General Academic Policies for Study Abroad
Coursework from abroad may only be approved via the Study Abroad Course Approval Form in Slate.
Courses completed abroad must adhere to general Barnard requirements for the liberal arts degree in order to be approved for transfer. Coursework from abroad is not guaranteed to transfer to the Barnard record. Study abroad courses for which a student requests college elective credit or GER credit must be approved by the External Credit Coordinator in the Registrar’s Office. Department chairs or designated departmental evaluators must approve study abroad courses for major credit, minor credit, as well as college elective credit in the following departments: Chemistry, Classics, Neuroscience and Behavior, Physics & Astronomy, Slavic, and Spanish & Latin American Cultures. If GER credit is requested through these departments, it must be approved by both the External Credit Coordinator and the departmental evaluator. Courses will only be reviewed and evaluated when submitted via the Study Abroad Course Approval Form in Slate, after the student has been approved to study abroad.
If a student absolutely must find a course that meets a particular Barnard requirement, it is essential that they have the course approved prior to taking it.
All coursework completed abroad is considered transfer credit, with the exception of Columbia-led* programs. Barnard students are allowed a maximum of 60 transfer credits, including study abroad credits.
*Columbia-led programs: Coursework completed on Columbia-led programs is considered regular Barnard/Columbia credit and all grades earned appear on the Barnard transcript and factor into the GPA. Columbia-led programs include Reid Hall in Paris, Columbia in London, Columbia in Kenya, Berlin Consortium for German Studies, and Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies.
Credit Requirement Abroad
Students are required to enroll in and request credit for the equivalent of at least 12 Barnard credits while abroad in order to maintain full-time status.
However, students do not need to receive the equivalent of 12 Barnard credits in order to maintain full-time status. Credit conversion details are listed in the academics section on each program page. Students should not assume, for example that a 10-credit course in Buenos Aires will transfer as a 10-credit course at Barnard.
For courses fewer than 6 weeks, a maximum of 1 credit per week is awarded.
Barnard sets no limit on the maximum number of points a student can take abroad; however, it is not advisable to take more than 18 credits in one semester. Students must also meet the minimum and maximum credit requirements of the study abroad program they are attending.
Course Requirements Abroad
There is no minimum number of courses in which students must enroll while abroad, as long as they are enrolled in the equivalent of at least 12 Barnard credits per semester.
NOTE: Students cannot receive credit for repeating a course they have taken previously, even if a course is required by the study abroad program. For example, if a student has already received credit for Intermediate Turkish II, but must take an intermediate-level Turkish class as a required part of the program, credit for the second intermediate Turkish class will not be awarded toward the Barnard degree.
As per general Barnard requirements for the liberal arts degree, a maximum of two professional school courses (e.g. business school, journalism school, etc.) total may be credited to the Barnard transcript. Therefore if a student has already completed two professional school courses, and completes an additional marketing or other professional course abroad, that course will not be approved for transfer credit.
Pass/Fail Policy Abroad
All courses taken abroad must be taken for a grade, not pass/fail.
It is not possible to transfer courses taken on a pass/fail basis when abroad. Regardless of what the program P/F policy is, Barnard students must take all coursework abroad for a letter grade, with the exception of the Columbia Reid Hall program in Paris.
A course taken P/F on the Columbia Reid Hall program abroad will count against the 23 total credits Barnard students may elect. Courses taken P/F may not count toward major or minor requirements. Review the Barnard General Grading Policy for more details.
Grades Abroad and GPA
All coursework taken abroad must be taken for a grade and only U.S. letter grades will be posted on the Barnard transcript.
If the program uses a different marking system, a grade conversion document must be provided along with the transcript. If one is not provided, no grades will be posted on the Barnard record.
Only courses taken to fulfill major requirements abroad are factored into the major GPA.*
Otherwise, grades from study abroad do not factor into the overall GPA, except for Latin Honors calculations at graduation. The registrar uses the transfer GPA (which includes study abroad grades) to calculate whether Latin Honors have been achieved. The transfer GPA may lower the overall GPA, but not raise it to meet the threshold for Latin Honors.
*Grades earned on Columbia-led programs are recorded as regular Barnard/Columbia letter grades. These grades will be factored into the overall GPA the same as courses completed on-campus at Barnard/Columbia.