Academics at Bard
Bard is redefining what it means to be a liberal arts institution by expanding its mission beyond undergraduate education, to include secondary school and graduate programs. The curricula of all Bard programs are rooted in an allegiance to free speech, civility, dissent, and the traditions of scientific and speculative inquiry. Bard seeks to inspire disciplined skepticism and critical thinking.
Undergraduate academics at Bard focus on giving students a strong scholarly foundation with our rigorous core curriculum, then encouraging them to explore individual academic interests. The College seeks to engender in every student a wide curiosity and a profound love of learning. Close contact with scholars who are teachers but also active in their disciplines is a constant, and the level of academic discourse in the classroom is high. Bard students choose from among nearly 50 programs in four academic divisions—Arts
; Languages and Literature
; Science, Mathematics, and Computing
; and Social Studies
—as well as Interdivisional Programs and Concentrations
Bard’s graduate programs give students the tools to shape the future of their professions. Expert faculty craft innovative curricula designed to challenge emerging leaders. More than 600 students are seeking graduate degrees in Bard programs. These include programs in curatorial studies, economic theory and policy, sustainable business, and environmental policy; M.Music, M.F.A., and M.A.T. degrees at multiple campuses; and the M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in the decorative arts, design history, and material culture. Bard undergraduates may also pursue dual-degree options
, seeking a second bachelor’s degree or pursuing a master’s in conjunction with their undergraduate program.
Colleges of the liberal arts have a great opportunity to help improve secondary education, bridge the gap between secondary and postsecondary education, and provide opportunities for motivated younger students. Bard is a pioneer in early college education, which offers challenging undergraduate programs for intellectually curious adolescents. Bard has several initiatives for young scholars, including Bard College at Simon’s Rock
in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, which enables exceptional students to begin college immediately after the 10th or 11th grades, and the Bard Early Colleges
, where students earn a high school diploma and up to an associate's degree, tuition free, within four years. The Bard Early College network includes campuses in Manhattan (Lower East Side and Harlem Children's Zone), New York; Queens, New York; Newark, New Jersey; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Cleveland, Ohio.