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Morningside Campus Access Updates

All Columbia affiliates have access to the Morningside campus. CUID holders can request campus access for guests by completing the registration form. Campus entry points remain limited. Read More.
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A typical promotion in the intensive program and in the 6-point Academic Writing class is one full level after 14 weeks of solid progress.

Despite hard work, sometimes insufficient progress is made and a promotion does not occur.

For both Intensive and Academic Writing students, a two-level promotion is highly exceptional.

Students in Listening & Speaking and Pronunciation do not receive level promotions. 

End-of-Course Promotions

Promotions are the product of careful consultation among faculty members. They are based on:

  • work done throughout the semester
  • final assessments

Students in level 7 and higher enrolled in part‐time Academic Writing are required to take the Qualifying Exam (QE) in order to be considered for a promotion.  

  • If instructors feel the QE is not representative of the work done during the semester, an additional backup essay, written in class under exam conditions, can be submitted in support of a promotion. In other words, an internal appeal is made on behalf of the student before final promotions are transmitted.

Promotion Appeals

Per University policy, accommodations cannot be made retroactively. This means once exams have been completed and results given, the outcome is final. This includes the Qualifying Exam. 

Appeals are very rare and may be made only in the most unusual of circumstances, within one week of the student receiving official notification of results. 

  • "Unusual circumstances" might include, but are not limited to: environmental factors, sudden illness, or acts of God during any exam that prevented you from completing it.
  • Your appeal will require a clear reason why unusual circumstances apply in your case.

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

  • "I deserve a better promotion / I deserve a two-level promotion.”
  • "I can do better if I have another chance."
  • "I cannot afford to take the class again."
  • "I felt ill during the exam."

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.

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

  • The exam and/or submitted appeal essay 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 (mp3045[at]columbia[dot]edu).