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Office of the Registrar
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Office of the Registrar

Registration Tools > Registration Policy

Registration Policy

Advising and Special Permission Courses

It is the responsibility of each student to obtain advising and approval for their course selections from their academic advisor prior to registering. Registering for classes that your advisor has not approved can seriously compromise your ability to fulfill degree requirements and may have unintended financial consequences. Students must also obtain permission from the course instructor for any course listed in the Schedule of Classes as requiring instructor approval.

Override forms for waivers of prerequisites, corequisites, major restriction, degree restriction, or closed classes must be authorized in writing and recorded by the Registrar's Office. The Special Permission/Override form is downloadable from this web site and available in the Registrar's Office.

Approval for all Special Permission courses must be recorded by the department or the Registrar. Please allow 24 hours once the course approval has been obtained for the department to complete the data entry before registering for a class which requires special permission.

All approvals/overrides must be recorded before you can register. Please note: Students are responsible for registering for courses after the Special Permission Form has been submitted. Submitting the form to the Office of the Registrar does not automatically register you for the course. Once you submit the form, you should go to the myTC Portal to register. Alternatively, you can register in person in the Registrar's Office.

Auditing

Students currently enrolled for 15 or more points may audit one or two courses in Teachers College without fee. Applications for auditing privileges are obtainable from the Office of the Registrar during the change-of-program period. Courses with limited enrollment, laboratory courses, elementary language courses, seminars, and continuing education workshops will not be open to auditors. Audited courses will not appear on the transcript and may not later be applied for credit.

Certified doctoral candidates may audit Teachers College courses which enhance their professional interests. Such courses will not appear on the transcript or fulfill any academic requirement. An eligible doctoral candidate, upon presentation of the certified doctoral candidate card, may obtain an application to audit from the Office of the Registrar, secure written approval of the course instructor, and return the approval form to the Office of the Registrar during the change-of-program period. An auditing permit will be issued.

Changes in Grading Options

The following changes in grading options may be made in the Office of the Registrar by the deadlines indicated below.

Pass-Fail or Letter Grading Option: Selection of either grading option in courses that offer this choice must be made prior to the fourth class. The Change In Grade Mode Form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.

Attendance ("R") Grade Option: Declaration of this option must be made;before two-thirds of the class sessions have met. How "R" credit is applied to degree program requirements is explained on the application form, which is available in the Registrar's Office.

Doctoral Pass ("DP") Grade Option: This grade option is available only to certified Doctoral Candidates in terms subsequent to the term in which the student has been certified by the appropriate doctoral committee. Declaration of this option must be made before to two-thirds of the classes have met.   The application form is available in the Registrar's Office.

Changes of Registration

Except as noted below, students may initiate changes of registration by the following means:

  • Online at myTC
  • In person in the Registrar's Office (324 Thorndike)
  • Via fax at (212) 678-3005. If using fax, please make certain to explain your request as completely as possible and to include course numbers, section numbers, CRN's, your full name and student ID number, your contact phone/e-mail, your signature, and the date.
  • (For less time-sensitive requests), via U.S. mail to Office of the Registrar, 525 W. 120th St. Box 311, New York, NY 10027. If sending requests via mail, make certain to include the same information as listed above for faxed requests.

Note that full processing of any registration change hinges upon the student's ability to initiate the transaction according to the relevant deadline. For a listing of the registration deadlines mentioned below, please see the applicable term's Registration Information bulletin on the Registration Tools menu of this web page.

Adding Courses: Students may continue to register for courses through published change of program dates. Late registrations are not permitted after the semester's add/drop deadline without special approval from the Registrar and payment of a $100 late fee. Please be aware that neither attendance in a class nor willingness to pay the late fee will entitle a student to register after the term's deadline. After the change of program period, students will only be able to add workshops starting later in the semester, prior to that course's first session.

Dropping Courses: Students may drop courses and receive full tuition credit by the published change of program deadlines. In any given term, the deadline to drop a course for a full tuition credit is also the last day to add a course. Courses with special dates must be dropped before the course begins to receive full tuition credit. There is no reduction of tuition for special date classes once the course begins or for fee-based courses in art, music, and dance after the close of the change of program period. You may obtain a list of fee-based courses in the Office of the Registrar.

Changes of Points: Students may add or drop points in variable point courses through published deadlines. In most cases, students will be able to use any of the methods listed above to request point changes. However, if the deadline for changing points has not passed and a student is not able to make the change online, s/he should fax in the point change request and/or e-mail the Registrar (registrar@tc.edu) for more information.

Withdrawal: After the deadline passes for adding or dropping courses, students may only withdraw from courses. These courses will remain on the student's academic record with a grade of "WD." During Fall and Spring Terms, students may withdraw by any of the methods listed above. However, due to technical restrictions, students must withdraw from Summer Term courses via fax, mail, or in person. Refunds of tuition or tuition credits are pro-rated based on the date of withdrawal. See the Registration Information bulletins on this web site for specific term refund schedule. Failure to attend classes does not lead to an automatic withdrawal.

Enrollment Verification

Enrollment Verification: Students who need to have their enrollment verified to an outside organization may fill out a request for enrollment verification. Please allow approximately five (5) business days for processing of these requests.

Enrollment Status: Enrollment status certification is based upon the number of semester points for which a student is registered per term. "Full-time'' status is accorded to students registered for 12 or more semester points per term. Students enrolled for fewer than 12 semester points (0-11 semester points) are considered "part-time.'' "Half-time'' status is based on enrollment of 6-11 semester points per term. Students registered for fewer than 6 semester points are accorded "less-than-half-time status.'' During the Summer Term, enrollment status is determined by the cumulative number of semester points in both Session A and B. For "full-time'' status, students must register for a combined load of at least 12 semester points, with no more than 9 semester points in one summer session.

Students taking fewer than 12 semester points in a term may be certified as full-time if they can present an approved Certificate of Equivalency (COE) form. The form is available from the Office of the Registrar and must be recommended by the student's advisor and approved by the Registrar.

No student will be certified for full-time or part-time status unless he or she is enrolled for that term in some form and, if necessary, has filed a Certificate of Equivalency in the Office of the Registrar during the first two weeks of the term. Doctoral students may check with the Office of Doctoral Studies regarding personal exemption or waivers. Students cannot be certified for future dates of attendance.

Veterans Benefits: Students eligible to receive education benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs must file a Veterans Benefits Enrollment Verification request each term. Enrollment will not be verified to the DVA until the student has completed registration for the term.

Holds

Holds may be placed on your record which can block your registration. All holds must be removed by the originating office before you will be able to register. You may check if you have any holds on the myTC Portal.

Maximum Point Load

Teachers College is on a semester hour system. The number of points, or credits, that a course carries per semester is listed by each course on the course schedule. Students may take no more than 9 points during a summer session and no more than a total of 16 points for the entire summer term. During the Autumn or Spring term, students may take no more than 18 points. Students who hold full-time positions are discouraged from enrolling for more than 8 credits each Autumn and Spring term.

Special-Date Courses

Students may continue to register for workshops and special-dates classes starting later in the term; however, registration and payment must be completed prior to the start of the workshop or special-dates class . For credit registration, students may register either by the myTC Portal or by registering in-person in the Office of the Registrar. Credit workshops are listed on the Schedule of Classes.

Students will not be permitted to change from credit registration to non-credit, or from non-credit to credit after the course or workshop has begun.

Withdrawal From Workshops and Special-Dates Classes: Students must withdraw from a workshop or special-date class prior to the beginning of the workshop or class. No tuition rebates will be granted for a workshop or special-date class once it has begun.

Student Contact Information

Name: Students may change the name on their permanent records by filling out the Name Change form in the Office of the Registrar and providing one of the following pieces of supporting documentation: marriage license, divorce decree, passport, birth certificate, driver's license, court decree, or a notarized statement. You may mail or fax (212-678-3005) the completed form to the Office of the Registrar along with a copy of one of the documents mentioned above. Please note: if a student has not been active since Summer 1989 or earlier, his/her name cannot be officially changed, as the records have been microfilmed.

Address: You should update your address in TC's records promptly each time your address changes. The fastest, most convenient way to update your address is through the myTC Portal. Click here for instructions on updating your address online. Alternatively, a Change of Information form is also available online for download or in the Registrar's Office (324 Thorndike). If you download the form, you can mail or fax (212-678-3005) it to the Office of the Registrar. If you must use the paper form, please be aware that processing may take several business days, especially during peak registration times.

E-mail: Teachers College expects every student to receive email at his or her Teachers College email address and to read email frequently and consistently. A student’s failure to receive and read College communications in a timely manner does not absolve that student from knowing and complying with the content of such communications. Students may redirect (auto-forward) email sent to their Teachers College email address to another email address, unless they are also employees of the College and have access to confidential College information. However, students who redirect email from their official College email address to another address do so at their own risk. If email is lost as a result of forwarding, it does not absolve the student from the responsibilities associated with communications sent to their official College email address.

All use of e-mail wil be consistent with other Teachers College and Columbia University policies including the Acceptable Use Policy.