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Barnard students-Barnard or Columbia diploma

rundmcrundmc Registered User Posts: 494 Member
edited February 2012 in Barnard College
Hey guys,

I was wondering since Barnard students can take a lot of courses at Columbia- would they receive a Barnard diploma or Columbia one? And also, would it be easier to transfer to Columbia if you go to Barnard?

Post edited by rundmc on

Replies to: Barnard students-Barnard or Columbia diploma

  • churchmusicmomchurchmusicmom Registered User Posts: 4,059 Senior Member
    There has been much discussion on this, but the short answers are:

    Diploma is from Barnard College at Columbia University. Signed by the president of Barnard and conferred by the Trustees of Columbia, etc.

    I do NOT think it would be easier to transfer to Columbia if you went to Barnard. I also have no earthly idea why you'd want to do so. As a Barnard student you have access to pretty much all the Columbia classes you want. And you'd have to play catch up with the very, very restrictive Core courses that are required of all Columbia College students.

    If you want to go to Columbia, apply to Columbia. If you want Barnard, apply there. Don't think one is any sort of entre' into the other. They are two very different schools that share many resources.
  • WhiterockmomWhiterockmom Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Just to add to churchmusicmom - here is a link to an image of a Barnard diploma. http://img113.imageshack.us/img113/2221/diplomawf5.jpg You can also find an alternative image through the Columbia University bookstore site.

    As for whether its easier to transfer to CC or CE from Barnard- I have no idea either but would suspect that the transfer would need to be based on academic need (a major you can only get at CC or CE and/or that is not available at Barnard) otherwise - you have no real need to transfer. All things considered - I would guess its harder for a Barnard student to transfer to CC.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 18,619 Senior Member
    Actually, the diploma is FROM Columbia University -- Barnard College does not issue a diploma. Technically speaking, the Barnard President certifies to the University that the student has completed all requirements for graduation, and then the University President grants the diploma. The diploma is in Latin, but translated it says "Columbia University" at the top -- and then the name "Barnard College" appears in the text -- and the diploma is signed by both the President of Barnard and President of Columbia.

    This is how ALL Columbia diplomas work. No one attends or is granted a diploma from the "University" alone -- every student, graduate or undergraduate, is affiliated with one or another school or college that falls under the university umbrella. So the only degrees that come from the "University" alone are honorary degrees -- every other student will have a school or college affiliation listed on their diploma, and the signature of the President or Dean of their respective school/college at the bottom, along with the University President.

    It has always been that way.

    Each school/college determines the actual text on their diploma, however; only Barnard and Columbia College have diplomas in Latin. An undergraduate coming out of SEAS would get an English-language diploma.

    I honestly don't understand why it is difficult for people to grasp this concept, as most large American Universities are made up of multiple undergraduate colleges & schools, and it is customary that the diploma comes from the university.
  • rundmcrundmc Registered User Posts: 494 Member
    Thank you to churchmusicmom, Whiterockmom and calmom. Your posts were super informative because I really never considered Barnard before-only Bryn Mawr, Smith College and Wellesley because they have sent alot of flyers to me. Learning of Barnard and its location in NYC and its affiliation with a larger university made it really enticing because I want a community-feel but more options for classes. However, the Columbia affiliation made the whole thing a bit confusing.

    Although the concept of receiving a latin diploma seems really cool, how is it actually perceived by employers? I mean, although some might recognize the symbols, wouldn't a few ignorant ones perceive the latin diploma to be a bit sketchy(as in, question the legitimacy of the diploma)?

  • honied_dreamshonied_dreams Registered User Posts: 459 Member
    rundmc--I don't know if any employer will ever ask to see your diploma. Someone else correct me if you've ever experienced anything differently. What matters to future employers and grad schools is your actual transcript. A diploma is really just symbolic, and for Columbia the Latin text is part of the symbolism and tradition. As a fun fact, my boyfriend knows Latin and even he couldn't fully translate my diploma text--luckily it came with a handy translation! (Also, they don't look that fancy anymore...)
  • rundmcrundmc Registered User Posts: 494 Member
    Thank you! Your response fully addressed my concerns. Yeah, I was just concerned about the latin diploma because I want to pursue a career in dentistry/other health profession, and it seems that most doctors/dentist hang their diplomas in their clinic (but it may be only the grad school ones). I don't know if people actually look at them but yeah......
  • UclaColumbiaUclaColumbia Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    Barnard and Columbia's official transcripts look different. I think they both have their own registrar.
  • testobsessedtestobsessed Registered User Posts: 229 Junior Member
    @Whiterockmom: You mentioned transferring if one college (BC or CC) didn't have the major you were interested in. But can't you be a student in one college (BC or CC) and major in something at the other if your college doesn't offer it? For example, don't students at CC (including males) who want to major in Architecture do so through Barnard? And are there BC students with Columbia majors?
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 18,619 Senior Member
    Yes. And Yes.

    But there may be some limitations. For example, I don't think a Barnard student could choose to major in engineering at SEAS. There might be some sort of process by which each college designates which cross-campus majors are available to its students.
  • testobsessedtestobsessed Registered User Posts: 229 Junior Member
    So a Columbia College student can choose to major in Astrophysics, Biochemistry, Economic History, or Neuroscience & Behavior, even though these majors are only offered at Barnard College?

    And a Barnard College student can choose to major in Creative Writing, Phys Ed, Regional Studies, or Visual Arts even though these majors are only offered at Columbia College?
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 18,619 Senior Member
    I think you really need to spend some time looking at the web sites for each school.. I don't think the students from one school can opt for a "major" in another school that is closely aligned with what the school offers, but simply has a different title or slightly different emphasis. Barnard wouldn't be able to offer an astrophysics major at all but for their reliance on Columbia faculty and resources - see physics & astronomy -- and indeed, Columbia does offer an astrophysics major -- see Astronomy | Columbia College

    Barnard is known for the high quality of its writing instruction - a student who wants to major in creative writing would opt for an English major, with a concentration in creatie writing -- see Concentrations | English

    A student would opt for a major housed in a different school when it is in area that cannot be replicated at their own school -- for example, a Columbia student who wishes to study architecture or a Barnard student who wishes to study physics. A Barnard student who wanted to study East Asian Languages would need to take her coursework at Columbia.

    But I think that pretty much everything you listed could be taken by students within their own school. It may have a different title or be designated a concentration within a major, but that doesn't mean it's unavailable.

    The courses are something different than the major. A Barnard student focusing on visual arts would probably opt to major in Art History with a Visual Arts concentration, but she could enroll in studio art courses at Columbia to supplement or course work or to fill specific requirements of the major.
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