Dear Barnard Students,

I hope that the spring semester is progressing smoothly for each of you and that you and your families are well. 

I write to update you on important information regarding summer courses, the academic calendar, and other matters of summer class planning that will be useful as you finalize your arrangements for summer.


Summer Calendar
The summer semester runs from May 3 to August 16. Summer A courses begin on May 3 and end on June 18. Summer B courses begin on June 28 and end on August 16. The full academic calendar can be found here.

The summer presents an opportunity for all students who have earned fewer than 45 credits for the academic year to register for additional courses. For students who paid the equivalent of full-tuition for both Fall and Spring semesters, these courses may be taken at no additional cost (except for any supplementary course fees). Students who do not meet this criteria should review costs and other requirements here.

Course Availability and Registration Process
Pre-registration for both Summer A and Summer B classes begins on March 8 and ends on March 12. The final registration period for summer session courses run from May 3 through May 7. Any questions regarding summer course registration should be directed to the Office of the Registrar and guidelines for summer registration can be found here.

Barnard summer courses will appear in the Directory of Classes beginning the week of February 22, 2021. Please note that courses will not be visible in Student Planning until March 1.

Although faculty advisors will be available to assist your planning as needed, your advisors will not be required to activate the "Grant Permission to Register" function in order for you to register for summer courses. Please reach out to your advisor or Class Dean as needed.

College Policies and Rules Regarding Summer Course Credit
Given the unique circumstances of the Academic Year 2020-21 calendar, summer credits will be treated somewhat differently this year:

  • Credits taken at Barnard or through eligible Columbia programs during summer 2021 will be excluded from the College’s stated maximum of 16 summer credits, as well as from the College’s overall maximum of 60 external credits that Barnard students are allowed to count towards the Barnard degree.
  • Credits taken at Barnard or through eligible Columbia programs in summer 2021 will count as institutional (not transfer) credit and will count towards a student’s Barnard GPA.
  • Courses and grades taken at Barnard or through eligible Columbia programs will display on the student’s transcript as they do for fall and spring semesters.

Because of the added third semester this academic year, it is expected that all summer 2021 coursework will be taken either at Barnard or through eligible Columbia Programs. Exceptions to this policy will be considered only for students who were enrolled full-time at Barnard in both fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. Summer credit options outside of Barnard and eligible Columbia programs at domestic institutions must be pre-approved by the Class Dean. More information can be found here. 

Information for Seniors regarding Summer Coursework and Commencement
All seniors are welcome to continue their coursework in Summer A and Summer B, as long as they remain below 45 credits for the year, and all seniors taking courses in Summer A or B will be allowed to participate in the April Commencement ceremonies.  

Degrees will not officially be conferred until all Barnard and Columbia coursework is complete. June 2021 will be the official degree conferral date for seniors who complete their coursework in Summer A. October 2021 will be the official degree conferral date for seniors who complete their coursework in Summer B. 


We are looking forward to the new elements of this coming summer term and as always, to our usual summer campus activities that include the Summer Research Institute (SRI), Pre-College Programs, Athena BUILD Circles, and a wide range of unique internship opportunities through Beyond Barnard.  

Dean Grinage will be sending additional information about campus life this summer, including information about housing, on-campus dining options, and a range of services for students. Please pay close attention to the details, as a summer semester is new to us all.

Wishing you all a productive end to this busy spring semester, and with hope for a fulfilling summer ahead. 

My very best,

Provost Linda A. Bell