Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Opportunity: "Stories and Storytelling: An Introduction to Narrative" - specially for first-years and sophomores

Interested in studying literature at Barnard but not quite sure where to start?  Comparative Literature Professor Emily Sun may have just the class for you!  Designed for first-years and sophomores, the course below does not have prerequisites -- no need to have taken previous courses in English or Comparative Literature.

Stories and Storytelling: An Introduction to Narrative
Tuesday & Thursday 4:10-5:25 p.m.
Prof. Emily Sun

Study of the forms and functions of narrative with focus on three modes: detection, confession, and digression. Investigation of how storytelling takes place in various media and genres, across fiction and non-fiction–in short stories, a novella, novels, a poem, films, scholarly essays, autobiography, and a psychoanalytic case history. Attention to historical shifts, cultural differences, and philosophical questions such as the writing of the self, the nature of memory, how we experience time, and how we grapple to tell truth from fiction. Works by Doyle, Borges, Sophocles, Freud, Hitchcock, Augustine, Coleridge, McEwan, the compilers of The Arabian Nights, Diderot, Calvino, and Lispector.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Student Side: High School vs. College

As you embark on your journey to college, you will begin to notices the difference between high school and college. Some of them may be obvious (you will be living in a dorm), and some of them may not be. So we have made a list for you:
  1. Freedom - Woohoo! College! You will no longer consistently be under parental supervision. This freedom can be exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. The best advice I can give you is enjoy the ride, but don’t go overboard. There's no one-size-fits-all prescription for how to strike this balance. Each of you is different, and you will approach college differently.
  2. Time Management - In high school, you pretty much attended all of your classes everyday and then did work for those classes every night. However, in college you will not attend your classes on a daily basis and assignments and paper are often due ahead of time. Therefore, we would suggest getting a planner (electronic or paper) and keeping track of your assignments. Pace yourself! Those assignments may be due before you know it.
  3. The Balancing Act - Going to college means that you will have to make choices all the time. Of courses, these choices include learning how to balance your social life, academics, and your free time. No one gets it right off the bat. However, in order to find the right mix for yourself. Begin to pay attention to your strengths and weaknesses and learn to figure out which combination works best for you. And of course from time to time, be sure to carve out some free time for yourself! It’s more important than you think.
  4. Making Friends - When people talk about college, they often mention the life-long friendships they have made. What you might be thinking is how do you actually make these friends? It’s funny that there is no straight answer to this. But from my personal experience I advise you to be as open as possible. Strike up a conversation with one of your classmates whenever you can. Be open. Be friendly. And most importantly be honest with yourself.
  5. Classes - Classes are the biggest difference academically between college and high school. You will have two types of classes in college: lecture and seminar. About 70% of our lecture classes have 40 students (however, the professor in my 80 person lecture still learned everyone's names). In my experience, seminars are no larger than 16 students. While classes, especially lectures, are larger than the classes you had in high school, there are ways to make them feel small. Lectures tend to be one professor speaking on a topic while the students take notes. Seminars are interactive and require student participation often the professor guides the class rather than leads it.
  6. Discussion Sections - What is a discussion section? Discussion sections are smaller classes separate from the main lecture class where students can discuss the material and get answers to their questions. If you have a discussion section, use it. Discussion sections give you a place to ask questions in a smaller environment. Be prepared for these meetings by keeping up with the class assignments, and coming in with question. If you feel unprepared, don’t skip class – you can still learn from other students’ questions and comments.
  7. Office Hours - Use office hours. Every week professors have office hours because they want to see students. Sometimes they may be walk-in hours or you may need to make an appointment. Office hours are great for asking questions about class, going over a paper or lab report, or just having a conversation about the material. Personally, I went to office hours every time I did not understand the material for my economics class. During office hours, I asked a ton of questions until I finally began to grasp the material.
  8. Barnard Tutoring Services - Take advantage of Barnard’s tutoring services. The two main services we have are Peer-to-Peer Learning and the Writing Center. Peer-to-Peer-Learning offers small group and one-on-one tutoring in different subjects. They also provide a list of departmental help rooms. You can use the writing center for help with your papers. Some classes also have writing fellows attached to them to help you even more.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Opportunity: #BarnardReads -- Summer Reading & NSOP Discussion with Professors

Now that you’ve finished selecting courses, we hope you’re excited to start classes. Some of the most important relationships you will form at Barnard are the ones with your professors and classmates. Why wait till you get to campus to start experiencing this enriching academic community? To help you get a preview of what academic life at Barnard is like, the Dean of Studies Office and the NSOP Committee invite you to join a summertime community reading program: #BarnardReads.

Seven Barnard professors and deans have each selected a work or group of short works (book, article, essay, film, play, poem, etc.) that is representative of the kind of texts you’ll be reading as a Barnard student. You are invited to read any or all of these "#BarnardReads" this summer, and stay tuned for opportunities to discuss them via social media over the summer. Then, during NSOP, these same professors will lead discussions of these texts.

Your choices are:

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.

Can creativity save us? with Professor Ronald Briggs
In a world full of missed signals and misunderstanding, can creativity save us? Join Professor Ronald Briggs of the Spanish and Latin American Studies Department in answering this question using Valeria Luiselli’s Faces in the Crowd either in English or the original Spanish.

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.

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.

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? Join Post-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 -- link updated; sorry for previous technical issues) and by referencing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED Talk "We should all be feminists."

Theatre and Politics with Professor Shayoni Mitra
Professor Shayoni Mitra works at the intersection of politics and performance. Join her to discuss Ntozake Shange's first work and most acclaimed theatre piece: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf. This series of poetic monologues tells the stories of seven women who have suffered oppression in a racist and sexist society.

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 both an exploration of film and psychoanalysis that is both rigorously intellectual and entertaining.

Can’t wait till NSOP to start discussing these texts? 
Post a question or a thought in the Class of 2020 Facebook group or tweet at us at @BCFirstYear, with the hashtag #barnardreads.

If you have any questions about where to find print or electronic versions of these readings, please email first-year@barnard.edu.

Happy reading!

Your friends in the Dean of Studies Office

Friday, July 15, 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.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Student Side: Working during college

Two things are for sure: college isn't cheap, and neither is New York City. But lucky for you, it is completely possible for you to work a variety of jobs during your time here to guarantee you some extra spending money or to help in keeping you afloat. Barnard students work both on-campus and off-campus jobs (I've done both), and there are many ways to go about being employed while you're a full-time college student.

Opportunity: Apply for Fiction-Writing Workshop for First-Years

The English department is delighted to offer a special, first-year-only section of the creative writing course "Fiction and Personal Narrative."
English BC3105 section 002
Thursday 12:10pm-2:00pm
3 credits
Instructor: Mary E Keane

Course Description/Prerequisites: This section is only open to Barnard First-Year students. Writing sample required to apply: required cover sheet and instructions are available here: http://english.barnard.edu/forms-procedures/forms. Students cannot add this course to their schedules until after they are admitted. Short stories and other imaginative and personal writing.

If you're interested in this course, please follow the instructions below, which can also be found on the Barnard English Department website.
Deadline: 4pm a week before classes begin (August 30, 2016 for the fall 2016 semester)

You do not have to be a creative writing concentrator or even an English major to take Barnard Creative Writing courses. However, all Barnard creative writing courses require a writing sample. Instructions and the required cover sheet for writing samples are available on our "Forms" webpage or in the Department Office. Class lists will be posted at the beginning of the semester: students cannot add creative writing courses to their schedules until after they are admitted. If a class list is not posted by its first class meeting, attend it.

Please note: You may not apply for more than one writing course offered at Barnard at a time but you may apply to Columbia courses to maximize your chances of getting into a class. You may not, however, enroll in two creative writing courses simultaneously. Screenwriting is considered part of the Film Concentration and has its own sign-up process. However, if you are admitted to Screenwriting in addition to a creative writing course, you are strongly advised to take only one writing class in any given semester.

If you are interested in taking a creative writing course at Columbia, you need to follow the procedures established by the Columbia creative writing department (separate from the English department there). See the Columbia webpage for details.

Opportunity: auditions for Theatre Department offerings

If you are interested in taking an acting course in the Theatre Department this fall, or if you are interested in participating in one of the productions that will be put on by the Theatre Department during the fall semester, you must audition during the first week of classes. Auditions for Fall 2016 acting classes and stage productions will take place Tuesday 9/6/2016 and Wednesday 9/7/2016.

Auditions for fall acting classes and departmental stage productions will be held in Minor Latham Playhouse at the beginning of the fall semester. Visit the Theatre Department website to learn more about the audition process and schedule, and be sure to mark your calendars for both the mandatory meeting and the auditions themselves. Auditions are required for acting classes and productions only; all other courses are open without audition. First-year students may audition on Tuesday if their schedule requires it; otherwise, we hold Wednesday auditions largely for first-year students.

Open House for First-Year Students Interested in TheatreMeet Theatre Department faculty and get your questions answered!
Wednesday, 8/31
2 p.m.
Milbank 118

Informational Meeting
All auditioners should attend
Tuesday, 9/6
5:30 PM

Auditions for Returning & Transfer Students
Session 1Tuesday, 9/6
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Session 2Tuesday, 9/6
8:00 PM – 10 PM

Auditions for First-Year Students
Session 3Wednesday, 9/7
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
All auditions will be in Minor Latham Playhouse
Milbank Hall 118
Barnard campus
Auditions for all acting classes and productions are open to all Barnard and Columbia undergraduates. Students will not be admitted to an acting class without an audition during the audition period. Students admitted into acting classes will be posted late Wednesday evening, 9/7. Acting classes will begin Thursday 9/8. Students who have registered for an acting class but do not audition will be dropped; students who have registered for an acting class other than the class to which they are assigned after auditions will be dropped from that class.

Acting Workshop (for First Year Students only; 2 sections)
Acting the Musical Scene
Acting Shakespeare
Acting Solo Performance
Acting the Avant Garde
Advanced Acting Lab (2 sections)

Productions: Students auditioning for productions should be available for callbacks Thursday evening; cast list will be posted Friday 9/9. Cast members sign up for THTR BC 3122 Rehearsal and Performance and receive graded credit for the production.

Some Hero
A devised work based on the writings of Václav Havel
Directed by Shannon Sindelar

A Musical with book and lyrics by Maria Irene Fornes
Music by Al Carmines
Directed by Alice Reagan

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Opportunity: Research Apprenticeship Seminar (enrichment course)

Are you interested in science research? If you are, you might want to apply for The Research Apprenticeship Seminar. This year-long seminar is offered under the auspices of the Hughes Science Pipeline Project (HSPP), a science curriculum and undergraduate research program funded by grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The seminar is open to 16 first-year students who are also enrolled in an introductory lab science sequence. The course will meet in a seminar format on Tuesdays from 4:10-6:00 p.m., and will discuss how research problems are defined, how scientists immerse themselves in the existing literature on a topic, how researchers craft experimental protocols and collect data, and how data can be used to test hypotheses. Students will also consider science stories in the New York Times and conduct formal debates about ethical and social issues, such as the use of animal subjects in research. Occasionally, the seminar period will be devoted to tours of faculty science labs to learn about the research that Barnard professors conduct and the research opportunities available on campus. Students will also attend several events, including Barnard’s annual Distinguished Women in Science Lecture and the HSPP Student Research Symposium.

Additionally, students will participate in a month-long laboratory rotation each semester. During the rotation period, each student will spend 3 hours per week shadowing a Barnard junior or senior Research Intern who is conducting a year-long research project sponsored by the HSPP. In addition to this exposure to research at Barnard, students will discuss how to obtain summer science internships in laboratories off campus.Seminar assignments will include readings about the research process, as well as short library-based research projects about scientific claims in textbooks. In the fall semester, students will develop their presentation skills in a session with Barnard’s Speaking Fellows. In the spring semester, each student will deliver an oral presentation about the research career of a scientist of her choosing. Students will also maintain a weekly "blog" that describes their reactions to readings, the results of their library research projects, and their reflections on laboratory rotations and events attended. The seminar will require no formal written assignments, and there will be no exams.

The Research Apprenticeship Seminar is a yearlong course that carries a total of 3.0 points of academic credit (1.5 points each semester). A catalogue description follows:
HSPP BC1001x-1002y. Research Apprenticeship Seminar. Introduction to research in the natural sciences. Students will participate in seminar discussions about the research process, tour laboratories, and complete two rotations in the labs of Barnard faculty mentors, shadowing undergraduate Research Interns who are conducting research. Instructor: Jennifer Mansfield (Department of Biological Sciences)

If you would like to participate in the seminar, send a statement of interest (250 words maximum), explaining why you want to take this class and why you think you would be a good candidate for it, to first-year@barnard.edu. The deadline for receiving your statement of interest by email is Monday, August 1, 2016.

If you are admitted to the course, you will receive an email with further instructions about how to sign up for it.

Opportunity: Perspectives in Mathematics (enrichment course)

Are you interested in exploring Mathematics beyond calculus? If so, consider enrolling in MATH BC2001 Perspectives in Mathematics. In this discussion-based course, we will consider a variety of mathematical topics that are not usually in the beginning undergraduate curriculum, such as topology, probability, and symmetry.

Designed to be a fun, supplementary course for first- and second-year students, it can be taken concurrently with other Math courses. The course will meet on Wednesdays, 6:10-7:25 p.m., and will be team-taught by the faculty of the Barnard Mathematics department and will also include guest lectures. It will earn one point of credit and will be graded on a pass/fail basis.

If you would like to participate in this course, send an email to first-year@barnard.edu that includes a short (one paragraph) statement of interest explaining why you want to take the class and why you think you would be a good candidate. The deadline for receiving your email is Monday, August 1. If you are admitted to the class, you will receive an email with further registration instructions.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Three To-Do Items Due Friday

Happy Monday everyone! Just to give you a look towards the future, I wanted to let y'all know that this Friday (the 15th) is the deadline for the three following items on the New Students To-Do List:

1) Final transcripts due to Barnard
Get in touch with your high school counselor to make sure that they send your final high school transcript to Barnard by this Friday. Your transcript can be received by mail or fax to the Office of Admissions:
Office of Admissions
Barnard College
3009 Broadway
New York, New York 10027

Fax: 212-854-6220

All questions or concerns about sending in your final transcript should go to the Office of Admissions (212-854-2014, admissions@barnard.edu)

2) Directory Information and Emergency Form
You submit this form via myBarnard (link accessible in your To-Do List). This form lets Barnard know if you want to be searchable in the Barnard directory and also gives the College an emergency contact to have on record in case of, well, an emergency! This form should take about 5-8 minutes to complete. If you have any questions about this form, refer them to the Registrar (212-854-2011, registrar@barnard.edu).

3) Family Information Form
Have a parent or guardian fill out this form, which asks about their basic contact info and gauges interest in parent involvement in the Barnard community. This form will take them about 10 minutes to complete.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about deadlines or anything else, feel free to contact us!

Opportunity: Athena Digital Design Free HTML/CSS Course

Athena Digital Design Agency (ADDA) started here at Barnard a couple of years ago. We provide free HTML/CSS and Javascript classes to current Barnard students. These 2 hour weekly classes are a great way for students to learn how to code and build their own personal website. No coding experience necessary to join our classes!

After the completion of the HTML/CSS course, students are welcome to join our agency where they can take on web design jobs from clients. This is a great way to make some money on the side, improve their coding experience, and add something to their resume.

Applications are due on July 18th and can be filled out here:
HTML/CSS course: https://adda.typeform.com/to/FHXE58
Javascript course (must have completed the HTML/CSS course previously): https://adda.typeform.com/to/XkMuzV

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

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

Welcome back after the long holiday weekend!  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 for 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 permitted)

Courses that will not be confirmed until the end of the summer, 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 the next registration window in early August -- keep checking the FY Blog for more details
  • Courses that require special registration procedures (writing sample, audition, statement of interest, etc -- keep checking the FY Blog for more info about these opportunities).

What if I forgot to register, didn't have internet access last week, or want to make changes to my fall schedule?

  • There will be another registration window August 8-12 -- your registration start time will appear on myBarnard sometime closer to this date

One example of what your schedule might look like:

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Dean of Studies Office Closed Monday, July 4

The First-Year Blog wishes you a happy July 4th Weekend.  
Barnard College administrative offices -- including the Dean of Studies Office -- will be closed on Monday, July 4th.  We will reopen as usual on Tuesday, July 5th at 9 a.m.  Feel free to be in touch then with your questions to first-year@barnard.edu or (212) 854-2024.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Student Side: Any Given Day During Your First Year at Barnard

Congrats on completing the first step towards getting your schedule finalized for the fall! It was a hectic week on both sides, but it's definitely exciting that almost everyone has a glimpse of what their class schedule will look like.

So now that classes are taken care of, what else is going to happen in between the (hopefully) green boxes on your calendar? No two days will look the same for you, and most likely none of you will spend each day doing the same thing. Everyone's days will be different, but there are a few things that you should be sure to accomplish everyday. I expect classes, food, clubs, and homework to be the typical core of your everyday schedule, and here a few suggestions for navigating those:

1) Classes
Most of your schedules probably have around 2-3 classes per day, Monday-Thursday. There are a significantly fewer amount of classes offered on Fridays at Barnard/Columbia - say hello to four day weeks! I did, however, have lab classes that met on Fridays, but many people do not take classes on Fridays throughout their time here. Most classes meet for an hour and fifteen minutes, and classes usually begin at the following times: 8:40, 10:10, 11:40, 1:10, 2:40, 4:10, and 6:10. These times will become part of your vocabulary - "Want to get lunch before your 2:40?" Classes that meet for longer are typically lab sections, dance classes, or seminars, and classes that meet for for shorter are typically recitation or discussion sections. So maybe you won't be sitting in a classroom for the majority of your day, but I think class definitely takes up a lot of mental space and is the aspect of your schedule you will probably arrange other things around.

2) Meals
This section will be at bit long because lots of (extremely positive) changes are coming to Barnard dining next semester. For starters, each of you will be required to be on the First-Year Meal Plan, which comprises 19 meal swipes per week and 120 points per semester. Meal swipes get you into Hewitt Dining Hall but also Ferris and John Jay Dining Hall, which are dining halls on Columbia's campus (Columbia requires a similar meal plan for their first-year students as well). Additionally, students with swipe meal plans (that's you) can use a meal swipe for breakfast in the Diana Cafe, which is until 10:30 am. Starting in the fall, Diana Cafe will also take meal swipes for dinner (!!!! this is unprecedented and celebrated by returning students), and JJ's in the basement of John Jay Hall will also take meal swipes. Points work just like money and are often used for coffee or snacks at Liz's Place or any of the food options in Diana Cafe. There are clearly a lot of options - it is super important that you eat three meals a day. The easiest meal to miss is lunch since classes meet throughout common lunch times, but make sure you always have a lunch break. It's great for maintaining sanity, and it's also no coincidence that both Anam and I featured pictures of us in dining halls for our intro posts!

I know that requiring the same meal plan for everyone can seem restricting, but it's actually a great equalizer in terms of transitioning into college. You'll want the easy access and availability of dining halls when you're in between classes, and since everyone else is also taking classes and on the meal plan, you're bound to run into someone to eat with or be able to arrange in advance to eat with someone. Since everyone has already paid for meals, there aren't often offers to eat out with a group, which alleviates pressure if you don't want to spend money or don't have the funds to eat off campus.

3) Clubs
Most clubs, outside of whatever programming they do, will have a meeting time where everyone involved gets together; these are typically weekly meetings that last no more than hour. There are some exceptions to this, but club commitments are designed in a way that doesn't pose a burden to your schedule. There will be a (really sweaty) outdoor club fair on Low Plaza during the first week of classes for clubs offered on both Barnard's and Columbia's campuses where you can speak to current students in clubs, join their listservs, and in general get a feel for how you might want to spend your time out of class. Most clubs on both campuses are open to all undergrads in the Columbia U system, but you can look here for a list of Columbia clubs, and here for a list of Barnard clubs.

4) Homework
Something I noticed as a difference between high school and college is that when you do homework each day can differ day to day and definitely differs from when you might've been able to in high school. If you don't have a class until 1:10pm on a given day, you are welcome to sleep until then, but you could even wake up at 9 or 10 and still get a reading in. If you finish classes one day at 2:25, you have the rest of the day to do work. Having classes end this early or start this late might be an adjustment, so it's good to know when you're most productive. I haven't been that successful in waking up to do homework (usually only a class will get me out of bed), but I've found it great to have an hour or two in the afternoons to start that day's workload before the tiredness of evening kicks in later.

I hope you all enter the weekend excited about some green boxes in myBarnard and keep looking forward to what the rest of the summer has to offer!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

FAQ: More about lab science

Many of you have been asking questions about fulfilling the Foundations science requirement.  Here is some more information.

As a reminder, all members of the class of 2020 must take two semesters of science:
  • One semester of a science with a lab
  • One semester of a science course that need not be accompanied by lab*
*Note: These two classes do not need to be taken in sequence or even in the same department. However, be sure you have fulfilled necessary prerequisites (check course descriptions) and, if you are considering a science major or a pre-health track, you should follow advice from the relevant departments, deans, and advisers.

If you are trying to fulfill the science-with-a-lab portion of this requirement this fall, here are some common ways of doing this:


with ASTR-W1903 ASTRONOMY LAB I (select one from available sections)


ASTR-W1403 Earth Moon and Planets with ASTR-W1903 lab

(see departmental website for course selection/placement advice)

with BIOL-BC1011 lab (select one from available sections)
with BIOL-BC1501 lab (select one from available sections)*
and BIOL-BC1511 Recitation (select one from available sections)*
*NOTE: you must sign up for all three parts to fulfill science-with-lab requirement

(see departmental website for course selection/placement advice)

with CHEM-BC2011 Lab Lecture, also called Recitation (select one from available sections)*
and CHEM-BC2012 lab (select section on the same day as your Recitation/Lab Lecture)*
*VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: you must sign up for the lab and the lab lecture on the same day -- students who do not sign up correctly will not be admitted.

Environmental Science 
(see departmental website for course selection/placement advice)

with EESC-BC1011 lab (select one from available sections)


PHYS-BC2001 Mechanics (sign up for lab during first week of classes)

PSYC-BC1001 Intro to Psychology (select from available sections)
with PSYC-BC1015 Psychology Research Methods Laboratory*
NOTE: it is unlikely that entering first-year students will get into this lab this fall -- you may take it in spring, or you may instead choose to take Intro to Psych for your non-lab semester and a different lecture-plus-lab combination for your lab science requirement


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

FAQ: Picking the right math or statistics course, with or without AP scores

If you're planning to take Calculus, another mathematics class, or a Statistics class please see the advice on pp 34-35 of the First-Year Guide for advice based on your previous experience studying these subjects, reason for taking these classes, and AP or other test scores if applicable.  Please see below if you would like to review this information.

If you wish to take a course in the Mathematics Department in your first semester, consider the following placement information to select the course most appropriate to your level of preparation.

College Algebra and Analytical Geometry is a course for students who intend to take Calculus but need a stronger foundation in mathematics to prepare for it.

The systematic study of college-level mathematics begins with one of the following alternative sequences: Calculus I, II, III and IV or Honors Math A and B:
  • Calculus: The calculus sequence is a standard course in differential and integral calculus. 
    • Students who have not previously studied calculus should begin with Calculus I. 
    • Calculus II is not a prerequisite for Calculus III, so students who plan to take only one year of calculus may choose between I + II or I + III. Students with an AP exam score of 4 or higher (AB or BC) may start with Calculus II or III. Students with an AP score of 5 (BC) should start with Calculus III. 
    • Calculus III requires a B or better in Calculus I and is a recommended option for some majors. 
  • Honors Math: Honors Mathematics A-B is for exceptionally well-qualified students who have strong advanced placement scores. It covers second-year Calculus and Linear Algebra, with an emphasis on theory. Students who have an AP exam score of 5 (BC) and who have strong mathematical talent and motivation should start with Honors Mathematics A, whether or not they intend to be mathematics majors. Students who contemplate taking this course should consult with the instructor. If this is not possible ahead of time, they should register and attend the first class.
  • Introduction to Higher Mathematics is a course that can be taken in the first or second year by students with aptitude for mathematics who would like to practice writing and understanding mathematical proofs.
Enrollment in all Mathematics courses is tentative, so you may visit different classes and switch from one to another with relative ease during the first two weeks of the term. Students are encouraged to consult with the Mathematics instructors and the Department adviser during Orientation and the first week of classes for advice about placement. 


The Statistics Department offers several introductory courses:

Students interested in statistical concepts, who plan on consuming, but not creating statistics, should take Introduction to Statistical Reasoning. The course is designed for students who have taken a pre-calculus course, and the focus is on general principles. It is suitable for students seeking to satisfy Barnard quantitative requirements, but it may not count for Barnard majors that require Statistics – check departmental websites to be sure. 

Students seeking an introduction to applied statistics should take Introduction to Statistics. The course is designed for students who have some mathematical maturity, but who may not have taken a course in calculus, and the focus is on the elements of data analysis. It is recommended for pre-med students, and students contemplating the concentration in statistics. 

Students seeking a foundation for further study of probability theory and statistical theory and methods should take Calculus-Based Introduction to Statistics.  The course is designed for students who have taken a semester of college calculus or the equivalent, and the focus is on preparation for a mathematical study of probability and statistics.  It is recommended for students seeking to complete the prerequisite for econometrics, and for students contemplating the major in statistics. 

Students seeking a one-semester calculus-based survey of probability theory and statistical theory and methods should take Introduction to Probability and Statistics. This course is designed for students who have taken calculus, and is meant as a terminal course. It provides a somewhat abridged version of the more demanding sequence Probability Theory and Statistical Inference. While some mathematically mature students take the more demanding sequence as an introduction to the field, it is generally recommended that students prepare for the sequence by taking Calculus-Based Introduction to Statistics.

Monday, June 27, 2016

How to find out which courses satisfy Foundations requirements

The new registration software has a nifty tool that outlines for you which courses satisfy which requirements -  nifty, of course, once you know how to use it.

1) On the Plan & Schedule page with the calendar, slide your mouse over the "Student Planning" tab and select "Course Catalog" from the drop options.

2) Click on the first (or any) department that shows up on the first page.

3) This should appear on the left side of the following page. Go ahead and un-check "African Civilizatn."

4) After some loading, all of the courses in the Course Catalog should appear un-filtered. Scroll down on the new page until this filter box appears on the left side:

5) Go ahead and select "Show All Course Types." A long list will then become visible, and it's only this long because these requirement filters also include requirements for the old curriculum. Refer to pages 14-15 of the First-Year Guide to see the exact names of Foundations requirements. 

6) Select a requirement you might want to fulfill next semester. Let's start with Arts & Humanities. Check that filter box and the new reloaded page should have this at the top:

7) All of the courses that appear on the page are courses that fulfill that requirement. You may also need to filter for "Fall 2016." Peruse around and add one to your schedule when you find one that interests you and fits!

8) You're able to de-select Arts & Humanities and select another filter to see the list of courses that satisfy another requirement. If you want to just look at one, be sure to only select one filter at a time, or else it'll only show you courses that satisfy both filters. 

Keep in mind that this is still being updated. Y'all are the first pool to really use this software and it is still being updated. If there's something not there that you think should be, definitely contact us. For example, classes in the Statistics department aren't showing up under Quantitative and Empirical, but we anticipate that this will be fixed soon and other issues will be fixed soon! 

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:

If the yellow course says "waitlisted" and has a yellow check, then you have successfully joined the waiting list. You will find out at the end of the summer if you get in off the waiting list.  There is nothing more that you need to do now.

If the yellow course has a red border in calendar view 

Or if it shows on your list of courses as "planned" but does not offer you the option to add the class or join a waiting list, it is a Barnard First-Year Experience course that is full and does not take a waiting list. You should add another section or a different course instead but may check back later to see if space becomes available. 

Reminder: First-Year Writing, First-Year Seminar, and Barnard PE classes do NOT take waiting lists

If you are trying to add a First-Year Experience course (FY Writing, FY Seminar, Barnard PE) and cannot because it is full, please note that these classes do not take waiting lists.  Please look for another section that fits into your schedule.  

For PE, if you can't add any PE class, you may add a dance class instead, or you may plan to take PE in the spring semester.

Many of you will be waitlisted for science, labs, Spanish and some other courses -- 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 learn later this summer 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.

If you joined a waiting list and tried to leave it, but the waitlisted class is still appearing on your program:
1.  We are aware of this issue, and Student Computing is working on it.
2.  This should not affect your ability to add a new class at the same time. Even if you get a warning message, you should be able to proceed.  Please let us know if this is not the case for you.

Three Student Planning issues with pop-ups preventing registration FIXED

Two Student Planning issues have been fixed. 

If your registration was prevented by any of the following inaccurate error messages, please log out, log back in again, and try to register again:

1.  If you were unable to register because of a pop-up saying you need to register for FY Writing or FY Seminar

2.  If you were unable to register because of a pop-up saying you need to register for PE

3.  If you were unable to register because of a pop-up saying you had an "overload" of more than 22 credits

If you are still having these or other problems, then please call or email to let us know (212-854-2024, first-year@barnard.edu).

Got questions about registration and Student Planning? Where to find answers

We hope that you were able to log in on Sunday to begin looking at Student Planning and start to "plan" your fall courses, and that when you log in today at your assigned time, that you will have no difficulty in adding courses.

If something does come up:

Click on the Student Planning FAQ link on the upper righthand portion of your myBarnard home screen:

If your question does not appear, then please contact the Dean of Studies Office:
(212) 854-2024

Friday, June 24, 2016

Issue with viewing Registration Appointment Times FIXED

The computer glitch that was causing many of you not to be able to see your registration appointment times has now been fixed.  Thank you to those of you who alerted us to this issue!

If you were having this problem, log out of myBarnard, log back in, and then try to view your times again following the instructions on this blog.  Do not attempt to find your times through the Columbia portal or any other website -- this will not work reliably during the summer process.

The Student Side: Life in the Residential Halls

Hey everyone! We’re going to dedicate this post to helping y’all anticipate living in the Barnard residential halls. Pretty soon you will all be moving into your room assignments in the Quad. The Quad is a complex of four interconnected residential halls (Sulzberger, Brooks, Reid, and Hewitt) on campus where all of the first-year students live. A variety of student services are also housed in the Quad, so even though all first-year students live there, other years are also in or near the Quad throughout their time at Barnard. The spatial setup of the Quad really does make for a great first-year residential community given that everyone is accessible to one another and it’s a living experience that everyone in your class shares together. It truly is a convenience that you don’t need to put on shoes to meet up with people!

(Read more after the break)

Welcome & some advice from the Dean for Health Professions Advising

Dear First Year Students,

I am thrilled to welcome you to Barnard. My name is Melinda Cohen, and I am the Dean for Health Professions Advising. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to guide and support you on your journey as you explore and prepare for a career in the health professions. I know it can be overwhelming to select your courses for your first semester, and even more daunting to consider what might be the "right" courses to take as a pre-med student. The good news is that is no "right" answer, and there are many options out there!  I hope you will take advantage of the information we have available for you on our Barnard Pre-Health website, our Pre-Health Blog, and on pp 17-19 of the First-Year Guide.

During their first year at Barnard, pre-med students typically take a laboratory science course. It's common for new students to start either with Biology (with laboratory) or with Chemistry (with laboratory). Students who have recently taken AP Biology may choose to begin with Biology for continuity, while students who have recently taken Chemistry and/or who feel comfortable with their quantitative (i.e. problem-solving) skills may choose to begin with Chemistry in order to begin the 5-semester Chemistry sequence. Either choice will work for you, so base your decision on your background and your interest. You should also consult the Biology and Chemistry department websites to determine the class most appropriate for you. 

Many pre-med students also choose to take a math course first semester -- either Calculus or a math-based Statistics course. You will be expected to have at least one semester of math to apply to the majority of medical schools. While you can wait to begin your math courses, you may feel that it is a good idea to start with Calculus I during your first year, because it will be a useful foundation for your Physics courses.

During her first semester at Barnard, a pre-med student's academic program will likely include:
  • a First-Year Experience course, 
  • an introductory science course with laboratory, 
  • a math or statistics course, 
  • a fourth course of the student's choosing. 
If you want to take four semesters of a foreign language because you are considering studying abroad, then the fourth course could be a language course. If you are considering a major in a field outside of the sciences in addition to your pre-med courses, the fourth course might be in that area of study. Or the fourth course could be something taken just to explore something new and interesting.

During Orientation week, I will hold Pre-Health Overview sessions. Any student who may be interested in exploring and preparing for a career in the health professions is strongly encouraged to attend. I will also be available to meet individually with students during orientation and throughout the school year. 

I wish you all the best!
Dean Cohen 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Advice from a science prof for students interested in science & health professions

A message for first-year students interested in science and health professions:

Dear First-Years,

Allow me to join the chorus of excited faculty and staff and welcome you to Barnard College! As way of introduction, my name is Dr. Jacob Alexander, and I am the Director of the General Chemistry Laboratory and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry. Over the years, I have done quite a bit of work with students interested in science (not just in chemistry!) and many of these were students interested in exploring a track which prepares them for one of the pre-health professions. This is the subject Dean Grabiner asked me to write about today, and I am happy to do so.

There are many possible paths for students interested in the pre-health professions, but for a First-Year student let’s focus on what to do immediately.

(more after the break)

FAQs, updates, and clarifications about Registration appointment times next week

When & how can I find my registration time?
Registration times should now be viewable on myBarnard. Follow the instructions on this previous blog post to look up your times.  Your first available time should be on Monday, June 27.  

What if I won't be around during my assigned time?
Your assigned registration time only indicates when you may begin registering for classes. If you can't make your specific time, you may log in later on Monday or any other day for the rest of the week, as long as it is during hours when Student Planning will be available for adding and dropping classes (see below).  If you won't be able to access the internet at all for the entire week of June 27 - July 1, please note that there will be an additional registration period for entering students in early August.  Stay tuned for more information.

What are the hours when Student Planning will be available?
  • For "planning" courses:  Student Planning will be available beginning on Sunday, June 26 at 9 a.m. and any time thereafter.
  • For adding and dropping courses:  Student Planning will be available beginning at your appointment time on Monday, June 27 and then for the rest of the day until 4 p.m. on June 27th.  For the rest of the week, Student Planning will be available for all entering first-year students 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., until 4 p.m. on Friday, July 1.
    • NOTE: the updated end time is 4 p.m., and not 4:30 as previously advertised -- we apologize for the inconvenience.

I don't see WebAdvisor when I log into myBarnard? Is something wrong?
Don't worry!  You should be able to see WebAdvisor and use it to log into Student Planning beginning on Sunday morning.

How can I tell what courses count for Foundations requirements like the Distributional Requirements or the Modes of Thinking?
When you log into Student Planning, you should be able to search for courses by Modes of Thinking, Distributional Requirements, and a variety of other criteria. When you look up individual courses, they should be coded to indicate which of the Foundations requirements they can fulfill.  Once the semester begins, courses that fulfill requirements will also show up under My Progress as "in progress."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Important Information: reminder that preregistration for fall 2016 classes begins MONDAY

The text of this email will be sent today to all incoming first-year students:

Dear first-years,

It’s almost time to preregister for fall courses (beginning, Monday, June 27 at your appointment time), but before you do, be sure you are as prepared as possible by taking the following steps and/or reviewing the following information. There’s a lot of information here, so read it carefully, and review it when you are ready to complete the form. (The text of this email will also be posted to the FY Blog for reference).

1) Consider the general advice on pp. 24-25 of the First-Year Guide. You may also watch this Prezi for additional advice and info:

2) If you haven’t already done so, review the information posted on the FY Blog, which contains advice, registration instructions, screenshots, presentations, and videos with information on how to register and what to think about as you select courses.

3)  **NEW** Beginning at 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 26, you may log into Student Planning via myBarnard to explore the system and begin "planning" courses.  You will not be able to register until your registration appointment time, but you will be able to "plan" courses. If you've made a list of your First-Year Experience preferences and other courses of interest, you may plan them beginning on Sunday.  Don't know what it means to "plan" a course?  Watch these the Student Planning Tutorials on your myBarnard homepage or at this link:

4) When your appointment time begins on Monday, June 27, log into Student Planning via myBarnard and begin adding classes. We recommend that you

  • Start with your First-Year Writing or First-Year Seminar course
  • Then add additional courses that interest you
  • Finish by trying to add a Barnard PE or dance course. Note that there is room for a little more than half of the entering class to take PE/dance this fall, so don't worry if you can't get into one of these classes -- you can always take it in spring.

5) Remember that, during this period, you will be able to completely preregister for:

6)  Remember that, during this period, you will be able to add but will not be able to confirm enrollment in:

  • Limited-Enrollment courses ("L-Courses") other than Barnard First-Year Experience courses.  
  • Note:  L-courses will appear to be a fully-registered part of your academic program, but your registration will not be confirmed (or denied) until the end of the summer.
  • Advice: keep some "Plan B" courses in the "Planned" section of Student Planning, so that you can register for them efficiently if you don't get into an L-course you are hoping for. We ask that you plan but not register for any such "Plan B" options, so that everyone can have as accurate an idea as possible of how many spots are available in L-courses when it is possible to add and drop them during NSOP.

7) If you encounter technical difficulties or need advice or assistance during this process, please email first-year@barnard.edu or call the Dean of Studies Office during business hours (9-5 Monday through Thursday, 9-4 on Friday, July 1) at (212) 854-2024. If we cannot assist you, we will forward your problem to someone who can.

8)  Finally, even after you have registered for classes, please continue checking out the First-Year Blog at least once or twice a week. We will continue to post updates and information that addresses frequently asked questions of new students. So even while you’re relaxing this summer, I hope that you’ll stay tuned in: http://barnardfirstyear.blogspot.com/

Dean Grabiner