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|
|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 year 2020-21, 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.
Summer incomplete work is due the first day of Spring 2022 term (Jan 18, 2022)
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.
If all remaining work is submitted before the “Early Incomplete” deadline, the I grade will be removed from the student transcript. (This does not apply for AY Fall 2020-Summer 2021)
Otherwise, the remaining work must be submitted by the Final Incomplete deadline (for both fall and spring classes, the final deadline is the first day of classes in the following fall term) or by the deadline set by the instructor if earlier. The final letter grade will appear next to the I grade on the transcript (e.g. IA, IB-, etc.). (This does not apply for AY Fall 2020-Summer 2021)
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 email@example.com.
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 credits for classes that students elect to p/d/f during academic year 2020-21 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.**
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 Web Advisor for Students on myBarnard. (Use a browser other than Safari). 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 3 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
-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 not elect the Pass/D/Fail option for:
First Year Writing or First Year Seminar. ** For Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, 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.
No limitation is placed on the number of Pass 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 where you elected p/d/f
-you will see your courses and final grades
-select “Uncover” from the drop-down menu
Uncovered grades count 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.
For seniors who will graduate in June 2021 or October 2021, spring 2021 PDF grades can only be uncovered if the student is enrolled in 12 or more credits during the summer 2021 semester. (In this case, the summer 2021 semester -- rather than spring 2021 -- is the student's final full-time semester.) To request this option, June and October graduates should email the registrar's office at firstname.lastname@example.org between June 7 and 18, 2021 (they will not be able to uncover spring grades using the regular p/d/f tool online) to uncover the grade.
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 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.
Summer & Spring 2021 deferred exams will be held September 10 and 13th, 2021
Students who need to miss their regular final examination due to illness or emergency should contact their instructor and the Dean of Studies office on the morning of the exam. Students who follow this procedure may be approved to take a deferred exam. Dean of Studies approval is required.
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 next to the X on the student transcript (e.g. XB+).