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

Academic Requirements and Regulations


Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Candidates for a bachelor of arts degree from Bard must meet the following requirements:

  1. Completion, by entering first-year students, of the two-semester First-Year Seminar: The Common Course. A student who enters in the second semester of the first year must complete that semester of the seminar. A student who transfers into the College as a sophomore or junior is exempt from the seminar.
  2. Completion, by entering first-year students, of the January Citizen Science Program. A student who transfers into the College after the second semester of the first year is exempt from the program.
  3. Promotion to the Upper College through Moderation
  4. Completion of the requirements of the program into which they moderate
  5. Completion of the courses necessary to satisfy the distribution requirements
  6. Semester hours of credit:
  7. * 124, for students who matriculated prior to the fall of 2011
    * 128, for students who matriculate after the fall of 2011
    * 160, for students in five-year, dual-degree programs (156, for Conservatory students who enrolled before the fall of 2011)
    At least 64 credits must be earned at the Annandale-on-Hudson campus of Bard College. At least 40 credits must be outside the major division; the First-Year Seminar counts for 8 of the 40 credits.
  8. Enrollment as full-time students for not less than two years at the Annandale-on-Hudson campus of Bard College or at a program directly run by Bard College
  9. Completion of an acceptable Senior Project

A student who fulfills the above Bard College requirements also fulfills the requirements of the Regents of the University of the State of New York and of the New York State Education Department.


Evaluation and Grades

Every student receives a criteria sheet in every course. The criteria sheets contain midterm and final grades and comments by the instructor about the student's performance.

Grading System The academic divisions regularly use a letter grading system, although in some instances a pass/fail option may be requested. Students must submit a request before the end of the drop/add period to take a course pass/fail. Professors may accommodate requests at their own discretion. An honors grade (H) in the Arts Division is the equivalent of an A. Unless the instructor of a course specifies otherwise, letter grades (and their grade-point equivalents) are defined as follows. (The grades A+, D+, and D- are not used at Bard.)

  • A, A– (4.0, 3.7) Excellent work
  • B+, B, B– (3.3, 3.0, 2.7) Work that is more than satisfactory
  • C+, C (2.3, 2.0) Competent work
  • C–, D (1.7, 1.0) Performance that is poor, but deserving of credit
  • F Failure to reach the standard required in the course for credit

Incomplete (I) Status All work for a course must be submitted no later than the date of the last class of the semester, except in extenuating medical or personal circumstances beyond a student’s control. In such situations, and only in such situations, a designation of Incomplete (I) may be granted by the professor at the end of the semester to allow a student extra time to complete the work of the course. It is recommended that an incomplete status not be maintained for more than one semester, but a professor may specify any date for the completion of the work. In the absence of specification, the registrar will assume that the deadline is the end of the semester after the one in which the course was taken. At the end of the time assigned, the I will be changed to a grade of F unless another default grade has been specified. Requests for grade changes at later dates may always be submitted to the Faculty Executive Committee.

Withdrawal (W) from Courses After the drop/add deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with the written consent of the instructor (using the proper form, available in the Office of the Registrar). Withdrawal from a course after the withdrawal deadline requires permission from the Faculty Executive Committee. In all cases of withdrawal, the course appears on the student’s criteria sheet and grade transcript with the designation of W.

Registration (R) Credit  Students who wish to explore an area of interest may register for an R credit course (in addition to their regular credit courses), which will be entered on their record but does not earn credits toward graduation. To receive the R credit, a student’s attendance must meet the requirements of the instructor.


Academic Deficiencies

The Faculty Executive Committee determines the status of students with academic deficiencies, with attention to the following guidelines:

  • A warning letter may be sent to students whose academic work is deficient but does not merit probation.
  • A first-semester student who receives a C– and a D or lower will be placed on academic probation.
  • Students other than first-semester students who receive two grades of C– or lower will be placed on probation.
  • A student who has failed to make satisfactory progress toward the degree may be required to take a mandatory leave of absence. Factors taken into account include grades, failure to moderate in the second year, and the accumulation of incompletes and withdrawals. A student on mandatory leave of absence may return to the College only after having complied with conditions stated by the Faculty Executive Committee.
  • To be removed from probation, a student must successfully complete at least three courses (12 credits) with no grade lower than a C during the next semester, and fulfill any other stipulations mandated by the Faculty Executive Committee.
  • A student who is on probation for two successive semesters may be dismissed from the College.
  • A student who receives three Fs or two Fs and two Ds may be dismissed from the College.

Decisions about a student’s status are made at the discretion of the Faculty Executive Committee, taking into consideration the student’s entire record and any recommendations from the student’s instructors and advisers and relevant members of the administration. Academic dismissal appears on a student’s transcript.


Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

To plagiarize is to “steal and pass off as one’s own the ideas, words, or writings of another.” This dictionary definition is quite straightforward, but it is possible for students to plagiarize inadvertently if they do not carefully distinguish between their own ideas or paper topics and those of others. The Bard faculty regards acts of plagiarism very seriously. Listed below are guidelines to help students avoid committing plagiarism.

  • All work submitted must be the author’s. Authors should be able to trace all of their sources and defend the originality of the final argument presented in the work. When taking notes, students should record full bibliographical material pertaining to the source and should record the page reference for all notes, not just quotations.
  • All phrases, sentences, and excerpts that are not the author’s must be identified with quotation marks or indentation.
  • Footnotes, endnotes, and parenthetical documentation (“in-noting”) must identify the source from which the phrases, sentences, and excerpts have been taken.
  • All ideas and data that are not the author’s must also be attributed to a particular source, in either a footnote, endnote, or in-note (see above).
  • Bibliographies must list all sources used in a paper. Students who have doubts as to whether they are providing adequate documentation of their sources should seek guidance from their instructor before preparing a final draft of the assignment.

Penalties for Plagiarism / Academic Dishonesty

Students who are found to have plagiarized or engaged in academic dishonesty will be placed on academic probation. Additional penalties are as follows.

  • Failure in the course in which plagiarism or dishonesty occurs
  • Denial of the degree, in cases involving a Senior Project
  • Expulsion from the College for a second offense

The following penalties may be imposed on a student who writes a paper or part of a paper for another student (even if this is done during a formal tutoring session):

  • Loss of all credit for that semester and suspension for the remainder of that semester
  • Expulsion for a second offense

Any student accused of plagiarism, academic dishonesty, or writing for another’s use may submit a written appeal to the Faculty Executive Committee. The findings of this body are final.

Students may not submit the same work, in whole or in part, for more than one course without first consulting with and receiving consent from all professors involved.


Withdrawal from the College and Rematriculation

Students in good academic standing who find it necessary to withdraw from the College may apply for rematriculation. They must submit an application for ­rematricu­lation to the dean of students, stating the reasons for withdrawal and the activities engaged in while away from Bard. A student who leaves Bard for medical reasons must also submit a physician’s statement that he or she is ready to resume a full-time academic program.

Students in good academic standing who wish to withdraw for a stated period of time (one semester or one academic year) may maintain their status as degree ­candidates by filing in advance a leave of absence form approved by the dean of ­students. Such students may rematriculate simply by notifying the dean of students of their intention to return by the end of the semester immediately preceding the semester for which they intend to return.

A student dismissed for academic reasons may apply for readmission after one year’s absence from Bard by writing to the dean of the college. The student’s record at Bard and application for readmission are carefully reviewed; the student must have fulfilled requirements specified by the Faculty Executive Committee at the time of dismissal.