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

Campus Facilities

The College campus contains more than 70 buildings of varied architectural styles, from 19th-century stone houses and riverfront mansions to structures designed by noted contemporary architects, such as the Frank Gehry–designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and the Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation, designed by Rafael Viñoli. The campus itself is located on more than 500 acres just east of the Hudson River. The grounds include open fields, woodlands, gardens, and meandering pathways that connect all academic, social, recreational, and residential facilities. There are numerous art installations throughout the campus, including the parliament of reality, a permanent outdoor installation by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The entire campus has been designated as an arboretum, with the goal of preserving and cultivating the College’s horticultural assets. Among these are the Community Garden, where students and staff plant, tend, and have access to flowers, fruits, and vegetables; an Elizabethan knot garden; the formal Blithewood Garden, and the Bard College Farm, which allows students to learn about growing food in an ecologically sound way.

Bard has pledged to reach carbon neutrality by 2035, and all new construction incorporates green principles. The Fisher Center, Reem Kayden Center for Science and Computation, and the new László Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Building and Anne Cox Chambers Alumni/ae Center are geothermally heated and cooled. Solar thermal panels provide hot water to several residential halls, and an effort to replace nearly 700 street and path lights with outdoor LED technology is expected to reduce street lighting energy use by a third. For more information on Bard’s green programs and policies, visit the Bard Office of Sustainability website at


Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Library, Hoffman Library, and Kellogg Library  The library’s mission is to support the goals of the College and to improve the quality of learning and teaching by providing information services and collections in a variety of formats that serve the needs of its users. In support of this mission the library seeks to (1) sustain and improve its collections and the services and ­pathways that give access to them; (2) clarify needs and de­velop programs to help students become more independent, more confident, and more resourceful; (3) create an information gateway through the thoughtful use of technology; (4) promote staff learning through collaborative planning, teamwork, and continuing education; and (5) ensure that library facilities are safe, inviting, and well maintained.

As a result of a generous gift from College Board of Trustees Chair Charles P. Stevenson Jr., Bard’s library complex consists of the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Library, designed by the ­award-winning architectural firm of Robert Venturi, and the Hoffman and Kellogg Libraries. The resources of the Stevenson Library and satellite libraries in the Levy Economics Institute, Center for Curatorial Studies, and Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture include 400,000 volumes and more than 14,000 journals available in print or online. For a full description of the library’s collections and services, please visit the Stevenson Library ­website at

Academic Facilities

Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center  The Avery Arts complex houses the Jim Ottaway Jr. Film Center, home to the Film and Electronic Arts Program; and the Edith C. Blum Institute, home to the Music Program and, with the adjacent László Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Building, The Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Blum Institute facilities include a practice space for students and staff, faculty offices, classrooms, a listening library, fully equipped soundproof recording studio, jazz band room, and studios for editing, computer music, composition, and jazz percussion. Students have access to grand and upright Steinway and Yamaha pianos. Music facilities in the Bitó Building are described below.

The Ottaway Film Center houses a 110-seat theater equipped with 16mm and 35mm film and video projection, performance space, editing suites for sound and video, faculty offices, two screening/seminar rooms, a shooting studio with control room, analogue editing suite and computer lab, darkroom, and film archive and media library. Students in production classes may borrow supplies and equipment housed in the inventory office. Visiting artist talks, screenings, and symposia are regularly scheduled in the theater.

Bard College Exhibition Center (UBS Gallery)  The Exhibition Center is a 16,000-square-foot gallery and studio space in nearby Red Hook. The off-campus facility, formerly the Universal Builders Supply building (UBS), provides a professional-level space for exhibitions by graduating seniors and master of fine arts candidates in the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts.

Bard College Farm  The Bard College Farm, established in 2012, is located behind Ward Manor on the North Campus. The 1.5-acre farm, which serves as a practicum site for a number of courses, produces food in ways that are ecologically sound, demonstrates the methodologies for sustainable food production, and is responsive to the latest scientific and agricultural practices for growing sustainable crops. The College dining service buys virtually all of the farm’s produce. The student-initiated farm also grows cash crops (e.g., the largest cranberry crop in the Mid Hudson Valley region) as a way of sustaining itself financially. Construction of a farm building with storage and meeting space is planned.

Bard College Field Station  The Bard College Field Station is on the Hudson River near Tivoli South Bay and the mouth of the Saw Kill. Its location affords research and teaching access to ­fresh­water tidal marshes, swamps and shallows, perennial and intermittent streams, young and old deciduous and coniferous forests, old and mowed fields, and other habitats. A library, herbarium, laboratories, classroom, and offices are open to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and environmental researchers by prior arrangement. Also based at the Field Station are laboratories of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve of the New York State Department of Environ­mental Conservation and Hudsonia Ltd., an environmental research institute. The Field Station is owned by the College and operated with support from the Research Reserve, Hudsonia, and other public and private funding sources.

Bard Hall  Bard Hall is the College’s original academic building, erected in 1852. It is used by the Music Program and other programs for lectures, recitals, rehearsals, and classes. It was completely restored with generous assistance from the late John H. Steinway ’39, who had been a trustee of the College.

Bitó Conservatory Building  The László Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Building, a gift from László Z. Bitó and Olivia Cariño, is a freestanding, 16,500-square-foot structure connected to the Avery Arts Center’s music wing by a covered walkway. Designed by Deborah Berke & Partners Architects LLP, the building was completed in January 2013 and is used primarily by students in The Bard College Conservatory of Music. Facilities include a 145-seat performance space that can be configured several ways, allowing students to reimagine the traditional concert space; 15 teaching studios; a lounge; and a large classroom. The Bitó Building also has one-touch audio and video recording and live streaming capabilities.

Blithewood  Blithewood is the home of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. The mansion, built in 1900, and its site, originally designed by renowned landscape architect A. J. Downing, were renovated with a gift from the family of Bard trustee Leon Levy. Undergraduates have access to the Institute’s library by appointment and through the campus electronic network, and some undergraduate courses are taught there.

Edith C. Blum Institute  See Avery Arts Center description.

Center for Civic Engagement   The Center for Civic Engagement is located in Barringer House on Annandale Road, north of the library. The two-story former residence houses offices, including one with videoconferencing capabilities, a kitchen, and work space. Plans include an addition that will provide space for events and the technical equipment necessary for shared lectures and other interaction with partner institutions off campus. The addition would be shared by the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities and the Human Rights Project, which are based next door at McCarthy House. For more information about Center activities, see “Civic Engagement” in this catalogue.

Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture  The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) is an exhibition, education, and research center dedicated to the study of art and curatorial practices from the 1960s to the present day. The original 38,000-square-foot facility was ­completed in 1991 through the generosity of Marieluise Hessel and Richard Black. In addition to the CCS Bard Galleries and the Hessel Museum of Art, which opened ­following major expansion in 2006, CCS Bard houses the Marieluise Hessel Col­lection of more than 2,000 contemporary works, as well as an extensive library and curatorial archives that are accessible to the general public. In 2012, one of the main galleries in the Hessel Museum was named in honor of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, in gratitude for support from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Exhibitions are ­presented year-round in the CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum, providing students and the public with an opportunity to interact with world-renowned artists and curators. The museum café and outdoor terrace are open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 to 5 p.m.

College Bookstore  The bookstore, located in Bertelsmann Campus Center, carries texts and other books, newspapers, magazines, art supplies, Bard apparel, stationery, toilet articles, food items, and novelties. Students may put money into a “bookstore account” via Student Accounts to make purchases with their student ID card. Regular charge cards and Barnes & Noble gift cards in any denomination may also be used for purchases.

Fisher Center for the Performing Arts  Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry, the 110,000-square-foot Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College opened in 2003. The Fisher Center, named for the former chair of Bard’s Board of Trustees, houses two theaters and the Felicitas S. Thorne Dance Studio, Stewart and Lynda Resnick Theater Studio, and professional support facilities. The Sosnoff Theater, an intimate 900-seat theater with an orchestra, parterre, and two balcony sections, features an orchestra pit for opera and an acoustic shell designed by Yasuhisa Toyota that turns the theater into a first-class concert hall ­for performances of chamber and symphonic music. Theater Two is a flexible theater with adjustable, bleacher-type seating that is used for teaching and for student and other performances. The Fisher Center is home to the undergraduate Theater and Performance and Dance Programs, the Bard Music Festival, which entered its 24th season in August 2013, and Bard SummerScape, an annual festival of opera, theater, film, and dance.

The Richard B. Fisher and Emily H. Fisher Studio Arts Building  The Richard B. Fisher and Emily H. Fisher Studio Arts Building, which includes the Procter Art Center, houses large studios for painting and drawing, printmaking, cybergraphics, wood­working, and sculpture. It also contains a welding shop, individual studios for students working on their Senior Projects, a large exhibition area for student shows, and meeting areas. 

Hegeman Science Hall and Rose Laboratories  Hegeman Hall houses general-use classrooms and physics teaching laboratories. Rose houses research laboratories for the Physics Program as well as additional teaching laboratories. The Physics Program has a broad array of research electronics and optics equipment.

Information Technology Services at Henderson Computer Resources Center  Bard Information Technology Services provides broadband Internet access and a multigigabit backbone to the Bard community. Wireless networking is available in many locations on campus. Wired 100Mb Ethernet ports are in all dormitories and many public areas. Support for academic computing includes a fully updated learning and teaching environment, multimedia classrooms, and video teleconferencing. Many students bring computers to Bard, although they are not required to do so. Public computing labs, providing Macintosh and Windows computers, scanners, and printers, are located around the campus. One lab is always open 24 hours a day. The Bard Help Desk, located in the Henderson Technology Laboratories, provides support and training to students, faculty, and staff. For details, see

McCarthy House  McCarthy House, located on Annandale Road toward the north end of campus, houses the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities and the Human Rights Project. The house was occupied by novelist and critic Mary McCarthy when she taught English at Bard from 1946 to 1947 and from 1986 to 1989. McCarthy and Hannah Arendt were good friends for many years, and McCarthy served as Arendt’s literary executor from 1976 until her death in 1989. The conference room in the house features Arendt’s desk from her last apartment in New York City.

Music Practice Rooms  Opened in the spring of 2012 and located near the Avery Arts Center, this facility contains 12 practice rooms that are available to all students.

Olin Humanities Building  he Franklin W. Olin Humanities Building, constructed with a grant from the F. W. Olin Foundation and completed in 1987, is the main facility for anthropology, history, philosophy, religion, literature, creative writing, foreign languages, art history, and music history classes. The building contains a 370-seat auditorium for concerts, lectures, and conferences. It also includes small lecture rooms, seminar rooms, an art history room with projection equipment, a music history room with demonstration facilities, a poetry room with a library of poetry on tape, study and lounge areas, and an interior court and exterior terrace used for receptions.

Olin Language Center  The two-story F. W. Olin Language Center was added to the Olin Humanities Building in 1995 through a special grant from the F. W. Olin Foundation. The facility features high-tech seminar rooms, a lecture hall, and the Center for Foreign Languages and Cultures (CFLC), which has an international staff of 20, and offers a wide range of tools and audiovisual resources for foreign-language learning.

Ottaway Film Center  See Avery Arts Center description.

Ottaway Gatehouse for International Study  Home to the Institute for International Liberal Education, the Jim and Mary Ottaway Gatehouse is one of the oldest buildings on campus and a designated state and federal historic landmark. The hexagonal gatehouse to the Blithewood estate was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis and constructed in 1842. In 2004, the gatehouse was renamed for James Haller Ottaway Jr. and Mary Hyde Ottaway, who have generously supported Bard’s international programs and students since 1988.

Reem and Kayden Center for Science and Computation  The Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation, a state-of-the-art, 70,000-square-foot science facility that opened in 2007, is home to the Biology, Chemistry, and Computer Science Programs. The Lynda and Stewart Resnick Science Laboratories wing opened in 2009. Designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, the dramatic two-story building includes nearly 17,000 square feet of dedicated laboratory space. Biology equipment in the facility includes DNA and protein electrophoresis instruments, a digital gel-imaging system, an array of standard PCR machines, a Real-Time PCR machine, two fluorescence microscopes, and a wide range of ecology field equipment. Chemistry equipment includes an advanced 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer (NMR), liquid chromatograph–mass spectrometer, and two gas chromatograph–mass spectrometers. The computer science space includes cognitive systems, robotics, and hardware teaching labs. The building also features the László Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium, which seats 65; seven high-tech classrooms for multimedia presentations, two of which are set up for videoconferencing; faculty offices; and a series of open spaces for studying, computer work, and informal meetings.

Shafer House  Shafer House, a midcentury modern facility and the longtime residence of the late Frederick Q. Shafer, professor of religion at the College, and Margaret Creal Shafer, was recently renovated to provide office and meeting space for the Written Arts Program.

Woods Studio  Woods Studio houses the classrooms, labs, studios, offices, and exhibition gallery of the Photography Program. The program’s facilities include two black-and-white group darkrooms; color facilities, including nine 4 x 5 enlargers and a processor for 20 x 24 prints; private darkrooms for seniors that are equipped with black-and-white and color enlargers for negatives up to 8 x 10 inches; and a mural printing room. A 5,000-square-foot addition houses an exhibition gallery, classroom, 900-square-foot studio, and advanced digital imaging lab. A basic digital lab, with 12 ­work­stations and a printer capable of handling widths of up to 44 inches, is located in the basement of nearby Brook House.

Social and Recreational Facilities

Anne Cox Chambers Alumni/ae Center and Two Boots Bard  The Alumni/ae Center, an 8,500-square-foot building located across Route 9G from the College’s main entrance, opened its doors in 2012. In addition to housing the Office of Development and Alumni/ae Affairs, the space is configured to allow alumni/ae to host small functions, gather informally, set up readings and exhibitions, and interact with faculty and students. The Center is also home to the Bard branch of Two Boots, a New York City–based pizza restaurant. The purchase of the property was made possible by donations from an anonymous alumnus and a small group of alumni/ae.

Bertelsmann Campus Center  The Heinz O. and Elizabeth C. “Lilo” Bertelsmann Campus Center, a 30,000-square-foot facility that opened in 1999, is a central meeting place on campus. It contains the ­college bookstore and post office; the Career Development, Trustee Leader Scholar Program, and Student Activities Offices; Down the Road Café; the 100-seat Weis Cinema; lounge areas; public e-mail terminals; multipurpose and conference rooms; a student computer lab; meeting rooms for student clubs and organizations; and art gallery space. The signature exterior feature is a spacious ­second-floor deck on the building’s south side. The Campus Center is named for Heinz O. Bertelsmann, professor of international relations at Bard from 1947 to 1977, and Elizabeth C. “Lilo” Bertelsmann, a teacher of German and noted photographer, whose generous gift funded its construction.

Chapel of the Holy Innocents  The College chapel was built in 1857 with local oak and stone from quarries across the Hudson River in Ulster County. A gift to the local parish school from John Bard, who later founded St. Stephen’s College, the chapel was dedicated to his son Willie. The structure was rebuilt in 1859 after the original edifice was destroyed by fire.

Community Garden  Since 1997, the Bard College Community Garden has been a haven for agricultural enthusiasts from Bard and beyond. Students, faculty, staff, and friends gather in the circular garden during the growing season to help maintain its fruit, vegetable, and flower crops. The Community Garden is being redesigned to reflect the latest sustainable garden practices, including a study of permaculture.

Finberg House  Finberg House, located on the east side of Route 9G opposite the main entrance to the campus, provides overnight accommodations for distinguished guests of the College. It was named in honor of Alan R. Finberg, a longtime trustee of the College and husband of the late Barbara D. Finberg, a close friend and member of the board of the Bard Music Festival.

Kline Commons  Kline Commons, the main dining facility, contains a large dining room, smaller alcove dining rooms, meeting rooms, and a faculty dining area. An expansion during the summer of 2011 added almost 200 seats; improvements the next year included enhancements to the kitchen and servery, which provide multiple stations and a variety of cuisines. Through a continuous service plan, students on the meal plan enjoy the flexibility of dining at the hour of their choice. Information is available at

Also located in Kline is the Green Onion Grocer, which serves as the campus market. A variety of produce, dairy, and staple items are available for students to purchase with cash or Bard Bucks. The Green Onion is open Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Manor House Café  The Manor House Café is steps away from the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and features two dining rooms with views of the Catskill Mountains and an outdoor dining terrace. The café is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Resident students may use their meal plan at Manor House Café as a meal exchange. Bard Bucks are also accepted.

Old Gym  The Old Gym houses the Office of Safety and Security as well as student filmmaking studios and multipurpose arts space.

SMOG  SMOG, a converted garage, is Bard’s primary student-run concert, performance, and arts space.

Stevenson Athletic Center and Outdoor Facilities  The newly expanded Stevenson Athletic Center is an athletic and recreational complex made possible by a gift from Charles P. Stevenson Jr., chair of the Bard College Board of Trustees. In the summer of 2012, construction was completed on a 7,500-square-foot addition to the facility, thanks to a gift from Stevenson and two anonymous donors.

The complex features a 25-yard, six-lane swimming pool; fitness center; strength training center; locker rooms; activity classrooms; cycling spin room; and 12,500 square feet of gymnasium space that includes basketball and volleyball courts, fencing strips, badminton courts, and seating for 700 spectators. The addition includes four international squash courts with a mezzanine viewing area, a conference room, staff offices, an activity classroom overlooking the tennis facility, and a new entry and lobby area. Outdoor facilities include six lighted hard-surface tennis courts, a lighted platform tennis court, miles of cross-country running and Nordic skiing trails, the Lorenzo Ferrari Soccer and Lacrosse Complex, Seth Goldfine Memorial Practice Rugby Field, and adjacent multipurpose fields.