Registering for classes
Students are required to both register for classes and finalize their payment arrangements by the College's registration deadline (September 21, 2021 for fall classes and January 28, 2022 for spring 2022 classes) in order to be considered officially enrolled for the semester.
Registering for classes
Students register for classes online through Student Planning in the myBarnard portal. Registration (formerly Program Filing) is done four times a year: advance registration in April and November, and final registration in September and January. Adviser approval is required each time.
Log in to myBarnard. You will need a valid Barnard email login and password. If you do not know your Barnard email password, consult Student Computing Services. Go to Web Advisor and from there to Student Planning. A brief summary is provided below, but training videos and FAQ's are available on myBarnard.
You will add courses that you find in the Directory of Classes. To add a course, you can search by department or by department and course number.
To see if a section has a note attached, click on the section itself. Notes will identify a special requirement for the course (such as a required application or writing sample or attendance at the first class). No time conflicts are allowed; you will not be able to register for two courses that overlap. If you think you have permission for a time conflict, go to the Registrar’s Office.
Steps in the Registration Process
Review your online degree audit in Student Planning to identify classes you still need to take, to satisfy your degree requirements.
Search for classes you need or want to take: students can search the Course Catalog in Student Planning or the Columbia Directory of Classes (which lists all Columbia and Barnard classes). Barnard students can register for any Columbia class that says it is “open to Barnard” in its course listing.
Add classes to your Plan in Student Planning. Planning opens 3 weeks prior to the first registration period.
Consult your adviser: All students need their adviser’s permission at two stages of the process: once before their initial registration for the semester, and again to approve their final class schedule on/before the registration deadline (the second Friday of classes each semester). Before declaring their major, students are assigned a “pre-major” adviser. When declaring a major, a student is connected with an adviser within their major department.
Register for classes: Student are assigned specific registration appointment times. These can be viewed in myBarnard. When you are successfully registered for a class, it will change from yellow to green on your class schedule in Student Planning.
Be sure to register for enough, but not too many credits: Students can take a maximum of 19 credits each semester. Students may add four additional credits (up to 23 total) during early registration and the “shopping period,” but an adviser must grant approval for a student to remain above 19 credits permanently.
Finalize your schedule by the registration deadline: Students can add and drop classes online through the second Friday of the semester.
As per Barnard's usual policy, full-time enrollment status requires that students enroll in a minimum of 12 credits per semester, and a minimum of 24 credits over the course of the academic year.
In a given semester, the maximum number of credits a student may take is 19 credits. Students may add four additional credits (up to 23 total) in a given semester during early registration. A student’s advisor must grant approval for the student to remain above 19 credits for the semester.
For Academic Year Fall 2020-Summer 2021, in which there are three semesters, students may take no more than 45 credits overall.
Students who live on campus will be required to maintain a minimum of 12 credits. For the 2020-2021 Academic Year, in which there are three semesters, non-residential students will be allowed to take fewer credits in the Fall if their academic plan includes taking additional courses in the Spring and/or Summer semesters.
Students who would like to take fewer than 12 credits will be required to meet with their faculty advisor and their class dean to ensure that they are making sufficient progress toward their academic degree. Students approved to take fewer than 12 credits per semester will be assessed full tuition, with the assumption that the addition of a summer term will satisfy their full-time requirements.
Students who are registered with CARDS and need to take fewer than 12 credits (for students living on campus and students on F-1 visas) or fewer than 6 credits (for all other students) as a disability-related accommodation will need to request a Reduced Course Load through CARDS. Students with approved reduced course loads lower than 6 credits who are on Financial Aid should also plan to schedule a meeting with their Financial Aid counselor to discuss any applicable loan implications.
Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses
Deadlines for dropping and withdrawing from courses are listed in the academic calendar. Students can add or drop courses online through the registration deadline (the second Friday of the semester).
After the registration deadline:
Students can no longer add credited courses. If you wish to add a lab, discussion section, zero credit course, or change a section of a course in which you are already registered, please use this form.
To drop a course (course is removed entirely from the student’s transcript): Students should email their advisor for approval to drop a class after the registration deadline. If approved (the adviser does this in the portal), the student will receive an email letting them know they can drop the class via student planning up to two days after receiving the email.
To withdraw from a course (the course remains on the transcript with a grade of W): Submit a withdrawal form with adviser approval to the Registrar’s Office before the withdrawal deadline.
There is no refund for a course (or the fees attached to a course) that are dropped or withdrawn after the registration deadline.
Exceptions to add, drop and withdrawal deadlines:
Students with extenuating circumstances can petition to the Committee on Programs and Academic Standings. They should start by speaking with their Class Dean. If approved to add a course late, the student will be liable for a late registration fee ($25 - $150 per course, depending on the date the petition is submitted; the precise fee chart for each semester is posted outside the Registrar’s Office).
Summer courses at Barnard
Summer 2021 coursework at Barnard or at eligible Columbia programs
Barnard students enrolled full-time in the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters may earn a maximum of 45 credits offered by Barnard or eligible Columbia programs during academic year 2020-21. (Eligible course lists to follow.) Of these 45 credits, a maximum of 19 credits can be earned during the summer 2021 semester at no additional tuition charge. (Students will be responsible for paying supplementary course fees, however.). Students cannot enroll in more than 45 credits for the academic year.
As an exception for summer 2021:
- Credits taken at Barnard or through eligible Columbia programs during summer 2021 are excluded from the maximum of 16 summer credits -- as well as from the overall maximum of 60 external credits – that Barnard students are allowed to count towards the Barnard degree.
- Credits taken at Barnard or through eligible Columbia programs in summer 2021 will count as institutional (not transfer) credit and will count towards a student’s Barnard GPA.
- Courses and grades taken at Barnard or through eligible Columbia programs will display on the Barnard transcript as they do during the fall and spring semesters.
Barnard students who did not enroll and pay full-time tuition in both fall 2020 and spring 2021 may be eligible to enroll in summer classes, but will be charged the Barnard per-credit tuition ($1,860 per credit) for those classes.
Because of the added third semester, we expect that all summer 2021 coursework will be taken at Barnard or through eligible Columbia programs. Exceptions will be considered only for students who were enrolled full-time at Barnard in both fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. Students who would like to discuss their options should speak with their class dean about next steps. All summer credit taken outside of Barnard and eligible Columbia programs must be pre-approved using the Summer Course Approval form, or credit will not be granted. Students will be responsible for the tuition charged for all summer credit taken elsewhere.
If a student is approved to take courses elsewhere, these credits will count as transfer credit and will not count towards a student’s Barnard GPA. These credits will also count towards the maximum of 16 summer credits -- and the overall maximum of 60 external credits – that Barnard students are allowed to count towards the Barnard degree.
Online courses taken elsewhere will not be approved for credit unless they are delivered synchronously, with regularly scheduled meeting times during which students and faculty meet, albeit remotely, for the requisite 35 hours per session.
Current juniors and rising seniors who would like to participate in study abroad opportunities in summer 2021 must first submit an application to the Barnard Global Office.
If approved to take credits elsewhere, students must complete this form in order to apply to receive credit for each individual course. This must be done in advance of starting the program. Credit will not be granted unless a course has been pre-approved.
Most courses have a limit (also called a “cap”) on the number of students who can register. Students can see the cap -- and how many students are already registered -- in the CU Directory of Classes (e.g. Enrollment: 64 students (120 max)).
If a class is full, students can choose to join the waitlist when registering in Student Planning.
Students can only be on 3 waitlists at a given time.
Waitlisted classes are yellow on a student’s class schedule in Student Planning.
Students who are accepted into the class will receive an email from the Columbia Registrar. Within two business days, students should see that the class has changed to “Registered” status (changed from yellow to green) in Student Planning.
The instructor of a course with an enrollment cap can set up a waitlist in one of three ways:
Auto-fill: As seats open up, they are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. You can view your place on the list by logging into SSOL.
Self-managed: Seats are filled first-come, first-served until the enrollment cap is reached. After that point, as new spots open up, the instructor selects students individually from the waitlist according to their own criteria.
Full-block: All students who try to register go directly to the waitlist and the instructor approves students individually from there.
Instructors who are having difficulty with the waitlist functions can contact the Registrar’s Office here and select "Courses".
Courses requiring special procedures
Courses with special registration procedures and policies:
Barnard P.E. classes: Only Barnard students who have not yet satisfied the P.E. requirement can register online for these classes. Other students can attend the first class to request permission. P.E. classes begin on Monday of the second week of classes.
Columbia P.E. classes: Barnard students may only register at the discretion of the Columbia Physical Education Chair (336 Dodge Fitness Center).
Students participating in a varsity sport (PHED 1005) should register for the appropriate section of PHED 1005 in Student Planning.
Students who enter as first-years must complete the one required semester of PE by the end of the first year. Transfer students should consult their transfer credit evaluation to see if a P.E. course is required.
Most dance technique classes will default to 0 credits. Students can change the credit value at the point of registration in Student Planning. Or, students can use this form for a credit adjustment.
Level I courses, except Dance Styles courses, receive a P/F grade and have no prerequisite. All others receive a letter grade and require a placement audition (at the first meeting) or instructor permission.
Dance technique classes are included in the maximum of 18 credits of studio, performance, and professional school credits that can be applied to the degree.
Placement: To begin a language above an introductory level, contact the department to find out whether a language placement exam is required prior to registration.
Introductory Language credit: Credit for the first semester of an elementary language is not normally granted unless a more advanced course is completed. A student can be granted one exception to this policy by filling out the Request for Exception to the Elementary Language Rule form.
Columbia Graduate & Professional School Classes
Barnard students can register online for 4000- and 5000-level graduate courses as long as the courses are listed as “open to Barnard” in the CU Directory of Classes. More advanced courses can only be added with the approval of the instructor and adviser.
Barnard students can apply a maximum of two professional school courses (e.g. business school, journalism school, etc.) towards the Barnard degree. Business school courses open to Barnard students can be viewed here.
Students admitted to the 4 + 1 pathway programs should consult the appropriate faculty adviser prior to registering.
Teachers College courses require special registration permission. Pick up an application form from the Barnard Registrar’s Office. TC courses require the payment of additional tuition at the Teachers College per-point rate, over and above Barnard tuition.
Variable Credit Classes
Classes that can be taken for a variable credit amount will default to lowest possible credit value. Students can change the credits at the point of registration in Student Planning.
Voice Lessons at Barnard require an audition (find details here). If approved to register, please note that there is a $500 course fee attached to voice lessons (except for students majoring in Music).
Instrumental Lessons at CU. A supplemental fee applies (except for students majoring in Music or performing in the orchestra). See the course listing in the CU Directory of Classes for details.
Lessons at MSM: Students must audition at Manhattan School of Music and then send this form to firstname.lastname@example.org by the registration deadline in order to have the class added to their Barnard schedule.
Jewish Theological Seminary Courses
Students in the dual-degree program with JTS should see Professor Beth Berkowitz for the list of approved courses. Registration and tuition payment should be done through JTS (not in Student Planning).
L or "closed" course instructions
An L course is a class with a cap on the number of students who can enroll. When a maximum enrollment exists, it is listed online in the Directory of Classes. L courses are taught both at Barnard and at Columbia.
Some L classes also require the student to receive approval from the instructor and/or the department in order to enroll. If Student Planning or the online Directory of Classes indicates that some permission is required, obtain the necessary approval(s) AND register on Student Planning. If particular approval or a special procedure is required, you should follow that procedure, but you are not required to show proof of approval to the Registrar.
Signing up for L Courses
L signup will take place in mid-November, mid-April, December, periods over the summer, and the first two weeks of each semester. See the Academic Calendar. Students do L signup as part of regular registration via Student Planning. Registration appointment times are displayed on the Academics page of myBarnard.
You can plan courses at any time but you can register for, or drop, a course only during your appointment times.
If you are unable to complete the L course procedure for a particular class (e.g., the class is full) the class will remain yellow rather than green. You may continue to try to secure a place until the end of your last appointment.
Wait List Function
Note: Not all L courses have a Wait List.
You may join the Wait List for no more than three classes.
The process moves students off the Wait List overnight (that is, only once every 24 hours). You will receive email from the Columbia Registrar in early morning notifying you that you have been admitted from the wait list.
The course will be green the next day (not the same day).
Unexpected Time Conflicts
Student Planning will not allow you to enter two courses that meet at the same time.
Very rarely, Columbia may have changed a course meeting time without notifying Barnard. If you believe the time displayed in Student Planning is wrong, please notify the Barnard Registrar's Office.
Be sure to read all messages displayed on Student Planning before talking to the Registrar's Office.
If an L class is full and you secure the instructor’s permission to enroll (during Registration), file the L Permission form.
If you added an L Course to your myBarnard program but did not (or were unable to) complete the L-Course process, after Registration, file the L Petition form
We can better help you if you give us the exact messages you received on Student Planning.
In preparation for registration each semester, you will need to give your advisees permission to register. (This is not required for Fall 2020)
The following steps are recommended:
- Schedule advising meetings with Returning Students before the opening of advance registration
- Advance registration occurs in April for the Fall semester and in November for the Spring semester. (See academic calendar.)
- If you are advising New (Incoming) Students, you will meet with them during Orientation. New students register (except for their first-year requirements) during the week before classes start.
- In preparation for the meeting, access the following tools myBarnard, under Web Advisor for Faculty:
- Email Advisees: Email your advisees individually or in groups, using their Barnard email address. (For FERPA reasons, please do not email advisees at a personal email account.)
- Student Planning: The student’s proposed, or “planned” class schedule & their transcript
- Student Progress – Degree Audit: The roadmap showing a student’s progress toward meeting their degree requirements – general education and major requirements.
Please note that the major requirement portion of the audits continue to be works in progress. Be sure to consult the online catalogue and/or your department website when discussing these requirements.
- After agreeing on a registration plan, use the Grant Permission to Register link to give approval
- Students are assigned registration appointments, when they can register online for their desired classes and make schedule changes.
- Schedule a follow-up meeting with your advisees between the first day of class and the Registration Deadline (end of second week of classes).
- In Student Planning: Review the student’s final class schedule and click the Review-Complete button to sign off on it. You can archive the approved schedule for later reference.
Credit Limits and Recommendations:
- Barnard students should register for a full-time course load, between 12 and 19 credits per semester.
Students may add an additional four credits (up to 23) during early registration and the shopping period, but as of the fall 2019 semester, their adviser must grant approval for them to remain permanently above 19 credits.
The minimum number of credits a student is required to take to be considered full-time is 12 credits, per Federal law. Students who wish to register for fewer than 12 credits should speak with their Class Dean.
The ideal course load at Barnard is between 15 and 16 credits.
Other Registration policies:
- Barnard students should register for a full-time course load, between 12 and 19 credits per semester. Students are required to meet with their advisers and class dean if they wish to go below 12 credits or more than 19 credits.
- The registration system allows students to register for classes that conflict in time. This is to give students the opportunity to try out classes during the registration (“shopping”) period. Before the registration deadline, students must resolve all time conflicts on their schedules.
- Students who fail to register during the assigned time periods will be subject to progressive late fees.
- The final Registration Deadline for each semester is the end of the second week of classes. Students who drop classes after that deadline will be charged a partial tuition penalty in accordance with College policy.
Additional resources for advisers – including detailed how-to guides - are available in the myBarnard portal, under Advising.
Approve students to drop a course or take above 19 credits - please log into the portal and go to Faculty Matters - Advising - WebAdvisor to approve students for these reasons.