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

Additional Study Opportunities

The following programs offer opportunities for Bard students to earn credits and/or transcript recognition outside of the regular curriculum.

Independent Work

Bard undergraduate students can earn academic credit for the completion of an approved independent study project or noncredit-bearing transcript recognition for approved unpaid internships.

Independent Study Projects  Regular Bard academic credit may be awarded for successful completion of an ­independent study project outside the College’s regular course structure, provided the project has demonstrated academic value. After a proposed project has been approved by a faculty sponsor and the head of the relevant division or program, the student submits it to the dean of studies, who presents it for final approval to the Executive Committee, which consists of the dean of the college, the registrar (serving ex officio), and the chairs of the divisions.

An independent study project may be undertaken in the fall or spring semester (for up to 4 credits) as part of the normal course load, or during January intersession or the summer (for up to 2 credits). Students may earn up to 12 independent study credits in total.

January Intersession  Intersession begins at the end of the winter holi­day vacation and extends through the month of January. Students can gain ­academic or work experience or earn academic credits during this period in the ­following ways:

Independent study A reading, research, or creative project for academic credit. The project must be planned with a faculty member and approved by the Executive Committee by the end of the fall semester.
Work project or internship  Paid or volunteer employment or an internship at a newspaper or in a hospital, law office, theater, museum, or other institution. Although work, on or off campus, does not usually carry academic credit, students who think a particular work experience or internship is worthy of academic credit may apply for it or for transcript recognition.
Enrollment in a midyear course at another college or university  Many colleges and universities with a one-month January intersession offer courses for credit that are open to students from other institutions.

Internships  Students may request .5 credits or formal, noncredit-bearing transcript recognition of internships that are supervised, unpaid, and require at least 40 hours of work. Transcript recognition is not available for work performed through Bard College or for work conducted on any of Bard’s campuses. After a proposed internship has been approved by a faculty sponsor, the student submits it to the dean of studies for approval.

Study Away

Study at Another Academic Institution in the United States Academic credit may be awarded to a student who successfully completes courses at another comparable college or university in the United States. Students who wish to obtain full credit must submit an application to the dean of studies before taking such courses. For courses taken during the summer or the January intersession, the application must be signed by the student’s adviser and divisional chair. For courses taken during the fall or spring semesters, the student must also obtain approval from the dean of studies for a leave of absence. 

Study Abroad  Bard offers many opportunities for students to study internationally, at partner institutions, language immersion programs, direct exchange programs, and a variety of Bard-sponsored or approved credit-bearing programs. For additional information, see “International Programs and Study Abroad” in this catalogue or visit

Specialized Programs

Archaeology Field School  For a month in the summer, students in the Archaeology Field School earn 4 credits for excavation in pursuit of past cultural ecosystems in the Hudson Valley and the eastern woodlands. The field school emphasizes basic excavating techniques (digging with a trowel, recording field notes, drawing, and photography) and the initial steps in laboratory analysis. Recent excavations include sites in nearby Germantown and Rhinebeck related to the Palatine German settlers of 1710 and their descendents. Laboratory analysis continues on artifacts excavated by the Field School at Guineatown in Hyde Park, New York, an early free African American community. Previous projects have included the prehistoric Grouse Bluff campsite on the shore of the Hudson River and the foundation of the A. J. Davis–designed Gardener’s Lodge at Blithewood on the Bard campus. For more information, visit

Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program (BGIA)  Located in the heart of Manhattan, BGIA brings together university students and recent graduates from around the world to undertake specialized study with leading practitioners and scholars in international affairs. Topics in the curriculum include political risk analysis, human rights law, the United Nations, international relations theory, humanitarian action, global public health, trends in terrorism and counterterrorism, international political economy, and writing on international affairs. Students are required to complete highly competitive internships at international organizations throughout New York City. Internships and directed research are tailored to the student’s particular field of study. BGIA is open to students from all majors who have a demonstrated interest in international affairs. For details, visit

Bard-Rockefeller Program  The Bard-Rockefeller Semester in Science (BRSS) in New York City is a one-semester program designed for advanced science students, particularly in the fields of neuroscience, biochemistry, molecular biology, developmental biology, biophysics, and genetics. Students spend a semester in New York City working in the laboratory with faculty from Rockefeller University (RU) and taking specially designed classes at RU and at Bard’s Globalization and International Affairs Program. BRSS takes place in the spring semester; students apply in early fall, and decisions are made by late fall. Learn more at

Bard-YIVO Institute for East European Jewish History and Culture  The Institute for East European Jewish History and Culture, a 2012 initiative of Bard College and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, sponsors summer and winter programs of study in the culture, history, language, and literature of East European Jews. The Uriel Weinreich Program in Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture, held each summer, offers instruction in the Yiddish language and an in-depth exploration of the literature and culture of East European / American Jewry. The core of the six-week program is an intensive, 4-credit language course (at one of three levels—elementary, intermediate, or advanced) that is designed to develop proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing, as well as in cultural literacy. Instruction is based at the Jewish Theological Seminary on Manhattan’s Upper West Side; some classes and events are held at the YIVO Institute on West 16th Street.

The Institute also sponsors a Winter Program on Ashkenazi Civilization during the January intersession, in which leading academics teach minicourses designed to attract undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and members of the general public. Students may enroll in as many as three courses and have the option of receiving credit from Bard College. The winter program is based at the YIVO Institute.

See the Bard-YIVO website at for information on program dates, applications, scholarships, housing, fees, and the curriculum.

Field Ecology Research Opportunities  The Bard College Field Station, located on the main campus, affords research and teaching access to freshwater tidal marshes and the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve of the Tivoli Bays. Also based at the Field Station is Hudsonia Ltd., a nonprofit environmental research and education organization (for details, see page 249). Campus employment and internships are available through these organizations. The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, in nearby Millbrook, New York, offers additional opportunities for undergraduates to pursue ecological research through laboratory and field work.

West Point–Bard Exchange (WPBE)  Founded in 2006, WPBE provides opportu­nities for students and faculty from Bard and the United States Military Academy to exchange ideas in the classroom, through public presentations, and in informal settings. Bard students and West Point cadets have participated in several seminars in international relations theory. The classes meet separately in Annandale-on-Hudson and at West Point, and come together several times during the term for sessions supervised by faculty from both institutions. West Point faculty have also taught courses at Bard in counterinsurgency, military history, and advanced international relations theory. Bard and West Point faculty, students, and cadets have held mixed-team debates on issues ranging from relations with Iran to pulling out of Iraq, and several Bard students have attended the Academy’s Projects Day to present the findings of their Senior Projects. For more information, visit the WPBE website at