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.

*The download on this page requires Adobe Reader for viewing and printing.

Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Student Life

Activities and Events

Activities on campus reflect academic, social, artistic, athletic, recreational, and purely casual pursuits. From garage-band concerts at SMOG, a student-run music venue, to language tables, where students share meals and practice Italian, French, German, Japanese, or Hebrew conversation, a full range of activities enriches student life. Clubs, committees, publications, and other student-sponsored initiatives are described in further detail below.

Distinguished scholars, artists, and performers visit Bard regularly as featured guests in the John Ashbery Poetry Series, Anthony Hecht Lectures in the Humanities, and The Bard Center’s Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series and Lecture and Performance Series. The conferences and lectures sponsored by the Levy Economics Institute, Bard Center for Environmental Policy, Center for Curatorial Studies, and Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities are open to undergraduates, as are the concerts of The Bard College Conservatory of Music and Bard Music Festival.

Staff, faculty, and students also bring to the campus a variety of speakers and artists, arrange showings of movies nearly every night of the week, and present their own work in drama and dance concerts, recitals, musical theater, art shows, poetry and fiction readings, lectures, and films. Working with the Office of Student Activities, staff and students also organize hikes, concerts, dances, parties, comedy nights, substance-free entertainment alternatives, and athletic events. The Student Publicity and Activities Resource Center (SPARC), located in the Student Activities Office, serves as a resource for all clubs and individual students looking to plan and publicize events on campus.

Student Government and Clubs

All students are members of the Bard College Student Association, a democratic forum with three main functions: to raise issues and take action on those issues or recommend action by the College, to provide student representation on administrative and faculty committees in all matters of concern to the College community, and to administer allocated funds for student-run organizations.

The Educational Policies Committee of the Student Association makes recommendations to appropriate faculty committees and to the dean of the college. The asso­ciation’s Student Judiciary Board deals with violations of the College’s regulations regarding behavior. The Student Life Committee meets with the staff of Student Activities and the Dean of Student Affairs Offices, College administrators, health services personnel, and other student services offices to obtain information and represent the Student Association in all policies that concern student life. Two major administrative and faculty committees on which student representatives serve are the College Grievance Committee and the Committee on Vacancies. Two students are elected by other students to represent them at Board of Trustees and Board of Governors meetings.

The Student Association Planning Committee is directly responsible for the allocation and disbursement of student activity fees. A large portion of the funds goes to the Entertainment Committee, which provides extracurricular campus events such as ­concerts and other musical ­activities. The Planning Committee also allocates funds to about 90 clubs and organizations, such as the Asian American Students Organization, Bard Film Committee, Bard Free Press, Bard Musical Theater Company, Black Students Organization, Latin American Students Organization, Queer Straight Alliance, WXBC radio station, and several magazines of literature and criticism. Students form new clubs every semester, depending on interest.

Athletics and Recreation

The Department of Athletics and Recreation offers a wide range of programs to meet the needs of a variety of active lifestyles and sporting interests, from traditional intercollegiate competition to intramural sports and recreational pursuits. The College sponsors intercollegiate programs for men and women in soccer, cross-country, volleyball, swimming, tennis, lacrosse, track and field, and basketball. Men also compete in baseball and squash. Athletic teams compete under the auspices of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA Division III). Bard is also a member of various athletic conferences, including the Liberty League, United Volleyball Conference, Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, and College Squash Association.

The Athletic Center and outdoor venues provide the setting for a range of intramural and recreational offerings. Intramural programs include soccer, basketball, floor hockey, tennis, volleyball, softball, kickball, badminton, and squash. At the club level Bard offers rugby, fencing, horseback riding, and Ultimate Frisbee.

Classes are offered in such lifetime pursuits as yoga, Pilates, spin cycling, fitness, kickboxing, karate, belly dancing, swimming, and aikido. Aerobics classes include step, Zumba, cardio kickboxing, low impact, and Tae Bo. Certification courses in CPR/AED, Water Safety Instructor Training, and lifeguarding are also available. In addition, the College’s rural setting makes it easy to engage in many outdoor activities, such as running, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, hiking, cycling, mountain biking, rock climbing, and ice skating. Facilities for golf, bowling, and horseback riding are nearby.

Spiritual and Religious Life

The College chaplaincy is committed to helping students, staff, and faculty explore and develop their spiritual identities. Bard belongs to the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion, but that membership does not limit the scope of ­religious interests. At Bard, the diverse perspectives of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism are not only studied, but practiced.

The chaplaincy has on staff Episcopal, Anglican, and Catholic priests; an imam; a rabbi; a Buddhist practioner, and a community life chaplain. All are available for pastoral care with students, staff, and faculty. The clergy offer study on a formal and informal basis. The chaplaincy supports and advises the Jewish Students Organization, Muslim Students Organization, Christian Fellowship, Buddhist meditation group, Sanskrit group, and Catholic community. It helps these students organize and celebrate regular holy observances and develops programming for the campus at large. Worship services for the various faith traditions take place weekly. The chaplaincy also coordinates  a series of ecumenical events during the school year. 

The Institute for Advanced Theology, which was established at Bard in 1996, sponsors luncheon lecture series and conferences that bring leading religious scholars and practitioners to campus. The College also has a meditation garden, kosher and halal dining options, and other regularly scheduled religious and spiritual events.


Bard College is committed to the maintenance of an educational community in which diversity—in race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, class, physical ability, national origin, and age—is an essential and valued component. Bard students, faculty, staff, and administration stand united in support of an inclusive environment in which freedom of expression is balanced with a respectful standard of dialogue. The Office of Multicultural Affairs acts as the primary contact for students, staff, and faculty regarding cross-cultural communication, intercultural engagement and campus climate. It also oversees the Difference and Media Project, which features collaborative learning, tutorials, workshops, seminars, and conferences. The Project’s focus on difference is balanced with a strategic investment in interconnectedness, both in terms of building relationships to the world outside Bard—which can produce connections to graduate schools, jobs, and internships—and within Bard..