Bard College Catalogue

The Bard College Catalogue contains detailed descriptions of the College's undergraduate programs and courses, curriculum, admission and financial aid procedures, student activities and services, history, campus facilities, affiliated institutions including graduate programs, and faculty and administration.

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Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Admission to Bard

In selecting an incoming class of men and women for whom Bard is the right choice, the Admission Committee considers achievement, motivation, and intellectual ambition; appraises the standards of the secondary school curriculum; and carefully reads application essays. The committee reviews the time and effort the student has dedi­cated to classes and out-of-class activities and pays close attention to recommendations. The Admission Committee does not consider a candidate’s financial need in making its decision.

Bard expects applicants to have pursued an appropriately challenging program of study offered by their schools, including honors or advanced-level courses. In addition, a well-balanced program of study is considered the best preparation for a college of the liberal arts and sciences. Such a program should include a full four-year sequence in English; social sciences; study of at least one foreign language for three, preferably four, years; and three, preferably four, years of study in the laboratory ­sciences and mathematics. The Admission Committee is interested in the entire high school record, with junior- and senior-year courses and results being especially important.

Using the Common Application, candidates may apply to Bard through the Regular Action or Early Action application process, or, in certain cases, through the Bard Immediate Decision Plan. A complete application includes ­letters of ­recommendation from at least two of the student’s junior- or senior-year academic teachers (one of whom should be a mathematics or science teacher), the guidance counselor recommendation and school report, and a complete transcript, including grades from the senior year, as soon as they become available. 

Candidates are encouraged to visit the Bard website and, if convenient, to tour the campus with a student guide and learn about the College’s facilities and curriculum. Appointments for campus visits may be made, at least one week in advance, through the Admission Office (telephone: 845-758-7472; fax: 845-758-5208; e-mail: Interviews are not required, but are available to applicants until the last day of Bard’s fall semester. Skype™ interviews are also an option.

Early Action Highly qualified candidates who are certain that Bard is a top choice are encouraged to apply through Early Action by November 1, for notification in late December. An offer of admission is nonbinding until May 1. Early Action candidates who choose to interview should do so by November 1. Candidates who are deferred to Regular Action are invited to submit appropriate supplemental information.

Regular Action Candidates apply by January 1 and are notified of a decision in early April. Candidates who are placed on the wait list are invited to submit appropriate supplemental information. Those who are not offered admission are required to wait a full academic year before reapplying.

Immediate Decision Plan (IDP)  IDP is designed to help highly qualified students develop a more informed opinion of the College and to accelerate the admission process during a daylong session. Candidates participate in an ungraded seminar conducted by a Bard faculty member and meet with an admission counselor. The Admission Com­mittee’s decision is mailed to the candidate the following business day. (Note: only the College makes an immediate decision; accepted candidates may wait until May 1 to notify the College of their enrollment plans.)

Commitment Dates  All candidates accepted for admission, whether through regu­lar admission, Early Action, or IDP, must inform the Admission Office of enrollment plans by May 1 (postmarked). A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required to hold a place in the class. An accepted candidate may ask to defer matriculation for up to one year. This request must be made in writing to the director of admission.

Early Admission  Candidates seeking admission to Bard before completing secondary school may be accepted if they have an exceptionally strong high school record and the recommendation of a guidance counselor or principal. An interview with an admission counselor is required.

Transfer Students Transfer students are expected to be familiar with Bard’s distinctive curricular components, particularly Moderation and the Senior Project, and should anticipate spending three years at the College. Students who wish to transfer apply by March 1 for the fall semester (notification in May) or November 1 for the spring semester. A student transferring from an accredited junior college, college, or university usually receives full credit for work completed with a grade of C or better in courses appropriate to the Bard academic program.

International Students Bard College is authorized under federal law to enroll non­immigrant alien students. The College encourages applications from foreign nationals and from U.S. citizens who have completed their secondary education abroad. Candidates whose first language is not English must submit the result of the Test of English as a Foreign Language or other evidence of proficiency in English.

All foreign nationals must file a Declaration of Finances (issued by the College Scholarship Service of the College Board, or CSS) before a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) will be issued. The declaration and certificate are needed to obtain a visa. Foreign students may be eligible, based on need and merit, for Bard scholarships and loans. Students seeking aid must submit the Declaration of Finances and the International Student Financial Aid Application (also issued by the CSS). These forms are available at most secondary schools and through the College’s website (

Advanced Standing  Advanced standing or college credit for College Board Advanced Placement courses may be given for the grade of 5. Students who wish to request credit or advanced standing must submit the appropriate record of their grade to the Office of the Registrar.

The following international diplomas may be accepted for advanced standing: International Baccalaureate, French Baccalaureate, Swiss Maturity, and German Abitur. A student may be allowed to accelerate for up to 32 credits (a normal full year) at the time of Moderation if the Moderation board so recommends. Students who have earned A-level passes may enter with advanced standing

The Bard College Conservatory of Music

In addition to applying to Bard College, candidates for admission to The Bard College Conservatory of Music must complete the Conservatory’s online supplemental application. As part of this online application, candidates must upload a recording (audio or video), a musical résumé, and a letter of recommendation from a music teacher. These prescreening recordings are reviewed, and selected candidates are then invited for a live audition. Admission decisions are made on the same schedule as those for the College. The musical résumé should include the names of teachers, dates and places of study, public performances, honors and awards, and other information about musical influences and education. For more information on the Conservatory of Music, see