Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Fall 2019 Placement Examination Information

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. 


Monday, August 26, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 309 Havemeyer Hall

Students who wish to register for CHEM 1604 (Second Term General Chemistry, Intensive), CHEM 2045-2046 (Intensive Organic Chemistry for First-years) and CHEM 1507 (Intensive General Chemistry Lab) must attend an information session on Monday, August 26, at 3 p.m. where a brief introduction to course options will be given. Students should go to room 309 Havemeyer. Immediately following the information session, a chemistry placement exam will be administered. Note: Students must bring a calculator to this exam.

Additional information about CHEM 1604: this is a one-semester, introductory general chemistry course that is an expedited replacement for the full-year sequence of CHEM 1403-1404 and therefore allows efficient satisfaction of requirements for many science or engineering majors. Students wishing to take CHEM 1604 should have strong high school preparation in chemistry as demonstrated through the successful completion of an Advanced Placement (AP) chemistry course or its equivalent. Moreover, students wishing to take CHEM 1604 must take the Chemistry placement examination on Monday, August 26, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., in 309 Havemeyer Hall. To adequately prepare for this placement examination, students are advised to refer to your previous chemistry classes.  You may also wish to refer to the textbook (Chemical Principles, 8th Edition, Zumdahl and DeCoste). Your score on the placement examination will determine whether you will be invited to register for CHEM 1604. Pre-medical students who place into CHEM 1604 should be aware that AP or IB Chemistry credits may be required to satisfy chemistry prerequisites at some medical schools. If you are a pre-medical student who does not receive AP or IB Chemistry credit from Columbia, you should consult with a pre-medical adviser to ensure you meet the prerequisites for medical school. Finally, note that students must additionally sign up for a recitation section (CHEM 1606), and be aware that the laboratory course (CHEM 1500 or 1507) is a separate class.

Additional information about CHEM 2045-2046: 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 CHEM 2045-2046 should have strong high school preparation in chemistry as demonstrated through the successful completion of an Advanced Placement (AP) chemistry course or its equivalent. Students wishing to take CHEM 2045-2046 must take the Chemistry Placement Examination on Monday, August 26, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., in 309 Havemeyer Hall. Your score on this placement examination will be the primary factor in determining whether you will be invited to register for this course. The placement examination 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 textbook (Organic Chemistry, 8th Edition, by Paula Yurkanis Bruice) prior to taking the exam. 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. Note that the laboratory course (CHEM 1507) is a separate class. Pre-medical students who place into CHEM 2045-2046 should be aware that AP or IB Chemistry credits may be required to satisfy chemistry prerequisites at some medical schools. If you are a pre-medical student who does not receive AP or IB Chemistry credit from Columbia, you should consult with a pre-medical adviser to ensure you meet the prerequisites for medical school.

Placement Results

Students will be notified of their placement results via email from the Berick Center for Student Advising no later than 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, August 29.


For questions regarding placement results, course selection and academic advising, please contact Dr. Vesna Gasperov (, Room 355 Chandler. Dr. Gasperov will be available via email or in person during orientation office hours: Wednesday, August 28, 1:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m. and Thursday, August 29, 12:15 p.m.-1:45 p.m.   



Tuesday, August 27, 5:15 p.m.-6:35 p.m., 301 Pupin Hall

This session will offer a brief introduction to course options for your first year of physics, with a particular emphasis on the mandatory prerequisites and format of the UN2801-2802 Accelerated Physics sequence. Student who are considering a major in physics or astrophysics are strongly advised to begin an introductory sequence in their first year. Following the discussion, students interested in taking Accelerated Physics will take a short evaluation exam covering introductory mechanics and elementary calculus. Note: Calculators may not be used during the exam.



Students planning to take mathematics courses at Columbia are invited to attend an information session, which will provide a brief overview of course options and include a discussion regarding placement into the appropriate math course based on school policy, AP scores, and previous math background. Students may attend the information session and/or the Academic Resources Fair to obtain placement information. The Academic Resources Fair will take place on Tuesday, August 27, 3:00-5:00 p.m. in Roone Arledge Auditorium, Lerner Hall. All academic departments will be present at the Academic Resources Fair to advise students individually. In general, scores on the AB or BC Calculus AP exam are used to place both SEAS and CC students into the appropriate calculus class/level at Columbia.

The Mathematics Department offers separate information sessions for SEAS and CC students:

Columbia Engineering: Monday, August 26th | 11:00am - 12:30pm | 207 Math

This session will provide a brief introduction to course options in mathematics for incoming Columbia Engineering students. The appropriate courses for certain majors and differences among course levels will be discussed. Following the information session, students who did not take an Advanced Placement calculus exam (AB or BC Calculus AP) during high school will have the opportunity to take a placement test.

The SEAS information session will be followed by a placement exam only for SEAS students who do not have AP Calculus scores and/or those who have taken calculus classes at an accredited four-year college or university (and have college transcripts documenting both grades earned and credits awarded). See the SEAS math flyer for more detailed information on placement.

Columbia College:  Monday, August 26th | 1:30pm - 2:30pm | 309 Havemeyer Hall

The CC information session will NOT be followed by a placement exam; it is an information session only.


Music Humanities

Friday, September 6 10:00-11:30 a.m, 622 Dodge Hall.

The exemption exam for HUMA 1123: Masterpieces of Western Music (a.k.a. Music Humanities) will last about 90 minutes. It requires identification of major musical masterworks, answering questions on techniques and styles based on played excerpts from the Middle Ages through the present, and short answers on musical terms, concepts, genres, forms and composers. Incoming students who wish to take the exemption exam MUST do so on Friday, September 6; students may not take the exam at a later date.

Students will be notified of their results via email on or around Wednesday, September 11.

For questions regarding the Music Humanities exemption exam and results, please contact Professor Elaine Sisman, 604 Dodge Hall at or 212-854-7728.


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 48-49, 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.

If you need to take a placement exam in any of the other foreign languages offered at Columbia, or if the placement exam times below conflict with other mandatory NSOP events that you must attend, you should try to make alternative arrangements through the language program coordinator in the given department. Contact information for these coordinators, when not listed below, can be found here.

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.



Friday, August 30- Knox 101 and 104. Arrive anytime between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to begin the exam.

Questions? Contact Taoufik Ben-Amor at or Youssef Nouhi at


Thursday, August 29 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Kent 413. Student should preregister here:

Questions? Contact  Lening Liu at


Online exam only. The link to the exam can be found on the department's website:

Questions? Contact Pascale Hubert-Leibler at


Wednesday, August 28 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Hamilton 616
Or Wednesday, August 28 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Hamilton 609
Or Friday, September 6 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., location TBA. 
Questions? Contact  Jutta Schmiers-Heller at


Wednesday, August 28- Knox 103 and 104. Arrive anytime between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to begin the exam.

Questions? Contact Naama Harel at


Friday, August 30- Knox 103. Arrive anytime between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to begin the exam.

Or Friday, September 6- Knox 208. Arrive anytime between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to begin the exam.

Questions? Contact Rakesh Ranjan at


Please email Professor Carol Rounds at to arrange a time to take the exam.


Tuesday, August 27 10:00 a.m., 501 Hamilton. 

Or Thursday, August 29 2:00 pm., 501 Hamilton. 

Questions? Contact Aurelia Rabot-Hernandez |


Thursday, August 29 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Kent 405. 

Information and registration here:

 Questions? Contact Haruo Shirane at


The online test is available on CourseWorks from August 12 (Mon) until August 28 (Wed). You need to sign in with your UNI. Take the test HERE. Once you log in, you will be guided to register for the test site. Detailed instructions on the test are given on the test site.  

The Writing & Speaking test is Thursday, August 29 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., 411 Kent Hall.

Your can find further information at

Questions? please contact Dr. Joowon Suh (


Wednesday, August 28 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., 313 Fayerweather.

Questions? Please contact Katharina Volk at


Thursday, August 29- Knox 207. Arrive anytime between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to begin the exam. 

Questions? Please contact Saeed Honarmand at


Tuesday, September 3 at 5:00 p.m., 201 Casa Hispanica

Or Wednesday, September 11 at 6:00 p.m., 201 Casa Hispanica.

The exam involves a written portion and an oral portion. Please schedule your exam by emailing Ana Paula Huback at

Questions? Please contact José Antonio Castellanos-Pazos at


Wednesday, August 28 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Kent 413. Follow-up oral interviews will be held on Thursday, August 29 in Hamilton 707.

Questions? Please contact Alla Smyslova at


Wednesday, August 28 3:00 p.m., Knox 311.

 Questions? Please contact Tyler Richard at


Students may take the exam only once. It consists of multiple-choice questions about vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension. There is no oral or listening component to the exam. Since it is an adaptive test, the length varies from one individual to another, with an average time of 20 minutes. Students and the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures will be notified of score and placement recommendation immediately upon completion of the exam. Students should save a screen-shot of their score and also print a copy of the results for their academic advisor.

If a student's score on the online test qualifies for exemption from the language requirement at Columbia (higher than 625), the student will be required to take another version of the exam on Wednesday, August 28, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in Room 353 of the International Affairs Building (the Language Resource Center Computer Lab). If your score qualifies you to take this second exam, please register for it here. (You will need to log in with your UNI and password.) The exam should only take 20-30 minutes. Please bring your Columbia photo identification and a copy of your placement exam results with you to the in-person exam.

Placement results are available immediately after the test.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Lee B. Abraham, 402 Casa Hispánica (612 West 116th Street, between Broadway and Riverside Drive), 212-854-3764.


Wednesday, August 28 3:00 p.m., Knox 311.

Questions? Please contact Tyler Richard at


To schedule a Tibetan language test students should contact Sonam Tsering at


Thursday, August 29 2:00 p.m., Knox 208. 

Questions? Please contact Zuleyha Colak at


Thursday, August 29 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 522D Kent Hall. To register, please contact Chung Nguyen at


Online exam only. The test is available August 15 - September 13, 2019 but it is highly recommended to take before the first day of class on September 3, 2019. The exam can be found here:

Questions? Please contact Agnieszka Legutko at

James H. and Christine Turk Berick Center for Student Advising


403 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-6378

Fax: (212) 854-2458

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Walk-in Hours (Sept-May)
3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.