Tuesday, November 24, 2020

REPOST: Senior FAQ: Can I take 2 classes that overlap?

Thanks to everyone who suggested we address this important question!

Short answer: NO
Even if both classes are online and may be recorded, you my not take two classes that overlap, as the expectation is that students will attend classes synchronously as much as possible, as there is no substitute for the learning experience of interacting with faculty and fellow students in real time.

Longer answer: Very occasionally, in very specific circumstances, and by petition only

Okay; how do I petition?
Contact your class dean for information about how to petition the Committee on Programs and Academic Standing to take overlapping classes. Petitions submitted by Tuesday will be considered at the following Thursday's CPAS meeting.

How likely is it that my petition will be approved?
We cannot guarantee petitions will be approved. Petitions with a greater chance of success will include:
  • Both classes are required (major or general education req)
  • Both must be taken this semester due to compelling reason like impending graduation
  • Both faculty members are aware of the conflict and support the petition
  • Course overlap is minimal, e.g. 10-15 minutes once a week, only during A or B term, etc.
What should I do while I'm waiting to know if my petition is approved?
  • Add a "Plan B" course to keep your options open
  • If you're currently registered for both conflicting classes, stay in them. If your petition is not approved, you will ultimately need to drop one.
  • If you're not registered for both classes, the system will not let you register for conflicting courses, though you may plan or waitlist for a course that conflicts with a registered course. We recommend that you strategically register for whichever course is more important and//or more likely to fill up if you wait.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Reminder: Registration Period Dec 1-4 & 7-11: get adviser permission and register during your assigned time, beginning on MONDAY 12/1/2020 for seniors

As a reminder, you need to meet with your adviser sometime before your first assigned registration time next week.  You are already able to plan courses, but you will not be able to register unless/until your adviser approves you for registration, and this can only happen once you have had an advising meeting.

Haven't met with your adviser yet?  Contact him/her ASAP to set up an appointment.

To register for spring courses next week:

  • Be sure you have met with your adviser*, and that they have granted you permission to register.  
    • *Can't reach your adviser?  Deans can help! 
  • Be sure you have planned (yellow) your preferred Spring courses in Student Planning so they'll be ready to go when your registration time begins.
  • Log into myBarnard and find your registration times (Academics tab --> My Registration Times link on righthand side).  
  • Log into Student Planning via myBarnard as soon as your first registration time begins on Monday, and no later than the end of your last registration time on December 11, and click the blue "REGISTER" button on the upper right.  
  • Unless a course has note informing you of special registration procedures (application, writing sample, audition, must attend first class to confirm, etc.), you will be registered for any course that shows up in green on your schedule.
  • Many courses will initially waitlist all students (e.g. Organic Chemistry I, Bio 1502). If you aren't able to add a class, add yourself to the waiting list and/or select a "plan B" option.
  • NOTEYou must be fully registered (green) for at least 12 credits by the end of this week, or you may be charged late fees.  There will be additional add/drop times in the coming weeks and months, along with the customary final "shopping" period at the beginning of the spring semester.
Questions?  Meet with your adviser or a dean.  

Friday, November 20, 2020

Senior FAQ: when do I graduate, and can I participate in the spring Commencement ceremony?

Many of you are asking about who is eligible to participate in the spring Commencement ceremony and what this means about your graduation date.

Some helpful info and distinctions:
a.k.a. Degree Conferral
is when you stop being a Barnard student and start being a Barnard graduate or alumna. 

What makes this happen? 
You graduate when you have satisfactorily completed all your major, minor (if applicable), and general education requirements, and have also satisfactorily completed 122 credits (121 for transfer students).* *This 2020-2021 year only, you may enroll in summer classes even if you have completed all requirements, which will postpone your official graduation date -- you cannot of course graduate if you are still taking classes.

When does this happen?
  • If you complete your requirements and take your last classes in the fall semester, you will graduate and your degree will be conferred in February.
  • If you complete your requirements and take your last classes in the spring semester, you will graduate and your degree will be conferred in May
  • If you complete your requirements and take your last classes in the Summer A subterm, you will graduate and your degree will be conferred in June.
  • If you complete your requirements and take your last classes in the Summer B subterm, you will graduate and your degree will be conferred in October.

How will I know this has happened?

  • A few weeks after you complete all requirements, your diploma will be mailed to you, and it will reflect this date (in Latin).
  • A few weeks after you complete all requirements, your Barnard transcript will have this notation added at the top right: "DEGREE BACHELOR OF ARTS, [DATE]"

Commencement is the ceremony where students wear gowns, walk across a stage (if in person), listen to distinguished speakers, etc. As a Barnard senior, you will be invited to participate in both the Barnard College Commencement and the Columbia University Commencement, as well as many other ceremonial and celebratory events that will take place around that season.

When does this happen?
  • Stay tuned for exact dates, but per the Academic Calendar, Commencement Week will be April 26-30, 2021

Who can participate in April 2021 Commencement ceremony?
  • Students who complete their requirements in Fall 2020
  • Students who complete their requirements in Spring 2021
  • Students who will be taking 8 or fewer credits in summer 2021
  • Students who will be taking more than 8 credits in summer 2021 but have received permission from the senior class dean (stay tuned for more info on procedure for obtaining this permission)

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Required Graduation Application now available -- complete it on myBarnard BY DEC. 15

All students who expect to finish requirements this semester (Winter 2021 grads), next semester (Spring 2021 grads), or in Summer A (Summer 2021 grads) must fill out the Graduation Application on myBarnard.  

Note that this form is about degree completion, not the Commencement ceremony.  There is only one Commencement ceremony, in April.  Stay tuned for a separate form (available next semester) about Commencement participation

This required form is available as of 11/16/2020, and the deadline to submit it is Dec. 15, but honestly why would you wait?  

Both Barnard and Columbia will use the list of students who submit this form to generate lists for commencement participation, ticket eligibility, dorm move-out dates, diplomas, eligibility for certain academic honors and prizes, and other essential matters for graduating seniors.  Failure to submit this form may jeopardize your ability to participate in Commencement this April and receive your degree on time.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Interested in entrepreneurship? Check out these Athena programs


Columbia Entrepreneurship Info Session
Wednesday, November 18 @12pm

RSVP here for Zoom link.
Come learn about how Barnard students can take advantage of Columbia Entrepreneurship. You'll hear about their program offerings and have the opportunity to ask questions.
Want to read up in advance? Visit entrepreneurship.columbia.edu.

Entrepreneur Q&A! with Claudia Polgar '19
Thursday, November 19 @5pm
RSVP here for Zoom link.
Have you recently started a business? Do you participate in online retail or own your own social media store? Have you ever thought about starting your own business? If you are curious about entrepreneurship, or are an entrepreneur yourself, join the Athena Center for a chat with Claudia Polgar '19, an incredible Barnard alumna and entrepreneur!

REPOST: Senior Life Hack: How to check your remaining credits and see if you're on track for graduation

Your Unofficial Transcript is the best place to check how many credits you have left before graduation.
It is easier to find and understand the credit math on the Transcript than on the Degree Audit, particularly if you have repeated classes that allow you to earn credit more than once (e.g. Dance Technique, Advanced Language Through Content, Supervised Research, etc.) or are registered for a yearlong thesis that only gives you grades in spring.

    How to check how many credits you still need to complete your degree:

    1. Navigate to your Unofficial Transcript on Student Planning.

    2. Scroll down to last semester. 

    a.  If your grades (or P*s in the case of spring 2020 classes) are all in, proceed to step #3a below.
    b. If you have an incomplete (I), a deferred exam (X), a Y for a yearlong thesis, or a class where the professor has not yet turned in grades, proceed to step #3b below.

    3. Scroll down to the bottom right of the transcript to see the totals. 

    a. If you have no missing grades, do some arithmetic to see how many credits you need to take this year in order to graduate

    122 (121 for transfer students) 
    minus cumulative points completed 
    = remaining credits 

    In the case above: 122  - 101.5 = 20.5   

    b. If you have "unfinished points" for classes where you've completed or will complete all expected work by the deadline, your arithmetic needs one more step

    Cumulative points completed 
    + unfinished points 
    = actual points to date.

    122 [121 for transfer students] 
    minus actual points to date
    = remaining credits

    In the case above 102.5 + 3 = 105.5
    122 - 105.5 = 16.5

    4. Ask yourself? Can you realistically complete this number of remaining credits this year?

    a. If yes, hooray!

    b. If no:

    i. Check for missing credits from AP, IB, summer, previous college, etc and contact the registrar or appropriate office to make sure these are transferred

    ii. If you don't have any other credits and need to reconsider your plans, make an appointment to meet with your adviser and/or class dean ASAP.

    Advising Period now open -- get adviser permission to register before your December 1 online reg appointment

    Reminder that you will need permission from your academic adviser to register for Spring 2021 classes during the rescheduled registration period beginning December 1.

    Have you met with your adviser for Spring 2021 registration advising?

    All students who want to register for spring 2021 classes need to meet with their academic adviser and obtain adviser permission to register sometime before their first online registration appointment. Don't delay -- contact your adviser today if you have not already done so.

    As seniors, you should begin registering online at your assigned registration time on Monday, December 1 -- this is the way to use your seniority to get registration priority.
    Registration times have now been assigned, so you should be able to find your registration time on myBarnard.

    Can't reach your adviser?  
    You may obtain registration permission from your class dean as a stopgap measure and follow up with your adviser for the advising you need.

    Monday, November 16, 2020

    Need an extra credit or two this spring? Here are some ways you might find one

    Doing that degree-audit arithmetic and need one or two more credits?

    If you're having trouble getting up to the number of credits you need and are looking for a 1-2-credit course to add for this spring, here are some options and tips. Know of something that's not on here? Email SeniorClassDean@barnard.edu, and we'll add it!

    1-2 credit course options:

    1. Fulfill your PE requirement if you haven't yet.
    Register online and be sure to attend the first class meeting. PE courses may initially appear in your myBarnard program as 0 credits and will then be transformed to 1 credit (if you are eligible) after the final registration deadline.

    Pro Tip:
    Unfortunately, there is no space in PE for students who want this as an elective. Only students who have not yet completed the PE requirement will be able to register for PE in fall 2020.

    2. Take a dance class if you are eligible
    Dance classes will will initially appear in your myBarnard program as 0 credits -- fill out the registrar's form to request credit for a dance class if you are eligible

    3. Depending on your background and interests, here are some popular ways to enrich your academic experience while also adding a credit or two. 

    Pro tips:
    • Some of these may be full, but you may be able to join a waiting list.
    • Be sure to check course descriptions for prerequisites or special registration procedures!
    a. For students who sing, play an instrument, or want to know more about music:

    b. For  students with some computer programming experience:
    Programming Languages -- COMS-W3101.
    Development Technology -- COMS-W3102

    Check Spring 2021 Computer Science course listings for current options.

    c. If you're interested in science:

    Contact your department to see if you can earn credit for supervised research in a professor's lab

    Topics in Biology

    Frontiers of Astrophysics

    Science and Scientists (Psychology)

    d. If you're advanced in a language or want to explore a new one

    The French, German, and Italian departments offer 2-credit intermediate and advanced conversation courses.

    Special Reading Course in Dutch

    Chinese and Korean offer 2.5-credit introductory courses for students who want to spread out the first-semester material over two semesters. If you plan to take the first semester of a language course and not move on to second-semester, you must fill out this form to receive credit.

    e. If you're interested in International Affairs, Political Science, and/or Economics:
    *Some of these have not yet started and may still have space available*
    One of the "short courses" offered by the School for International & Public Affairs (SIPA). Search The SIPA Catalogue or the SIPA page of the CU Directory of Classes for 1-1.5-credit courses. You can't just register online for these:  first check to see if the class you want is on the list of SIPA courses approved for Barnard students [link coming soon], then contact both the instructor and your academic adviser for approval if you think one appropriately fits into both your schedule and a liberal arts curriculum. Forward both approvals to registrar@barnard.edu who will need to manually register you for the SIPA class.

    e. If you're interested in Theatre, Dance, or Backstage work:
    Rehearsal & Performance (Theatre or Dance) -- for actors, dancers, stage managers, prop or costume makers, and theatre tech people. Check the course description to see who to contact if you are interested.

    4. Search Vergil for courses between 0 and 2 credits.
    You'll have to scroll through a lot of things that may not help you, like labs for courses you're not taking, courses limited to class years other than yours, but this will give you the most comprehensive listing.

    Pro Tip:
    Check the detailed course descriptions in the Directory of Classes for prerequisites, restrictions, or special application procedures.

    5. Or search the Columbia directory for current-semester courses that contain the keyword "Points: 1" or "Points: 2"
    (Single space between the colon and the number; same caveats as above)

    Friday, November 13, 2020

    Deadline & new-process reminder: how do I withdraw from a class with a W by the Nov. 19 deadline?


    The deadline to withdraw from a full-term or Fall B class is Nov. 19. Withdrawn classes will not affect your GPA and you will not earn credit for them, but they will remain on your transcript, and a W will be entered place of the final grade.


    To withdraw from a class, use this new online form, following these steps:

    1. Consult with your adviser.

    2. Get an email from your adviser confirming they approve you to withdraw from this specific class.

    3. Download that email as a PDF.

    4. Complete and submit the online W form, uploading your adviser’s confirmation email when prompted to do so.

    5. You will receive an email confirmation once your W request is processed, ordinarily within two business days. 

    Note that the W will not appear on your record until the end of the semester when final grades are entered.

    Deadline & New-Rules Reminder: Pass/D/Fail Deadline for full-term and Fall B classes: Thursday Nov. 19, 11:30 p.m.

    If you want to elect the Pass/D/Fail option for a full-term fall or Fall B course, the deadline to declare is Thursday 11/19 at 11:30 p.m. through myBarnard.


    What are the rules for p/d/f?

    Ordinarily, there is a maximum number of credits for which you can elect the p/d/f option and courses where p/d/f grading is chosen but the grade is later uncovered still count towards the credit limit. This limit is suspended this year: i.e. credits for classes that students elect to p/d/f during academic year 2020-21 will be excluded from the 23 or 22 point maximum.**


    How does P/D/F work?

    The instructor is not informed when a student elects the Pass/D/Fail option. The instructor will assign a letter grade, which will be converted to P/D/F.  Because of this, students may see a letter grade in SSOL and should reference their Barnard transcript to see the P/D/F grade.

    • 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


    Which classes am I allowed to take p/d/f?

    Classes taken for p/d/f grades can be applied to general education requirements or electives, but not to major or minor requirements.  


    How do I elect or revoke the p/d/f option?

    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 retroactively.

    To elect the pd/f/ option:

    • Go to Web Advisor for Students on myBarnard. (Use a browser other than Safari). Click on Pass/D/Fail. Select “P/D/F” in the Select column for each course you want to take p/d/f. Be sure to submit a request for each part of a course (e.g. lecture and lab).
    • Click submit.
    • After 3 business days, you can return to the same portal page to check the status of your request.
    • If your request is still pending, you will see your request but no action. If your request has been approved, you will see “Approved” in the PDF Status column
    • You will also see “Grading: Pass/Fail” on the course section in Student Planning.  
    If you requested P/D/F for a course in your major department
    • you will see "Dept Chair approval reqd" in the PDF Status column.
    • you will also receive email instructing you to obtain department chair approval by a certain deadline
    • If the request is approved by the Chair, you will see a status of “Approved.” If not, it will say “Denied.”
    To undo/ revoke your p/d/f election (must be done prior to the p/d/f deadline):  
    • click on “Revoke” in the Select column. 
    • Within 3 business days, the “Grading: Pass/Fail” note will have returned to “Graded” in Student Planning. 
    • If you revoke the p/d/f election, it will not count towards your p/d/f credit limit. 
    • If you drop or officially withdraw from a class that you had previously p/d/f'd, you should also revoke the p/d/f so that it won't count towards your p/d/f limit.

    I tried to click on P/D/F Option online as directed, but nothing happened!
    This is most likely because you are using Safari as your web browser.  Try Chrome or Firefox or something else.  If the problem persists, contact Student Computing.

    What is this "uncovering" I keep hearing about, and how/when/why would I do that?
    If you elect the P/D/F option by the deadline, you will have the opportunity*, at the beginning of next semester, to log into myBarnard, click on the "Pass/D/Fail Option" link in Web Adviser, and peek at what grade you would have earned had you taken the class for a letter grade.  If you like that grade, you may opt to "uncover" it and revert to letter-graded status.  If you do nothing, the grade will remain in P/D/F status.  The deadline to uncover a grade of P is the registration deadline at the beginning of the following semester.

    *IMPORTANT NOTE FOR GRADUATING STUDENTS: You may not uncover a grade of P in your final semester.