Language Placement Examinations 

The foreign language requirement can be met by completing the required courses at Barnard and/or Columbia (for individual languages see departmental curriculum statements), or, for transfer students, by having completed acceptable qualifying language courses.

Transfer Students

Transfer students who have no AP score or previous college language courses must take a placement test, if they wish to continue with a particular language. Transfer students who are not required to take an examination are notified of language placement along with the evaluation of their transfer credit.

First-Year Students

First-year students are placed on the basis of their CEEB or AP scores. Those with no scores who wish to continue languages studied in high school take placement examinations. The Class Dean advises all new first-year students on their language requirements.

Summer School Language Courses

Students, other than incoming transfer or first-year students, who take summer language courses and wish to use them to satisfy or determine placement in their continuing language studies may be required to secure departmental approval to receive degree credit and continue at a higher level.

Students who do not wish to continue with a language in which they have been placed may begin the study of a new language.

Please consult the individual language department for information about Language Placement Examinations and results.

Other Departmental Placement Examinations

Students may obtain placement in certain courses by means of departmental placement examinations (for example, in the Mathematics and Physics departments). Information and applications for the examinations are available in departmental offices, and deadlines are particular to each department.

Make-Up Examinations During the Term

Instructors are not required to give make-up examinations to students absent from previously announced tests during the term. An instructor who is willing to give a make-up test may request a report of illness or acceptable evidence of other extenuating circumstances from the appropriate class dean in the Dean of Studies Office.

Final Examinations

No class meetings will be held on required reading days as set forth in the College Calendar. The dates for final examinations, given at the end of each term, are published in the Academic Calendar. Exact times and room numbers for individual examinations are posted on the website of the Office of the Registrar at least four weeks in advance of final examinations.

Barnard examinations are given under the Honor Code, which states that students engage with integrity in all of their academic pursuits, including the proper use and care for all print, electronic, or other academic resources. Faculty members are expected to report any violation to the Dean of Studies.

Students who wish to leave the room before the end of the examination period will submit their blue books to the instructor. If students become ill during the course of the examination, they must notify the instructor and go to the College Physician, Brooks Hall, Lower Level. If less than an hour has expired, a grade of X will be recorded on the transcript and they will take a deferred examination. If students remain for more than one hour of a three-hour examination or more than 40 minutes of a two-hour examination, she will be graded on the work she has completed, with the uncompleted work scored as 0.

Deferred Final Examinations

Deferred final examinations, given in September and January (see College Calendar), are permitted only for those students who were absent from the regular examinations for reasons of illness or emergency and who have received authorization from their instructors and the Dean of Studies Office.

Requests for absence from final exams for reasons of health or other emergencies must be reported to the instructor and to a student's class dean on the day of the examination and then a Request for Deferred Exam form should be submitted to the Registrar's Office.

Examinations missed in December are to be taken the following January or, in cases of prolonged illness, in September of the same year. Those missed in May are to be taken in September of the same year. 

Applications for deferred examinations are filed with the Office of the Registrar. A payment of a $10 handling fee for each examination must accompany the application.

Beginning in academic year 2021-2022, students who are approved to take a deferred final exam will initially receive a temporary grade of X for the class.  Once the exam is taken and graded, the final letter grade will replace the X on the student transcript (e.g. B+).  

If the exam is not taken on the designated dates, without a compelling and valid excuse, the student will receive a grade with the missing work averaged in as an F.  This grade will be automatically posted by the Registrar’s Office four weeks after the official deferred exam date for the semester.

Examinations for Students with Disabilities

Individual arrangements can be made for disabled students unable to take examinations in the usual manner. Disabled students are normally expected to take their exams with the rest of the class, with disability-related modifications as needed. Students with disabilities who require nonstandard administration should consult with their instructors and the Director of Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services about reasonable accommodations. Students should obtain copies of the Test Accommodations Form in Room 101 Altschul and return them at the beginning of each semester.