This year, Columbia’s summer semester will look different from past years. Due to the pandemic, the University decided to shift the academic calendar so that students could make use of up to three semesters.
With robust offerings of summer A and summer B classes, the schedule is specifically designed to allow students to take courses while still giving them time to complete an internship or other summer activities. However, it is important to keep in mind that since most summer courses are intensive, they will take place over the course of six weeks. You can check out Spectrum’s article on intensive courses if you’re considering taking one.
Who can take these courses for free?
Students at Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Barnard must have been enrolled as a full-time student during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters to be eligible for tuition-free summer credits. However, each school has different limitations on how many courses can be taken tuition-free depending on the number of credits a student has taken during the academic year: Columbia College and SEAS students can take up to 40 credits over the course of the three semesters, while Barnard students can take up to 45 credits. Columbia College students can earn a maximum of eight points of credit for each summer term, while SEAS students can earn a maximum of six points of credit for each summer term. Once that limit is reached, it costs $1,896 per credit for Columbia College and SEAS students and $1,860 per credit for Barnard students.
Lisa Rosen-Metsch, dean of the School of General Studies, announced late last year that General Studies students who complete a total of 30 Columbia credits over the course of the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters would be eligible to take up to four free credits during the summer. These credits would be subsidized by a one-time grant. Any additional credits will be billed at the same rate as Columbia College and SEAS students. However, there is a 15-credit limit on courses taken during the summer, with a maximum of nine credits in either summer A or summer B.
Summer resources for Columbia College, SEAS, and General Studies
For students in Columbia College, SEAS, and General Studies, registration for the summer takes place through SSOL. To find out what dates and times you’ll be able to register for classes, log in to SSOL using your UNI and check the Registration Appointments page. Students can also log onto Vergil to find call numbers and organize potential schedules for themselves. Because many summer courses are intensive, they will require more time in class per week, so Vergil is a good tool to use to ensure that you have a manageable schedule. Pro tip: use Vergil+, a Chrome extension coded by Columbia students, to facilitate your course selection.
Students will also have the opportunity to register for classes that fulfill Core Curriculum requirements this summer; a list of summer courses that satisfy the Global Core and science requirement for Columbia College and SEAS can be found here. The list of courses that General Studies students are eligible and ineligible for can be found here. Keep in mind while registering that students in Columbia College and SEAS can take no more than eight credits during overlapping periods and must be registered in at least six credits to be eligible for summer housing—and in order to qualify for housing during summer B, students must be on campus already for summer A.
Summer resources for Barnard
When it comes to registering for classes, students can find the process laid out on Barnard’s website. As during the school year, students can join a maximum of three waitlists. If you are planning to take courses that fulfill the distributional requirements or modes of thinking, you can find the list of eligible classes here. If you are also planning on taking special courses, such as physical education, graduate courses, or voice lessons, you can find more information on the process to sign up here. Please contact the registrar if you have specific questions.
Important dates for the summer
Mar. 8 to 12: Early registration for summer 2021 classes
Mar. 29 to Apr. 2: Continued registration for summer 2021 classes
May 3: First day of classes for summer A courses
May 3 to 14: Continued registration period for summer 2021 classes
May 7: Deadline to add a summer A course
May 14: Deadline to add a summer full-term course
May 17: Deadline to drop a summer A course
June 1: Deadline to drop a summer full-term course
June 7: Deadline to withdraw from and declare the P/D/F option for a summer A course
June 14: Last day of classes for summer A (before exams)
June 15 to 18: Reading and final exam period for summer A courses
June 28: First day of classes for summer B courses
July 12: Deadline to drop a summer B course
July 15: Deadline to withdraw from and declare the P/D/F option for a summer full-term course
July 30: Deadline to withdraw from and declare the P/D/F option for a summer B course
Aug. 11 to 16: Reading and final exam period for summer full-term and summer B courses
If you need help planning out your summer, feel free to use Spectrum’s sample four-year plan or check out our article on creating your schedule. You can also reach out to the Center for Career Education or Beyond Barnard to help you accommodate your internship or job plans with your class schedule. Our article on how they are operating virtually can help you schedule your appointment.
Staff Writer Swethaa Suresh can be contacted at email@example.com. Staff Writer Haley Long can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec. Follow Spectrum on Twitter @CUSpectrum.