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|
|ET||An internal, temporary grade when a deferred exam has been taken, awaiting submission of the final grade.|
|I||Incomplete - student is missing work to complete the course. If the work is not submitted by the deadline, the contingency grade will be applied.|
|IX||Student is missing work and was absent from the final exam.|
|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|
|WS||An internal, temporary grade when incomplete work has been submitted, awaiting submission of the final grade.|
|X||Absence from final exam.|
|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.
For grading systems for Columbia College, General Studies and SEAS students, click here.
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.)
Seniors who are approved to take less than 12 credits (by exception in their final semester), must have 9 credits of letter graded coursework to be eligible for Dean's List.
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 2023 Incomplete work is due by Sept. 5, 2023.
Summer 2022 incomplete work is due by January 16, 2024.
Fall 2023 Incomplete work is due by April 15, 2024.
**Graduating seniors must have all incomplete work submitted in time to be graded by the grading deadline of their graduation term.**
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, an internal temporary grade of "WS" will be assigned, until the final letter grade is submitted and 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 withheld from student transcripts for each class that a course evaluation was not completed. If not submitted by the deadline, grades will not appear for three weeks.
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.
Beginning fall 2023, Barnard students can elect P/D/F grading in one course per term. This is in addition to any courses with mandatory pass/fail grading. A class in which the P grade is uncovered is still counted towards the one course per term P/D/F limit.
- Classes taken for P/D/F grading can be applied to general education requirements.
- You cannot elect P/D/F grading for any course that is needed to fulfill major or minor requirements. It is your responsibility to be sure that you understand this policy and to consult with your department if you have any questions. Please note that if you elect P/D/F grading in a class that your Department Chair determines is required for your major or minor requirements, the “pass” grade will be administratively uncovered by the Registrar’s Office at the point of graduation, which could affect both your term and cumulative gpa. Dean’ List status can also be affected by this.
- Generally speaking, the P/D/F grading option should not be elected in any course within your major or minor department or field – even if the course is not actually needed to fulfill a requirement of the major or minor. In the past, the Registrar’s Office would prevent students from electing P/D/F grading in such courses until their Chair approved the election by email. In order to provide a more efficient process, we will no longer be doing this as of spring 2023. If you are considering electing P/D/F grading in such a class, it is your responsibility to speak with your major advisor or academic department to confirm that this is allowable before you submit the election.
- You cannot elect P/D/F grading in First Year Writing or First Year Seminar. (As of Fall 2020, these classes changed to a mandatory pass/fail grading system.)
Please note that dean’s list eligibility requires a minimum of 12 letter-graded classes per semester. A class in which a student elects P/D/F grading will not count towards that minimum.
Students should also make themselves aware of any financial-aid related limitations to electing pass/fail grading by consulting the Financial Aid Office.
The instructor is not informed when a student elects the P/D/F grading option. The instructor will assign a letter grade in SSOL, which will be converted to P/D/F on your transcript.
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.
Students who may be facing extenuating circumstances in a particular semester can petition to elect P/D/F grading in a second course, by speaking with their class dean and then submitting a petition to the College’s Committee on Programs and Academic Standing (CPAS). CPAS will not generally approve any petition that would result in a student having fewer than six credits of coursework that is either standard letter-graded or mandatory pass/fail, unless a student has been previously approved for a reduced courseload (please refer to the reduced courseload policy for more information about this process). Students who petition to elect P/D/F in an additional class should be aware that this may disqualify them from consideration for dean’s list for that semester. Students with ongoing disability-related challenges can also be in touch with CARDS to discuss reasonable academic accommodations.
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 grading retroactively.
To elect the P/D/F Grading option:
NEW process as of fall 2023:
Barnard students will use SSOL to elect P/D/F grading
-Click here to elect a Fall 2023 course for P/D/F grading. (Use a browser other than Safari).
-Click on P/D/F grading then Grading Option Change Request.
This form can be used to elect Pass/D/Fail for a course where that option is not available in SSOL.
To undo/ revoke your p/d/f election - or switch the election to a different class (this must be done prior to the P/D/F grading deadline):
-Go to ssol.columbia.edu and go to Pass/D/Fail Uncover.
Shortly after grades are posted for a term (early January for fall classes and mid-June for spring classes), students may uncover their letter grades in any course that they initially elected to take P/D/F. Students can see their letter grade in SSOL (the Barnard transcript will only show the P grade).
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:
For Spring 2023 classes, 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
Fall 2023 classes will be uncovered in SSOL and detailed instructions will be available in January 2024.
Uncovered grades count towards the one course per term 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 their major for a senior to graduate, the Registrar’s Office will automatically uncover the grade as part of graduation clearance.
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 2023 classes
Deferred exams from Spring 2023 will be held on Friday, September 8, 2023 and Monday, September 11, 2023. We will be in touch with you to confirm the location & room details regarding your exam details the last week of August.
Friday, September 8th 9:30AM – 12:30 PM
Friday, September 8th 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Monday, September 11th 9:30AM – 12:30 PM
Monday, September 11th 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
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. Location & Time of exams will be announced here in August, 2023.
Spring 2023 deferred exams must be completed by Monday, September 11, 2023.
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, an internal, temporary grade of "ET" will be assigned until the final letter grade is submitted and will appear on the student transcript.