Monday, August 12, 2019

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Foundations & AP Credits Made EASY (To Understand)

Hey Y'all, 

At this point, you're super close to the school year beginning and probably trying to find out as much as possible about Barnard before you get here. Trust me, I know. I did so much research on Barnard that I thought I knew everything before I got here. However, the one thing I wish I understood more before I came is: 


Foundations and AP Credits. 

Info on the Language Requirement and Language Placement Exams

To fulfill the foreign language requirement at Barnard, all students must complete two semesters of language study (both in the same language) at Barnard or Columbia, regardless of previous language study or proficiency. In most language departments at Barnard and Columbia, the course sequence typically goes by the following course titles: Elementary I, Elementary II, Intermediate I, Intermediate II. Beyond Intermediate II, there are a variety of advanced grammar, conversation, and content-based courses offered. The language requirement can also be thought of as 6 credits of foreign language courses. There are a few accelerated language courses that cover 2 semesters of material in one semester but are not always worth 6 credits, so they wouldn’t fulfill the requirement and additional classes would be needed. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Student Side: How to Communicate with Others (via Email and Phone)

So you have a question that you can’t Google an answer for. What to do? It’s time to contact a real human being and ask for help. But wait, you’re not on campus or you don’t want to leave your bed. Don’t worry! You can still ask via ~email~ or with a ~phone call~.

But how do you properly ask someone a question via phone, email or IG dms? How do you write an email that’s effective, short, yet still polite and respectful? How do you make a phone call when you have no idea who will pick up? Oh and yes, there's DM etiquette at Barnard too. (Don't DM an office Instagram). We’re here to help. As people who have written a few emails in our day and have made more than 5 phone calls, here are some tips and tricks:

The most indirect, direct form of contact that leaves an electronic paper trail. Here’s how to write an effective and short email.

(more after the break)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

FAQ on Work-Study and Jobs on Campus (UPDATE)

What’s the difference between Federal Work-Study and a Barnard College Job Award?
Federal Work-Study (FWS) is funding awarded by the federal government for students to have a job. With FWS, you can work at Barnard, Columbia, or at a variety of off-campus non-profits.

Barnard College Job Award (BCJ) are funds awarded by Barnard College. BCJ can only be used for jobs at Barnard, not Columbia or off-campus. If you have a BCJ, you can still work at Columbia as a “casual worker”, meaning that your pay isn’t coming from your work-study award, or at an off-campus job.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Opportunity: Apply to join Research Apprenticeship Seminar (enrichment course) -- Deadline Wed 7/31, 9 AM

Are you interested in science research? Then consider applying for The Research Apprenticeship Seminar. This year-long 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 Thursday from 4:10-6 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 media including the New York Times, and conduct formal debates about ethical and social issues, such as the use of animal subjects in research. 

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 junior or senior student who is conducting a year-long research project in a Barnard faculty lab in one of the science departments . 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. 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: Rishita Shah (Department of Biology)

To apply to participate in the seminar:
1.  Log into myBarnard/gBear
2.  Click this link for the Google Form:
3.  Fill out the form, which will ask you for your name and a brief 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. The deadline to submit this form is 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31.

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

*Note that students admitted to this class are required to take both semesters.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

New Science Class Open: Astronomy!

A new class has recently been added to the courses open for registration this week! The introductory lab and lecture for Astronomy is now open for first-year registration! The lecture course is Life in the Universe (ASTR-BC1753) and the corresponding lab is Astronomy Lab I (ASTR-UN1903). These are introductory astronomy courses intended primarily for non-science majors and are a great way to learn more about the astronomy department.

The sign-ups for this course will happen the same way as the other science courses. You'll need to waitlist both sections of the course, and then you'll get an email notification when you've been enrolled and moved from "waitlisted" to "registered".

To infinity and beyond!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Final Registration Reminders!

Registration is just around the corner! Here are some last minute reminders and special sign-up procedures to help registration go smoothly on Monday. This has new information, so p l e a s e read through fully. 

How to Tell if You're Enrolled in a Course

Some of y’all have been asking how you know if you’ve successfully registered for a course. If you’re registered for a course, waitlisted, for a course, or if the class is full, the course will change color in your schedule and on your sidebar. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

A Note from the Chemistry Department on First-Year Science Courses

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

Dear First-Years,

Allow us to join the chorus of excited faculty and staff and welcome you to Barnard College! The members of the chemistry department are delighted you are considering joining us this fall.  Our department serves students with many different interests. We offer a major in both chemistry and biochemistry as well as a minor in chemistry. Our courses are required for several other majors at the College.  And students interested in studying one of the health professions after Barnard will typically take several of our courses. We will be available throughout your time at Barnard to guide you through the selection of chemistry courses.  For those of you interested in the health professions and the sciences, here is our advice to you.

Monday, July 1, 2019

The Student Side: Courses Recommended for First-Years

Looking for other classes to take beyond First-Year Writing and Seminar? We got you covered with the list of recommended courses for Fall 2019 for every single major and program of study at Barnard from A to Z (really A to W since there are not majors that start with X, Y, or Z).

Keep in mind that the courses on this list are for people with no background in the subject. Depending on your own experience and knowledge, you may be able to take a higher level course.

All classes listed are current and are being offered in the Fall of 2019. 

Happy course searching!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Summer Registration Survival Guide: Final Tips and Reminders

It’s the final day of Amanda’s and Paige’s Declassified Summer Registration Guide! Here are some friendly tips and reminders on getting through class registration smoothly and calmly.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Summer Registration Survival Guide: Course Selection

Today we’re tackling all your questions about course selection. Before you register for classes, you need to know which classes you want to take. And guess who decides what classes you take? YOU.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Summer Registration Survival Guide: What Courses Can I Register for Over the Summer?

During the July and August registration weeks, you won’t be registering for a full schedule of courses. You’ll only register for select first-year and introductory courses during the summer. You’ll register for the rest of your courses during orientation after you’ve met with an academic advisor.

So what courses can you register for? You’re required to register for a First-Year Writing or First-Year Seminar course for the fall and you’ll have the option to register for a P.E. class and select introductory science courses.

Let’s break down these courses by category:

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Summer Registration Survival Guide: Summer Registration

Welcome back to Amanda’s and Paige’s Declassified Summer Registration Guide! We’ve collected your questions, done the research, and are here to impart wisdom from our knowledge of our collective 10-time registration experiences. Leggo.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Summer Registration Survival Guide: Student Planning Tutorials

Welcome to Amanda’s and Paige’s Declassified Summer Registration Survival Guide. Summer Registration and course selection got you feeling like this?

Friday, June 7, 2019

Dorm Sweet Dorm

The room of Alyssa Blackman '17 and Jenna Beers '17 in Sulz/Reid

What I Wish I Knew:

For those living on campus next year, Congrats, You've applied for housing! Whether you picked your own roommate or Barnard will be hand-picking your roommate(s) for you, this marks the beginning of a new phase in your life. Living with a roommate taught me so much about myself and made me so much more self-aware. Living in the quad allowed me to forge so many beautiful relationships with people from all over the world! Now that you've applied, here are some tips/things I want to share with you that I wish I knew:

1. It really helps to establish a form of communication with your roommate(s). Whether it's text messages, Facebook messenger, IG DM's, phone calls or in person,  it's inevitable that you will both have comments and concerns. An example could be that your roommate gets ready really loudly in the morning when you're trying to sleep and it's waking you up earlier than you'd like to be awake, or you get back really late when they're already sleeping and don't realize that you're waking them up. Or it could be something minor like checking in with them to see if they need groceries at the store. Whatever the specifics, you will 100% need to establish a form of communication if you want things to go smoothly. Take it from me. My roommate and I eventually texted to communicate, though I wish I had spoken up more during the times I needed to.

2. On that note, speak up!  I never knew how hard it would be for me to speak up when something made me uncomfortable until I had a roommate. Don't get me wrong, things ran smoothly most of the time, and my roommate and I spoke a lot about random things like our favorite artists, TV shows and what was on our IG feed. But for fear of ruining the relationship, when small things bothered me, I didn't say anything. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to just let things slide. We had very different sleeping schedules, among other things, and I tried to make it work so she could be as comfortable as possible. And the same went for her. But guess what, you didn't come to college for your roommate(s)! You came to college to start the journey of becoming the best version of yourself. And to do that, you need a comfortable place to come back to! So, speak up!

3. With that in mind, please be considerate. Put yourself first, but do so respectfully. Make sure that at the very least, you're respectful to the people you're living with. Be open to compromise, listening and possibly making changes. Points 2 and 3 may seem a little contradictory, but you will quickly learn how to find the balance between speaking up and asking for what you need, and respecting the needs of your roommate(s). 

4.  Don't worry! The housing contract that you will go through at the beginning of the year is actually very, very detailed! Spend as much time as possible going through each question. It's the best thing you can do to be proactive, rather than reactive!

5. Your roommate(s) does not have to be your best friend! ResLife isn't matching y'all based on potentially becoming life-long friends, but rather how you would get along living together. They don't foresee you finding the Grace to your Frankie and neither should you! In fact, the majority of people that I know are only in contact with their roommates through being Facebook friends, dm'ing each other memes on IG or the slight smiles/head nods that they exchange if they cross paths. The likelihood of you finding the Grace to your Frankie somewhere else other than your room, is much higher, and you should be excited for that!

Dorms at Barnard:

All the first-years, unless they commute, live in the Quad which consists of Hewitt, Sulzberger, Brooks and Reid, and will have a roommate or even roommates. So this pretty much means you don't have to walk very far to see your first-year friends because they're all connected! Rooms come in 2, 3 and 4 person setups, with many of the "multiple occupancy" (meaning over 2 people) rooms being in Sulz or Brooks and you will be sharing bathrooms with people on your floor, but there's 4 or 5 bathrooms per floor, so don't fret! Most places have fairly normal big room type setups, but Brooks has walk-through rooms as well:

For the walk-in double above in blue (meaning a room for 2 people), you see that there is only a door to one room, so you'd pass through your roommates' room to get to yours or vice versa. For the quad above in orange (meaning a room for four people), there is one common room that attaches two rooms that each have two people living in them. The Sulz quads have a different setup with four people living in the same room. Also pictured below is a Sulz triple!

As for furniture in these layouts, triples have a bunk bed and a lofted bed (essentially a bunk bed with no bottom bunk). Quads and doubles normally have individual beds, but many of these beds have the capacity to become bunk beds - so if you wanna save a little space, hit up facilities  and request that they do it for you!

Every floor has a lounge in Sulz near the elevators, that includes a tv, tables and chairs, and a small kitchen set up that consists of a couple of cabinets, a sink, a microwave, so enjoy it while it lasts. These are pretty common meeting spaces and you will probably be having lots of hall activities with your RAs there! 

When do you find out your roommates(s):

Adjusting to dorm life is hard. But good news! You'll have a whole class of people going through the same thing! You'll all find out on Saturday, August 4th! It seems far away, but trust me, it's so soon.

No matter what number of roommates or dorm you get, as mentioned, try to be open and accepting through the entire process, while clearly communicating what you are and are not comfortable with. I went to boarding school and thought I knew everything about living in a dorm, but trust me, college is different. There will be something new about this experience for all of you, so make sure to be cognizant of learning curves or comfort levels! 

I'd just like to re-emphasize: you do NOT have to be best friends with your roommate(s). What's MOST important in this entire process is that you are a respectful, responsible and communicative person to live with! This is easier said than done, but if there's anything you remember from this blog post it should be the word: communication. So important! 

What I gave you was just a little snippet of all the advice and input ResLife has to give, so check them out! They have a super useful list of what to bring (and what to leave at home), and information for all of the residence halls + many other resources.

Overall, I LOVED living in the Quad and will miss it. You can wake up 15-minutes before class because classes are that close! You can connect to the underground tunnels to get to most places on campus and avoid extreme temps in the process! Millie (The Milstein Library) is two-minutes away so you can study late and not have far to trek when you're finally tired. Also, Hewitt Dining Hall, which I am a big fan of, is super close to the dorms.  And, as I mentioned previously, the four dorms in the quad are all connected so seeing your friends is so easy! You all have so much to be excited about.

You get a roommate! You get a roommate!


Paige and I will be posting a series of tutorials, information and advice for registration! Look out for these detailed posts in the first week of July. We'll still be here to answer all your questions, but we advise you to really read the posts carefully as there will be a ton of useful information. 

Shameless plug here: Paige and I just started an instagram for you all,  @barnardfirstyear! I linked it for you all so you can check it out. Along with being pretty aesthetically pleasing if we do say ourselves, we'll be posting a lot of content that we don't want you to miss.

If you want to hear more about my experiences, or still have some lingering questions, don't hesitate to hit me up  at or 212-854-2024!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Student Side: What's the Deal with First-Year Writing and First-Year Seminar?

In your First-Year Guide, it mentions that there are 3 required courses Barnard first years must take. Two of these courses are First-Year Writing (FYW) and First-Year Seminar (FYS) (the third is a physical education class, but we can talk more about that later). You’ll take a FYW class one semester and a FYS class the other semester during your first year at Barnard. These 2 FY required courses (FYW and FYS) are collectively called "First-Year Experience" (FYE).

Let’s break these courses down.

(more after the break)

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Student Side: Meet Amanda and Paige

Hi Class of 2023!

Our names are Amanda and Paige and we’ll be working in the Dean of Studies Office this summer to help y’all transition into your first year at Barnard. We’ll be posting on this blog throughout the summer to provide you with everything you need to know about class registration, course selection, move-in, orientation and more.

Now a bit more about us:


Hey, I’m Amanda! I’m a rising sophomore at Barnard leaning toward a major in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies after taking two life-changing courses in that department last year! I feel like both a domestic and international student depending on the day/time/situation. My home is in Kingston, Jamaica but I left Jamaica at 15 years old to go to boarding school in New York, and have made NY my second home for almost five years! I’m glad you are all coming to this city. New York City is my favorite place in the world because I get to explore at any given moment. I’ve been able to explore my passions as a performer (singer, dancer, actress), body positivity activist and activism in general. Barnard and NYC have contributed so much to that exploration. This year I was in BTE (Black Theatre Ensemble), Ijoya (African Dance Troupe), CSA (Caribbean Student Association) and BOSS (Black Organization of Soul Sisters.) I also worked as a Community Educator with Student Life at Barnard! I’ve been able to start my own publication that was inspired by a class I took and a club I was in! When I’m not writing or reading op-eds for my publication, I’m writing songs, playing guitar, choreographing, watching makeup tutorials or watching Grace & Frankie on Netflix (10/10 would recommend)! If you wanna' talk about any of my ramblings, hit my line (or email lol)


Hi, I’m Paige! I’m a rising senior at Barnard in the double degree program between Barnard and the Jewish Theological Seminary. I’m majoring in American History at Barnard and Talmud at JTS. I’m originally from Houston, Texas and while I do miss Mexican food, I love New York City. Outside of class, I work in the Office of Admissions as the Head Social Media BSAR and as the Head Student Academic Advisor at JTS. I’m the president of my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, and of a voting rights-focused student group I helped start called ColumbiaVotes. I’m also a TAP Fellow at Hillel, the Jewish student center, where I work to bring communities together and help student relieve stress via baking (because who doesn’t love cookies). You also can find me looking at dogs in Riverside Park, going to museums and spin class, registering people to vote, and looking for the best pasta in the city (I’ve found it, ask me about it).

I am very passionate about voting and will make sure you vote if you're eligible. Thanks for the cooperation!
We’re so excited to help welcome y’all onto campus! Getting ready for your first semester is exciting and can be a little overwhelming, but the Dean of Studies Office is here to help! You can contact us at and 212-854-2024. Hope to hear from y'all soon!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019