Course Requirements

Summer Courses

Students should contact the departmental representative with course-related questions. The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.

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Course Credit

All summer courses must be taken for credit. Auditing is only open to Columbia University Alumni for select courses.

Course Prerequisites

Course prerequisites are specified in the individual course descriptions.

Departments and individual instructors place prerequisites on courses to indicate the information or capabilities they will take for granted in the course. Students should take prerequisites seriously to prevent encountering academic difficulty in courses too advanced for them. Students without the stated prerequisites but with some equivalent coursework may apply to the departmental representative or the instructor for permission to take the course.

Students must obtain the appropriate signature on the registration form, a signed letter, or receive permission by email before they can register.


While making some adjustments in course material to allow for the summer format, instructors try to approximate the work of a normal semester.

Plan to spend two to three hours of study outside class for every hour spent in class. A three-hour class session could require up to nine hours of preparation.


Because summer courses are more intensive than academic-year courses, students are expected to attend every class meeting, including the first meeting.

The instructor should be notified in advance of any absences. If unforeseen circumstances cause a student to miss more than two class meetings, the student should consider withdrawing from the course. Individual instructors may impose their own more rigorous attendance requirements.

Students may not attend class unless they are officially enrolled, and a class cannot be added to a student's program after it has been completed.

Students are expected to attend their classes and laboratory periods. Instructors may take attendance into account in assessing a student's performance and may require a certain level of attendance for passing a course. Students are held accountable for absences incurred owing to late enrollment.

Religious Holidays

It is the policy of the University to respect its members' religious beliefs. In compliance with New York State law, each student who is absent from school because of his or her religious beliefs will be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study, or work requirements that he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No student will be penalized for absence due to religious beliefs, and alternative means will be sought for satisfying the academic requirements involved.