Policies regarding graduation and Commencement
Students at Barnard can graduate (i.e., receive their diplomas) at three different points in the academic year: May, October, or February. Commencement, however, is a ceremony that takes place once a year, in May, at the close of an academic year. For example, this year's Senior class will participate in Commencement exercises in May 2018.
In order to graduate (i.e., receive your diploma) from Barnard, you need to have completed 122 credits (121 for transfer students), all of your major (or major and minor, or double major) requirements, and all of your General Education Requirements. In order to participate in Commencement exercises in May of the academic year, a student will have to have completed the above requirements by May of her senior year.
Students who are receiving diplomas in October 2017 and February 2018 are eligible to participate in May 2018 Commencement. Any current senior who will not have completed 122 credits or required coursework will not be eligible to participate in May 2018. Those who finish coursework in October 2017 or February 2018 will be eligible to participate in Commencement ceremonies in May 2018.
Students can only participate in Commencement ceremonies once; if a student has participted in a prior Commencement ceremony, she cannot do so again.
Students who have questions about their credit standing, degree conferral, or other graduation processes should make an appointment to speak with Natalie Friedman, Dean of Studies and Adviser to the Senior Class.
Please check the Commencement website for updates throughout the academic year. The Commencement date, location and speaker are not typically announced until early March. The number of tickets available to students is dependent upon the location, and thus is subject to change every year. Announcements about tickets will be made via email in the spring.
Policies Regarding Majors
Seniors should be focusing, during their final year, on their capstone projects and upper-level coursework in their major(s). The senior year, particularly the final semester, is a time for academic growth and deepening of knowledge in a selected field of inquiry. Therefore, seniors cannot request a change of major in their final semester of College. They also should not submit a declaration of second major in their final semester. Seniors who think they may be close to completing a second major must declare in the fall of senior year.
Students seeking to make changes to a special or combined major must appeal to the Committee on Programs and Academic Standing. Seniors cannot declare a Special or Combined major in their senior year. Seniors who think they may be close to completing a second major must declare it prior to the start of classes of their last semester senior year.
Questions? Please contact the Dean of Studies Office or the Registrar.
Information about credits
All students at Barnard must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Only those students who have completed 8 semesters at Barnard are eligible to take fewer than 12 credits. Seniors are not exempt from this federally mandated policy.
Information about Senior Marshals and Commencement Speakers
In order to enjoy the honor and privilege of being a Senior Marshal or one of the student speakers at Commencement, seniors must be in good academic and conduct standing. Applications for Senior Marshal and the various speakers will be available in the late spring. Dean Friedman will send out information during the spring semester.
If you have questions about your academic or conduct standing, contact Dean Friedman or Dean for Equity, Conduct, or Molree Williams-Lendor, Executive Director for Equity, Conduct, and Title IX.