About Bard

Undergraduate Snapshot

History Founded in 1860, Bard is an independent, nonsectarian, residential, coeducational, four-year college of the liberal arts and sciences.

Enrollment profile Approximately 2,000 undergraduates study at the Annandale campus; 57 percent female, 43 percent male, from across the country. Approximately 10 percent of full-time undergraduates are African American, 13 percent Asian, 8 percent Hispanic, 2 percent Native American, and nearly 12 percent international (representing approximately 60 countries).

Academics In the 2013–2014 academic year, 1,259 classes were offered, of which 22 percent were tutorials. Students completed 482 Senior Projects. Bard’s first- to second-year retention is 88 percent.

Faculty 293. The student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1. Approximately 98 percent of classes have 25 students or fewer.

Bard at a Glance

Undergraduate Degrees

Bard offers courses of study in four divisions—Arts; Languages and Literature; Science, Mathematics, and Computing; and Social Studies—and in interdivisional programs and concentrations. Students may also earn a five-year B.S./B.A. degree in economics and finance. The Bard College Conservatory of Music offers a five-year program in which students pursue a dual degree—a B.Music and a B.A. in a field other than music. Bard and its affiliated institutions also grant the following undergraduate degrees: A.A. at Bard High School Early College; A.A. and B.A. at Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College; and through the Bard Prison Initiative at six correctional institutions in New York State.

Graduate Degrees

Graduate degrees More than 200 students are seeking graduate degrees: M.A. in curatorial studies, M.Music in vocal arts and in conducting, and M.S. in environmental policy, climate science and policy, and economic theory and policy at the Annandale campus; M.F.A. and M.A.T. at multiple campuses; M.B.A. in Sustainability in New York City; and M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in the decorative arts, design history, and material culture at the Bard Graduate Center in Manhattan. M.Music degrees are also offered at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Early Colleges

Bard's early colleges educate the next generation of thought leaders, preparing them to be lifetime learners. Bard High School Early Colleges in New York City, Newark, New Jersey, and Cleveland, Ohio; Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; and Bard Early College New Orleans and Bard Early College at the Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy all serve the needs of highly motivated younger students.

International Degrees

Internationally, Bard confers dual B.A. degrees at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, Russia (Smolny College); American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan; and Bard College Berlin: A Liberal Arts University; as well as dual B.A. and M.A.T. degrees at Al-Quds University in the West Bank.

Cultural Life

Campus life in Annandale is vibrant, with world-class performing arts venues; continuous and varied student activities; and numerous cultural and recreational opportunities in the surrounding historic Hudson River Valley and in New York City. Students choose from more than a hundred active clubs on campus, and new clubs begin every semester. The Bard College athletic teams are the Raptors. The College’s colors are red and white. The critically acclaimed Bard Music Festival is presented on campus each summer, exploring the life and work of a single composer through chamber music, choral and orchestral performances, symposia, panel discussions, and preconcert talks. Since 2003 the festival has been part of Bard SummerScape, which annually presents operas, films, and theatrical productions that complement the festival’s theme.

Outstanding Faculty

Bard's undergraduate faculty-to-student ratio is 1:10 and courses are taught by full faculty members. Among the many distinguished faculty at Bard College are five MacArthur Fellows—poets John Ashbery and Ann Lauterbach, novelist and memoirist Norman Manea, painter and multimedia artist Judy Pfaff, and journalist Mark Danner. Other notable faculty members include soprano Dawn Upshaw, journalist Ian Buruma, composers Joan Tower and George Tsontakis, poet Robert Kelly, and writers Luc Sante and Francine Prose. Over the years, four recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature have taught at Bard—Saul Bellow, Isaac Bashevis Singer, José Saramago, and Orhan Pamuk. 

Admission

Undergraduate admission Applicants are encouraged to pursue an appropriately challenging, well-balanced curriculum, including honors or advanced-level courses if available. The program should include a full four-year sequence in English, social sciences, and mathematics; study of at least one foreign language for three, preferably four, years; and three, preferably four, years of study in the laboratory sciences. The Admission Committee is interested in the entire high school record, references, and resumé, with junior- and senior-year courses being especially important.

Graduate admission Applicants should contact the Graduate Admission Office for details.

Early college admission Applicants should contact the admission office of the school of their interest.

Finances

Financial aid Approximately two-thirds of undergraduate students receive financial assistance. Financial aid codes: 002671 for FAFSA, 2037 for College Scholarship Service PROFILE.