Learn about University-Wide Purchasing Agreements (UwPA)

Learn about University-Wide Purchasing Agreements (UwPA) at Columbia University. 


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. 

Purchasing from a UwPA supplier reduces the requirements that are needed when submitting your requisition, including:

  • No competitive bids are required, as the requisition only requires the UwPA vendor’s quote.
  • The department issues the requisition, and it is auto sourced in ARC, meaning it bypasses Central Purchasing.
  • No Certificate of Insurance (COI) is required.
  • No Single/Sole Source Justification form is required.
  • There is no dollar threshold.

The use of preferred UwPA suppliers is strongly recommended at Columbia.

Please view the current list of UwPA vendors.


View the Purchasing Process Quick Guide (training guide) for guidance on the steps and key considerations involved in creating a requisition (with or without a preferred UwPA supplier) through ARC. 

Take the Purchasing Basics: Part I - Requisitions and Purchase Orders in ARC instructor-led course at the next available offering.

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