Learn About University-Wide Purchasing Agreements (UwPA)

This page outlines the conditions and requirements for purchasing goods or services from UwPA suppliers, which includes enabled suppliers within the CU Marketplace in addition to other approved vendors.


University-wide Purchasing Agreements (UwPA) are competitively bid, negotiated contracts, with the goal of maximizing the University’s buying power. These agreements are put in place to make the purchasing process easier for schools and departments.

UwPA suppliers are suppliers that have been awarded a University contract based on a competitive or negotiated process managed by Central Purchasing. These suppliers maintain a “preferred” supplier status at Columbia, which affords the University community easier access to these suppliers through designated representatives and websites. All enabled suppliers in the CU Marketplace are also UwPA vendors and are only available in the CU Marketplace. 

Advantages of UwPAs

Purchasing from a UwPA supplier reduces the requirements that are needed when submitting your requisition.

  • No competitive bids required. The requisition only requires the UwPA vendor’s quote.
  • No Central Purchasing approvals required.
  • No Certificate of Insurance (COI) required.
  • No Single/Sole-Source Justification form required.
  • No dollar thresholds.

Visit the Goods and Services Catalog to find UwPA vendors by category. All enabled suppliers in the CU Marketplace are also UwPA vendors and only available in the CU Marketplace.

You can also view a current list of UwPA vendors.


To shop from a UwPA vendor that is an enabled supplier in the CU Marketplace, you must create a requisition in the CU Marketplace. All purchasing steps, including invoicing and approvals, will occur in the Marketplace. 

To complete a purchase from a non-Marketplace UwPA vendor, you must create a requisition in ARC, which will generate an auto-sourced purchase order dispatched to the supplier. Visit the page Create a Requisition to learn more about this process. 

To purchase from non-UwPA vendors, visit the Learn About Purchasing From Non-UwPA Suppliers page.


Take the web-based training Creating Requisitions and Managing Purchase Orders to learn more.

For additional assistance, consult the Creating Requisitions in ARC job aid for guidance on the steps and key considerations involved in creating a requisition (with or without a preferred UwPA supplier) in ARC.

University Policy

Please view Requisitions and Purchase Orders on our University Policies site for additional information.