Account Issues: Graduating/Graduated Students' Email Accounts

I am graduating or graduated recently--what will happen to my email account?

Note: Graduates who are on LionMail should ignore references to email in the below instructions. These alums will retain their LionMail accounts.

If you are not going to return to Columbia next semester, you will need to clean up the contents of your email and the files in your CUNIX directory since your ID will expire after a certain period of time.

Your ID will go through several status changes before finally expiring. It starts out as an active ID, and over the ten months after you leave Columbia, it goes through a grace period, then is set to expire, and finally expires. Understanding this process will help you plan for a smooth transition.

If there is anything you're going to need help with, such as downloading files or email, you should take care of this BEFORE you leave the campus so that you can take advantage of the consultants in the Computing Support Center.

After you leave Columbia, your student computer ID is placed in a grace period lasting about nine months from the end of the last semester for which you registered. For example, if you graduate in May, your ID will be in its grace period until February. You will not be able to use CUIT computer labs or CUIT printers. Please note that you will be able to access restricted online Library resources for only about six months after you graduate.

Note: Barnard College, Teachers College, and Union Theological Seminary students should contact their respective computing support departments regarding their policies on grace periods.

During the grace period, you may want to think about doing the following:

  • deciding whether your Columbia email should be forwarded to your personal email account
  • downloading important files and email messages that you want to keep
  • setting up alumni email forwarding for your Columbia UNI if you are a graduate (you can also choose to remain on LionMail if you are using it already)
  • If you are a Columbia Business School Graduate, a Teacher's College School graduate or a Barnard College School graduate, you should contact your respective IT support group for information about their alumni email forwarding.

If you don't set up alumni forwarding, you can send a request to CUIT to set up an auto-reply to inform people of your new email address. The auto-reply will be in place for about six months after you request it.

If you are the owner of any club or organization Web sites, you should also make arrangements to transfer ownership to someone else. You can send such requests to

If you register again at Columbia before the grace period is over (for example, an undergraduate returning as a graduate student), your ID will return to active status automatically.

Status: Set to Expire At the end of the grace period, you will receive an email message warning you that your ID is set to expire in approximately one month, and weekly warnings thereafter.

This is the time to get serious about downloading files or mail you want to keep. You will lose the ability to access them once your ID expires. For Internet access, email, and Web site hosting, you should also establish an account with an alternate ISP if you haven't done so already.

Status: Expired Once your account expires, you will no longer be able to connect to CUNIX or access your personal web pages. If you were using LionMail before you graduated, you will be able to continue using LionMail. If you did not graduate, you can askĀ  CUIT to create an auto-reply telling others that your email address has changed.

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