Proposing or Changing a Course

All new course proposals and course changes (including GER designation requests) can be made through our online CIM system. If you need assistance with determining which of the Modes of Thinking best fits your course, click here
The COI's recommended style and content for syllabi can be found in "Guidelines for Syllabi."
For current major/minor change forms and student appeal forms, please see the 
Forms & Guidelines page of the Provost's website under "Committee on Instruction."
For any points-related questions, please see the Columbia College and School of General Studies "Guidance on Course Points" page.

Using CIM

Instructors and Department Assistants/Administrators can log into CIM here. Once logged in, a user can choose to change an existing course or to propose a new course. Once submitted, new course proposals will go to the COI through workflow and will be reviewed on the usual COI timeline. Feedback will be given via email, but all requested revisions to the online form and syllabus should be made through CIM.

CIM divides course changes into two types, substantive and non-substantive. When a non-substantive change is submitted, it will take effect immediately; when a substantive change is submitted, the change will go to the COI through CIM workflow and will be reviewed on the usual COI timeline.

New Course Proposals

All new proposed courses must be submitted to the COI through CIM (see above). If you have questions about using CIM, please contact your department assistant or administrator. A syllabus must be attached to the online new course proposal form. Proposals must be submitted by September 24 for Spring 2019 courses and February 4 for Fall 2019 courses. Please contact the Office of the Provost (Saskia Hamilton or LaShawn Keyser) with any questions.

Every course is required to have a syllabus. When crafting your syllabus, please refer to the COI's "Guidelines for Syllabi" for recommended style and content suggestions. The syllabus should contain the following information:

  • instructor's office hours and contact information
  • required readings, including reading lengths (in page numbers or ranges)
  • course requirements (e.g. exams, papers, book reviews) and relevant due dates
  • guidelines for assignments, including the degree to which collaboration is allowed
  • criteria for course grade
  • expectations regarding participation, which includes attendance
  • student learning outcomes
  • inclusion of the Honor Code (established 1912, updated 2016);  listing what constitutes plagiarism is recommended
  • inclusion of the Wellness Statement
  • inclusion of the ODS Academic Accommodations Statement (see below)
  • inclusion of the Affordable Access to Course Texts Statement (see below)


New courses recommended by the COI must be approved by a majority vote of the Faculty before they may be included in the online catalogue. It is the responsibility of the department proposing the course to see it is approved by the Columbia College-General Studies COI, as appropriate.

Other Curricular Changes

Any of the following changes in a course after it was approved by the Committee on Instruction and the Faculty must be resubmitted to the Committee through CIM:

  • change in the number of class hours
  • change in the student learning outcomes
  • change in course points
  • change in course title, number, or department
  • change in GER designation
  • substantial alterations in course requirements

Administering Coursework for Students with Disabilities

In accordance with federal law, it is the College's policy to provide reasonable accommodations to meet the needs of students with documented disabilities. Examples of accommodations which have customarily been requested and permitted may include exam accommodations such as extended time or modified formats, assistive technology, readers, notetakers, and the use of tape recorders. Visit the Office of Disability Services for more information. 

Please include this Academic Accommodations Statement on your syllabus, explaining how to activate accommodations: 

"I​​f you are a student with a documented disability and require academic accommodations in this course, you must register with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) for assistance. Students requesting accommodations will need to first meet with an ODS staff member. Once registered, students are required to request accommodation letters each semester to notify faculty. Accommodations are not retroactive, so it is best to contact ODS early each semester to access your accommodations. If you are registered with ODS, please see me to schedule a meeting outside of class in which you can bring me your faculty notification letter and we can discuss your accommodations for this course. Students are not eligible to use their accommodations in this course until they have met with me. ODS is located in Milbank Hall, Room 009/008."

Affordable Access to Course Texts

Please include this Affordable Access to Course Texts Statement on your syllabus:

"All students deserve to be able to access course texts. The high costs of textbooks and other course materials prohibit access and perpetuate inequity, and Barnard librarians are partnering with students, faculty, and staff to increase access. By the first day of advance registration for each term, you should be able to view on CourseWorks information provided by your faculty about required texts (including ISBN or author, title, publisher and copyright date) and their prices. Once you have selected your classes, here are some cost-free methods for accessing course texts, recommended by the Barnard Library: find out if your faculty has placed the texts on reserve at Barnard Library or another Columbia library, and look for course texts using CLIO (library catalog), Borrow Direct (request books from partner libraries), Interlibrary Loan (request book chapters from any library), and NYPL. Students with financial need or insecurity can check items out from the FLIP lending libraries in the Barnard Library and Butler Library and can consult with the Dean of Studies and the Financial Aid Office about additional affordable alternatives for getting access to course texts. Talk with your librarian and visit the Barnard Library Textbook Affordability guide (library.barnard.edu/textbook-affordability) for more details."