Skip to Main Content


Academic Advising FAQ

Academic Policies

* What is academic probation?
You may be placed on academic probation and may be suspended or dismissed if you fail to maintain the following cumulative GPA standards by the time you have attempted or completed the indicated number of hours. This includes hours accepted in transfer.
Total Semester Required Columbia College
Hours Completed Grade Point Average
0-30 1.75 or better
31-45 1.90 or better
46-120 2.00 or better
* What is academic suspension?
You are suspended for two sessions when, after a period of probation, you fail to attain an appropriate standard of satisfactory progress. Academically suspended students may be reviewed for readmission to Columbia College after an absence of two sessions.
* How do I test out of a class?

CLEP Exams

DSST Exams

Degree Programs / Majors

* What degree programs can I choose from?
Check out on-campus and online degrees
* What does it mean to “double major”?
A double major is defined as a single degree with two majors. You cannot mix degrees in a double major. Both majors must be within either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. A double major may be earned if requirements of both declared majors are complete. No additional residency hours are required
* When and how do I declare a major?
You should declare a major before you complete 60 credit hours. You can complete and submit a Declaration of Major Form in CougarTrack under the tab labeled Academics. You should meet with an Academic Advisor to discuss options and career goals before choosing or changing your major.

Degree Requirements

* How do I read a degree audit?
Degree audit on Evaluation website
* How many credits do I need to be a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior?

Students are designated freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors according to the following standard of completed credit hours.

  • 0 – 23.9 Freshman
  • 24 – 51.9 Sophomore
  • 52 – 83.9 Junior
  • 84 – 120+ Senior
* What are General Education, Basic Studies and Core Requirements?

General Education Requirements are an essential part of your program of study at Columbia College. These courses encompass the subjects of Art, History, Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Computer Science, and Basic Studies.

There are some General Education Courses that MUST be completed with a grade of C or higher because they provide necessary preparation for success in whatever area of study you choose. These are known as Basic Studies Courses and include the following:

CISS 170- Introduction to Computer Information Systems or CISS 176- Introduction to Computer Science
COMM 110- Introduction to Speech
ENGL 112- English Composition II
MATH 150- College Algebra, MATH 170- Finite Mathematics, MATH 180- Precalculus, MATH 201- Calculus and Analytic Geometry, or MATH 215- Differential Calculus

Core Requirements are specific courses required for each degree program. When you choose a degree program, the Core Requirements Courses will be listed for that degree. You must receive a grade of “C” or higher in each Core Requirement Course and these courses may not be taken as Pass/Fail.

Financial Aid

* How do I calculate my gpa?
GPA Calculation Estimate
* What do I do if I am failing a course?
If you feel that you are failing your course, notify your academic advisor right away for assistance. Your academic advisor can discuss your options and the consequences of a failing grade.
Terms and Conditions of Your Award
* Can I repeat a course?

Any course may be repeated at Columbia College in an attempt to improve the grade. The grade earned the second time the course is taken is used to determine grade-point average, and the first grade is identified as R (Repeat) on the transcript. If you have already graduated with a degree from Columbia College, all final grades for courses taken prior to completion of your degree cannot be changed.

Federal regulations prohibit a student from using federal financial aid to repeat a course in which a satisfactory grade was earned (A,B,C,D) more than one time. Please contact the Financial Aid office at if you have specific questions about repeated coursework and financial aid.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
* Can I use financial aid to attend another school while enrolled at Columbia College?
There are some situations when you are eligible to use federal financial aid and attend two schools. Please see the Consortium Permission Request form for eligibility requirements.
Consortium Agreement
* How do I apply for financial aid?
  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) at
  2. Include the Columbia College school code (002456) in order for Columbia College to receive your FAFSA application information.
  3. You must have an active application for admission to Columbia College for the FAFSA information to reach the financial aid department at Columbia College. To apply for admission, fill out an application online.
  4. Note: In filling out the FAFSA, you will supply information about yourself. If you are considered a dependent for financial aid purposes, you must also supply information about your parent(s).
  5. Activate your CougarTrack account today and monitor your CougarMail account on a regular basis. The Financial Aid office uses your official Columbia College CougarMail e-mail address to inform you about the status of your financial aid application, additional information you may need to provide to complete your aid application and upcoming deadlines and important dates.
  6. More financial aid information:
* What is financial aid appealed probation?

Financial aid appealed probation is a status assigned to students whose written appeal has been reviewed by the appeal committee and the decision was made to reinstate aid for one session. At the end of the appealed probation session, your academic performance and pace of completion will be reviewed for that one session to determine if you are meeting minimum academic plan requirements. Minimum academic plan requirements for that one session are a pace of completion of 66.67% and a GPA of 2.0.

More financial aid information:
Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

* What is financial suspension?

Failure to meet the minimum academic progress requirements will result in federal financial aid suspension. The first time you fail to meet the minimum (quantitative or qualitative) requirement, you will be placed on financial aid suspension, and will be ineligible to receive federal financial aid. You will be notified in writing via CougarMail. The standard annual review time is May.

If placed on financial aid suspension, notification will be sent to you and all federal and state aid will be withdrawn for future sessions. Students on financial aid suspension have options to reinstate aid once suspended.

* When can I use financial aid again?

Financial aid may be reinstated when one of the following conditions has been met:

You have completed courses without federal aid in one or more terms at Columbia College until the cumulative GPA and/or completion rate meet the required standard. It is your responsibility to notify the financial aid office when reinstatement conditions have been met.


You have filed an appeal and the Financial Aid Appeal Review Committee approved the appeal. Click here for appeal procedures.

* What is the difference between academic probation and financial aid appealed probation?
Academic probation refers to your eligibility to enroll while financial aid appealed probation refers to your eligibility to receive federal funding.


* What is the GPA needed to graduate with honors?
To graduate with Latin Honors, you must have completed 60 hours of Columbia College coursework, be completing a bachelor’s degree, and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. If you meet this requirement you will be honored at graduation with the following classification based on your GPA:
GPA Classification
3.90 or above Summa cum laude
3.75-3.89 Magna cum laude
 3.50-3.74 Cum laude
* When and where will I receive my diploma?
Your diploma will be mailed to you 6 to 8 weeks after completing your last course. For more information on graduation requirements, see Diplomas.
* How do I apply for graduation?
Two or three sessions before you expect to finish your last class, submit the Declaration of Candidacy for Degree form. This will begin the graduation process and notify the college of the degree you wish to be awarded. After completion of the Declaration of Candidacy for Degree a graduation/diploma fee, $75 for undergraduate or $120 for graduate students, will be applied to your student account and payment will need to be made before your diploma will be mailed.
* How do I participate in the graduation ceremony?
If you wish to participate in a graduation ceremony, you need to complete the Application for Commencement that can be found under the Academics tab in CougarTrack.


* How do I apply for an internship?
Internship Program


* Do I have to declare a minor?
You do not have to declare a minor but if you have several elective hours remaining a minor may be beneficial. Choosing the right minor may enhance your resume and help you when looking for job opportunities.
* How do I declare a minor?
Once you have chosen a minor, you will complete and submit a Declaration of Major Form in CougarTrack under the tab labeled Academics. On the form, you will select a major and type in your chosen minors in the text box located at the bottom of the form. You should meet with an Academic Advisor to discuss options and career goals before choosing or changing your minor.

Placement Exams

* How do I take a placement exam for Math and/or English?
The placement exams for Math and English can be found in CougarTrack. Click on the “Academics” tab and scroll down and click on “Placement Exams Website”. Once you have been re-directed to the Placement Testing website, please read all directions before proceeding to the test.


* When do I register for classes?

Registration begins the sixth week each session. There is a staggered registration schedule for the first week of enrollment:

Monday and Tuesday of week 6: Seniors, military members and new students*
Wednesday of week 6: Juniors
Thursday of week 6: Sophomores
Friday of week 6: Freshmen

*New students must meet with an advisor prior to registering

The schedule lists the first day each group of students is able to register, not the day those students are required to register. Studies show that the most successful students are those who register for classes early. Follow this link to find the available times to register

* How do I register for classes?
Students may register for courses using any of the following methods:
  • Register for classes in CougarTrack using the link Search and Register for Classes, located in the Registration section under the Academics heading.
  • Register for classes in CougarTrack using Assisted Registration located in the Registration section under the Academics heading.
  • Register in person at your local campus or at the Enrollment Service Center at the main campus in Columbia, Missouri.

Students who register using CougarTrack will receive an enrollment status email sent to their Cougar email account. Be sure to watch for a registration confirmation email to ensure that your registration is complete.

To view or print your class schedule, login to CougarTrack. Under the heading Academics, click on the link Student Class Schedule.

* How do I drop my classes?

Dropping a Course

Once enrolled in a class, you are considered a member of that class until you officially drop or withdraw. You may drop a course for any reason during the first week of a session. No punitive grade or financial liability will be issued PROVIDED you drop your course prior to close-of-business on the first day of the second week of the session.

To drop a course log into CougarTrack and complete the drop process in Register or Drop Classes, located in the Registration section, under the Academics heading. A Drop Confirmation will be sent to your Cougar email within 24 hours of your submission.

Withdrawing from a Course

You may withdraw from a course after the add/drop period and prior to the end of the sixth week of a session. A withdrawal from a course does not eliminate academic or financial liability. Your course(s) will be listed on your official transcript with a grade of W and you are responsible for the full cost of the course(s).

You may withdraw from a course by submitting a Course Withdrawal form in CougarTrack, located in the Registration section under the Academics heading. A Withdrawal Confirmation will be sent to your Cougar email once your submission has been processed.


* What is a book voucher?
A book voucher allows you to charge your books to your student account prior to your financial aid being disbursed. If your financial aid is in place, you may request a book voucher. Your campus office will determine the amount you that you are eligible to charge based on the amount of financial aid awarded and the number of courses for which you are registered.
* How do I request a book voucher?

To receive a book voucher you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your financial aid has been awarded.
  • You are registered for the upcoming term.
  • The total financial aid you will be receiving exceeds your account balance (after tuition is applied).

If you have met this criteria, please log in CougarTrack, click on the "Academic tab" and then Click on "Registration."

If you do not have enough financial aid to fully cover tuition and books, you may purchase your books at the bookstore.

Transfer Credit

* How do I know which courses will transfer?
Transfer Guides


Request info

Request info