Grades & Exams
Grading System & Your GPA
Academic standing and eligibility for graduation are determined by both the number of courses completed and the grades achieved.
Barnard's grading policies differ from those of other schools at the University. The applicable grading system and policies are determined by the college in which the student is matriculated (not those of the University division offering the course).
The system used for Barnard students is described below:
|A+, A, A-||Excellent|
|B+, B, B-||Good|
|C-, D||Unsatisfactory but passing|
|CP||Coursework needs to continue beyond the end of the term due to institutional constraints - implies satisfactory progress|
|P||Passed without a specific grade on student's election of P/D/F option|
|P*||Passed in a course for which only a grade of P or F is allowed|
|UW||Withdrawal from a course without official notification to Registrar|
|W||Approved withdrawal after "drop" deadline|
|X||Absence from final examination|
|Y||For the first half of a two-semester course in which the grade for the second semester is the grade for the entire course|
- Pass/Fail grades are recorded for all students in certain courses, (e.g., physical education) where pass/fail is the only grading option.
- Pass/Fail grades elected by individual students in fully graded courses are subject to Barnard’s Pass/D/Fail policies described below.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mandatory Pass/Fail grading was in effect for all students for the spring 2020 semester.
Each student’s Barnard GPA is calculated at the end of each term, both for the individual semester and cumulatively. A student’s GPA may be used to determine academic standing and eligibility for academic and co-curricular programs, as well as awards. To remain in good academic standing, Barnard students must maintain both a term and cumulative gpa of 2.0.
For GPA purposes, letter grades are converted to the following numerical values:
· A+ = 4.3
· A = 4.0
· A- = 3.7
· B+ = 3.3
· B = 3.0
· B- = 2.7
· C+ = 2.3
· C = 2.0
· C- = 1.7
· D = 1.0
· F = 0
Grades of P, P*, W, and UW are excluded from the GPA calculation.
Grades of I and X are non-final grades. Once a final grade is determined, it will factor into the GPA like any other grade.
The GPA is a weighted average, calculated by the value of the grade and the number of credits the course is worth.
During academic years 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, incoming first-years will be required to complete at least 9 letter-graded points with a minimum grade point average of 3.60 for the term. (P-graded points are excluded.)
Spring 2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the mandatory pass/fail grading policy, there is no dean's list for spring 2020.
Effective fall 2013: To be eligible for Dean's List, a student must be enrolled at Barnard, on Morningside Heights (or on a Columbia program abroad) and complete at least 12 letter-graded points with a minimum grade point average of 3.60 for the term. (P-graded points are excluded.) The grade point average will be based on all letter grades in the A to F range.
Prior to fall 2013: To be eligible for Dean's List, a student must be enrolled at Barnard for both terms and complete at least 12 letter-graded points each term of an academic year with a minimum grade point average of 3.4 for the academic year. (P-graded points are excluded.) The grade point average will be based on all letter grades in the A to F range.
Note: Dean's list notations are not awarded for summer terms.
Spring 2022 Incomplete work is due by Sept. 6, 2022.
Summer 2022 incomplete work is due by January 17, 2023.
Fall 2022 Incomplete work is due by April 15, 2023.
Students who are unable to complete a course due to outstanding coursework (other than the final exam) may request a grade of Incomplete from their instructor. The student should submit an Application for Incomplete, approved by their instructor, by the last day of the Reading Period for the class.
When the remaining work is completed, the student should submit it according to the instructions on the Application for Incomplete form.
Remaining work must be submitted by the Final Incomplete deadline (for Fall terms by April 15th and Spring terms, the first day of classes in the following fall term) or by the deadline set by the instructor if earlier.
Faculty should submit a grade of "I" for a student who has been approved for a an incomplete grade. Once the missing work is submitted, the final letter grade will appear on the student transcript.
If the remaining work is not submitted by the deadline, the student will receive a grade with the missing work averaged in as an F.
If a student has completed all coursework except the final exam, they can seek approval for a Deferred Exam (see below).
Courses in which the student receives the grade of D may not be counted toward the major requirement or the minor option. Courses graded D that are retaken for a higher grade will not receive degree credit when repeated, but can be used to satisfy a major or minor requirement. Both enrollments and grades appear on the transcript, but the grade received the second time does not count in the gpa.
Students who retake failed courses will see the course twice on their transcript and both grades will factor into the gpa.
Calculating Your GPA
- Your Barnard GPA, include only courses taken during the fall or spring terms while you were a registered Barnard student.
Your major GPA, include only courses in your major.
Your overall GPA, include all courses.
Follow these steps:
Total the number of points* you have for each grade (e.g., 12 points of B+).
Multiply the number of points by the numerical value of each letter grade (e.g., 12 points of B+ = 12 x 3.3 = 39.6).
Total your number of points (exclude any points with a grade of P, P*, I, X, or no grade; include any points with a grade of F).
Add all the totals in step 2, for your total number of quality points.
Divide the total in step 4 by the total in step 3. This is your GPA.
*If you attended Barnard under the course system (rather than the point system), you should use the course value (e.g. 1.0 or 1.25) instead of point value.
The Registrar’s Office communicates grading deadlines to faculty each semester. Final grades are generally due 2 weeks after the end of final exams, or after the submission of final coursework in the case of an incomplete grade.
Final grades are considered final and are changeable only in the following cases:
Clerical or computational error
After re-evaluation of the work of the entire class or a representative sample (e.g. everyone with a final grade of B+)
Final grades cannot be improved by the submission of additional or revised work, or by re-examination.
Barnard faculty can submit a request to change a grade for students in SSOL from the Spring 2018 semester forward. For all other semesters, grade changes can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on submitting grade changes can be found here.
Current students may elect P/D/F grading in a maximum of 23 points (22 points for students entering as transfers). Courses that are only available with P/F grading are not counted. Courses where p/d/f grading is chosen but the grade is later uncovered will still count towards the credit limit.
The instructor is not informed when a student elects the Pass/D/Fail option. The instructor will assign a letter grade, which will be converted to P/D/F. Because of this, students may see a letter grade in SSOL and should reference their Barnard transcript to see the P/D/F grade.
A letter grade of A+ through C- will appear on the transcript as a P, and will not count in the gpa
A letter grade of D will appear on the transcript as a D, and will count in the gpa
A letter grade of F will appear on the transcript as an F, and will count in the gpa
Classes taken for p/d/f grades can be applied to general education requirements but not to major or minor requirements.
How to elect or revoke the p/d/f option
After the registration deadline for a term, students can elect p/d/f grading for any registered course. The deadline to make this election (or to undo it - also called “revoking”) is posted in the academic calendar. Students may not request P/D/F retroactively.
To elect the pd/f/ option:
-Go to portal.barnard.edu. (Use a browser other than Safari).
- Under the Academics tab, click on "Planning your courses", and then "Request P/D/F for a course".
- Log in
-Click on Pass/D/Fail.
-Click “P/D/F” in the Select column for each course you want to take p/d/f. Be sure to submit a request for each part of a course (e.g. lecture and lab).
After 5 business days, you can return to the same portal page to check the status of your request.
-If your request is still pending, you will see your request but no action.
-If your request has been approved, you will see “Approved” in the PDF Status column
-You will also see “Grading: Pass/Fail” on the course section in Student Planning.
If you requested P/D/F for a course in your major department
-you will see "Dept Chair approval reqd" in the PDF Status column.
-you will also receive email instructing you to obtain department chair approval by a certain deadline
**PER FALL 2021 PDF POLICY**- If the course you are electing PDF is counting towards one course in your major and it is not fulfilling the slot on your major portion of the degree audit, please wait until after the uncover deadline (January 28, 2022) to submit your degree audit change request. If you are graduating after this semester, there is no need to update your degree audit for your major.
-If the request is approved by the Chair, you will see a status of “Approved.” If not, it will say “Denied.”
To undo/ revoke your p/d/f election (must be done prior to the p/d/f deadline):
-click on “Revoke” in the Select column.
-Within 3 business days, the “Grading: Pass/Fail” note will have returned to “Graded” in Student Planning.
-If you revoke the p/d/f election, it will not count towards your p/d/f credit limit.
-If you drop or officially withdraw from a class that you had previously p/d/f'd, you should also revoke the p/d/f so that it won't count towards your p/d/f limit.
Students may elect P/D/F grading for one fall 2021 class that they will use towards either a major or a minor requirement. (The limit is one course. Students cannot elect one course for their major and one course for their minor. Double majors must choose one class towards one of their two majors.) Students may not elect p/d/f grading for senior thesis or capstone courses.
P/D/F elections for major courses as per the fall 2021 exception still count towards the P/D/F limit.
***For Fall 2021 P/D/F requests only, the Registrar's Office will provisionally "approve" all P/D/F requests submitted between now and Wednesday, December 15, 2021. After the uncover deadline, if a student has elected P/D/F for multiple courses in their major or minor fields of study, they will be contacted by the registrar's office and a grade may need to be administratively uncovered at that time.***
Students may not elect the Pass/D/Fail option for:
First Year Writing or First Year Seminar. ** For Fall 2020 through Spring 2022, the First Year Experience piloted a mandatory Pass/Fail policy for these courses.**
classes going toward your minor (if any).
classes in your major field.
Students may elect the P/D/F option for a class in their major field only:
if it will NOT be used to fulfill a major requirement; and
if it exceeds the number of points required for the major; and
with the specific approval of the Department Chair.
**The credits for classes that students elect to p/d/f during academic year 2020-21 (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, & Summer 2021) will be excluded from the 23 or 22 point maximum.** In addition to this policy change, the First Year Experience Program piloted a Pass/Fail policy for First Year Writing and First Year Seminar this academic year.**
No limitation is placed on the number of Pass/D/Fail grades that may be recorded in a single term, except those rules that apply to Dean’s List eligibility (a minimum of 12 letter-graded credits each semester), eligibility for financial aid, or the overall 23-point p/d/f maximum.
The “Status of PDF Elections” section of the screen shows you the total number of points you have elected Pass/D/Fail, over all semesters.
Shortly after grades are posted for a term (early January for fall classes and mid-June for spring classes), students may uncover their grades in any course that they initially elect to take P/D/F. Students can see their letter grade in SSOL, but the P/D/F election will be enforced on their Barnard transcript, which is the official record of grades.
The deadline to uncover a grade is the registration deadline (the second Friday) of the following semester. Once uncovered, a grade cannot be re-covered.
To uncover a p/d/f grade:
-return to the myBarnard portal page
-Click on Academic, then "Taking Classes"
-select "Change P/D/F Status"
- Log in
- select “Uncover” from the drop-down menu
Uncovered grades count towards the P/D/F total credit limit, in the GPA calculation and can be applied towards major or minor requirements.
Graduating seniors cannot uncover P/D/F grades in their final semester. If a P/D/F’d class is required for a senior to graduate, the Registrar’s Office will automatically uncover the grade as part of graduation clearance.
Note: The uncovering policy takes effect in fall 2016, for courses elected P/D/F in that semester. It is not retroactive to earlier semesters.
Final examinations are given at the end of each term, on the days indicated in the College’s academic calendar. Exams are scheduled according to a University-wide Final Exam Schedule, determined in coordination with Columbia.
Exact times and room numbers for individual exams can be found here for Barnard courses and here for Columbia courses. **Please check with your instructor about any changes to the exam room or format**. Please note that exams are generally not held in the room used by the class during the regular semester. Exam room locations are finalized approximately one month before exams begin. .
Student Exam Conflicts
Students will occasionally have two exams scheduled for the same time. If you have exam conflict (two exams at the same time) or exam hardship (defined as three exams within a 24-hour period or four exams within a 48-hour period), please fill out this form.
Examinations are not rescheduled to accommodate travel plans.
Deferred exams for Spring 2022 classes
Deferred exams from Spring 2022 will be held on September 9, 2022 and September 12, 2022. We will be in touch with you to confirm the details regarding your exam details the week before classes begin.
For most in-person deferred exams, we will follow a self-scheduled exam model. You will be contacted directly if your exam has a specific day and time. Otherwise, this model, followed by a number of peer institutions, allows students to select when to take their exams from among a number of blocked exam time periods:
September 9th 9am-12pm (arrive at 8:45 am) Diana 504
September 9th 1pm-4pm (arrive at 12:45pm) Diana 504
September 12th 9am-12pm (arrive at 8:45am) Milbank 307
September 12th 1pm-4pm (arrive at 12:45pm) Milstein LL017
Spring 2022 deferred exams must be completed by Monday, September 12, 2022.
For more information regarding Spring 2022 deferred exams, please check this page the week of August 29, 2022.
General procedure below:
Students who need to miss their regular final examination due to illness or emergency should fill out this form on the morning of the exam. Students who follow this procedure may be approved to take a deferred exam.
Deferred examinations for Barnard students (for courses taught both at Barnard and Columbia) will be administered in the beginning of the following semester (exact dates are listed in the academic calendar). The schedule for deferred exams for fall classes will be posted by January 15th and the schedule for deferred exams for spring classes will be posted by September 4th. (This does not apply for Fall 2020-Summer 2021 exams as arrangements should be made with the instructor and class dean as exams are administered online.)
Faculty should submit a grade of X for a student who has been approved for a deferred exam. Once the exam is taken and graded, the final letter grade will appear on the student transcript.