Monday, August 29, 2016

Advice on Getting the Most Out of Individual Academic Advising

You'll be meeting one-on-one with your assigned academic adviser this week or next week.  They are looking forward to meeting you!  Barnard first-year advisers have all volunteered to advise entering students. They don’t volunteer because they enjoy clicking “approve” on myBarnard – they do it because they want to talk with you, hear about your interests, and help you think through your decisions. It’s responsible and polite to come to your meeting prepared, but don’t feel you have to have everything figured out!

How to prepare for your first advising meeting:

Be prepared to introduce yourself – to talk a little about your interests and goals, or your (completely appropriate!) lack of certainty about these. You might address things like:

  • Where are you from?
  • What was your high school like?
  • Did you take a year off?
  • Are you thinking about study abroad?
  • Are you preparing for a professional school of some kind?
  • What are you excited about?
  • What are you nervous about?
  • What’s your favorite subject?
  • Where might you need a little extra help or support?

Write down any questions you may have:

  • about your fall academic program of courses
  • about procedures
  • about best course load for you
  • about good introductory courses in fields that interest you
  • about anything you should be sure to do now to be prepared for any long-term goals

Get to know your adviser a little too:

  • What is their academic or professional field?
  • How did they get interested in it?
  • What kind of research do they do?

Don't forget:

  • Your adviser is there to help you think about and consider options.  You are responsible for keeping track of deadlines, and following rules and procedures.
  • Keep checking the FY Blog for important info, deadlines, procedures, etc. 

Contacts if you have questions:

  • Registrar – 107 Milbank, (212) 854-2011,
  • Dean of Studies Office – 105 Milbank, (212) 854-2024,
    • Pre-Health advising
    • Other preprofessional advising
    • Class deans -- if something unsual happens, your adviser is away, you want another perspective, or you're not sure where to go with a question or concern
  • Student Computing – (212) 854-7172,
  • Your Adviser!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

First-Year Registration & Advising Timeline for NSOP & First Week of Classes

Enrollment Confirmation Online – August 31 – Sept 7th
  1. Log into myBarnard on a computer connected to the Barnard network. 
  2. Click on the “Enrollment Confirmation” link, and follow the instructions there. 
  3. Don’t miss this deadline! If you do, you will need to confirm your enrollment in person at the registrar’s office, and you will be charged a late fee that increases each day.

Advising Group Meeting – August 29th, 4-5 p.m.

  1. Log into Student Planning via myBarnard, and look on the upper right-hand side of the page for your adviser’s name 
  2. Check the First-Year Blog for the location of your adviser’s group meeting
  3. If your adviser is out of town or otherwise unable to host a group meeting, please join one of the Deans’ group meetings.

One-on-One Advising – on or before Wednesday, September 7th
  1. Schedule an Individual Advising Meeting, during your Advising Group Meeting or as directed by your adviser. 
  2. Meet as scheduled with your academic adviser to discuss your interests, plans, goals, and options. 
  3. During this meeting, your adviser will “unlock” your ability to add/drop courses online. You will not be able to add/drop courses online after September 7th if your adviser has not done this. 
  4. If your adviser is not available to meet with you on or before September 7th, please plan to meet with any of the Deans – they will all have appointment times and walk-in hours throughout NSOP and the first week of classes.

Final Registration (also called “Program Filing”) – September 2nd – 16th (sooner is better!)
  1. Log into Student Planning via myBarnard on the morning of Sept. 2nd to see which limited-enrollment courses you are registered for.  At this point, if a course is showing up your schedule as registered (green), you are in!  If it is showing up as waitlisted (yellow), then you are on the waiting list and may want to switch sections if another section has room.  The registration numbers in the Directory of Classes will be accurate as of this date as well, so you'll be able to see which classes have space available. 
  2. You may add and drop classes online beginning Sept. 2nd. Check myBarnard for your registration times. 
  3. Be sure you have met with your adviser on or before September 7th so that your ability to add/drop courses online will be “unlocked.”
  4. It is your responsibility to make sure that, by the September 16th deadline, you are signed up on myBarnard for all the classes you plan to take this semester, and only those classes. Don’t forget to drop any classes you were “shopping.”
  5. Your adviser does not need to re-approve your final academic program, but you should feel free to consult with him or her for advice as you consider your options during this period.
  6. Don’t miss the Sept. 16 deadline! If you do, check the first-year blog for instructions on how to proceed, and be prepared to pay late fees that increase each day.
  7. Don’t forget to attend your classes on the first day to claim your spot! This is especially true for Psychology, Dance, PE, and any limited-enrollment courses or courses with special registration procedures. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Important Information: Adviser Group Meeting Locations for Monday 8/29/16, 4-5 p.m.

Meet your adviser and fellow advisees for the first time Monday afternoon, 8/29/16, 4-5 p.m.!

How to know where to go:
  1. Log into Student Planning via myBarnard, go to "Plan and Schedule," click on the "Advising" tab, and look under "My Advisors" for your adviser’s name.
  2. Staying logged into myBarnard, look at this list (requires myBarnard/gBear login) for the location of your adviser's group meeting.  (Some advisers are unavailable for the group meeting -- in that case, the list will indicate which group you should join, and you may contact your adviser directly to schedule an individual advising appointment later this week or early next week.)
Questions?  Problems? Call the Dean of Studies Office at 212-854-2024

"Barnard First-Year Deadlines" Google Calendar

Never miss a deadline!  Add "Barnard First-Year Deadlines" to your gBear calendar to stay on top of key administrative deadlines.  Please note all times indicated are Eastern Time.

To add "Barnard First-Year Deadlines" to your gBear calendar:

1. Log into myBarnard and open your gBear calendar.

2. On the left-hand sidebar, under "Other calendars," locate the "Add a coworker's calendar box" (you may need to click on the tiny arrow to the left of "Other calendars" to make this box appear.

3. Copy and paste this entire link into the box (this will only work in gBear; the calendar cannot be added to other gmail accounts) and press enter:

4. A calendar called "Barnard First-Year Deadlines should now appear under "Other calendars"

5. Hover your mouse over this and you will see a downward-pointing tiny arrow in a tiny box to the right of the text.

6. Click on the tiny arrow, and a menu of items will appear. From this menu, select "Edit notifications"

7. This page will enable you to create customized notifications and add "Barnard First-Year Deadlines to a smartphone." All items in this calendar will are formatted as all-day events, and the default setting is "no notification." Recommended setting: "By default, notify me via email 1 day before each all-day event at 9:00 a.m."  

8. After selecting your desired settings, don't forget to save!

NOTE: Dates and times come from the Barnard College Academic Calendar. Know a deadline that should be in "Barnard First-Year Deadlines" but isn't?  We are still beta-testing this calendar, so please email if you have suggestions.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Opportunity: First Generation/Low Income Workshop Series (FGLI)

An invitation from Michell Tollinchi-Michel, Dean for Academic Enrichment and Community Initiatives:

Starting college can be scary and overwhelming, especially for those of us who are first generation and/or may not have the financial means for college. To help with the adjustment we are offering a series of activities during NSOP, PLEASE JOIN US.

First Generation/Low Income Workshop Series (FGLI)

Family Reception
Sunday, August 28th, 11:30-12:30pm (Sulzberger Parlor, Barnard Hall)

Being First Generation/Low Income at Barnard
Tuesday, August 30th, 2-3pm (LL 103, Diana Center)

Understanding the Financial Aid Process
Friday, September 2nd, 3-4pm (504 Diana Center)

If you have any questions, please contact Dean Tollinchi-Michel at

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fall 2016 Barnard/Columbia Placement Exams

If you know what level of math or language is appropriate for you based on test scores (AP, IB, SAT II) or because you know you're starting from the beginning, then you may begin attending your correct class on the first day of classes.

If you don't know where to start, these placement exams are here to help! All students who "self-placed" into language levels over the summer without SAT/AP/IB scores are required to take placement exams.  If a placement test conflicts with a required NSOP program, you should inform your OL and take the placement test rather than going to the NSOP program.

For more general subject-based advising or Q & A, see the post on this blog about Departmental Open Houses to see when you can visit a department to learn more about course offerings, and recommended courses for interested first-years.

Interested in something that doesn't have a placement test or an Open House? Contact the department directly using the contact info on the website.

Placement test info for this fall:

Mathematics & Statistics

No math or statistics placement exams are given. Math and Statistics faculty will hold placement consultation hours during NSOP:

Math (especially if you're not sure what Calculus level is right for you!): 
Thursday, September 1, 1:30-3:30 p.m.,333 Milbank
Friday, September 2, 1-2 p.m., 333 Milbank

Statistics: Thursday, September 1, 1:30-3:30 p.m. in 333 Milbank.

First-Year Writing

There is no placement test for First-Year Writing, but the First-Year Writing Workshop program director will hold office hours during NSOP.  Consider visiting if you're feeling nervous about your writing ability or unsure if your current FY Writing or Seminar course is on the right level for you:

First-Year Writing & First-Year Writing Workshop placement advising hours:
Thursday, September 1st, 2-4pm, 225 Barnard Hall


Advice for all exams: plan to arrive a 10 minutes early so you don't feel rushed if there are any forms to fill out before you take the test.

Arabic: Friday, September 2, 10:00am - 1:00pm, 103 Knox Hall

Bengali: Please consult Stéphane Charitos in the Columbia Language Resource Center, (212) 854-6341,

Chinese*Thursday, September 1st, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Location: TBA)
  • Register at:

French: Friday, September 2nd, 10:00-12:00

German: Friday, September 2nd, 10:00-11:30am

Hebrew: Wednesday, August 31, 2:00pm -5:00pm, 103 Knox Hall

Hindi-Urdu: Friday, September 2, 10:00am - 1:00pm, 104 Knox Hall

Italian: Barnard students take the Columbia department’s placement test
August 30 at 10:00 am in 501 Hamilton Hall
September 1 at 2:00 pm 501 in Hamilton Hall
Japanese*: Thursday, September 1, 2016, 10:00am – 12:30pm, 424 Kent Hall

LatinPlease consult Professor Kristina Milnor, 216 Milbank, at 212-854-2852

Korean*: Thursday, September 1, 10am - 12:30pm (includes a 15 min oral component), In rooms Kent 405, 423, 522A

Persian: Tuesday, September 6, 12:00pm - 4:00pm, 403B Knox Hall

Portuguese: Please consult Professor Ana Paula Huback,


  • Written component: Thursday, September 1, 10am - 12pm, Hamilton 702
  • Oral component: 20 minute individual interview, Friday, September 2 (sign up sheet for this to be circulated during written exam)

Spanish: Taken online at myBarnard. If your score in the online test places you beyond Intermediate II (with a score over 625), you must take another version of this test Thursday, September 1st from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Columbia's Language Resource Center, Room 352 in the International Affairs Building. The exam itself should take 10-20 minutes – you do not need to make an appointment to sit for this exam; just bring a proper photo ID.

Turkish: Friday, September 2, 3:00pm - 6:00pm, 103 Knox Hall. Students also need to schedule an oral proficiency interview with Zuleyha Colak.

*Make-up placement tests for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean will be on Friday, September 9 (times not posted yet).  If you need to take the make-up test, please begin attending your best estimate of your correct level when classes begin – you will be able to switch levels if necessary once you receive your placement test results.

You're Invited: Departmental Open Houses

Have questions about course selection, possible majors, or just want to learn more about a new or old interest?

Consider attending an Open House during NSOP!  Click on this link for a list of Open House times and locations -- you must be logged into myBarnard/gBear to access the link.

The list continues to be updated, but as of now, departments offering Open Houses during NSOP include:

American Studies
Environmental Science
Film Studies
Human Rights Studies
Music Program
Political Science
Religion Dept

Monday, August 22, 2016

#BarnardReads additional thoughts/questions from Prof. Bauer about "Lab Girl"

 If you selected:
The Life of a Scientist with Professor Elizabeth Bauer 
Hope Jahren's recent memoir Lab Girl describes her life as a geobiologist. Join Professor Elizabeth Bauer of the Biology Department and Neuroscience and Behavior Program to discuss Jahren's exhilarating discoveries about the natural world and the experiences of women in science.

In addition to last week's questions (below), Prof. Bauer has a few more for you to think about:

1. The author is a renowned scientist with nearly a hundred published scientific journal articles. Yet throughout this book she refers to herself as an outsider and wonders if she belongs in the scientific world. Why do you think she feels this way?

2. Several experiments and key findings concerning leaves, trees and roots are described in Lab Girl. Did any of these spark your interest, make you see the lives of plants in a new way or suggest future experiments?

3.  What are your thoughts on the balance in science between the repetitive and often tedious nature of lab work and the scarcity of funding on one hand and the joy of a new discovery on the other?  

Questions from last week:
Jahren writes "The very attributes that rendered me a nuisance to all of my previous teachers -- my inabiltiy to let things go coupled with my tendency to overdo everything -- were exactly what my science professors liked to see."
  1. How does this relate to your own experience of science and science teaching?  
  2. How do you imagine this might be different at Barnard?

Jahren writes "I have become proficient at producing a rare species of prose capable of distillling ten years of work by five people into six published pages, written in a language that very few people can read and that no one ever speaks."
  1. How is science writing different from other kinds of writing? 
  2. What makes it "good," and how is this skill developed?

Post your thought or your own questions on the Class of 2020 Facebook page, the First-Year Dean's Facebook wall, or among yourselves in the Class of 2020 Facebook group; tweet at us at @BCFirstYear, with the hashtag #BarnardReads; or just come to the NSOP discussion with some thoughts about this!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

#BarnardReads questions about Prof Zarghamee's selection The Pervert's "Guide to Cinema"

If you selected:

Psychoanalysis in Film with Professor Homa Zarghamee
Join Professor Homa Zarghamee to discuss Slavoj Zizek's documentary The Pervert's Guide To Cinema, which explores a number of films from a psychoanalytic theoretical perspective. This documentary serves as an exploration of both film and psychoanalysis that is both rigorously intellectual and entertaining.

Here are some questions to think about:
  1. Zizek literally places himself in the movies he is analyzing -- talking about Hitchcock's The Birds while on a boat the bay where the film takes place, for example.  How does this directorial choice affect your experience of this film?
  2. In your opinion, is this ultimately a film about cinema or about human psychology?  Or about something else?

Post your thought or your own questions on the Class of 2020 Facebook page, the First-Year Dean's Facebook wall, or among yourselves in the Class of 2020 Facebook group; tweet at us at @BCFirstYear, with the hashtag #BarnardReads; or just come to the NSOP discussion with some thoughts about this!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tune in later this week for more #BarnardReads discussion Qs

Tomorrow's questions will highlight #BarnardReads selections from Professor Mitra, Professor Zarghamee, and Professor Bauer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

#BarnardReads Questions about Dean Hinkson's selections from Maya Angelou, the Bible and the popular press


If you selected:
Virtuous, Phenomenal, Perfect - Perspectives on Womanhood with Dean Avis Hinkson
How do you define womanhood? Join Dean of the College Avis Hinkson in discussing how Proverbs chapter 31, Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman,” a Huffington Post article on perfection, and your own life experiences, influence your view on womanhood.

Here are some questions to think about:
  1. How is perfectionism relevant in our society today? How does it affect you personally? How does it affect society?
  2. How does the theme of "perfectionism" connect the two works?
  3. What resonated with you while you were reading both works?

Post your thought or your own questions on the Class of 2020 Facebook page, the First-Year Dean's Facebook wall, or among yourselves in the Class of 2020 Facebook group; tweet at us at @BCFirstYear, with the hashtag #BarnardReads; or just come to the NSOP discussion with some thoughts about this!

#BarnardReads Questions about Professor Cobrin's selection The Ohio State Murders

If you're reading:
How does identity shape the present through the past? Are historical events ever truly historical? 
with Professor Pam Cobrin
Join Professor Pam Cobrin in discussing Adrienne Kennedy's one-act play, The Ohio State Murders, in which a mystery of murders is tied up with the mystery of how identity is constructed through time and memory.

Here are some questions to think about:

  1. In what ways is racism a prevalent theme within the play?
  2. Who/what is the villain in this play?
  3. How are the themes of "identity" and "racism" intertwined within this play?

Post your thoughts or your own questions on the Class of 2020 Facebook page, the First-Year Dean's Facebook wall, or among yourselves in the Class of 2020 Facebook group; tweet at us at @BCFirstYear, with the hashtag #BarnardReads; or just come to the NSOP discussion with some thoughts about this!

#BarnardReads Questions from Professor Heather Hurwitz on Occupy, #BlackLivesMatter, Women, & Feminism

If you're reading:

How and why have feminists participated in Occupy Wall Street and #BlackLivesMatter? 
with Dr. Heather McKee Hurwitz
Two of the most important social movements to shape U.S. politics and culture over the past five years have been Occupy Wall Street and #BlackLivesMatter. How have women and feminists participated in these movements and what do their experiences tell us about feminism today? JoinPost-Doctoral Fellow Heather McKee Hurwitz of the Sociology Department and the Athena Center for Leadership Studies to discuss this topic using two short articles about the movements (#Blacklivesmatter and Occupy movements) and by referencing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED Talk "We should all be feminists."

Professor Hurwitz has some questions to think about:

1) What specific actions did women and feminists do in Occupy and #BlackLivesMatter to organize the movement and perform protests? 

2) Compare and contrast how the activists and Adichie explain and enact feminism.

Want to read further?

Here are two links that add to the conversation that she will be having with students during NSOP:

‘Graceful in the lion’s den’: Photo of young woman’s arrest in Baton Rouge becomes powerful symbol:

The Platform for the Movement for Black Lives:

Post your thoughts or your own questions on the Class of 2020 Facebook page, the First-Year Dean's Facebook wall, or among yourselves in the Class of 2020 Facebook group; tweet at us at @BCFirstYear, with the hashtag #BarnardReads; or just come to the NSOP discussion with some thoughts about this!

#BarnardReads Bilingual Thoughts from Professor Briggs on Valeria Luiselli's Faces in the Crowd

What have you been reading this summer? Professor Ronald Briggs of the Spanish department has been reading Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli. This book is one of the options that you have for  BarnardReads To help you dive into the book, Professor Briggs has written a bit about in (in English and Spanish of course!).

Post your own thoughts or questions -- in either language -- on the Class of 2020 Facebook page, the First-Year Dean's Facebook wall, or among yourselves in the Class of 2020 Facebook group; tweet at us at @BCFirstYear, with the hashtag #BarnardReads; or just come to the NSOP discussion with some thoughts about this!

Faces in the CrowdLos ingrávidosRostos na multidão
Valeria Luiselli has described Faces in the Crowd as "a novel about people falling apart," and critics have noted that while her characters speak with great clarity when describing the urban environments they inhabit, this clarity vanishes when the topic turns to their own motives and goals. 

The question of who these character/narrators are and how we should consider them is also an important factor in the book's title, or two titles, since Faces in the Crowd is a significant departure from the Spanish original, Los ingrávidos (The Weightless Ones). A review by the Brazilian newspaper O Globo points out that the book's Portuguese title, Rostos na multidão, is based on the English translation rather than the Spanish original, and it argues that the original is both more effective and more poetic, given that the book is narrated by characters whose lives exist outside the laws of physics (and fiction).

O Globo's argument raises several questions, and I'm especially interested in the possible motives behind both titles. What are their respective advantages and disadvantages? To what degree do they affect how we read and interpret the book?

Faces in the Crowd, Los ingrávidos, Rostos na multidão
Valeria Luiselli ha descrito Los ingrávidos como "una novela que trata de gente en el proceso de desintegrarse", y los críticos han notado que la claridad de sus personajes/narradores, tan aparente cuando están describiendo los lugares urbanos que habitan, les abandona a la hora de hablar de sus metas y motivos. 

La cuestión sobre la identidad de estos personajes/narradores y la mejor manera de analizarlos es un factor importante en el título, o más bien los dos títulos, del libro, ya que la versión inglesa, Faces in the Crowd, no es igual al título original, Los ingrávidos (The Weightless Ones). Una reseña del periódico brasileño O Globo nota que el título de las versiones lusófonas de la novela, Rostos na multidão, se basa en el versión inglesa en vez del original y argumenta que el original es más poético y más eficaz, ya que la novela es narrada por una colección de personajes cuyas vidas en cierto sentido existen fuera de las leyes de la física (y la ficción).

El argumento de O Globo sugiere varias preguntas, y a mí me interesa especialmente los motivos posibles por los dos títulos. ¿Cuáles son las ventajas y desventajas de cada uno? ¿Hasta qué punto nos afectan a la hora de leer e interpretar el libro?

The Student Side: The Barnard Glossary

The Barnard Glossary
Like any other new experience, starting college can seem overwhelming and a tad bit scary. You may have already started coming across words that you have never heard of before. Worry no more. Here is your Barnard Glossary:

Campus Offices and Services

Bursar: The Office of the Bursar is responsible for the billing, collection, refunding, and accounting of students’ tuition and loan accounts and other institutional receivables.

Registrar: The Office of Registrar deals with the academics of students. A few of the things that the office does is: maintains student records, issues transcripts, assigns classrooms, processes academic registration, evaluates AP credits, and schedules examinations.  
Student Employment Office: The Office of Student Employment Services helps over 900 students find on- and off-campus part-time jobs each year. There are many opportunities for employment on Barnard’s campus: in academic and administrative departments, as lab assistants and library aides, and as desk attendants and lifeguards.

Dean of Studies Office: The Dean of Studies Office is your go-to for academic planning. Feel free to email or make an appointment with Dean Grabiner if you have any questions.

Office of Disability Services: The Office of Disability Services (ODS) serves students with visual, mobility and hearing disabilities, and students with invisible disabilities such as chronic medical conditions, learning disabilities/ADD, psychological disabilities and substance use/recovery.

Career Development: Career Development assists students with searches for full-time jobs and internships.

Residential Life & Housing: Got questions about being a resident student at Barnard? The “Res Life” office is what you are looking for. The Office of Residential Life & Housing works hard to foster a positive environment to support community development for students.

Study Abroad: Barnard has a rich history and tradition of study abroad dating back to the 1930s. Every year, over 200 students study abroad in more than 35 countries.

Furman: Furman is Barnard’s free on-campus counseling center. Many students take advantage of this helpful and supportive resource at some point at their time at Barnard.

(Read more after the break)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Update/Opportunity: Space Available but Time Changed for Barnard Intro to Film & Media Studies class

The Barnard Film Studies Program wants you to know that space is still available in this introductory class -- it is open to and appropriate for first-year students even though its course number is in the 3000s.

Please note new time below:

Friday, August 12, 2016

Reminder: you may be waitlisted for science, language, and other classes, AND THAT'S OKAY

If you are trying to add a limited-enrollment class such as Biology, Chemistry, a lab, Spanish (or others), you may be asked if you want to join a waiting list.  

Please say yes, and please do not be discouraged!

Many (though not all) limited-enrollment classes are saving room for first-year students, so it is completely normal to be waitlisted at this stage.  You will know by the morning of September 2nd if you actually get into these classes. It is wise to have a "Plan B" course or two in mind in case you need to change to a different section or course. That said, particularly for things like introductory biology and chemistry classes and labs, it is extremely likely that you will get a spot, even if not at your first-choice day/time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

More info about AP and IB credit

Many of you have been asking about whether or how Barnard may grant credit for AP, IB, or previous college credit.  The External Credit page of the Registrar's website has many of the answers you are looking for!

If you have sent in your AP or IB scores but don't yet see the credit listed on myBarnard, don't worry!  Some of you may already see your credit online, but many of you won't -- it takes most of August for the hardworking staff in the Registrar's office to manually process credit for all the AP and IB scores first-year students have already sent in.  If credit you expected is still not showing up when you get here for NSOP, then you should go in person to the Registrar's office in 107 Milbank.

If you have not yet sent in AP scores that you believe are eligible for credit, please have the CollegeBoard testing service send the scores directly to Barnard's Registrar's office. To make this request, you will need to provide CollegeBoard with the appropriate code for Barnard College, which is 2038.

If you have previous college credit, you can read the Barnard's criteria for transfer credit online, but you may only apply for this credit to transfer after you have completed at least 12 credits at Barnard -- we will post further info about this procedure in January.

Opportunity: New Gender Studies Class: "Masculinities"

The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department announces the following new course, which is open to and appropriate for first-year students:

Mark your calendars: Fall 2016 Projected Final Exam Schedule

You and/or your family may already be thinking about winter break plans.  To help you to plan responsibly, Columbia has posted a master schedule for fall 2016 exams.  Go to: and click on Projected Exam Schedule. (Be sure to click on PROJECTED.  A course-by-course schedule with locations for every exam is not yet available -- it will be posted in late fall.)

Be sure to also scroll down on that page to see the exceptions to the Master Schedule.

This is a real schedule.  As soon as you know or have a pretty good idea of your fall 2016 course schedule, you may use it to determine when your December exams will be.  

Important warning/reminder:  be sure to schedule your travel plans around your exams, not the reverse!  Travel plans are not considered a valid reason to miss or reschedule an exam.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

REPOST: Avoid "phishing" -- be careful with your email accounts

Thank you to those who have let us know of some recent suspicious-seeming emails.  A timely reminder:

Be wary of phishing emails that ask you to send personal information over email. Remember that neither Barnard nor Columbia (nor, for that matter, any reputable business or organization) will ever ask you to provide your login, password or Social Security Number in an email.

When in doubt, do NOT click on a suspicious link; don't reply; and don't enter your info.  

If a reputable business or school needs you to update your info for some reason, it will always be possible to enter your credentials from a website you already know and trust.

If you have questions about any email that you receive which asks for such information, please email Student Computing.

Monday, August 8, 2016

REPOST: Green is GOOD in Student Planning

Several of you have asked how to tell if you have successfully registered:

If a class appears on your schedule or List of Courses in GREEN, then you have successfully registered for it.

This is true even if it says "This section is full."  If the course is GREEN, then you are among the students that is making this class full

This is true even if it says "This section has a waitlist." If the course is GREEN, you have registered, and other students are on the waitlist.

**Important reminder: if the green course is a limited-enrollment course ("L-Course") other than a Barnard First-Year Experience course, your registration will not be fully confirmed until the end of the summer.  There is a chance your registration will not be confirmed at that point, but there is nothing else you need to do now.

If a course that you have already attempted to add appears on your schedule or list of courses in YELLOW:

RE-POST: FAQ: What your fall schedule may look like and what it all means

Now that you have (we hope) successfully registered for some classes, here are some examples and reminders about what your schedule may look like and how to interpret it.

As a reminder, regardless of whether the courses on your fall 2016 program are green in Student Planning, your registration in many kinds of classes will not be confirmed until the end of the summer.  More information will be posted on this blog closer to that point about how to confirm your enrollment and what to do if you didn't get into something that you need or want.

Your Fall 2016 Program on Student Planning will show several kinds of courses:

Courses for which your registration is confirmed if they're showing in green:
  • First-Year Writing or First-Year Seminar
  • Barnard Physical Education
  • Open-Enrollment courses (those with no maximum number of students)

Courses that will not be confirmed until the end of the summer, regardless of whether they are green or yellow:

Courses that are not registered and won't be confirmed unless you take further action:
  • Courses still in the "planned" stage -- be sure to log in and click "register" during this  registration window 
  • Courses that require special registration procedures (writing sample, audition, statement of interest, etc -- see related posts on the FY Blog for more info about these opportunities).

What if I forgot to register, didn't have internet access during the week of August 8-12, or want to make changes to my fall schedule?

  • There will be another registration window beginning September 2-3 -- your registration start time will appear on myBarnard sometime closer to this date

One example of what your schedule might look like:

Friday, August 5, 2016

Resource: List of Current Courses Satisfying Foundations General Education Requirements

Now available on the Registrar's website: a new resource to help you look up which courses count for which of the Foundations General Education requirements:

Please note:
1.  You will find the same info when you "filter" the course listings in Student Planning for individual Foundations requirements (e.g. Arts/Humanities or Thinking Locally)

2.  This is a work in progress.  If you see something that seems confusing or if you're not sure how a particular course or requirement or rule might apply to your situation, don't just guess -- ask a person!  You can try the registrar, your class dean, or your academic adviser (when you have one).

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Student Side: Where to get books

I know that some of you are getting excited about a (optional but encouraged and really cool!) reading-discussion opportunity during NSOP, but it might have started to make you wonder about the formal coursework that will begin in the fall.

Deadline approaching: Upload your photo online for your Barnard ID

Your Barnard ID Card is your passport to Barnard, Columbia, and beyond.  It grants you access to libraries and secure campus locations, allows you to purchase services at campus cafes and bookstores, and enables you to take advantage of cultural discount programs in New York City.  

Be sure to submit your ID photo via the Columbia ID Office website by Friday, August 5 so that your ID will be ready for you to pick up during Orientation.  Instructions for formatting (jpeg format, must be passport-style: face forward, head and shoulders clearly visible. No photos with sunglasses/hats) and uploading photos are on the ID Office website.  Please note that you will need your UNI ( to complete this process.

Columbia University ID Office

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

New Physical Education class added for fall 2016

Hoping to fulfill your Physical Education requirement but didn't get into a class during the last registration period.  This may be your lucky day!  

A new P.E. class has been added:

Monday, August 1, 2016

Opportunity for students feeling nervous about General Chemistry

Are you taking or thinking of taking General Chemistry (CHEM BC2001) at Barnard this fall? 

Are you concerned you may not be sufficiently prepared for the math-based problem-solving aspects of this class?

Then read on to learn about a Chemical Problem Solving, a supplemental course that may be right for you:

In general, Chemical Problem Solving is a one credit course to be taken concurrently with CHEM BC2001 for students with weaker analytical or problem solving skills.
  • The class will meet once a week. Students who enroll in it with receive only a P or an F. 
  • It is not appropriate for students with AP, IB, or strong high school chemistry or mathematics backgrounds. 
  • Students in the class will receive additional instruction on how to approach problem solving in chemistry and specifically how to translate chemistry questions into mathematical equations, how to solve those algebraic equations, and how to translate the answers back into chemical terms. 
  • Students cannot take Chemical Problem Solving unless they are taking CHEM BC2001, General Chemistry I. 

Wondering if Chemical Problem Solving is right for you, or whether you should take General Chemistry I as a first-year student?

You are encouraged contact Professor Rachel Austin (raustin@barnard.eduthis summer with questions (ideally before the August 8-12 registration period). No majors at the college require that chemistry be taken as a first year student. The Chemistry Department maintains an FAQ page ( with answers to many questions first year students have.

Opportunity: "Europe Imagined": another literature course appropriate for FY students has space available

The Comparative Literature Department wants you to know that space is still available in the following literature course, and that it is appropriate for First-Year Students.  Feel free to register for it next week!

For other literature courses appropriate for first-year students, see the English Department's list of English courses that welcome first-years.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Reminder: Statements of interest for enrichment courses due Monday, 8/1

As the weekend draws closer, we just wanted to remind you of a deadline approaching for two enrichment courses available to first-year students: Research Apprenticeship Seminar and Perspectives in Mathematics. Your ability to join these courses is dependent on you submitting a statement of interest by Monday, August 1st (around the corner!).

Both of these courses are open to only a limited number of first-year students. Be in touch if you want to know more about these courses or if you have any questions!