Employer & Job Posting Policy

Policy Purpose

The Columbia University Professional Studies, Career Design Lab (CDL) facilitates connections among employers, students and alumni. CDL is comprised of professional staff supporting employers to recruit talents, connect with faculty and administrators to learn about Columbia SPS academic programs, and conduct purposeful engagement with students and alumni for their professional development and career advancement.

Employers, recruiters, or other professionals interested in connecting with SPS students and alumni through Career Services or other departments/offices of SPS must abide by this policy. This policy governs the types of employers who may use the services offered by CDL, as well as the role the University’s Career Services staff serves in assisting hiring professionals. CDL guidelines adhere to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Principles for Professional Practice from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Policy Statement

All employers are subject to approval by CDL to access resources and services provided through the CDL. Employment professionals from for-profit, non-profit, educational or governmental organizations who offer paid jobs, paid internships, qualifying unpaid internships, graduate assistant roles, fellowships, awards for hackathons, contests, competitions, and volunteer work may list their opportunities through CDL’s Talent Acquisition Platform.

Employers qualified for job posting privileges also may be eligible for on-campus interviews, virtual recruitment, or student engagement opportunities, including career fairs, information sessions, chats, workshops, meetings, among others.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility 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.

CDL will continue to advocate for inclusion and equity in workforce recruitment and development.

Through Columbia’s Career Centers, students will find career programs and resources tailored to the needs of all students, including the unique needs of historically under-represented groups in American 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.

Unpaid Internship Postings

Employers wishing to post unpaid internships must comply with the following:

  • Verify to CDL that the organization meets the US Department of Labor and applicable state law standard test for unpaid interns and students;
  • Include in the job description specific information about supervision and training provided
  • Specify whether the student is expected to seek academic credit
  • The internship must coincide with SPS’s fall, spring or summer semesters.


CDL is a member of NACE, the professional association for college recruiters and career services professionals. As members, we abide by the NACE Principles for Professional Practice, a document that serves as the ethical framework and foundation for practices within the career services and recruiting fields. The principle states, “Serving alcohol should not be part of the recruitment process.” Failure to abide by this principle will place the employer in violation of this policy. Employers not following the policy can be prohibited from utilizing CDL resources and services and/or recruiting.

Requirements for Eligibility
Organizations/proprietors seeking job posting or campus recruiting privileges must meet certain criteria, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Have a business license, or be registered as a 501(c) organization, or be a government entity;
  • Provide the basic company and staff member information required for registration, including organization name, physical address, phone number, email address, company description and contact information for at least one staff member;
  • Indicate an employer website in English or translated into English (Google translate is not acceptable);
  • Use company email address associated with their organization to verify the validity of the opportunity (personal or generic emails are not acceptable);
  • Comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, including, but not limited to, equal employment opportunity, U.S. trade controls, export, and anti-boycott laws and regulations
  • Not provide services that promote academic dishonesty or plagiarism;
  • Not sell or dispense substances that are illegal in the state of New York or violate federal law;
  • Not post opportunities to donate biological substances/materials in exchange for payment;
  • Not provide adult entertainment or services of a sexual nature;
  • Not have pending legal federal government action against the organization;
  • Not have a website that requires input of information before seeing the landing page;
  • Not require purchase of company products in order to start work (with the exception of uniforms), or require purchase of company-provided training before hire;
  • Not post internships or jobs that are based inside the employer’s personal residence;
  • Not post internships or jobs requiring residential door-to-door sales; and
  • Not be third-party recruiters or staffing agencies who charge fees to students/candidates.

Third-Party Recruiters

  • Third-party recruiters posting a job for a client must disclose the client name in the Job Description Box. All positions posted by third-party recruiters without the client name will be deleted from the system.
  • Third-party recruiters with exclusive contracts will disclose the client name to CDL, which will keep the company name confidential.
  • Third-party recruiters may not charge fees to students or alumni candidates for the services they provide.
  • Third-party recruiters may not share with a third party any SPS student resumes, written materials, or student-produced media without the student’s written permission.
  • Third-party recruiters are eligible to participate in a career fair only if they are recruiting for their own respective organization or they explicitly state the company they are representing and CDL confirms the organization(s) will not be attending the same fair. CDL reserves the right to deny access and participation in career fairs to any third-party employer.

Staffing/Temporary Agencies and Consulting Firms

Staffing and temporary agencies and consulting firms that hire and provide direct payment to employees or contractors may post internships and jobs.

Staffing/temporary agencies and consulting firms may attend career fairs only if they are recruiting employees or contractors for their own organizations.

International Employers
Employers recruiting for work outside of the United States must adhere to the equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws of the United States. The employer will advise CDL and the students/alumni of the realities of working in that country and of differences in laws and culture. Please refer to the International Student and Scholars Office (ISSO) Columbia University for non-paid internship policy.

CDL also adheres to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s regulations on sanctioned individuals, organizations, and countries. We work with the Columbia University Office of Research Compliance & Training to verify eligibility for participation in CDL’s activities.

Virtual Event Policy

  • Campus event spaces may not be reserved by or rented to external organizations or groups until further notice.
  • For Columbia University sponsored events held off campus, all of the below requirements apply. 
  • Student organizations must work with CDL to ensure adherence to all other event policies. 

Columbia follows New York State requirements for the size of permitted gatherings.

  • All events must adhere to the Columbia Community Health Compact, including requirements for face coverings, physical distance, and use of campus spaces and buildings.
  • Event participation is restricted to CUID cardholders only and requires registration, and registration lists must be maintained by schools or units after events have taken place. External presenters must follow the University’s Vendor Clearance Policy.
  • All in-person events should be held outdoors or in large, well-ventilated spaces.
  • If food or beverages are served, both must be packaged for individual use (e.g. box lunches) and distribution must be planned to enable physical distance at all times. Event organizers must ensure that attendees are able to maintain sufficient distance throughout and avoid facing each other while removing their face coverings to eat or drink. If individuals bring their own food or beverages, event organizers must ensure that those eating or drinking are able to avoid facing others while their face coverings are removed, if unable to maintain physical distancing.  
  • Event organizers are responsible for ensuring that the planning takes account of the Compact provisions and that event attendees adhere fully to the Compact’s face covering and physical distance requirements.

Career Fair & Employer Presentation Cancellation Policy

  • Employers who are scheduled to participate in Career Fairs, information sessions and any CDL related event, must give sufficient notice (minimum of 48 hours) in the event of a schedule cancellation.
  • For Career Fairs, no refunds will be made for cancellations made less than (2) weeks prior to the event. Organizations that do not show are still responsible for full payment. Organizations with outstanding payments will not be permitted to participate in future events until payment is received.
  • When interviews must be canceled due to unforeseen circumstances, the recruiter will be advised to contact each student directly to make arrangements for another interview date/time. The recruiter is also asked to share follow-up information with CDL staff.
  • CDL has a strict policy on late cancellation of interviews or “no shows” by students. If a student does not give at least 2 days notice prior to a

scheduled interview, they will not be able to participate in on-campus recruiting.  Students are required to send formal letters of apology and meet with their Career Coach to discuss the situation.

Collaboration with Student Clubs/Group Leaders

CDL is open to meeting with any student organization that would like to collaborate on career-related events. Career Coaches work with student leaders and groups on programming geared towards the needs of the students.

Rescinding or Deferring Employment

CDL strongly encourages employers to consider every option before revoking an offer of employment. Employers needing to rescind or defer employment should carefully review the guidelines and recommendations outlined by NACE.

Discrimination and Harassment Policy

The Career Design Lab values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. In accordance with University policy, CDL prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services.

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. 

Any career services related operating procedures must comply with and reference above policy.


Career Design Lab
729 7th Avenue, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 854-1102
Email: spsemployer@columbia.edu


Attn: Employer Relations