Frequently Asked Questions

The following are a list of frequently asked questions from across Student Affairs collected here in one place for your convenience. You can browse by topic/department or search by keyword.

Classes, Center for Student Advising

How do I add a class?

During the Change-of-Program period (the first 10 days of the semester, also known as Add-Drop): Use normal web registration procedures.

After the Change-of-Program deadline: Students must petition the Committee on Academic Standing.  Find all instructions and forms HERE.

How do I audit a class? (For CC Seniors only)

The mark of "R" or registration credit is equivalent to auditing a course.  Please note that no points/credits are earned.  The "R" credit option is available only to Columbia College seniors who submit a completed petition found HERE.  

"R" credit petitions will only be authorized if:

  • the courses are in excess of the 124 points required for the B.A. degree
  • the courses are not used to fulfill a requirement for the B.A. degree, and
  • the student has the permission of the course instructor.

For more information regarding the "R" Credit option, please see your Advising Dean.

How do I drop a class?

During the Change-of-Program period (also known as Add/Drop): You can use normal web registration procedures.

After the Change-of-Program period and before the drop deadline: Go in person to the Registrar's Office in 205 Kent with a Registration and Add/Drop Form.  SEAS students need their CSA adviser’s signature on the form. 

After the drop deadline:

SEAS student must petition the Committee on Academic Standing. Find all instructions and required forms to drop a course after the deadline HERE.

Columbia College students may request a W or Withdrawal from classes from the drop date to the P/D/F deadline (5th to 11th week). Students should fill out a Registration/Add/Drop form AND sign a CC Acknowledgement of Course Withdrawal.

How do I get a course approved for the Science or Global Core Requirements?

Science Requirement: Columbia College students who wish to request an exception to the Science Requirement should go to the Dean's Office in 208 Hamilton Hall.

Global Core/Major Cultures: Students who wish to request an exception to the Global Core or Major Cultures Requirement should meet with their advising dean at the CSA and submit the Global Core Petition Form.

How do I go over points?

To take more than 22 (CC) or 21 (SEAS) credits during one semester, submit the Petition to Register Above the Credit Limit form to your adviser in CSA. Find all required forms and instructions HERE.

How do I Pass/D/Fail a class?

CC Students: CC students can designate one class per term to take Pass/D/Fail (not including PE courses and other courses that only allow the Pass/Fail grading option).  You cannot take any Core classes Pass/D/Fail, nor any language courses.  Some majors allow you to elect Pass/D/Fail for the first course you take in the department, but it is your responsibility to confirm that with the department before choosing the Pass/D/Fail option. 

Beginning with courses taken in the Fall 2007 semester, students are allowed to uncover a grade of Pass within two weeks of the start of the semester immediately following that in which the grade of Pass was received. Students have until two weeks into the start of the spring semester to uncover the grade of a fall course and two weeks into the start of the fall semester to uncover the grade of a spring or summer term course. The grade of Pass will not be used in calculating grade point average; the grades of D and Fail will be so used.

SEAS Students: SEAS students can take up to 6 credits of non-technical courses pass/fail and the courses will count towards their non-tech requirement. Courses must be at the 3000 level or higher. Students should check that the department offering the course allows courses in their department to be taken pass/fail.  Students cannot take any core classes or language instruction classes pass/fail.  Only one class per semester may be taken pass/fail.  (This restriction does not include courses that are only offered pass/fail).   The course grade cannot be uncovered. Courses taken pass/fail cannot count towards a minor, all courses taken for a minor have to be taken for a letter grade

Deadline: The Pass/D/Fail deadline is usually the 10th week of classes.  Go in person to the Registrar (205 Kent) with a completed Registration and Add/Drop Form

For more detailed information, consult our Fact Sheet.

How do I take classes that overlap?

CC Students: Columbia College students who wish to register for courses that overlap must visit the Dean's Office in 208 Hamilton Hall, before the last day of registration, to petition for approval. Click here for the form.

SEAS Students: Columbia Engineering students who wish to register for courses that overlap must submit the Overlap Approval form to their Advising Dean before the last day of registration.  Find all forms and instructions HERE.

Where can I find a tutor or other extra academic help?

If you are struggling in a course, you should always first contact your professor or teaching assistant to discuss expectations, go over previous exams and papers, and clarify concepts and the material. It's also a good idea to contact your advising dean, who can help you review your study habits and create a plan. 

For more assistance, you can look for a tutor or visit a help room. Help rooms are sponsored by the academic departments and are staffed by graduate students. They are open at various times for students to drop by and ask questions about homework and material.  There are also a variety of tutors available. Academic Success Programs offers a free group tutoring service in a variety of subjects. Here is a list of department-sponsored private tutors and help room information.