time. Exploding offers are prohibited. Sign-on bonuses should be honored regardless of when the student accepts the offer.

Second Round Interview Policies

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).

Cancellations and Rescheduling

Employers will be charged in full for canceling on-campus interview rooms within 5 business days of their interview date.

Salary Transparency in Job Advertisements

Beginning November 1, 2022, employers advertising jobs in New York City must include a good faith salary range for every job, promotion, and transfer opportunity advertised.

Unpaid and For-Credit Internships

Columbia University expects companies to appropriately compensate students for the work that they perform during an internship. We expect that all employers abide by the standards established by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and accompanying regulations. This includes the specific criteria for unpaid internships at for-profit companies as outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor.

If any of these criteria are not met, the intern must be paid.

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

Not-for-profit organizations seeking to hire interns in the State of New York are also required to review and adhere to the guidelines set forth by the New York State Department of Labor.

All employers are asked to please consider these criteria carefully before posting an unpaid internship.

Academic Credit as a component of Unpaid Internships

Please be aware that the decision to award academic credit is based on the policies of the school at which the student is enrolled. Academic credit should not replace compensation for work performed during an internship.


Alcohol is prohibited in the Employment Recruiting Process.

As a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), Columbia also abides by the Principles for Professional Conduct. The Principles document explains why serving alcohol to job candidates is inappropriate and inadvisable. The principle states, “Serving alcohol should not be part of the recruitment process.” Open bars, paid bars, and holding recruiting events in a bar are all inappropriate.

Failure to abide by this principle will place the employer in violation of the stated policy. Employers not following the policy can be barred from recruiting at Columbia. Recruiter’s names can also be brought to the attention of their superiors and the company can be shared within the NACE community as not following this guideline, endangering students, and having been barred from Columbia.

For further information, please read the NACE Principles for Professional Practice in its entirety.

Third-Party Agencies

Third party agencies can only post positions with the Center for Career Education for the students and alumni we serve if:

  • They are actively recruiting for a bona fide employment opportunity that is appropriate for the skill sets and experience of the students and alumni served by the Center for Career Education on behalf of an employer AND
  • The position is posted in LionSHARE, the job description clearly states that the agency is recruiting on behalf of a third-party client, and includes the name of the client AND
  • Students and alumni will not be charged a fee for the third party recruiter’s services

We reserve the right to make a determination of the appropriateness of the positions being offered for the populations we serve.

Commission-Based Sales Positions

Employers offering positions that provide compensation that is 100% commission based can offer these positions under the following conditions:

  1. The compensation is clearly disclosed in the position description AND

  2. The position is posted on LionSHARE

Rescinding or Deferring Employment

Employers needing to rescind or defer employment should carefully review the guidelines and recommendations outlined by NACE in their Position Statement on Rescinded and Deferred Employment Offers.

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 the Career Center
  • Stay in communication with candidates and the Career Center 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.

Discrimination and Harassment Policy

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 Center for Career Education review Columbia’s Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure.

If a student or staff member engaged in an activity sponsored by The Center for Career Education (including but not limited to job listings, workshops, panels, counseling 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 Employer and Alumni Relations for The Center for Career Education. 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, the Center for Career Education may conduct an inquiry. In the event The Center for Career Education determines that the complained-of conduct occurred or the outside party chooses not to participate in the inquiry, The Center for Career Education may act to sever the relationship between The Center for Career Education and/or Columbia University and the outside party or organization.

Building a Virtual Internship Program

This 30-minute webinar offers useful tips and best practices for employers who are interested in transitioning in-person internships or launching an entirely new virtual program. CCE has a decade of experience managing our own Virtual Internship Program, so this knowledge is based on assessments and program management experience we have collected over the years.


Columbia’s Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are core values held by all the Career Centers at Columbia University. As such, we are committed to upholding the commitment to anti-racism, outlined in President Bollinger’s statement of July 21, 2020. As a coalition of career services professionals we strive to uphold these values and principles in the execution of our work, with employers and with students, recognizing the role that access to careers, internships, and employment play in social mobility and dismantling historic systems of exclusion and racism.

We ask that all employers abide by anti-discrimination and harassment policies and practices in recruitment processes of all Columbia students as outlined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers; and by Columbia University’s own policy. Further, we will continue to advocate for inclusion and equity in workforce recruitment and development. We ask our employer partners to integrate and forge more inclusive workplace practices so that Columbia students experience belonging and inclusion during internships, practicums, field work, and other experiential learning opportunities and in full-time jobs beyond Columbia.

Through Columbia’s Career Centers (CCE), students will find career programs and resources tailored to the needs of all students, including the unique needs of historically under-represented groups in U.S. higher education. We strive for many of these programs to be developed in collaboration with student groups, alumni organizations, and employer partners who share our values.