Academic Regulations

Points per Term

Every Columbia College student must complete 124 points of academic credit to earn the B.A. degree from Columbia College. To complete this number of credits over 8 semesters, students will need to complete an average of 15.5 credits per semester, which typically represents 4 to 5 academic courses per term. 

A full-time course load is defined as an academic program carrying 12-18 points per semester. 

All Columbia College students are required to be full-time students and must therefore be registered for a minimum of 12 points of credit per term.

  • Columbia College students are not permitted to enroll as part-time students, and any student who has not registered for at least 12 points of credit by the end of the Change of Program period may be withdrawn from Columbia College. 

  • Students in their final term who need fewer than 12 points of credit to complete their degree requirements may petition the Committee on Academic Standing to register for fewer than 12 points and should consult with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising. If they are approved to take fewer than 12 points of credit, they will still be considered full-time students of Columbia College and be responsible for all relevant tuition and fees.

  • Students may not enroll in more than 18 points of credit unless they petition the Committee on Points in the Berick Center for Student Advising and receive permission to do so. Students in their first semester at Columbia (i.e., first-year students and new transfer students in their first semester) may not petition to register for more than 18 points.

Attendance

Attendance in all class meetings, laboratory periods and other required events for a course is a basic expectation of all students enrolled in the course, whether or not attendance is noted as a requirement on a course syllabus.

Instructors may take attendance into account in assessing a student’s performance. In many courses, particularly those with a participation requirement, multiple absences could lead to a failing grade for the course, even before the conclusion of the semester. Students are accountable for absences that result from enrolling in a course after the semester begins. For related information about attendance, see Columbia University Policies—Religious Holidays.

Length of Candidacy

Students are expected to earn the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree at Columbia College in 8 Fall and Spring semesters.

Students may continue to take required coursework for the B.A. degree past the eighth semester only with permission from the Committee on Academic Standing, after first discussing such requests with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising. Study beyond the eighth term is granted only for students who have found themselves in emergent circumstances beyond their control which have prevented them from completing the degree in eight terms. Study beyond the eighth term is not granted for the purposes of changing or adding a major or concentration.

Regulations for Transfer Students

Regulations on Transfer Credit

In order to receive the Columbia College degree, transfer students must complete a minimum of 60 points while enrolled in the College (including credits earned on Columbia-sponsored study abroad programs). Transfer students may apply a maximum of 64 points taken elsewhere toward advanced standing at the College. Credit granted on the basis of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and other standardized examinations is counted toward the 64-point maximum, as are credits earned on study-abroad programs outside of Columbia. Credit is not granted for college courses taken while in high school.

Credit Toward the Degree and Core/Major Requirements

Transfer students receive credit for non-Columbia courses that are substantially similar to Columbia College courses only when the grades received are C- or better. Once a transfer student is admitted, a credit review is conducted by the Berick Center for Student Advising and a tentative credit evaluation is sent to the student. A final credit evaluation is conducted once the student has matriculated at Columbia College and has submitted a final official transcript for coursework taken elsewhere. Course descriptions and syllabi requested by Columbia College in order for certain courses to be considered for transfer credit and/or for certain courses to be considered for exemption to Columbia College requirements. Transfer students should consult with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising, where all appropriate approvals will be coordinated with the relevant academic departments.

Degree Completion

Transfer students are expected to complete the requirements for the B.A. degree in eight Fall and Spring semesters, including terms completed at other colleges or universities before entering Columbia. Transfer students cannot petition for extended time to complete the degree.

Some majors may be difficult for transfer students to complete due to the number of credits required, the specific course sequencing, and the number of terms remaining for transfer students to complete all Core and major requirements. There is no guarantee that a transfer student can complete every major and concentration offered, and all transfer students must declare a major or concentration that they are capable of completing in the time available to them while at Columbia College.

Study beyond the eighth term is not granted for the purposes of changing or adding a major or concentration. Therefore, transfer students should be especially careful when planning their academic schedules and are strongly urged to do so with the guidance of their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising and the relevant departmental Directors of Undergraduate Studies.

Progress Toward the Degree

At the end of each Fall and Spring semester, the Committee on Academic Standing reviews the records of all students enrolled in Columbia College to determine student standing, and to determine whether academic action is warranted—including academic warning, academic probation, suspension and dismissal.

Academic Probation

Students may be placed on academic probation for the following reasons:

  • completing fewer than the required minimum of 12 points of credit in a term;
  • earning a term or cumulative grade point average below 2.0;
  • failing a Core Curriculum class; or
  • failing to complete Literature Humanities, University Writing, or Frontiers of Science in their first year.

Students may also be placed on academic probation for failing to make satisfactory progress toward the degree (i.e., taking less than an average of 15.5 points per term).

Students are expected to complete their degrees in eight semesters. Students who do not make adequate progress toward the degree may be placed on academic probation. Adequate progress toward the degree is defined according to cumulative earned credits, as noted by the number of credits listed in the column of the chart below titled “Threshold for Academic Probation.”:

Semester Points for typical progress Threshold for academic probation
1 12 <12
2 31 <24
3 46 <38
4 62 <52
5 77 <70
6 93 <88
7 108 <106
8 124

Students may not appeal the actions of academic warning or academic probation.

The action of academic warning does not remain on a student’s record. The action of academic probation remains on a student’s record for internal use only. The status of Academic Probation is not noted on students’ transcripts.

Students who are on academic probation are not eligible to study abroad.

Students and parents/guardians are notified when students are placed on academic probation or suspension.The advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising provide support to help students who are on academic action return to good standing.

Academic Suspension/Dismissal

Students who fail to improve after being on academic probation, as well as students with extremely poor records during a single term, may be suspended and required to withdraw from Columbia College for at least one year. Conditions for readmission are specified at the time of suspension. If a student is readmitted after having been suspended and again fails to achieve satisfactory grades or to make normal progress toward the degree, the student may be dismissed from the College.

Students are notified by email and express mail of the actions of suspension or dismissal, and they will have a limited time in which to appeal the decision. The decision of the appeals committee is final.

The actions of academic suspension or academic dismissal remain on students’ records and are recorded on the students’ transcripts. Parents and/or guardians are notified when students are suspended or dismissed for academic reasons.

International students with F-1 or J-1 status are not allowed to remain in the United States while suspended or dismissed from the University. Any international student who is dismissed or suspended should immediately contact the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) to discuss available options.

Examinations

Midterm Examinations

Midterm examinations are given during the course of each term.

Midterm examinations are scheduled by each instructor, based on the pedagogical structure of a course. Therefore, while many midterm exams may be scheduled around the mid-point of a term (e.g., late October or mid-March), midterm exams may also fall earlier or later in the term, and a course may require multiple exams during the course of the semester. Students should consult the syllabus of each course in which they are registered for the schedule of required midterm exams.

Final Examinations

Final examinations are given at the end of each term. 

Exams are scheduled according to a University-wide Final Exam Schedule available shortly after midterms. The definitive schedule of final examinations is usually available in early November for the Fall term and early April for the Spring term. Prior to its availability, students and faculty should consult the Projected Exam Schedule. Students may access their individual exam schedule in SSOL by clicking on "Schedule," then "My Exam Schedule."

Students who have trouble locating a class on either the University-wide Final Exam Schedule or on their individual SSOL exam schedule should contact the instructor to make sure the class has an exam.

Rescheduling Exams

Under certain rare circumstances, it may be necessary for an instructor to reschedule a final exam. Any change to the day or time assigned by the Master University Examination Schedule must be agreed upon by the instructor and the students enrolled in the class. All students unable to take the exam at the new agreed-upon time must be given a make-up exam at a time that they are able to attend.

Examinations will not be rescheduled in order to accommodate students’ travel plans. Students should not make travel plans for holidays or breaks until they are certain that they will be present for all required exams.

Student Examination Conflicts

Students may request a change of schedule for a final exam under either of the following two circumstances:

1.      if a student is enrolled in two or more classes whose final exams are scheduled by the Master University Examination Schedule to be held at the same time;

2.      if a student has three exams scheduled on any given calendar day (i.e., between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on the same calendar date).

Students in either circumstance should meet with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising as soon as possible after the final exam schedule is published in order to initiate the process for arranging a make-up exam.

Failure to Complete a Final Exam

If a student does not take a final exam, or begins but does not complete a final exam, a grade of zero or F may be factored for that portion of the final grade. Make-up examinations are not guaranteed for any student who does not take or does not finish a final exam.

Incompletes

Students facing medical, personal, or family emergencies at the time of a final exam or at the due date of a final paper or project may petition the Committee on Academic Standing for permission to complete the final exam, paper, or project at a later date. Students will receive a temporary mark of IN (Incomplete) until the work is completed. For more information, see the Grades section of this Bulletin.

Grades

Columbia College uses the following system of grading: A, excellent; B, good; C, fair; D, poor but passing; F, failure (a final grade, not subject to reexamination). The grades of A, B, and C may be modified by a plus or minus. Pass (P) is awarded when students receive a C- or higher in a course which they have elected to take on a Pass/D/Fail basis, or when they have passed a course that is offered only on a Pass/Fail basis.

The Committee on Instruction of Columbia College has instructed the Registrar to calculate a cumulative grade point average for external purposes, such as official transcripts. The Registrar also calculates term and cumulative grade point averages for internal purposes, such as determining eligibility for the Dean’s List.

When the Registrar computes a student’s Columbia College grade point average, only grades earned while enrolled in Columbia College in the Fall and Spring terms (including Columbia-owned study abroad programs), and in the Columbia School of Professional Studies in the Summer Sessions, are counted. Courses are weighted according to the number of credits.

The following scale is used:

Grade GPA Equivalent
A+ 4.33
A 4.0
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.0
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.0
C- 1.67
D 1.0
F 0

The Pass/D/Fail Option

The purposes of the Pass/D/Fail option are to encourage students to take courses of interest to them outside of their field of specialization and to permit those who have not decided upon a major to test their talents in a particular field that may be of interest. Instructors are not informed if a student in their classes elect to use the Pass/D/Fail option.  Students who wish to utilize the Pass/D/Fail option can do so in Student Services Online (SSOL).

In order to encourage students to engage more fully in the courses they elect to take for a grade of Pass/D/Fail, students are allowed to uncover a grade of Pass in SSOL until the end of the Change of Program period of the following semester. Students have until the end of the Change of Program period in the Spring semester to uncover the grade of a course taken in the previous Fall term, and until the end of the change of program period in the Fall semester to uncover the grade of a course taken in the previous Spring or Summer term. Seniors who graduate in May have until June 1 to uncover the grade of a course taken in their final Spring semester. Students who wish to uncover a grade of Pass can do so in Student Services Online (SSOL).

The grade of Pass is not included in the calculation of grade point averages; the grades of D and Fail are included in the calculation of grade point averages.

The Pass/D/Fail option cannot be utilized for courses taken in fulfillment of the Core Curriculum or, for the most part, for courses taken in fulfillment of a major or a concentration.

The Grade of D

As noted above, the grade of D is considered “poor but passing.” Therefore, no more than six points of credit earned with the grade of D may be credited toward the degree in any academic year, and no more than a cumulative total of 12 points of credit earned with the grade of D may be credited toward the 124 credits required for the degree credit.  These credits will be given only for courses taken at Columbia; transfer credit will not be awarded for courses taken elsewhere with a grade of D. The decision as to whether or not a D may be used to satisfy the requirements for a major or concentration is made in each relevant academic department. In any given semester, the grade of D precludes the attainment of Dean’s List status (see Academic Honors, Prizes, and Fellowships—Dean's List).

The Mark of W (Withdrawal)

Students may drop a course from their academic programs by the fifth week of the semester, as long as they keep a program that carries a minimum of 12 points of credit. After the fifth week of the term and until the tenth week of the term, if a student has a compelling reason to stop taking a course, the student can withdraw from the course. 

If a student withdraws from a course, the transcript will show a mark of W, indicating official withdrawal from that course after the drop deadline. This notation is permanent and will remain on the transcript even if the student repeats the course. No points of academic credit are earned for classes in which they receive the mark of W. In any given semester, the mark of W precludes the attainment of Dean’s List status (see Academic Honors, Prizes, and Fellowships—Dean's List).

When considering the option to withdraw from a course, students should be aware that, in order to remain in good academic standing, they must successfully complete no fewer than 12 points in a given term. Students who do not earn at least 12 points per term will face academic action, such as academic probation, suspension, or dismissal. Students who do not make adequate progress toward the degree (an average of 15.5 points per term) may also face academic probation, suspension, or dismissal.

To withdraw from a class, students must first meet with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising, 403 Lerner, to discuss their plans and then submit a Columbia College Acknowledgment of Course Withdrawal form to their advising deans. A withdrawal will be official only after these steps are taken; failure to attend classes does not constitute dropping or withdrawing from a course, nor does a communication to the instructor. Students who stop attending classes without dropping or officially withdrawing are assigned the letter grade earned by factoring a zero or F for any missing work.

The Mark of AR (Administrative Referral)

The AR is a temporary notation for the transcript when an instructor needs additional time and/or additional consultation in order to determine a student’s final grade for a course. The submission of an AR grade will alert the appropriate advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising, who will consult  with the instructor to help determine what final grade is appropriate. The course instructor has ultimate authority over the final grade awarded.

The AR notation is also used while a student applies for an Incomplete. If the Incomplete is approved, the instructor will submit a mark of AR for the student, which will subsequently be altered to an IN by the Berick Center for Student Advising.  

The Mark of IN (Incomplete)

The IN is a temporary notation for the transcript approved by the Committee on Academic Standing for students who, due to serious extenuating circumstances, cannot complete their coursework or are unable to take a final examination by the end of the term. An IN is typically granted only in cases of severe illness (as certified by a healthcare practitioner or by Columbia Health) or extreme personal or family emergencies.

Students will be granted an IN only by first speaking with their advising deans and then filing a petition with the Committee on Academic Standing. Petition forms are available in the Berick Center for Student Advising. For classes that require a final paper or project, petitions must be submitted no later than the last day of classes. For classes that require a final examination, petitions must be submitted no later than the day before the exam. 

To be granted an IN, students should have completed all work for the relevant class with the exception of the final paper, project or exam. If a student has additional uncompleted work in the class in addition to the final paper, project, or exam, an IN will not be granted.

Students may not arrange unofficial incompletes or extended deadlines simply through consultation with their instructors; any incomplete must be officially approved by the Committee on Academic Standing. If an instructor is willing to entertain an incomplete, pending approval by the Committee on Academic Standing, the instructor should submit an AR, along with a contingency grade that represents the grade that the student should be given at the time of submission--i.e., the grade that would be earned based solely on work completed at the time of submission, assuming no further work were to be completed during the period allotted by the incomplete.

Students who are granted an IN are assigned a deadline for completion of the incomplete paper or project or a date by which a deferred examination must be taken. Those who fail to meet the assigned deadline or who miss the deferred examination will receive the contingency grade indicated by the instructor. All other marks of IN that remain unresolved by the end of one calendar year will be converted to the contingency grade. Questions about incompletes may be directed to the advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising.

Students who receive the grade of IN, approved in advance by the Committee on Academic Standing, may be considered for Dean’s List only after all IN grades are changed to letter grades (see Academic Honors, Prizes, and Fellowships—Dean's List).

The Mark of R (Registration Credit)

An R indicates regular attendance and participation in a course without the submission of work for evaluation (i.e., auditing a course). The R credit option is available only to Columbia College seniors.

Students who take a course for R credit must have the permission of both the instructor and the Committee on Academic Standing in the Berick Center for Student Advising. No point credit is given for R credit, and an R has no role in the calculation of a student's GPA. The deadline for registering for R credit is the same deadline to elect the Pass/D/Fail option for a class, as specified on the Academic Calendar in this Bulletin. Registering for R credit is allowed only when:

  1. the courses are taken in the last two terms of the student’s attendance in Columbia College;
  2. the courses are not used to fulfill a requirement for the B.A. degree;
  3. the credit for courses for R credit will be in excess of the 124 points required for the B.A. degree; and
  4. the student has the permission of the Committee on Academic Standing and the instructor.
 

Students may be required to complete certain work for R credit as specified by that instructor. The exact nature of the work should be determined by the instructor when the student petitions for an R for the course. An instructor may fail a student who has not completed the assigned work. 

The Mark of YC (Year Course)

The YC is a notation given at the end of the first term of a year-long course in which the full year’s work must be completed before a qualitative grade can be assigned. The YC notation for the first term must be approved by the Berick Center for Student Advising, so the instructor will submit a notation of AR[YC], which will be converted to a YC upon request by the instructor. The final grade given at the end of the second term of the year-long course is the grade for the entire course; therefore, when the final grade is assigned at the end of the second term, the YC for the first term of the course will be replaced by the same grade. In any given semester, the mark of YC precludes the attainment of Dean's List status until the grade for the entire year's coursework is awarded (see Academic Honors, Prizes, and Fellowships—Dean's List).

Report of Grades

Grades are available to view on Student Services Online (SSOL) on the first business day after they are submitted by the instructor. Paper and electronic transcripts may be ordered by currently enrolled students via SSOL. Students who find discrepancies in, or have questions about their records should contact their academic advisor.

Language Placement Examinations

Students who wish to begin language studies at a level above “Elementary I” (or its equivalent) should plan to take a placement exam in the relevant Columbia language program. Most placement exams take place during the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP), and exact times and dates of exams will be provided to students shortly before NSOP begins. Returning students who wish to take a placement exam but who are not participating in NSOP should contact the relevant Columbia departments before the beginning of each term to inquire about other placement exam options.

First-year students can also be placed into upper levels of French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, or Spanish on the basis of scores on SAT II: Subject Tests or Advanced Placement examinations. Students with scores on these exams should consult their advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising and should ensure that the scores have been sent through official channels to Columbia College.

 

Advanced Standing

All entering first-year students are subject to the rules for first-year students, regardless of any credits they have earned before matriculation at Columbia College through approved advanced standing programs.

The College grants credit for up to one semester (16 points) of college-level work completed before matriculation at Columbia College. This work may be done under the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Program, GCE Advanced Level Examinations, International Baccalaureate Examination, or other national systems.

Advanced credit is awarded upon completion of the first year at Columbia, and is determined in accordance with College and departmental policies. Students wishing to arrange such credit must meet with their advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising and provide the relevant transcript/certificate.

Entering first-year students are not granted credit for courses taken at other colleges or universities before their graduation from secondary school. Students may receive a maximum of 6 points of credit for college courses taken after graduation from secondary school and prior to matriculation at Columbia. In order to receive this credit, students must submit an official university or college transcript and the syllabus for each relevant course taken elsewhere to their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising. Final determination will be made by the dean of advising.

Students who wish to receive advanced credit or exemption for the language requirement may not take courses at Columbia that cover similar or more basic material than the advanced work already completed. Nor may students receive credit for two exams that cover the same material (e.g., Calculus AP and Mathematics GCE Advanced Level Exam). In some cases, credit is awarded only when students successfully complete a higher-level course in the same field of study.

For information about advanced standing for transfer students, see Academic Regulations—Regulations for Transfer Students.

Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations

Students can earn a maximum of 16 points of credit earned through college-level coursework taken as part of a high school curriculum prior to matriculation at Columbia.

Each year, individual departments review the College Board AP curriculum and determine appropriate placements, credit, and/or exemptions.

Students entering in the 2021–2022 academic year may be awarded AP credit for the following subjects and should refer to the relevant department sections in this Bulletin for specific information on credit granted, placement, and exemptions:

Subject Department
Biology Biological Sciences
Chemistry Chemistry
Computer Science Computer Science
Economics Economics
English English and Comparative Literature
French French and Romance Philology
German German Languages
Government and Politics Political Science
History History
Italian Italian
Latin Classics
Mathematics Mathematics
Physics Physics
Psychology Psychology
Spanish Latin American and Iberian Cultures
Statistics Statistics

College Board Advanced Placement (AP) scores cannot be used toward exemption from any of the shared Core Curriculum courses, the Global Core Requirement, or the Science Requirement. AP scores may be used toward satisfying the Foreign Language Requirement (see The Core Curriculum—Foreign Language Requirement). Students who wish to receive advanced credit or exemption for the language requirement may not take courses at Columbia that cover similar or more basic material than the advanced work already completed. For further information, students should consult with their advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising.

International Baccalaureate

Students can earn a maximum of 16 points of credit earned through college-level coursework taken as part of an International Baccalaureate (IB) high school curriculum prior to matriculation at Columbia.

Entering students are granted six points of credit for each score of six or seven in IB Higher Level examinations, if taken in disciplines offered as undergraduate programs at Columbia College.

IB scores cannot be used toward exemption from any of the shared Core Curriculum courses, the Global Core Requirement, or the Science Requirement. IB scores may be used toward satisfying the Foreign Language Requirement (see The Core Curriculum—Foreign Language Requirement).

Students who wish to receive advanced credit or exemption for the language requirement may not take courses at Columbia that cover similar or more basic material than the advanced work already completed. For further information, students should consult with their advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising.

British Advanced Level Examinations

Students can earn a maximum of 16 points of credit earned through college-level coursework taken as part of a British Advanced Level (A-Levels) high school curriculum prior to matriculation at Columbia.

Entering students are granted six points of credit for each grade of A or B on A-Levels examinations, if taken in disciplines offered as undergraduate programs at Columbia College.

A-Levels scores cannot be used toward exemption from any of the shared Core Curriculum courses, the Global Core Requirement, or the Science Requirement. A-Levels scores may be used toward satisfying the Foreign Language Requirement (see The Core Curriculum—Foreign Language Requirement). Students who wish to receive advanced credit or exemption for the language requirement may not take courses at Columbia that cover similar or more basic material than the advanced work already completed. For further information, students should consult with their advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising.

 

Other National Systems

Students can earn a maximum of 16 points of credit earned through college-level coursework taken as part of a high school curriculum prior to matriculation at Columbia.

Pending review by the appropriate academic department at Columbia, students who complete secondary school work in other national systems may be granted credit in certain disciplines for sufficiently high scores. For further information, students should consult with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising.

Courses Taken in Other Columbia Undergraduate Schools

Columbia College students may take any course for credit listed in this Bulletin or in the course catalogues of Barnard College and the School of General Studies without any special approval for enrollment, unless so indicated in the descriptions of the relevant course, department and/or program.

Columbia College students may take a maximum of four courses for credit offered by the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science on a space-available basis. This four-course limit does not apply to courses offered by the Computer Science Department, nor does it apply to students in the 3-2 Combined Plan program

Courses Taken in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Columbia College students may take courses offered by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences if they receive the permission of the instructor of the course, as well as the director of undergraduate studies in the department in which the course is taught. Students will typically be required to have previous coursework in the field or topic of the courses.

If students enrolled in graduate-level courses wish to use the courses to fulfill requirements for a major or concentration, they must receive permission from the director of undergraduate studies in the department of their major or concentration.

Courses Taken in Other Divisions of the University

Columbia College students may take a maximum of four courses for credit in the professional schools at Columbia University listed below, with permission. These courses will count as elective credit toward the 124 points necessary for the B.A. degree.

Columbia College students may also take courses in the professional schools at Columbia University listed below for credit that goes beyond the 124 points necessary for the B.A. degree, if they receive permission to do so from their advising deans from the Berick Center for Student Advising.

Columbia College students enrolled in courses in these professional schools must follow the policies established by those schools; they must have the permission of the instructor of the course to enroll; and, in some instances, they must have the permission of the school in which the course is offered.

Following is a list of schools and programs that allow undergraduates to register for courses, with their policies regarding the enrollment of Columbia College students. Students who wish to take a course in a Columbia school not listed below should first consult with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising.

Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Qualified Columbia College students may enroll in seminars and lectures offered by the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) on a space-available basis. Columbia College students are not permitted to enroll in any studio courses in GSAPP. Please see: https://www.arch.columbia.edu/cross-registration.

Columbia University School of the Arts

Qualified Columbia College students may enroll  in graduate courses offered by the School of the Arts on a space-available basis.

Columbia Business School

The Business School offers courses that are designed specifically for undergraduates, which are listed in the section of this Bulletin titled Departments, Programs, and Courses—Business. Columbia College seniors may be able to take other Business School courses on a space-available basis if they have completed the required prerequisites. These courses do not count towards the limit of four professional school courses that can be taken for credit towards the Columbia College degree.

Students must follow the cross-registration guidelines of the Business School. Please note that registration deadlines for these classes are often earlier than the College registration and Change of Program deadlines.

Columbia University School of Professional Studies

Columbia College students are not permitted to enroll during the academic year—i.e., Fall and Spring terms—in courses offered through the School of Professional Studies, unless those courses have been approved by the Committee on Instruction

The School of Professional Studies (SPS) is responsible for the Summer Session at Columbia University. For information on taking courses at Columbia during the summer, please see the Summer Study section. Please note that not all summer courses offered by SPS in Summer Session will count towards the 124 credits required for the B.A. Students interested in summer courses offered by the SPS should consult with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising before completing their enrollment.

Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

The School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) offers Open Enrollment Courses to all Columbia students on a space-available basis. Students interested in registering for a SIPA Open Enrollment Course at the 6000-level or above must receive instructor permission and then should complete and submit, along with documentation indicating instructor permission, a SIPA registration request form to the SIPA Registration office on the 6th floor of the International Affairs Building. If the class is not full, approval will be granted.

Columbia University School of Journalism

Columbia College students may enroll in certain courses offered by the School of Journalism on a space-available basis. Students must have signed permission from the School of Journalism's Office of the Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, Pulitzer Hall.

Columbia Law School

In general, Columbia College students are not permitted to enroll in courses offered through the Law School. Exceptions to this policy may be granted under the following circumstances:

  1. Law School courses may be taken by students in the Accelerated Interdisciplinary Legal Education (AILE) program. Students must have signed permission from the Law School Office of the Assistant Dean of Academic Services, 500 William and June Warren Hall.
  2. Faculty in the Law School sometimes open a small number of spaces in their seminars to Columbia College seniors, to be selected through an application process. Such opportunities will be shared with students as they become available.

Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

The Mailman School of Public Health offers courses designed for undergraduates through the Special Concentration in Public Health. Qualified Columbia College students may enroll in other courses offered by the Mailman School of Public Health on a space-available basis with the permission of the relevant Mailman department. Students must complete the Public Health Cross Registration Application Form and receive signed permission from the department, as well as from the School of Public Health's Office of Student Affairs, 722 West 168 Street, Suite 1014. Once School of Public Health permissions are secured, students must also receive signed permission from the Berick Center for Student Advising, 403 Lerner, before proceeding to register for the course at the Registrar's Office, 205 Kent.

Columbia University School of Social Work

Columbia College students may enroll in courses offered by the School of Social Work on a space-available basis.

Teachers College, Columbia University

In general, Columbia College students may not enroll in courses offered by Teachers College. Exceptions to this policy may be granted under the following circumstances:

  1. In rare instances, a student’s faculty adviser may deem a course offered by Teachers College as essential to the student’s undergraduate major or concentration. Students with such permission from their faculty adviser should submit a petition to Larry Jackson, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Core Curriculum, and Undergraduate Programs of Columbia College, 202 Hamilton.
  2. In certain instances, instrumental music instruction in a particular instrument may be available at Teachers College and not through the Music Department. If students are accepted into the music instruction program at Teachers College, they will be charged per credit for the course over and above their Columbia tuition. Students should submit a petition to Andrew Plaa, Dean of Advising in the Berick Center for Student Advising, 403 Lerner.

Summer Study

Columbia Summer 

The Columbia University School of Professional Studies (SPS) is responsible for Columbia Summer, and students who enroll in summer courses offered by SPS are subject to the policies and procedures of SPS, which may differ from the policies and procedures that govern their undergraduate coursework in Fall and Spring semesters. Columbia College students interested in summer coursework should consult their advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising for information on the different policies and procedures governing Columbia Summer.

Not all courses offered in the Summer Session are accepted by Columbia College for credit. Students should also consult the annually updated List of Approved Summer Courses.

Normally, Columbia College students may earn credit toward the B.A. through summer coursework only for courses taken in the Columbia Summer. Columbia College students may enroll in a maximum of 8 points of credit in any Columbia Summer session (or in overlapping sessions), and may earn a maximum of 16 credits in any Columbia Summer term.

Columbia College students enrolled in coursework in Columbia Summer may utilize the Pass/D/Fail option only under the following circumstances:

  • Columbia College students may utilize the Pass/D/Fail option a maximum of twice during a year that spans Fall, Spring, and Summer. Students have the opportunity to use the Pass/D/Fail option one time during the Fall semester and one time during the Spring semester. 

  • Students who have not utilized one or both of these Pass/D/Fail option(s) in the previous academic year may elect, in the summer immediately following, to take one course in a Summer session on a Pass/D/Fail basis.

  • For additional information on and restrictions governing Pass/D/Fail credit, see the Academic Regulations—Exams and Grades section of this Bulletin.

Students who wish for summer coursework to count toward their major or concentration should receive permission from the director of undergraduate studies of their major department. 

Summer Study Outside Columbia University

In general, Columbia College students may not take courses toward the B.A. degree during the summer at another college or university outside Columbia University except in the case of approved study abroad programs.

In some circumstances, permission may be granted to students to take courses in the summer toward the B.A. during the summer at another college or university. Those circumstances include the following:

  • A student has fallen behind in credits and wishes to catch up on coursework in order to make adequate progress toward the degree in the expected 8 semesters.
  • A student wishes to take a course that is a prerequisite for a course that should be taken in the following fall for the student’s major or concentration.
  • A student wishes to take a language course toward the Foreign Language requirement. Students should note that introductory and intermediate language courses are only approved pending the successful completion of the departmental placement test into the next higher level language course. Students are responsible for arranging departmental testing upon return to campus in the Fall. If students do not place into the next level of the language course, credit will not be granted. Students who elect to discontinue study of the language or do not take the relevant departmental placement test will not be granted credit for the summer courses taken.

Students who wish to take summer coursework in one of the above categories should discuss their study plans with their advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising. Students should then go through the following steps for approval for summer coursework taken elsewhere:

  1. Obtain a copy of Columbia College's Pre-Approval for a Course Taken at Another U.S. Institution form, available in the Berick Center for Student Advising, 403 Lerner.
  2. Carefully read the following procedures to apply for such credit. 
  3. Complete the approval request form, outlining their reasons for taking summer courses and listing the specific courses in which they wish to enroll. 
  4. Submit the completed approval request form to the advising dean.

Once submitted to students' advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising, the Committee on Academic Standing reviews requests for approval.  Students should secure pre-approval prior to enrolling in courses at other institutions, to avoid the loss of time and expense of enrolling in a course that is ultimately not approved.

Students may not receive credits for study abroad during the summer except in Columbia-sponsored programs or approved foreign-language, archaeology, and field-studies programs. Students seeking summer study abroad credits must receive permission from the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement, 606 Kent.

Students applying for summer school credit for courses that they wish to use in partial fulfillment of the science or Global Core requirements must submit the relevant course approval petition to their advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising for approval by the appropriate faculty committee, prior to taking the course. Note that students can only petition to have non-Columbia study abroad courses count towards fulfilling the Global Core requirement. Approval to receive College credit for summer school courses does not ensure approval of the course to fulfill one of these requirements.

 

Study Outside Columbia University in the Academic Year

In general, Columbia College students may not take courses for credit toward the B.A. degree at another college or university during the academic year (i.e., Fall and/or Spring). Permission to study at another school for a term or a year is granted only for study at institutions outside of the United States, as part of an approved study abroad program, or for study through one of the established domestic study-away programs. Exceptions may be granted for study during the summer. See the Summer Study section for more information.

Students who matriculate into degree programs at other institutions will not be eligible to continue study at Columbia. Columbia College students who matriculate at another post-secondary institution and/or are considered a degree-seeking student at a college or university other than Columbia College will be withdrawn from Columbia with no opportunity to return and complete the Columbia College degree.

 

Leaves of Absence and Withdrawals from Columbia College

Students can request a leave of absence prior to the start of a term or during the term. When a student takes a leave of absence during a term, this action is also considered a withdrawal, defined as the dropping of one’s entire academic program in a given term after the first day of classes of the term and, as a result, withdrawing from Columbia College. 

Withdrawing from Columbia College after the start of the semester can have implications for financial aid, and students are strongly advised to talk with their advising deans and with the Office of Financial Aid about any financial consequences of a necessary withdrawal. Any student withdrawing from Columbia College must notify the Berick Center for Student Advising in writing; it is not sufficient for a withdrawal to notify instructors of plans to withdraw or to stop attending classes. Absence from classes without officially withdrawing from Columbia College can result in failing grades in all courses.

Voluntary Medical Leave of Absence

A medical leave is granted to a student whose health condition interferes with successful full-time study. A leave can be granted for a minimum of one term and a maximum of two years.

Unless a student is granted an exception due to extenuating circumstances, a student will be permanently withdrawn after the maximum time period of two years. 

Students must consult with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising to initiate a leave, and then provide medical documentation to support the request. Medical leaves must be accompanied by an individualized assessment of students' individual healthcare needs.

While on leave, students must be actively engaged in a course of medical treatment that leads to recovery. In addition, students are required to continue to access their Columbia email, which is the official means of communication by the University.

When applying for readmission to Columbia College, students must provide medical documentation supporting their readmission. Normally, students may only return in the Fall or Spring term. Only in rare circumstances will students be readmitted from medical leave to enroll in courses for the Columbia Summer Session.

All questions about medical leaves should be addressed to the students' advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising

Academic Standing and Transcript Notations

Students who take a leave while in good academic standing will return in good academic standing; students who take a leave while on academic action will return on academic action. When a leave begins when a term is already in session, the student’s transcript will reflect the action of withdrawal and the date of withdrawal for the semester in question. If the date of withdrawal for a medical leave is on or before the Columbia College withdrawal deadline (noted on the academic calendar), the student’s transcript will not reflect the individual courses attempted during the term. If the date of withdrawal for a leave begins after the Columbia College withdrawal deadline, individual courses will remain on the transcript.

Ordinarily, Columbia College students who are authorized to withdraw for medical reasons after the withdrawal deadline will receive a mark of W for each of their courses for the term. These notations indicate an authorized withdrawal from the courses. In rare cases, when a student must leave for medical reasons beyond the relevant deadline, a student and advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising can work together with the faculty to determine whether an Incomplete would be a more appropriate notation on the transcript. In order to be eligible for an Incomplete, the student must have completed all work for the course except the final paper, exam, or project. The student must also obtain the approval of the relevant advising dean(s) in the Berick Center for Student Advising as well as the appropriate faculty member(s). Students should consult with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising for more details.

Students who have been approved for authorized Incompletes in the last semester before their medical leave must complete the work of each course upon their return to campus by the end of the Change of Program period. If the work is not completed by the end of the Change of Program period of the term in which the student returns, the grade may convert to the contingency grade or to an F.  Due dates for incomplete work should be determined in consultation with the advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising upon notification of readmission.

When students begin a leave after the Columbia College withdrawal deadline, they should be aware of the points of credit necessary to remain in good academic standing in future semesters. Students should keep in mind that Columbia College students should complete an average of 15.5 points per term to remain in good academic standing. Students should consult with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising to learn whether or not they will fall below the low points threshold (see section on Academic Standing) established for Columbia College students and, if so, work with their advising deans and departments to create a reasonable academic plan to ensure the timely completion of their degree.

Students are not permitted to earn transferable credits toward the degree while on medical leave from the University, as the purpose of the leave is to regain full health in order to return and resume full-time study. In some cases, healthcare practitioners may recommend that students take courses at home institutions as part of the recovery process. It is recommended that students follow the advice of their healthcare practitioners; however, they should make their decisions knowing that coursework taken elsewhere while on medical leave will not be transferred back to Columbia to count towards their degree.

If a student matriculates at another institution in a degree program while on leave from Columbia, the student will be considered to have transferred to another institution and will be permanently withdrawn from Columbia College.

Readmission from Medical Leave of Absence

Students must complete all parts of the following readmission procedures by the following deadlines:

  • Fall term readmission – June 1
  • Spring term readmission – November 1
  • Summer term readmission – not permitted

In order to begin the readmission process, students must first discuss their plans with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising and then submit the following letters to their advising deans by email or fax:

  1. Request for readmission: This letter should review the circumstances that led to the leave, describe in detail any activities pursued while away, explain why studies can now be successfully resumed, and outline a plan for continued support. The letter should also indicate whether or not campus housing will be required.
  2. Letter from medical practitioner supporting readmission: This letter should describe the treatment prescribed for the student and progress made by the student, provide an evaluation of the student’s readiness to return to full-time study at Columbia, and outline the recommended continued care plan upon readmission.

The Medical Leave Readmission Committee is comprised of representatives of Columbia Health, the Berick Center for Student Advising, and other key offices of the College and the University. It meets in June and November to consider readmission requests for the Fall and Spring terms, respectively. Committee review is not guaranteed if documentation is submitted after the stated deadlines. Students will receive notification regarding one of the following three outcomes of the committee’s assessment of readmission requests:

  1. Applicants are approved for an interview by a Columbia Health practitioner for an interview. Pending the results of the interview, a student may be officially readmitted or denied readmission and will be notified of a decision by the Berick Center for Student Advising by letter and email.
  2. Additional information is requested.
  3. Readmission is denied. Students may reapply the following semester for readmission.

Once officially readmitted, students will be provided an online registration appointment in order to enroll for the coming term. Normally, students will be able to register in late August for the Fall and in mid-January for the Spring term. In addition, students who are guaranteed housing upon readmission may submit a housing application by following the instructions in their readmission letter. Students on leave cannot participate in housing lotteries before being formally readmitted.

Students must address all financial or other obligations to the University that may still be outstanding from the beginning of their leave. If holds have been placed on their account, these holds must be cleared before they can enroll in classes or move into housing. If, after being readmitted for the following semester, a student cannot register by the end of the Change of Program period of that semester, then the student will be placed on another leave of absence.

Students are urged to meet with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising and, if they live in campus housing, a Residential Life staff member, during the first two weeks of their return to campus, to ensure a smooth transition back to the campus community.

Voluntary Personal Leave of Absence (nonmedical)

A voluntary leave of absence may be granted by the Committee on Academic Standing to undergraduate students who request a temporary withdrawal from Columbia College for a nonmedical reason during the semester. Students do not need to petition the Committee on Academic Standing if they request a voluntary leave of absence prior to the start of the semester. Students considering a voluntary leave must discuss this option in advance with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising.

Voluntary leaves are granted for a period of one to four semesters. Students must be in good academic standing at the time of the leave, and must be able to complete their degree in a total of eight semesters.

When a leave begins after a term is in session, the student’s transcript will reflect the action of withdrawal and the date of withdrawal. If the date of withdrawal for a personal leave is on or before the Columbia College withdrawal deadline (noted on the academic calendar), the student’s transcript will not reflect the individual courses attempted during the term. 

Normally, if a voluntary leave of absence begins after the Columbia College withdrawal deadline, the student’s transcript will include all courses attempted, with each course receiving a mark of W (indicating authorized withdrawal). In certain circumstances, a student may qualify for an Incomplete for a course, and the remaining work for the course would have to be completed by the end of the Change of Program period of the semester in which the student returns to Columbia. If the Incomplete is not completed by that time, the contingency grade or a W will be inserted as the final grade.

Students may not take courses for transferable credit while on leave. If a student matriculates at another institution in a degree program while on leave from Columbia, the student will be considered to have transferred to another institution and will be permanently withdrawn from Columbia College. Students who choose to take voluntary leaves are not guaranteed housing upon return to the University. International students should contact the International Students and Scholars Office to ensure that a leave will not jeopardize their ability to return to Columbia College.

To return to Columbia College, students must notify the Berick Center of Student Advising by June 1 for the Fall term or November 1 for the Spring term. Students must request readmission in writing and submit a statement describing their readiness to return.

Family Emergency Leave of Absence

Columbia College students who must leave the university for urgent family reasons that necessitate a semester-long absence (e.g., family death or serious illness in the family) may request an emergency family leave of absence. Documentation of the serious nature of the emergency must be provided. Students must request an emergency family leave of absence from their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising.

When an emergency family leave begins after a term is in session, the student’s transcript will reflect the action of withdrawal and the date of withdrawal. If the date of withdrawal for an emergency family leave of absence is on or before the Columbia College withdrawal deadline (noted on the academic calendar), the student’s transcript will not reflect the individual courses attempted during the term. Normally, if an emergency family leave begins after the Columbia College withdrawal deadline, the student’s transcript will include all courses attempted, with each course receiving a mark of W (indicating authorized withdrawal). In certain circumstances, a student may qualify for an Incomplete for a course, and the remaining work for the course would have to be completed by the end of the Change of Program period of the semester in which the student returns to Columbia. If the Incomplete is not completed by that time, the contingency grade or a W will be inserted as the final grade.

To return to Columbia College, students must notify the Berick Center of Student Advising by June 1 for the Fall term or November 1 for the Spring term. Students must request readmission in writing and submit a statement describing their readiness to return. Once readmission is granted, housing will be guaranteed.

Failure to Graduate

Students who fail to graduate and who have been withdrawn from the College must apply for readmission within a two-year period in order to have an opportunity to complete the degree. If they do not complete their degree within two years, then they may be permanently withdrawn. To apply for readmission, students must have successfully completed no fewer than 90 points of academic credit and earned a GPA of no less than 2.0. Students must fulfill the degree and major or concentration requirements in place at the point of original matriculation. Readmission will be predicated upon the assessment of the student's ability to successfully complete the degree within one calendar year. Inquiries regarding readmission should be directed to the Berick Center for Student Advising

Readmission

In general, students seeking readmission to Columbia College must submit evidence that they have achieved the purposes for which they left. Consequently, specific readmission procedures are determined by the reasons for the withdrawal. Policy statements outlining the readmission procedures for voluntary or medical leaves of absences are available in the Berick Center for Student Advising. Students should consult their advising deans for further information.

Students applying for readmission should complete all parts of the appropriate readmission procedures by June 1 for the Fall term or November 1 for the Spring term. Once an international student with F-1 or J-1 status is readmitted, the student should contact the International Students and Scholars Office to obtain a new visa certificate (form I-20 or form DS-2019).

Students may not take courses for transferable credit while on leave. If a student matriculates at another institution in a degree program while on leave from Columbia, the student will be considered to have transferred to another institution and will be permanently withdrawn from Columbia College.

Degree Requirements

The faculty Committee on Instruction of Columbia College reviews Columbia College degree requirements and curricular matters each year. This Bulletin reflects all faculty recommendations and curricular changes in its annual publication.

Columbia College policy requires students to fulfill the general degree requirements (i.e., all degree requirements besides the major or concentration) that are stated in the Bulletin of the first year of their matriculation at Columbia College, and to fulfill the major or concentration requirements that are stated in the Bulletin at the time that students declare their major or concentration (typically in the second year of study).

Modification of Requirements

The requirements for the degree may be modified or waived in individual and rare cases only with the approval of the Dean of Academic Affairs of Columbia College, acting on behalf of the faculty Committee on Instruction of Columbia College. Students wishing to petition for a modification of degree requirements should discuss their requests with their advising deans in the Berick Center for Student Advising.

The Columbia College Committee on Academic Standing

The Columbia College Committee on Academic Standing implements academic policies and regulations for Columbia College students as set forth by the faculty Committee on Instruction, the University Senate, or the faculty as a whole. The Committee on Academic Standing is expected to uphold the policies and regulations of the Committee on Instruction.

The Committee on Academic Standing is composed of advising deans, an associate dean of advising, and the dean of advising of the Berick Center for Student Advising.