Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of frequently asked questions from across the offices supporting Columbia College and Columbia Engineering collected here in one place for your convenience. You can browse by topic/department or search by keyword.
Classes, Berick Center for Student Advising
The mark of "R" or registration credit is equivalent to auditing a course. Please note that no points/credits are earned. The "R" credit option is available only to Columbia College seniors who submit a completed petition found HERE.
"R" credit petitions will only be authorized if:
- the courses are in excess of the 124 points required for the B.A. degree
- the courses are not used to fulfill a requirement for the B.A. degree, and
- the student has the permission of the course instructor.
For more information regarding the "R" Credit option, please see your Advising Dean.
During the Change-of-Program period (also known as Add/Drop): You can use normal web registration procedures.
After the Change-of-Program period and before the drop deadline (also known as the Post-Change of Program Add/Drop Period): Students may request to add and drop certain courses*, subject to approval by their school and/or the instructor, through SSOL. For more information, please review the Post-Change of Program Period Student Quick Guide. Students not able to complete their request via SSOL should complete a Registration Adjustment Form and submit it to the Center for Student Advising in 403 Lerner. SEAS students will also need their CSA adviser’s signature on the form.
*Please note: The deadline to drop Columbia College Core Curriculum courses is the second week of the semester.
After the drop deadline:
- Columbia College students may elect a "W" or Withdrawal from classes from the drop deadline to the P/D/F deadline. Students must complete a CC Acknowledgement of Course Withdrawal Form and submit it to the Center for Student Advising in 403 Lerner.
- SEAS students must petition the Committee on Academic Standing. Find all instructions and required forms to petition to drop a course after the deadline HERE.
Science Requirement: Columbia College students who wish to request an exception to the Science Requirement should go to the Dean's Office in 208 Hamilton Hall.
Global Core/Major Cultures: Students who wish to request an exception to the Global Core or Major Cultures Requirement should meet with their advising dean at the CSA and submit the Global Core Petition Form.
To take more than 18 (CC) or 21 (SEAS) credits during a single semester, submit the Petition to Register Above the Credit Limit form to your adviser in the CSA. Find the required forms and instructions HERE.
Columbia College Students
All students registered in Columbia College during the regular academic year may elect one course each semester during the regular academic year on a Pass/D/Fail basis. This is in addition to any courses that are given only on a Pass/Fail basis. Students who do not utilize both Pass/D/Fail options during the academic year may elect, in the summer immediately following, to take one Summer Term course on a Pass/D/Fail basis. Courses used to meet the stated degree requirements (except those only given on a Pass/Fail basis) may not be taken Pass/D/Fail. All courses used to meet the requirements of a major or concentration, including related courses, are also excluded from this option, except the first such one-term course taken by the student in his or her eventual major, unless otherwise specified by the department.
The purposes of this option are to encourage students to take courses of interest to them outside of the field of specialization and to permit those who have not decided upon a major to test their talents in a particular field that may be of interest. Students who wish to exercise the Pass/D/Fail option must designate a course for the grade of Pass/D/Fail when registering for each term in the College. A Pass/D/Fail course may be changed to a regular course or a regular course to a Pass/D/Fail course until mid-November in the fall term and until mid-March in the spring term regardless of whether a student has received a midterm grade for the class before the relevant date.
In order to encourage students to engage more fully in the courses they elect to take for a grade of Pass/D/Fail students are allowed to uncover a grade of Pass within two weeks of the start of the semester immediately following that in which the grade of Pass was received. Students have until the end of the add period in the spring semester to uncover the grade of a fall course and until the end of the add period in the fall semester to uncover the grade of a spring or summer term course. Seniors who graduate in May have until June 1 to uncover the grade of a final spring course.
The grade of Pass is not used in calculating grade point average; the grades of D and Fail are used.
Columbia Engineering students can take up to six credits of non-technical courses pass/fail and the courses will count towards their non-tech requirement. Courses must be at the 3000 level or higher. Students should check that the department offering the course allows courses in their department to be taken pass/fail. Students cannot take any core classes or language instruction classes pass/fail. Only one class per semester may be taken pass/fail. (This restriction does not include courses that are only offered pass/fail.) The course grade cannot be uncovered. Courses taken pass/fail cannot count towards a minor; all courses taken for a minor have to be taken for a letter grade.
Before the Deadline
The Pass/D/Fail deadline is usually the 10th week of classes. During the Change of Program period, students may elect to change the grading option via SSOL. During the post change of program period and before the deadline, students should email the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org with their request.
After the Deadline
Students must petition the Committee on Academic Standing. Find all instructions and forms online.
Students who wish to register for courses that overlap must submit a Course Overlap Petition to their CSA Adviser before the end of the Change of Program period. Find all forms and instructions HERE.
If you are struggling in a course, you should always first contact your professor or teaching assistant to discuss expectations, go over previous exams and papers, and clarify concepts and the material. It's also a good idea to contact your advising dean, who can help you review your study habits and create a plan.
For more assistance, you can look for a tutor or visit a help room. Help rooms are sponsored by the academic departments and are staffed by graduate students. They are open at various times for students to drop by and ask questions about homework and material. There are also a variety of tutors available. Academic Success Programs offers a free group tutoring service in a variety of subjects. Here is a list of department-sponsored private tutors and help room information.
- Academic Life & Advising at Columbia (8)
- Academic Success Programs (6)
- Admitted Students (15)
- Berick Center for Student Advising (39)
- Career Considerations for International Students (13)
- Classes (8)
- Columbia College (8)
- Columbia Engineering (2)
- Columbia Outdoor Orientation Program (17)
- Columbia Outdoor Orientation Program (COÖP) (17)
- Columbia Urban Experience (2)
- Columbia Urban Experince (CUE) (11)
- Currently Enrolled Students (17)
- CUSP FAQ (10)
- CUSP Summer Enhancement Fellowships (16)
- Family Weekend (19)
- FAQs for All Incoming Students (9)
- Global Ambassador Program (10)
- Graduation and beyond (5)
- How to Comply with the Policy (14)
- How to Use the Undergraduate Travel Web App (4)
- International Student Orientation Program (14)
- International Student Orientation Program (ISOP) (14)
- International Student Programs and Services (65)
- International Student Visas (8)
- JADE FAQ (3)
- Majors (3)
- New Student Orientation Program (First-year Students) (11)
- Orientation (47)
- Parent and Family Programs (19)
- Parents & Families of International Students (7)
- Parents and Families (13)
- Policies and Procedures for Student Leaders (11)
- Preprofessional Advising (3)
- Prospective International Students (4)
- Prospective Students (11)
- Residential Life (5)
- Residential Programs FAQ (4)
- Scholars Program (26)
- Student Affairs (28)
- Student Engagement (14)
- Student Life at Columbia (17)
- Summer Bridge Program (6)
- Time Away (4)
- Transfer and Combined Plan Student Orientation (4)
- Undergraduate International Travel - Programs (8)
- Visiting Student Orientation (7)