Student Service Center
205 Kent

Registration and Enrollment

Registration is the systematic process that reserves seats in particular classes for eligible students. It is accomplished by following the procedures announced in advance of each term’s registration period.

Enrollment is the completion of the registration process and affords the full rights and privileges of student status. It is accomplished by the payment or other satisfaction of tuition and fees and by the satisfaction of other obligations to the University.

Registration alone does not guarantee enrollment, nor does registration alone guarantee the right to participate in a class. In some cases, students need to obtain the approval of the instructor or of a representative of the department offering the course. In other cases, students may be required to attend the first few class sessions prior to official registration or to confirm official registration. Please check the course information in the Departments, Programs, and Courses section of this Bulletin and the registration instructions contained in the Directory of Classes for all of the approvals required.

To comply with current and anticipated Internal Revenue Service mandates, the University requires all students to report their Social Security numbers at the time of admission. Newly admitted students who do not have Social Security numbers should obtain one well in advance of first registration. International students should consult with the International Students and Scholars Office, located at 524 Riverside Drive (+1-212-854-3587) for more information.

According to University regulations, each person who completes registration is considered a student of the University during the term for which they register, unless the student’s connection with the University is officially severed by withdrawal or otherwise. No student registered or enrolled in any school/college of the University shall at the same time be registered or enrolled in any other school/college, either of the University or of any other institution, without specific authorization from the dean/director of the school/college in which the student is first registered.

The privileges of the University are not available to any student until they have completed registration. Typically, a student who is not officially registered for a University course may not attend the course; however, some courses may require students to attend the first few class sessions prior to official registration. Students are expected to register for courses during the time periods explicitly identified by the Office of the Registrar, and may be required to obtain written consent of a faculty member or of the Committee on Academic Standing to register at any time during an academic term.

Students are held accountable for absences incurred owing to late enrollment. The University reserves the right to withhold the privilege of registration or any other University privilege from any person with an unpaid debt to the University. 

All Columbia College students must be registered for a minimum of 12 points of credit in any given semester. Each Columbia College student must be registered for at least 12 points of credit by the close of the Change of Program period, and those students who are registered for fewer than 12 points by this time will be withdrawn from the College. Graduating seniors who need fewer than 12 points of credit to complete their degree can petition the Committee on Academic Standing for permission to register for fewer than 12 points of credit, with the understanding that they will still be required to enroll as full-time students paying full-time tuition. Questions about registration should be directed to the Berick Center for Student Advising.

Registration and Change of Program Instructions

Registration instructions are announced in advance of each registration period. Students’ individual registration times are listed in Student Services Online (SSOL) and registration dates are listed on the Academic Calendar. Students should also consult the Registrar’s website for additional information.

Registering for Classes

Registration for classes is by appointment online via Student Services Online (SSOL). Some classes may be blocked for online registration and require written approval; students should check the Directory of Classes for approval information. Courses blocked from online registration require a completed Registration Adjustment Form, with all necessary approvals confirmed. A student cannot use the Registration Adjustment Form to register for a course if the course is not blocked from online registration or if the student is eligible to join the course waitlist.

Students otherwise unable to register through SSOL must submit a completed Registration Adjustment form to the Berick Center for Student Advising, with all necessary approvals confirmed.

Students are allowed to register for a maximum of 18 points of credit in any given semester. Students may not register for courses whose meeting times overlap. Students are responsible for ensuring that their academic programs are in accordance with these policies. If students are accepted into courses through the waitlist mechanism so that their programs contain more than 18 points and/or overlapping courses, students are required to bring their enrollments into compliance with these registration policies by the end of the Change of Program period, either by reducing their course registrations to 18 points or fewer, and/or by dropping courses that overlap with others.

The Committee on Academic Standing in the Berick Center for Student Advising is tasked with upholding the academic policies of the College and will make changes to students’ registration if the students fail to ensure that their academic programs comply with these policies set by the faculty.

Dropping Courses

Students may drop a course online during their assigned registration appointments up until the drop deadline. With the exception of certain Core Curriculum courses (see below), the final dates for dropping courses are: September 22 for Fall A courses, October 8 for Fall full term courses, November 9 for Fall B courses, January 25 for Spring A courses, February 16 for Spring full term courses, and March 22 for Spring B courses. 

Columbia College students are not permitted to remove a course from their academic record after the drop deadline. If a student withdraws from a course after the drop deadline and no later than the Pass/D/Fail deadline (October 8 for Fall A courses, November 19 for Fall full term and Fall B courses, February 8 for Spring A courses, March 18 for Spring full term, and April 5 for Spring B courses), the course will remain on the transcript with a mark of W (indicating official withdrawal) for that course. The W is a permanent mark and will remain on the transcript even if the student repeats the course. Students will earn no points of academic credit for classes in which they receive the mark of W. In any given semester, the mark of W precludes the attainment of Dean's List status. 

To withdraw from a class, students must first meet with their advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising, 403 Lerner, to discuss their plans. They must then submit a Columbia College Acknowledgment of Course Withdrawal form to their advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising.

Students may not withdraw from any course after the Pass/D/Fail deadline. After that point, students can only receive the letter grade earned in the course.

When considering the option to drop or withdraw from a course, students should be aware that, in order to remain in good academic standing, they must successfully complete no fewer than 12 points in a given semester. Students who do not earn at least 12 points per term will be placed on academic probation, or be suspended or dismissed. Students who do not make adequate progress to the degree (an average of 15.5 points per term) will also face academic probation, suspension, or dismissal.

Neither failure to attend classes nor giving unofficial notification to the instructor will constitute dropping or withdrawing from a course. Students who stop attending classes without dropping or officially withdrawing are assigned the letter grade earned by factoring a zero or F for any missing work.

Dropping or Withdrawing from Core Curriculum Courses

Students may not drop or withdraw from a Core Curriculum course (i.e., Literature Humanities, Frontiers of Science, Contemporary Civilization, Art Humanities, Music Humanities, and University Writing) after the Core drop deadline, which is also the end of the Change of Program period (September 18 for Fall 2020 and January 22 for Spring 2021). Note that the deadline to drop a Core Curriculum course is a different one from the deadline to drop other courses. Students are not permitted to drop or withdraw from Literature Humanities, Frontiers of Science, Contemporary Civilization, Art Humanities, Music Humanities, or University Writing after the Core drop deadline without the approval of the Committee on Academic Standing. Students should consult their advising dean in the Berick Center for Student Advising for more information on the petition process. Students should refer to the Core Curriculum website for more information.

Students can be placed on academic probation if they fail to complete certain Core classes in their first year. Students considering dropping a Core class should consult their advising deans before taking any action.  

This deadline for Core Curriculum courses does not apply to courses taken to fulfill the Global Core, Science, or Foreign Language Requirements. Students wishing to drop courses counting toward the Global Core, Science, and Foreign Language Requirements are bound by the general drop deadlines listed on the Registrar’s website, and on the Academic Calendar in this Bulletin.

Changing Grading Options

Students may elect to change their course grading options from letter grading to Pass/D/Fail or from Pass/D/Fail to letter grading by October 8 for Fall A courses, November 19 for Fall full term and Fall B courses, February 8 for Spring A courses, March 18 for Spring full term, and April 5 for Spring B courses). The Pass/D/Fail grading option cannot be applied to certain courses required for the degree, and students should refer to Academic Regulations—Exams and Grades listed in this Bulletin for more information regarding this grading option.