Special Sign-up Procedures

The following courses have special sign-up procedures.

L course instructions

An L course is a class with a cap on the number of students who can enroll. When a maximum enrollment exists, it is listed online in the Directory of Classes. L courses are taught both at Barnard or at Columbia.

Some L classes also require the student to receive approval from the instructor and/or the department in order to enroll. If myBarnard (in the Comments and Reminders box) or the online directory of classes indicates that some permission is required, obtain the necessary approval(s) AND complete the online L procedure. If particular approval or a special procedure is required, you should follow that procedure, but you are not required to show proof of approval to the Registrar.

Signing up for L Courses

L signup will take place in mid-November, mid-April, and the first two weeks of each semester. There are also additional L signup windows in December and over the summer.  See the Academic Calendar. Students do L signup on the program page of myBarnard.  Appointment  times are displayed on that screen, and  there is a link to instructions.  Scroll down to see all information and transaction records.

You can enter call numbers at any time but you can add or drop an L course only during your appointment times. 

  1. Enter an L course call number in the ADD box in the Modify Course List area and click  "Submit",
  2. You will be prompted to scroll down to the L Course Signup area
  3. The call number will already be in the L Course Signup area. During an appointment time, click on "Add".
  4. If you do secure a place in an L course, the course will appear in the List of Courses, marked by a red L. You do not need to do anything more, except talk to your adviser and have your program approved by the deadline.

If you are unable to complete the L course procedure for a particular class (e.g., the class is full) the class will NOT appear in List of Courses. You may continue to try to secure a place until the end of your last appointment.

Dropping an L Course

If you decide not to take an L course for which you have completed the L procedure, you must drop it by the same procedure you used to add it:

  1. Enter the call number in a DROP box in the Modify Course List area and click  "Submit"
  2. Scroll down to the L Course Signup area
  3. Click on "Drop" during your appointment time
  4. The class will NOT disappear from your List of Courses until you complete the drop in the L Course Signup area

Wait List Function

Note:  Not all L courses have a Wait List. 

Additonal note:  Barnard students must follow these instructions.  The process is different for Columbia students.

You may join the Wait List for no more than three classes.

Enter the call number in the Add box.  Scroll down to the L course area.  Click on the Add button there.

If the course has a Wait List, you will see the Join Waiting List button.  If you wish to be added to the Wait List, click on that button.

If you do not want to be on the Wait List, click on Cancel Join.


If you decide to be on the Wait List but later change your mind and decide not to remain on the Wait List, click on Leave Waiting List.


The process moves students off the Wait List overnight (that is, only once every 24 hours).
If you get in overnight, then the course should be on your List of Courses the next day.  If it is not, and if you received automated email from the CU registrar telling you that you have been admitted to the class, then:  The day after you join the Wait List, click on Show Waiting List (you can do so only during your appointment time).  The screen will display all the courses for which you asked to be on the Wait List, with either "Pending" or "Added."  If the list shows "Added," then the class will immediately appear in the List of Courses at the top of the screen.  If you do not wish to take it after all, you must Drop it.  (Obviously, if it still says "Pending," then you have not yet made it off the Wait List.)

The system does not understand if you join the Wait List and then also file an L Permission form.  If you secure permission via the L form, please Cancel Join before you bring us the form.

Changing Your Mind

If you add an L course to myBarnard and decide not to take that class but have not done the L procedure yet, scroll down to the L Course Signup area, and click on "Cancel Add". If you have done the L course procedure for a class and then you drop it from myBarnard (without having dropped it from the L-course database) you may still keep your place in the class and restore the class to myBarnard.  Scroll down to the L Course Signup area, and click on "Cancel Drop".

The Shop Button

The best way for you to secure a space in an L course is to follow the instructions above. If you wish to know which sections of a multi-sectioned class (e.g., Elementary Spanish II, Calculus I, Principles of Economics) have space available, you may use the "Shop" button.

  1. Within the L Course Signup area you will see Check course section availability (Shop).
  2. Enter the call number of an L course and click on "Shop".
  3. You will see a list of all available sections of that course.
  4. Follow the procedures described above to add the section of your choice.
  5. Please note that you will NOT see sections that have a time conflict with other courses on your program, even if space is available.
  6. You will see the "Shop" button only during appointment times.

Changing Sections

The L-course database will not allow you to add two sections of the same course. If you have secured a space in a section (e.g. ECONW 1105 section 01) and want to change to another section (e.g. ECONW 1105 section 02) you can:

  1. Use SHOP (above) to make sure that there is space in ECONW 1105 02
  2. Enter the call number of section 01 in DROP and the call number of section 02 in ADD (within the Modify Course List area)
  3. Click "Submit" to make the change on myBarnard
  4. Scroll down to the L Course Signup area and click "Replace" to make the change in the L-course database

"Replace" will only be available for two sections of the same class. It will not be available for other add/drop combinations.  "Replace" will NOT work if you have not secured a place in the section you are dropping.

If you didn't use "Shop" to make sure that the new section has a space for you or if the new section has filled up "Replace" will not be successful.  If this is the case, click on the "Cancel Replace" button.  You will then be able to keep or drop the original section.

Unexpected Time Conflicts

myBarnard will not allow you to enter two courses that meet at the same time.

Very rarely, there may be a discrepancy between what courses appear in myBarnard and what courses are in the L-course database.

If you are trying to do the L procedure and the L-course database thinks there is a time conflict, you may be offered a button allowing you to remove the (mysterious) conflicting class from the L-course database.

Once you have cleared up the time conflict in the L-course database, try the ADD again.

If you are unable to resolve the time conflict (or, indeed, for any problem you are unable to resolve), please be in touch with the Registrar’s Office so we can help you.


Be sure to scroll down the screen and read all messages before talking to the Registrar's Office.

If an L class is full and you secure the instructor’s permission to enroll (during program filing), file the L Permission form.

If you added an L Course to your myBarnard program but did not (or were unable to) complete the L-Course process, after program filing, file the L Petition form

We can better help you if you give us the exact messages you received in the Comments and Reminders box and in the L Course Signup area.

Physical Education

Physical Education classes cannot be entered on advance programs.  Add PE to your program in September or January.

First-year students who have been given priority for the PE lottery are guaranteed a place in some class, but must enter the lottery to choose which class.  Transfers wishing to take PE, or first-years not given priority who wish to take a course, must enter the lottery.  All other students must enter the lottery.

The Barnard Physical Education Lottery takes place on myBarnard during the first week of classes. The results are posted on myBarnard at 5pm on the Friday during the first week of classes. PE classes begin on Monday of the second week of classes.

Columbia Physical Education classes are limited enrollment. Barnard students may do L signup for Columbia PE starting the first Thursday of the semester.

Be sure to add to your program the call number for any PE course or varsity sport you plan on participating in.

Students who enter as first-years must complete the one required semester of PE by the end of the first year. 

Language Placement

To begin a language above an introductory level, you must take a language placement exam. See the list of exams, times and places on the Academic Calendar at the beginning of each semester. If you take a language placement exam, the resulting placement is final and supersedes any other method of placement.

Voice Lessons

If you wish to take voice lessons (Music BC1501 or BC1502), you must attend a tryout on the first Wednesday or Thursday of the semester, starting at 6 pm in 405 Milbank. Pick up a form from, and return it to, 319 Milbank before the tryout. To qualify for a tryout, students must be able to teach themselves a song from a printed musical score.  NOTE:  There is a $1,000 course fee attached to voice lessons (except for students majoring in Music).  There is a $500 fee attached to instrumental lessons at Columbia (except for students majoring in Music or performing in the orchestra). 

Lessons at MSM or Juilliard

A student who has passed the audition at Manhattan School of Music must file a form (also available at the Registrar's Office) by the program-filing deadline each semester in which she wishes to take lessons at MSM.  A student who has been accepted into the joint A.B.-M.F.A. program with Juilliard must file a form (also available at the Registrar's Office) by the program-filing deadline each semester in which she remains in the program.

Jewish Theological Seminary Courses

Students planning on taking a course at the Jewish Theological Seminary should see Professor Beth Berkowitz for the list of approved courses.   Do not include JTS courses on your Barnard program.  Registration and tuition payment should be done through JTS.

Columbia Core courses

If you wish to enroll in one of the Columbia core courses (Humanities C1001 or C1002, or Contemporary Civilization C1101 or C1102), see your Class Dean at the beginning of the semester, but be aware that very few spaces will be available.  Students who were placed in one of these classes in the fall semester may continue in the spring semester but must notify the Registrar of the exact course section.

Columbia Graduate/Professional School Courses

Barnard students may not take graduate or professional-school courses at the 6000-level or higher, with some exceptions.   Students may take advanced graduate courses with the approval of instructor and adviser.   

For permission to take courses at SIPA, see Dean Runsdorf.   There is no advance signup for SIPA courses; you cannot enter a course on your program, even if you have permission, until September or January.

For information about Journalism and graduate Business courses, consult Dean Lewis.

Teachers College

Permission is needed to take a course at Teachers College. At the beginning of the semester, secure an application from the Registrar's Office, obtain the proper signatures, and return the completed form to Dean Friedman. TC courses require the payment of additional tuition at the Teachers College per-point rate, over and above Barnard tuition.

Independent Study

To request credit for an independent study, submit the Request for Approval of Independent Study by the final program-filing deadline in January or September. 

Request for Credit for Dance Technique

If you have completed your physical education requirement, you may request a point for a dance technique class.  Wait until September or January, when you are sure you have been admitted to a class, before filing the form.  Please note that we cannot adjust point value until after your adviser has approved your program. 

Variable Point Courses

When you add a variable-point course to your program, the credit defaults to the lowest value.  If you are taking this course for a higher value, you must submit the Variable Point Course Form  No adviser's signature is required.  Please note that the point value will not be adjusted until after your adviser has approved your program.