Transfer Student Dean Christina Kuan Tsu

As the Transfer Advising Dean, I am a resource for all transfer students, helping them to make a smooth transition to Barnard both academically and socially.  To this end, I coordinate the advising of transfer students by recruiting experienced deans and faculty members to support incoming transfers, and work closely with the Registrar’s Office, which evaluates students’ transfer credits for satisfaction of general education requirements.  Together with the Office of Student Life, we plan and coordinate the orientation programs for the incoming fall and spring transfers. I continue to serve as a point of contact for transfer students throughout the academic year.


I have been a dean in the Dean of Studies Office since August of 1993.  Prior to joining the College, I worked as an associate attorney in an intellectual property law firm in New York City.  Having majored in Biology during my time as a Barnard student, practicing patent law was a great way to combine science and the law after graduating from law school.  I was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and lived in Sydney, Australia, for five years before immigrating to New York at 11 years old with my parents and three siblings. I now live in Long Island with my husband, and have two adult daughters, one who is working for a startup in Manhattan, and another is a current Barnard student.  I have a sister who is also a Barnard alumna; so we’re a very proud Barnard family.

In my spare time, I love to cook.  I belong to a cooking club, a group of women who enjoy cooking/baking healthy recipes and get together for a delicious potluck meal once a month.  I also love to travel to see new places and learn about other cultures through the people and the food.


Barnard has a long and happy history of accepting extraordinary transfer students from colleges all over the United States and abroad. Barnard counts many transfers among its most renowned alumnae, including author Zora Neale Hurston, anthropologist Margaret Mead, and Barnard’s fifth president, Ellen Futter.

During the next few years, you will be guided by an excellent faculty and devoted administrators in taking risks, working hard, and becoming active members of the community. Christina Kuan Tsu is the Class Dean for Transfer students. Students should schedule an appointment or email her at  The Registrar's office also assists new transfer students, helping them negotiate the particulars of the Barnard curriculum course selection process.

Students who transfer after two full years of study at another institution typically move directly to major declaration. Those who are classified as first-year or sophomore students will continue with their initial advisers until the appropriate time (see above section about the major). Visiting students are assigned advisers to assist with procedures and to act as a general resources during the student's stay at Barnard. Please contact the Office of the Dean of Studies for more information. 

The following information has been prepared to help you select your courses for your first semester at Barnard. Unlike the online Barnard catalogue (which you should consult on a regular basis) it does not attempt to be comprehensive. In making your choices, please be cognizant of the requirements, but also try to explore areas new to you. Your proposed program should represent, if possible, a balance between required courses and your new and continuing interests, directing you toward choosing a major area of study.

You should plan a tentative program in advance, but be aware that you may have to change it. You may review course offerings on-line by checking the Barnard Catalogue, departmental websites and the Columbia University Directory of Classes; they often have important and useful information on course prerequisites, sign-ups, and other matters. Occasionally the class hours for a course are changed, or an offering is added or deleted, and, naturally, some courses with space limitations are quickly filled. Thus, planning your program with a flexible spirit and alternative selections in mind is helpful.

We congratulate you and welcome you to Barnard.



For transfer students entering with 24 or more points, the Bachelor of Arts degree requires the satisfactory completion of 121 points of academic work (a minimum of 60 points taken at Barnard) and one term of physical education (1 point). Transfer students must complete at least 60 points and two years (four semesters) full-time in residence at Barnard to receive the degree. As part of these requirements, students must fulfill the General Education and Major Requirements described below. A complete listing of courses which satisfy the General Education requirements will be posted by July on the Registrar’s page on the Barnard website:


These requirements are intended to provide direction and continuity while giving you opportunities to shape your own program of study. Satisfaction of the following requirements will be determined by the Registrar’s office, which will evaluate the work you have completed at your previous institution. It is important to begin the process of sending final transcripts and course descriptions in to the Registrar’s office as early as possible.


Barnard's new curriculum, Foundations, applies to students entering in Fall 2016 and beyond.

Courses may be designated as fulfilling more than one requirement, subject to recommendation by the Committee on Instruction and Faculty approval.

I. First-Year Experience

  • First-Year Writing -Transfer students do not take First year Writing, but rather Art of the Essay (ENGL BC3103 or BC3104) or a 3-point literature course taught by the Barnard English department.
  • First-Year Seminar (not required of transfer students)

II. Physical Education (1 Course)

A course in physical education is taken in addition to the 120 academic points required for the degree. Dance technique courses may be taken to fulfill the Physical Education requirement. Transfer students may receive credit for only one PE course. (A dance course taken beyond satisfaction of the physical education requirement receives 1 point of academic credit, with a maximum of six courses for non-dance majors; consult the online Barnard Catalogue.) Students participating on varsity athletic teams satisfy the P.E. requirement and should add the appropriate course to their programs. Transfer students must complete the physical education requirement by the end of their junior year.

III. Distributional Requirements

  • 2 Courses in the Languages (see below for language placement information)
  • 2 Courses in the Arts/Humanities
  • 2 Courses in the Social Sciences
  • 2 Courses in the Sciences (1 with a Laboratory)

IV. Modes of Thinking

  • 1 Course in Thinking Locally—New York City
  • 1 Course in Thinking through Global Inquiry
  • 1 Course in Thinking about Social Difference
  • 1 Course in Thinking with Historical Perspective
  • 1 Course in Thinking Quantitatively and Empirically
  • 1 Course in Thinking Technologically and Digitally

Modes of Thinking: Learning Outcome Guidelines

Courses fulfilling these requirements will demonstrate one of the following:

  1. A dominant and unifying theme in the course that corresponds to the description of the Mode(s) of Thinking
  2. Close matching between the learning objectives for the GER requirement and learning objectives for the course
  3. A significant portion of written assignments, projects, or exams focused on the Mode(s) of Thinking
  4. A majority of the readings focused on the Mode(s) of Thinking

All courses satisfying the General Education Requirements must be at least 3-point courses.

Thinking Locally—New York City 

Requirement: One course that asks students to examine the community and environment in which they find themselves as residents of New York City.

Aim: This requirement encourages students to situate themselves in a local context. In this respect, New York is not just the backdrop of their undergraduate experience, but is equally a rich and diverse object of study in its own right. New York is both a wholly distinctive metropolis and a microcosm of contemporary world experience. The requirement can be met through the study of many topics, from the literature of the Harlem Renaissance to the ecosystems of the Hudson River, from the history of urban planning to the architecture of the Gilded Age.

Students who complete a course satisfying the Thinking Locally requirement should be able to attain at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Identify specific cultural, social, political, or economic institutions that have shaped the city over time
  • Identify distinctive geological or environmental factors that characterize the region
  • Describe the contexts and distinctive features of at least one author, genre, or tradition characteristic of New York City
  • Situate art, architecture, literature, urban planning, or performance within the social or historical context of the city
  • Explore theories of urban structure or form focusing on New York City as an exemplar

Thinking through Global Inquiry

Requirement: One course that asks students to consider communities, places, and experiences beyond their immediate location.

Aim: This requirement asks students to engage with topics across the disciplines that consider the dynamic global relationships among people, ideas, artifacts, or physical phenomena. The subjects or objects of inquiry will span multiple regions, nations, cultures, ethnicities, races, religions, histories, or art forms. This requirement will encourage students to expand their perspectives on the world and their place in it, while complementing the Thinking Locally—New York City mode to highlight the ways in which global engagement involves a consideration of the local, as well as the global.

Students who complete a course satisfying the Thinking through Global Inquiry requirement should be able to attain at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Identify and analyze the ways in which a cultural, social, political, or economic event may have distinct effects in different locations
  • Articulate the distinctions among “local” and “international” and “global” in the context of one or more systems—e.g., economic, judicial, literary, philosophical, scientific
  • Identify and compare the value systems displayed in materials from multiple cultures
  • Identify and critique personal and/or national cultural assumptions and behaviors in relation to those of others
  • Identify and analyze the evidence of transnational, multicultural, or multilingual exchanges in materials from multiple cultures
  • Utilize multilingualism to investigate the construction of, and interactions among, multiple cultures

Thinking about Social Difference

Requirement: One course through which students examine how difference is constituted, defined, lived, and challenged in cultural, social, historical, or regional contexts.

Aim: This requirement encourages students to engage with disparities of power and resources in all of their manifestations, including but not limited to access to economic or natural resources, political rights, social status, and cultural expression. Areas of study may include race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, ability, nationality, or religion and their intersections within contemporary and historical experience.

Students who complete a course satisfying the Thinking about Social Difference requirement should be able to attain at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Identify and critique ways that groups understand themselves to be different and how they mobilize difference in the pursuit of a range of ends
  • Identify and analyze the intersectional nature of differences in cultural, social, national, or  international contexts
  • Identify and critique the modes in which such differences are expressed
  • Identify and articulate the relations between categories of difference and the general principles of hierarchy and inequality

Thinking with Historical Perspective

Requirement: One course that enables students to study times and traditions of the past, to learn theories and methods of historical analysis, and to discover how different concepts of history shape our understanding of both past and present.

Aim: This requirement asks students to examine the ways in which historical context shapes and conditions the world in which we live; it also challenges them to see the past on its own terms -- as an unfamiliar locus of difference. By fulfilling this requirement, students will have a better understanding of the ways in which human experience is shaped by both temporal change and spatial variation.

Students who complete a course satisfying the Thinking with Historical Perspective requirement will be able to attain at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Identify and analyze historically specific cultural, social, political, or economic,  structures, and the dominant actors and ideas relevant to the period, region, or theme of the course
  • Articulate significant commonalities and differences between structures and ideas specific to the period, region, or theme under study and those in the present
  • Evaluate the methodology and evidence used by scholars to study the period, region, or theme of the course
  • Examine literature, art or cultural forms in a historical context

Thinking Quantitatively and Empirically

Requirement: One course that exposes students to analysis with numbers, figures, data, and graphs, and to empirical and mathematical methods for better understanding of quantitative and empirical approaches to thinking and problem solving.

Aim:  This requirement asks students to develop basic competence in the use of one or more mathematical, statistical, or deductive methods. These may involve applications to particular problems, as in the case of models or data analysis, but may also simply involve abstract reasoning as in pure mathematics or logic.

Students who complete a course satisfying the Thinking Quantitatively and Empirically requirement should be able to attain at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Demonstrate an ability to apply at least one method of quantitative or deductive reasoning
  • Apply quantitative or empirical conceptual tools and procedures to the analysis of problems
  • Complete a project involving organizing, analyzing, and visualizing data

Thinking Technologically and Digitally

Requirement: One course that engages students with contemporary and emerging fields such as computational sciences and coding, digital arts and humanities, geographic information systems, or digital design.

Aim: This requirement emphasizes courses in which students actively engage with digital technologies manipulated with computers and accessed locally or at a distance. The requirement fosters students' abilities to use advanced technologies for creative productions, scholarly projects, scientific analysis or experimentation. The requirement will instill in students the confidence to make decisions about the adoption and use of current and future technologies in a critical and creative manner.

Students who complete a course satisfying the Thinking Technologically and Digitally requirement should be able to attain at least one of the following outcomes:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in writing computer code or in using technology to construct knowledge or produce creative or scholarly works
  • Analyze the development, efficiency, or use of digital resources
  • Use digital tools to critically, creatively, innovatively, or effectively gather, access, evaluate, and synthesize relevant materials
  • Complete a project that demonstrates an understanding of technology concepts, systems, or operations



All Barnard students must complete two semesters of a language other than English. Because of differing requirements, you may see references to “placing out” or being “exempt” from a language requirement on language department websites. These terms relate only to Columbia students and Barnard students who entered before Fall 2016. As with all other Foundations requirements, it is not possible to be exempted or to place out of the language requirement – all students must complete two semesters of language study at their appropriate level.

If you have not yet studied a foreign language, you will start with the initial course in the sequence (often called “Elementary I” or “First-Year”).

If you have previously studied a foreign language, you may be able to start at an intermediate or advanced level of study. Different language departments have different procedures for determining placement. Placement information for some commonly taken languages is below:

French, German, and Spanish

All entering Barnard students who have previously studied or otherwise gained proficiency in these languages must take a placement exam through the Barnard department and register for the course they place into.

The Barnard Spanish placement exam is given online through myBarnard and should be taken as soon as possible this summer, before choosing your courses online. (Log into myBarnard, click on “Academics,” then look for the “Spanish Placement” link.) Students who place beyond Intermediate II (the fourth semester offered at Barnard/Columbia) will be asked to confirm their placement in person during Orientation.

The Barnard French and German departments offer in-person placement exams during NSOP.

Arabic, Hindi-Urdu, and Italian

All entering students who have previously studied or otherwise gained proficiency in these languages must take a placement exam through the Columbia department during NSOP and register for the course they place into.


If you earned a 700 or above on the SAT II Hebrew test or a 60 or above on the Jerusalem Examination, you have placed beyond Intermediate II and should consult the departmental website and faculty for advice on an appropriate advanced course. If you have previously studied Hebrew but not taken these tests, or if you think your placement should be higher than your scores predict, you should take the placement exam offered by the Columbia department during NSOP.

Chinese, Japanese, and Korean

All entering students who have previously studied these languages must take a placement exam through the Columbia department during NSOP and register for the course they place into. If you have a high school diploma from a country where Chinese, Japanese, or Korean is the official language, please consult the department regarding placement.

Spring 2018 Language Placement Exams Dates and Times

WARNING:  Results of language placement exams are FINAL, and supersedes placement by standardized test score or on the basis of course work completed at the student’s previous college.


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Up to 15 points for standard liberal arts college work taken by a non-matriculated student in an accredited college and recorded on a regular college transcript. The course/s must

  • be taken in a college building
  • be taught by college faculty
  • contain regular college students or be open to them for credit.

No credit for:

  • College programs for high school students taught in the high school by high school teachers.
  • College programs for high school students taught by college professors but within high school facilities.
  • Special courses for high school students only, even in a college building.


Please refer to the relevant section of the Registrar's website:


Credit will be granted either for AP or for the equivalent college course, but not for both.

A student who has taken an Advanced Placement examination and whose scores satisfy Barnard’s requirements should have ETS  send the scores immediately to the Office of the Registrar (107 Milbank Hall). The Barnard ETS code is 2038.

Students may apply Advanced Placement credit toward the degree only as described above. AP credit may not be applied toward fulfillment of major or general education requirements. Note that AP credit is not acceptable if it brings the number of transfer credits above 60 academic credits plus 1 physical education credit. Students may receive a maximum of 30 points of AP plus IB credit.


Please refer to the relevant section of the Registrar's website:

Students who have received an International Baccalaureate diploma may receive credit for the number of points indicated on the diploma, up to a maximum of 30 points.  Students who have taken Higher Level examinations may be eligible for credit based on their scores and the policy of the Barnard department concerned. As much as one year of degree credit (30 points) may be granted.

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Barnard students have open access, subject to some limitations, to undergraduate courses at Columbia. Humanities CC1001, CC1002 (Literature Humanities), CC1121 (Art Humanities), and CC1123 (Music Humanities) and Contemporary Civilization CC1101 CC1102 are open to Barnard students. Because these courses are required of all Columbia College students, Barnard students enroll on a limited, space available basis.


All creative writing classes at Barnard are limited enrollment and require a writing sample. The deadline for turning these in is two weeks prior to the start of classes, January 2, 2018; send sample to the director of the creative writing program, Dr. Timea Szell (  The English Department web page contains information on submissions: This cover sheet must accompany all writing samples:


Transfer students may participate in Barnard’s study abroad opportunities. Several academic-year programs, namely, the Columbia University programs in London, Paris, Berlin, Beijing, and Kyoto grant Barnard College credit, not transfer credit. Students transferring the maximum of 60 points to Barnard can, therefore, take advantage of these programs without going beyond the 60 transfer credit maximum. A semester spent abroad at one of Columbia’s programs will be counted as one of the required four semesters in residence. Students interested in study abroad programs should consult the Barnard Study Abroad website,, and the Associate Dean for International and Intercultural Student Programs, in 10 Milbank Hall, 212-854-1777. Information sessions about study abroad are held throughout each semester.


The normal range is 12-18 points per term. The average credit load is 15 credits per term. Students seeking to exceed 18 points in a single term should consult the Class Dean during final course registration at the beginning of each semester. In order to remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a minimum of 12 points each semester.


Students should be certain not to duplicate at Barnard any coursework completed elsewhere as Barnard credit will not be given for repeated work. Special care should be taken to avoid duplicating the level of a foreign language course even if the content of the course completed and the course contemplated should appear to differ.


Of the 121 points required for the degree, students may elect 22 points with a grade of P (Pass). Only elected grades of P are included in the maximum allowed (i.e., Courses with mandatory pass/fail grades for all students are not included in the total 22 points allowed).


Students are permitted a maximum of 16 points (no more than 8 points and no more than two courses in any one five or six week summer session) as part of the total of 60 academic credits plus one physical education credit transfer points allowed. A grade of C- or higher must be achieved for the credit to count. A grade of P is not accepted. Please note: courses taken in the Columbia summer session do not count toward the 60 academic credits that all students must earn while attending Barnard. i.e., Columbia summer session courses are counted as transfer credit.


Studio credit is limited in accordance with the department involved and with the major. There is an all college restriction on studio, performance, and professional school courses taken for the degree.

  • A maximum of four studio art courses may be credited (with the exception of studio courses required for the Architecture, Theatre or Visual Arts major).
  • A similar limitation applies to music lessons. Except for music majors and minors, a maximum of six semesters may be credited.
  • There is also a limit on dance technique courses. A maximum of six such courses may be credited (except for Dance majors).


Latin Honors on graduation (cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude) are based primarily upon the Barnard grade point average. If the Barnard GPA meets the designated level for a particular honor, then a combined average, including transfer grades, is also computed. If both the Barnard and combined averages are high enough, a student will then receive honors. A sliding scale requiring higher qualifying averages is used if there are fewer than 86 points of letter-graded work in the grade point average.


Transfer advisers will be available to discuss the planning of each term’s program, a student’s academic goals and interests, and other aspects of college life. Students should meet with their adviser during the first few weeks of class and again in the advance course registration period.

Only deans and a select group of faculty members serve as advisers to transfer students.

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French Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate Lycée Français de NY

At the present time, the equivalent of one year of Barnard credit is granted for the French Baccalaureate. For the International Baccalaureate diploma, the number of credits listed is granted, up to a maximum of 30. Students who do not have the diploma will receive either 3 or 6 Barnard points for each Higher Level examination score of 5 or higher. (See previous section on IB credit.)

Examinations and individual courses for the French Baccalaureate cannot be used to satisfy Barnard requirements.

No credit is given for O level or AS-level examinations.

Guidelines for Credit Granted for Baccalaureates and Other Work Completed Before the First College Year.

Abitur (Germany). One year (30 points).

Advanced Levels, A and A2 (England). Variable credit, but usually comparable to Advanced Placement.

Advanced Placement. (See above).

Bagrut (Israel). Possibility of up to one year (30 points).

French Baccalaureate. One year (30 points). (See above).

Hebrew University Language and Literature Examination (Jerusalem Examination). 3 points for each half with a score of 80 or above (maximum of 6 points).

International Baccalaureate. Please refer to the section on IB credit for specific information about International Baccalaureate credit.

Maturita (Italy). One year (30 points).

Yeshiva University Jewish History exam. 3 points each for a score of 4 or 5 on one or two parts (maximum 6 points).



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111 Milbank


Beyond Barnard

Second Floor, Elliott Hall


Student Life

321 Diana Center


Community Conduct & Title IX Executive Director for Equity 

105 Milbank


Office of the Dean of Studies         105 Milbank             212-854- 2024 

Class Deans – Rebecca Grabiner (First-Year), Christina Kuan Tsu (Sophomore), Evelyn Leong (Junior), Natalie Friedman (Senior)

Transfer Deans - Natalie Friedman, Wendy Garay, Christina Kuan Tsu

Fellowships and Scholarships – Evelyn Leong 

Health Professions Advising – Melinda Cohen

Law, Engineering, Business, SIPA –  Nikki Youngblood Giles

International & Intercultural      10 Milbank                    212-854-1777
Student Programs                                

International Student Advising –  Wendy Garay, Diana Sierra

Study Abroad Advising – Wendy Garay

Tutoring Referrals – Rebecca Grabiner; Elida Martinez Gaynor

Office for Disability Services

8 Milbank


Financial Aid

11 Milbank


Furman Counseling Center

First Floor Hewitt


Primary Care Health Services

Lower Level Brooks



301 Diana Center



107 Milbank


Residential Life & Housing

110 Sulzberger


Public Safety 

104 Barnard


Writing Center

310 Barnard


Barnard College admits students without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. In accordance with its own values and with federal, state, and city statutes and regulations, Barnard does not discriminate in employment programs or educational programs and services on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability. The Title IX Coordinator has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:  212-854-0037, located in 105 Milbank Hall.

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