Special Sign-up Procedures

The following courses have special sign-up procedures.

L 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 ppointment 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.

Physical Education

Barnard Physical Education: 

Priority is given to students who have not yet taken PE and need it for the requirement.  PE classes begin on Monday of the second week of classes.

Columbia Physical Education classes are limited enrollment ("L" classes).   Barnard students may only register in-person for Columbia Physical Education courses at the discretion of the Columbia Physical Education Chair (336 Dodge Fitness Center)

If you are participating in a varsity sport (PHED 1005), you are responsible for adding it to your schedule.  

Students who enter as first-years must complete the one required semester of PE by the end of the first year.

Transfer students must consult their transfer credit evaluation to see if a Physical Education course is required.

Language Placement

To begin a language above an introductory level, you must take a language placement exam (unless you have an SAT II score that places you in a particular level). See the list of exams, times and places on the Academic Calendar at the beginning of each semester. If you take a language placement exam, the resulting placement is final and supersedes any other method of placement.

Voice Lessons

If you wish to take voice lessons (Music BC1501 or BC1502), you must attend a tryout on the first Wednesday or Thursday of the semester, starting at 6 pm in 405 Milbank. Pick up a form from, and return it to, 319 Milbank before the tryout. To qualify for a tryout, students must be able to teach themselves a song from a printed musical score.  NOTE:  There is a $1,000 course fee attached to voice lessons (except for students majoring in Music).  There is a $500 fee attached to instrumental lessons at Columbia (except for students majoring in Music or performing in the orchestra). 

Lessons at MSM or Juilliard

A student who has passed the audition at Manhattan School of Music must file a form (also available at the Registrar's Office) by the program-filing deadline each semester in which she wishes to take lessons at MSM.  A student who has been accepted into the joint A.B.-M.F.A. program with Juilliard must file a form (also available at the Registrar's Office) by the program-filing deadline each semester in which she remains in the program.

Jewish Theological Seminary Courses

Students planning on taking a course at the Jewish Theological Seminary should see Professor Beth Berkowitz for the list of approved courses.   Do not include JTS courses on your Barnard program.  Registration and tuition payment should be done through JTS.

Columbia Core courses

If you wish to enroll in one of the Columbia core courses (Humanities C1001 or C1002, or Contemporary Civilization C1101 or C1102), see your Class Dean at the beginning of the semester, but be aware that very few spaces will be available.  Students who were placed in one of these classes in the fall semester may continue in the spring semester but must notify the Registrar of the exact course section.

Columbia Graduate/Professional School Courses

Barnard students may not take graduate or professional-school courses at the 6000-level or higher, with some exceptions.   Students may take advanced graduate courses with the approval of instructor and adviser.   

For permission to take courses at SIPA, see the appropriate dean in the Office of the Dean of Studies.   There is no advance signup for SIPA courses; you cannot enter a course on your program, even if you have permission, until September or January.

For information about Journalism and graduate Business courses, consult Dean Youngblood.

Columbia University Business School offerings are available to Barnard College seniors with permission from the instructor during the appointed registration times.  This information is outlined here.

Teachers College

Permission is needed to take a course at Teachers College. At the beginning of the semester, secure an application from the Registrar's Office, obtain the proper signatures, and return the completed form to Dean Friedman. TC courses require the payment of additional tuition at the Teachers College per-point rate, over and above Barnard tuition.

Independent Study

To request credit for an independent study, submit the Request for Approval of Independent Study by the final registration deadline in January or September. 

Request for Credit for Dance Technique

If you have completed your physical education requirement, you may request a point for a dance technique class.  Wait until September or January, when you are sure you have been admitted to a class, before filing the form.  Please note that we cannot adjust point value until after your adviser has approved your program. 

Variable Point Courses

When you add a variable-point course to your program, the credit defaults to the lowest value.  If you are taking this course for a higher value, you must submit the Variable Point Course Form  No adviser's signature is required.