Summer Course Approval

Barnard College does not offer summer session classes. The granting of course credit for summer courses taken at other accredited institutions (including Columbia summer session) is treated as transfer credit and is subject to some additional regulations. A maximum of 16 course credits of summer points can be applied toward the degree, subject to the approval of the summer school Committee. Although a student may not receive degree credit for summer courses exceeding this maximum, she may fulfill degree requirements with additional summer courses, subject to the approval of the committee, and in some cases, subject to satisfactory performance on a Barnard placement examination.

The full regulations on credit for summer study are available at the Office of the Registrar on the Application for Approval of Summer Session Courses. The student may learn in advance whether the courses she wishes to take in summer school meet the approval of the committee by completing the form (which includes obtaining written approvals) and submitting it to the Office of the Registrar well before the end of the Spring term. Although the application may also be retroactive, the student places herself at risk of being denied degree credit if she fails to receive prior written approval. Download the Application for Approval of Summer Session Courses.

The Registrar's Office will apply credit to the student's transcript when we have on file both the approved Application and an official transcript (sent directly to the Registrar's Office by the institution attended) showing that the student completed the coursework with a grade of C- or higher. Some academic departments may have additional requirements.

Read about Columbia University Summer School.

Amount of Credit

  • To be credited toward the degree, courses must be given at accredited institutions. Courses should meet for at least 5 weeks and must meet for at least 35 hours. If your proposed course does not meet these criteria, you must file the Summer Petition. No undergraduate lecture course that meets for under 35 hours will be approved.  Barnard does not give credit for online courses.
  • No more than two courses for a total of no more than eight points may be taken in a single summer session of no less than 5 weeks. (Some institutions may have more than one session in a summer.)
  • Courses that earn fewer than 3 semester credits or 5 quarter credits will not be accepted in fulfillment of College requirements. They may count toward the 122 (or 121 for transfers) points for the degree. (3 quarter points are equal to 2 semester points.)


  • Credit will be given only for grades of C- or higher. P (Pass) is not acceptable.
  • Summer course grades are not included in the Barnard grade point average but they will be included in the calculation for Latin honors.
  • These courses and grades may be considered by graduate or professional schools, which normally require the submission of an applicant's transcripts from all the colleges attended. 

Credit Toward the Degree

No more than 16 semester points of summer session credit may be counted toward the degree.

Language Requirement

  • No credit will be given for a language course, whether or not taken to fulfill the requirement, if it is at the same level as a previously credited course.
  • Prior approval for courses taken to satisfy the language requirement is at the discretion of the department, which may require a placement test in September.

Major Requirement

  • A minimum of 6 courses in the major must be taken in the autumn or spring terms while the student is enrolled at Barnard.
  • Additional major courses may be taken in the summer if approved by the major adviser and the major department chair.

Transfer Students

Summer session credit may not be counted in the minimum 60 points which must be completed at Barnard, or in the minimum of 6 courses which must be taken in the major while you are enrolled at Barnard.


  • The Application for Approval of Summer Session Courses must include the appropriate signatures before being submitted to the Registrar's Office for approval by the committee.
  • Catalogue descriptions of courses must be attached for evaluation.
  • Documentation of summer session start and end dates and of the hours of class meetings must be attached to the Application.
  • Columbia courses that do not require approvals in the fall or spring terms do not require course descriptions in summer. NOTE: All courses for major credit require approvals, including Columbia courses.
  • Once a student files the application, she will normally receive notification of the Committee's action within three weeks.


A fee of $100 will be charged to the student's account when credit is applied toward the Barnard degree.