Proposing or Changing a Course

All new course proposals and course changes can be made through our online CIM system.
If you need assistance with determining which of the Foundations: 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 (also see below);  listing what constitutes plagiarism is recommended
  • inclusion of the Wellness Statement (also see below)
  • 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:

  • student learning outcomes
  • course points or course type
  • number of class hours
  • department, subject area code, prefix, number, or course title
  • general education requirement (GER) designation
  • substantial alterations in course requirements

Honor Code

Approved by the student body in 1912 and updated in 2016, the Code states:

We, the students of Barnard College, resolve to uphold the honor of the College by engaging with integrity in all of our academic pursuits. We affirm that academic integrity is the honorable creation and presentation of our own work. We acknowledge that it is our responsibility to seek clarification of proper forms of collaboration and use of academic resources in all assignments or exams. We consider academic integrity to include the proper use and care for all print, electronic, or other academic resources. We will respect the rights of others to engage in pursuit of learning in order to uphold our commitment to honor. We pledge to do all that is in our power to create a spirit of honesty and honor for its own sake.

Wellness Statement

It is important for undergraduates to recognize and identify the different pressures, burdens, and stressors you may be facing, whether personal, emotional, physical, financial, mental, or academic. We as a community urge you to make yourself--your own health, sanity, and wellness--your priority throughout this term and your career here. Sleep, exercise, and eating well can all be a part of a healthy regimen to cope with stress. Resources exist to support you in several sectors of your life, and we encourage you to make use of them. Should you have any questions about navigating these resources, please visit these sites:

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."

If you are teaching a course that will be taught off-campus, please include this version of the Academic Accommodations: 

"If you are a student with a documented disability and require academic accommodations in this off campus course, you must register with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) for assistance. Students requesting accommodations for an off campus course will need to first meet with an ODS staff member to discuss the particulars of the course location and how it may impact availability of particular accommodations. Please be advised that all disability accommodations available for on campus courses may not be available for off campus courses. ODS will discuss specifics of each off campus course location and disability related needs at the time the disability accommodation request is received. 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."

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."