Majors, Minors & Degree Requirements
Click here for the Student GER Appeal Form.
Students who entered Barnard prior to fall 2016 follow the Nine Ways of Knowing general education curriculum. To confirm whether or not a course will satisfy one of these requirements, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org before registering for the course.
All students must complete the requirements of an approved major. The specific requirements for each major can be found on the academic department's webpage, or in the Barnard catalogue. Majors vary in the number of credits and courses required; most majors require 11-12 courses (including senior thesis coursework) and some require more than that. The following policies apply to all majors:
-A minimum of six semester (non-summer) courses towards the major must be completed while the student is in residence at Barnard.
-Each course used towards a major requirement must be 3 credits or more.
-Only courses graded C– or higher will be credited toward the major.
-Students cannot elect Pass/D/Fail grading for courses required for the major.
The following are the possible major configurations:
- Single major: Students complete all of the required courses of one major. To declare a single major, submit the Major Declaration Form
- Double major: Students complete all required courses for both majors (with no overlapping courses), including two senior projects/theses (one for each major). This major is indicated on the transcript with the word “and” between the departments (e.g. English and History). To declare a double major, submit the Major Declaration Form
- Double major with a single integrating senior project/thesis (not a complete double major): Students complete all required courses for both majors (with no overlapping courses), as well as an integrating senior project/thesis that is graded by both departments. Both department chairs must agree to the course/s to be used for the senior project (a maximum of 8 credits total). To qualify for department honors with this double major, a student must be nominated by both departments. This major is indicated on the transcript as having “1 essay.” To declare a double major that has a single integrating project, submit the Major Declaration Form.
- Combined major: Students complete all required courses for one major plus the required courses/credits for a combined major with Barnard’s programs in Human Rights; Jewish Studies; or Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. This major is indicated on the transcript with a hyphen (e.g. Political Science - Human Rights). To declare a combined major with one of these three programs, submit the Major Declaration Form.
- Special major or Special combined major: A Special or Special Combined major is a major designed by the student that is not normally offered at Barnard. It can be a combination of courses from two existing majors (a “special combined major”) or a self-designed program of study that draws coursework from multiple Barnard departments (a “special major”). A list of courses that will comprise the combined major must be proposed and approved by the College’s Committee on Programs and Academic Standing. Students should begin by discussing the application process with their Class Dean. To petition for a Special or Special Combined Major, submit the Special/Special Combined Major Declaration form. Any changes to an approved Special or Special Combined major must also be approved by the CPAS committee.
Declaring or Changing a Major
All Barnard students must declare a major by March 1 of their sophomore year. At that time, students are assigned a major adviser within their major department(s).
To change a major, submit the Major Change form. Please note that seniors cannot change their major in their final semester.
To declare a second major – or drop a second major – submit the Major Change form.
To change a major adviser (within an already-declared major), submit the Adviser Change form.
A minor is not required. If you decide to pursue a minor, submit this form to the Registrar’s Office once all of the courses are "in progress" or completed, or, no later than March 1 of your senior year.
Once completed, minors will appear on Barnard transcripts but not on diplomas.
Departments offering minors can be found here. If a minor is not on this list, it is not an option.
Policies related to Minors:
At least five courses (three must be Barnard or Columbia courses) totaling at least 15 credits. Each course must be 3 credits or more.
Requirements depend on the minor chosen; courses are selected in consultation with the department chair. See department website for further info.
Courses for the major and minor may not overlap. (The minor department chair can request an exception to this policy for a maximum of two overlapping courses if the minor requires more than 18 credits, the major requires more than 40 credits, and the overlapping courses are required for both.)
All applicable courses must be letter-graded A+ to C-. Any previous P's in courses required for the minor will be converted when the minor is put on the transcript.
Courses for the minor may also be used for general education requirements.
Barnard diplomas are signed by both the Barnard College President and the Columbia University President and carry the official seals of both institutions. The diploma lists the degree earned (Bachelor of Arts) and any Latin honors received (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude). Majors, minors, and departmental graduation honors appear on the Barnard transcript but not on the diploma.
Diplomas are sent approximately 8 weeks after the degree is awarded.
A lost or damaged diploma will be replaced for a $30 fee (payable by check to Barnard College) when you submit a notarized request containing the information below. If possible, please enclose the damaged diploma along with your application.
In your request, please indicate your name as it appeared on the original diploma, as well as your date of graduation, any graduation (Latin) honors you received, and explain what happened to the original diploma. Also include an address and phone number to which we can send the replacement diploma (no P.O. boxes); diplomas are sent via Federal Express and require someone to sign for the delivery.
Replacement diplomas are ordered with the order for our next graduating class (February, October or May) and usually takes 4 - 6 weeks to return from the printer.
Note: A replacement diploma is not the same as an original. A replacement diploma is printed with the original graduation date, but with the current Presidents’ signatures. It also includes a notation that this is a replacement of the original document.