The grading system can be found in the Course Catalogue. Instructors must use eBear to submit their final grades.

It is the responsibility of all instructors to abide by the deadlines set by the Registrar for submitting final course grades. The Registrar sends to all instructors a summary of dates on which grades are due each semester. Instructors must abide by these dates. Otherwise, seniors may not be certified for graduation, honors may not be determined, action may not be taken on records at the academic review meetings of the Committee on Program and Academic Standing, and transcripts sent to and on behalf of students may be incomplete.


Instructors may grant Incompletes (I) to permit an extension of time for a student to complete course work only for compelling reasons (i.e., illness, personal emergency, or the late realization of a project's extraordinary scope or difficulty). It is the instructor's prerogative to decline in any case.

The Barnard student must arrange each Incomplete with her instructor by a written agreement on a special form available from the Office of the Registrar. The instructor retains one copy of the form; the student retains one copy; one copy is filed with the Registrar. The deadline for filing the application for an Incomplete (I) is the last day of the reading period. If a student does not obtain an instructor's written permission for an extension by the deadline, the course grade will be computed with the missing work graded as zero.

Barnard students have two Incomplete options. The "early Incomplete" requires submission of unfinished work to the Registrar soon after the end of the term by the date designated in the College Calendar, and results in the removal of the "I" notation from the transcript. The second option extends the deadline to the first day of classes for the next autumn term, but the "I" notation remains on the permanent transcript and is joined by the final letter grade. The regulations that apply to Incompletes are listed on the application, which is available from the Office of the Registrar. Students who have the permission of their instructors to take grades of Incomplete are required to use the form, which is a written statement of the terms set forth in it by the student and the instructor.

A student who has more than two Incompletes outstanding may not be allowed to register for a new term.

The procedures for granting an extension for incomplete course work differ for Barnard and Columbia students.  The Columbia student must be directed to the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, 405 Lerner Hall, for permission. General Studies students must obtain permission from their advising deans. All Colleges allow this extension only for compelling reasons.

Pass/D/Fail Option

A student may choose to take a course for P/D/F in accord with the following conditions:

  • A maximum of 23 points (for students entering as first-years and required to complete 122 points) or a maximum of 22 points (for students entering as transfers and required to complete 121 points) of course work may be taken for a grade of P, whether elected or mandatory;
  • A grade of P will be entered on the record only if the instructor submits a letter grade of A+ through C-. Instructors are not informed of P/D/F elections and must submit regular grades for all students;
  • First-Year English and courses required for the major or the minor may not be taken for the grade of P. Courses in the major field that do not fulfill the major requirement may be elected only with the written approval of the department chair;
  • Whereas P is not included in the grade point average, the F is computed as zero;
  • A student must file a P/D/F request for each course taken P/D/F, including the second semester of year courses;
  • A request for P/D/F is irreversible and must be filed by the deadline stipulated in the College Calendar;
  • A course may not be elected P/D/F retroactively;
  • Information on the letter grade assigned to a course taken P/D/F will not be released by the Office of the Registrar.

Finality of Course Grades

Course grades submitted at the end of each term (except I, X, Y, and DEF) are final. In most courses, equity requires that work done throughout the term be included along with the final examination in computing a course grade.

After a grade is officially recorded, no change may be made without authorization by the Committee on Programs and Academic Standing. Application for any change must be made to the Registrar in writing by the instructor, stating explicitly the reason for the request. The final course grade for an individual student may be changed if it is the result of a clerical or computational error on the part of the instructor. Otherwise, if the work of an individual student is reevaluated for purposes of reconsidering the grade assigned, the work of all students in the class must be similarly reevaluated.

Barnard regulations about the finality of course grades differ from policies in effect in other schools of the University. The grading system and policies of the College in which students are matriculated are operative, not those of the University divisions offering the courses in which they may be enrolled.

Student Grade Grievance Procedures

The Dean of Studies coordinates the grievance procedure available to a student who, after consultation with her instructor, still feels she has been unfairly graded.

Usually a student with a complaint about a grade consults her Class Dean in the Dean of Studies Office. The student is then informed that the steps listed below constitute the grievance process:

  1. The student initiates the process by discussing her grievance with the instructor. If the student and the instructor cannot reach an agreement, and the student continues to feel aggrieved, she may submit to the Dean of Studies a written statement detailing the reasons for her complaint, and supply any pertinent graded materials.
  2. The Dean of Studies submits a copy of the statement to the instructor and to anyone to whom a position is attributed in that statement and requests the instructor's written response.
  3. If there appear to be disparities in matters of fact, copies of all relevant commentary are sent to the student for her reaction.
  4. When both the student and the instructor have said all they care to say about the matter, the statements are reviewed and the case is adjudicated by a committee made up of the Dean of Studies, the Provost/Dean of the Faculty, and the Dean of the College.