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A typical promotion in the intensive program is one full level (level 5 to level 6 for example) after 14 weeks of solid progress. For part-time students in the 6-point Academic Writing class, a full-level promotion is possible, assuming progress is made, but does not always occur. For both intensive and part-time writing students, a two-level promotion is highly exceptional. Students in Listening & Speaking and Pronunciation do not receive level promotions. 

End-of-term Course Promotions

  • Are the product of careful consultation among faculty members and the Directors. They are based on:
    • work done throughout the semester
    • final exams
  • Students in level 7 and higher (ALP intensive / part‐time Academic Writing) are required to take the Qualifying Exam (QE) in order to be considered for a promotion. However, the QE is not the only measure of progress
    • Instructors consider other written work completed during the semester (particularly in‐class writing)
    • If instructors feel the QE is not representative of the work done during the semester, additional backup essays are submitted in support of a promotion. In other words, an appeal is made on behalf of the student before final promotions are transmitted.
  • A further promotion appeal may be made by a student only in the most unusual of circumstances, and then only within one week of the student receiving official notification of results.
    • ‘Unusual circumstances’ might include, but are not limited to: environmental factors, sudden illness that prevented you from completing the QE, acts of God.
    • If you believe you qualify for an appeal because of the above reasons, complete this form. (Requires Columbia UNI login)
    • Your appeal will require a clear reason why unusual circumstances apply in your case.
    • Do not appeal to your instructor.
    • Do not appeal in person in 504 Lewisohn.

The following are not acceptable reasons for appeal and will be rejected:

  • “I deserve a better promotion” 
  • "I can do better if I have another chance"
  • "I cannot afford to take the class again"

If the ALP determines there are reasonable grounds for an appeal: 

  • The original qualifying exam and/or submitted backup is re‐reviewed by new readers.
  • The ALP reports the results back to student and the admissions officer/advisor within one week.

Academic Advisement

Where possible, the ALP recommends consultation with course instructors for students seeking academic advisement regarding their English proficiency.

After receiving a Qualifying Exam result, students can, if they wish, schedule an appointment with ALP personnel to review their strengths and areas for improvement in English. However, in general such feedback will already have been provided during the semester by course instructors. Such meetings cannot be used for appeal of course promotion.

To schedule an appointment email the ALP Director, Mary Pickett, at mp3045 [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.