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Fall 2020 Information for New Students

Fall 2020 Registration FAQs for Columbia College Students 

Can I change my section of Literature Humanities or Frontiers of Science?

You can try to switch your assigned section of Literature Humanities or Frontiers of Science on SSOL when your registration window opens on September 4th, using the "Change Section" tab in registration.   If that fails, the Core office petition period will take place from Tuesday, September 8, 2020 to Thursday, September 10, 2020.  During this time, you may complete an online petition to add or change sections of Frontiers of Science or Literature Humanities. The Core office will make every attempt to place you in a section on the day and time you’ve requested. However, petitions are processed based on section availability. The online petition forms will be made available the week of August 31. Please check your email and the Core website, or speak with your Advising Dean for more details.

Can I change my section of University Writing?  Can I swap University Writing for Frontiers of Science or Frontiers of Science for University Writing? 

Instructions for how to swap a University Writing section with another student, change your section of University Writing, or exchange University Writing for Frontiers of Science (or vice versa) are available here.  Note that the deadline to petition for any of these switches is Thursday, September 3 at 4pm. 

Placement Exams 

Departmental exam information will continually be updated towards the end of the summer. Please check back periodically for placement exam information that has not yet been posted. 

Chemistry

INTRODUCTORY AND FIRST YEAR CHEMISTRY COURSES

The chemistry department offers a number of introductory or first year courses in chemistry.  The most popular sequence, Chemistry UN1403 and UN1404 (http://bulletin.columbia.edu/columbia-college/departments-instruction/chemistry/#coursestext), is a full year course that provides an introduction to the key concepts and forefront research topics in chemistry and (together with the concurrent recitation (CHEM UN1405 or UN1407 or UN1409 and the associated but nonconcurrent laboratory course CHEM UN1500) satisfies requirements for many programs including our chemistry major, several engineering or biological sciences majors, as well as premedical programs in CC SEAS and GS. This course assumes a standard high school preparation in chemistry physics and mathematics. CHEM UN0001 (Preparation for College Chemistry) helps to prepare students for the UN1403 and UN1404 sequence if needed. In addition, we offer two accelerated courses for freshmen with advanced high school preparation, and/or high motivation in chemistry: UN1604 or the UN2045-2046 sequence. 

CHEM UN1604 PLACEMENT INFORMATION

Chemistry UN1604 “Intensive General Chemistry” is a one-semester introductory general chemistry course that serves as an expedited replacement for the full-year, Chemistry UN1403 and UN1404 sequence.  Students wishing to take UN1604 should have strong high school preparation in chemistry and must take two assessment examinations to help evaluate their preparation for the course. The first exam will be online, taken within the honor code. Students’ scores on this exam may be applied as credit in the course (depending on the instructor’s discretion). Students should email the course Teaching Assistant, Christopher Hwu, at ch2953@columbia.edu, to gain access to Columbia University’s Courseworks site (https://courseworks.columbia.edu/welcome/) in order to take the first exam. The exam will be available starting Tuesday, September 1 at 8:00 a.m. until Thursday, September 3 at 11:50 p.m.

To prepare for this placement examination, students are advised to refer to the syllabus in Courseworks site, where we describe the specific topics and textbook chapters that should be studied in advance as well as details on how to contact us for clarifications or help preparing. The second assessment examination will be administered in class during the second week of classes, and covers similar material. Your scores on these assessment examinations will be the primary factor helping you and the instructor to determine whether you will be invited to register for this course. During the term we will assume knowledge of the specific introductory topics covered by the placement examination. Students must concurrently enroll in a recitation section (Chemistry UN1606) and should be aware that the laboratory course (Chemistry UN1500 or UN1507) is a separate class (not necessarily concurrent), required for many programs. In fall 2020 this course will be taught with a mixture of on-line and in person sessions.

CHEM UN2045 PLACEMENT INFORMATION (REVISED)

Chemistry UN2045-2046 “Intensive Organic Chemistry” is a one-year, organic chemistry sequence for students with excellent preparation in general chemistry and a basic introduction to organic chemistry.  Students wishing to take UN2045-2046 should have strong high school preparation in chemistry and must take two assessment examinations to help you evaluate your preparation for the course. The first exam will be on line, taken within the honor code.  Your work on this on line exam should help you determine which course to initially select, and may also be applied as credit in the course (depending on the instructor’s discretion). Students should email the course Teaching Assistant, Claudia Prindle, at crp2163@columbia.edu, to gain access to Columbia University's Courseworks site (http://courseworks.columbia.edu/welcome) in order take the first exam. The exam will be available starting Tuesday, September 1 at 8:00 a.m. until Thursday, September 3 at 11:50 p.m. The second assessment examination will be administered in class during the second week of classes.

Your scores on these assessment examinations will be the primary factor in helping you and the instructor to determine whether you will be invited to register for this course. The placement examinations will cover some basic concepts in the structure and bonding of organic compounds, and it is recommended that you review Chapters 1-3 of the text book (Organic Chemistry, 8th Edition, by Paula Yurkanis Bruice) prior to taking the exams, in addition to attending the lectures prior to the second assessment examination. You will not be expected to have mastered/memorized all of this material, but rather to have some basic familiarity with some of the main concepts discussed in those Chapters. UN2045 will be offered during Spring 2021 and the sequence will be completed with UN2046 in Fall 2021.  If you receive permission to register for UN2045 in spring, you should register for UN1507 in Fall 2020. Please note that the laboratory course (Chemistry UN1507) is a separate class.

Questions? Please contact Professor Vesna Gasperov at vg2231@columbia.edu.
 
Important Information for Prehealth Students: Many medical schools require one year of General Chemistry and one year of Organic Chemistry with labs. If you skip the General Chemistry lecture sequence or take the one semester Intensive Gen Chem lecture, these schools may expect for you to have the equivalent AP/IB credit and/or advanced courses in chemistry to round out your prerequisites.

Physics

The Physics Information Session will take place on Thursday, September 3, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The session will describe the various introductory Physics sequences (of which there are four), and also placement into Accelerated Physics (PHYS 2801-2802) for students who may be interested in that. There will be plenty of opportunity for Q&A. For those who cannot attend the session live, it will be recorded and made available for subsequent viewing. Additional details on the Information Session and placement exam can be found on this Physics Department site. Click here to access the session live.

The placement exam for those without the requisite AP scores who wish to take Accelerated Physics (PHYS 2801-2802) will be available on Thursday, September 3, accessible via this website. More information on each level of Physics can be found here

Math

For CC students:  

Columbia College students who plan to take math courses at Columbia are invited to attend an information session, which will provide an overview of course options and include a discussion of placement into the appropriate math course based on school policy, AP scores, and prior math background. There is no math placement exam for Columbia College students. The Math Department's Calculus page details its placement policies. Students may attend the Academic Resources Fair and/or the Math Information Session to obtain further information on placement. The Academic Resources Fair will take place on Wednesday, September 2, 3:00-5:00 p.m. The Math Information Session will be led by Prof. George Dragomir via Zoom on Thursday, September 3, 1:00-2:00 p.m. Click here to access the Math Information Session.
 

For SEAS students only:

There will be a Math Information Session for SEAS students led by Prof. Drew Youngren on Monday, August 31 at 4:30 p.m. Placement into Calculus courses for SEAS students is determined by high school coursework and relevant exam scores (such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A-Levels, French Baccalaureate, etc.).  Click here to access a handout that details SEAS math placement policies.   If a student has an exam score in AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC, that score alone will determine placement and the student is not eligible to take the SEAS math placement exam. Students who do not have an AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC exam score may take the SEAS math placement exam if they hope to gain permission to begin with Multivariable Calculus (APMA E2000) at Columbia. By contrast, students who intend to begin with Calculus I or Calculus II at Columbia should not take the SEAS math placement exam.

The 80-minute timed exam is available from 7 a.m. Eastern time on Sunday, August 30 to 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, September 1. If you do not have an AP Calculus score and wish to take the SEAS math placement exam with the hope of placing into Multivariable Calculus (APMA E2000), please contact Justin Snider (justin.snider@columbia.edu) for the necessary login information to take the exam.

 

Music Humanities

The exam will take place on Friday, September 11, 10:00-11:30 a.m. via Zoom. The Exemption test takes approximately 90 minutes, includes questions based on played excerpts, and comprises questions reflecting knowledge of works in the syllabus: musical style, historical context, cultural impact, performance issues, an questions reflecting general musical knowledge, familiarity with elements, styles, composers, terms, genres, and concepts covered in the course.

PLEASE NOTE: The Music Exemption Test may be attempted only ONCE, during a student’s FIRST semester at Columbia.  It is offered only during the Fall semester of each academic year.  Students matriculating for the first time in January may take the test the following Fall semester.

QUESTIONS? E-mail Professor E. Sisman, es53@columbia.edu

 

Foreign Languages

Language placement at Columbia is determined in one of two ways. Students who wish to continue with a language they studied in secondary school MUST either take a Columbia language department placement exam in order to register for a course in that language OR submit results from SAT II Subject Tests or Advanced Placement exams. Those students who have demonstrated proficiency in a language via SAT II or AP should refer to the Academic Planning Guide for New Students, pages 52-53, for specific course placement information. Students who have not taken an SAT II Subject Test or an AP exam must take a Columbia departmental exam in order to determine appropriate placement. Placement exams are scheduled for the languages listed below.

Please note: If you are exempt from the Columbia College foreign-language requirement per your placement exam results, you must contact the department to receive a certificate of exemption and deliver that certificate to your advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising. Questions? Contact information for language program coordinators in each department can be found here

Arabic

Visit the program homepage here for information. Questions? Contact Taoufik Ben-Amor at tb46@columbia.edu.

Chinese

Listening comprehension, composition, vocabulary and grammar will be tested online between August 20-30, 2020. Speaking and conversational skills will be evaluated through a one-on-one virtual conversation with an instructor on or around September 1, 2020.

Visit the program homepage here for more information. Quesionts? contact Lening Liu at l1172@columbia.edu.

French

Online exam only. The link to the exam can be found here

Questions? Visit the program homepage here or contact Pascale Hubert-Leibler at ph2028@columbia.edu.

German

An online exam will be administered via Canvas, followed by a Zoom interview. For more information, and for the latest exam dates, please click here 

Questions?  Visit the program homepage here or contact  Jutta Schmiers-Heller at js2331@columbia.edu.

Hebrew

A written exam will be proctored via Zoom on Thursday, September 3rd. 

Questions? Visit the program homepage here or contact Naama Harel at nh2508@columbia.edu

Hindu-Urdu 

Visit the program homepage here for information. Questions? Contact Rakesh Ranjan at rr2574@columbia.edu.

Hungarian

Please email Professor Carol Rounds at chr2@columbia.edu to arrange a time to take the exam. More information found here

Italian

Visit the program homepage here for information. Questions? Contact Lani Muller at lm36@columbia.edu

Japanese

Visit the program homepage here for information. Questions? Contact Kyoko Matsui Loetscher at kml2168@columbia.edu.

Korean

Visit the program homepage here for information. Questions? Contact Dr. Joowon Suh at js604@columbia.edu.

Latin

Exams will be sent via email for students to take and return to the department.

Visit the program homepage here for information. Questions? Contact Gareth Williams at gdw5@columbia.edu.

Persian

A written exam will take place remotely, followed by an oral exam conducted via Zoom. 

Visit the program homepage here for information. Questions? Contact Saeed Honarmand at sh3468@columbia.edu.

Portuguese

Visit the program homepage here for information. Questions? Contact José Antonio Castellanos-Pazos at jc846@columbia.edu.

Russian

Both the written and follow-up oral portion of the exam will take place via Zoom. Please email Dr. Alla Smyslova at as2157@columbia.edu to sign up. Visit the program homepage here for more information. 

Sanskrit

Online placement exams will be administered via Zoom. Students interested in taking the exam should contact Shiv Subramaniam at sks2184@columbia.edu. More information found here

Spanish

Please note: All student planning to register for a Spanish course, including Elementary Spanish I, should plan to take the placement exam (even if they've never studied Spanish before).

Questions? Visit the program homepage here or contact Dr. Lee B. Abraham at lba2133@columbia.edu

Tamil

Online placement exams will be administered via Zoom. Students interested in taking the exam should contact Shiv Subramaniam at sks2184@columbia.edu. More information found here.

Tibetan

An online placement exam will be administered via Canvas between August 20th and August 30th. A speaking test will be done one-on-one via Zoom on August 31st or by appointment.  

Visit the program homepage here for more information. Questions? Contact Sonam Tsering at st2931@columbia.edu.

Turkish

A written exam will be proctored via Zoom. An oral proficiency exam will be administered in a one on one appointment.  

Questions? Visit the program homepage here or contact Zuleyha Colak at zc2208@columbia.edu

Vietnamese

Visit the program homepage here for information. Questions? Contact Chung Nguyen at cn2496@columbia.edu.

Yiddish

Online exam only. Please email Dr. Agi Legutko at abl2109@columbia.edu to sign up. For more information please visit the program homepage here

James H. and Christine Turk Berick Center for Student Advising

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