Bard envisions the liberal arts institution as the hub of a network, rather than a single, self-contained campus. Numerous institutes for special study are available on and off campus, connecting Bard students to the greater community.
The Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College embodies the fundamental belief that education and civil society are inextricably linked. In an age of information overload, it is more important than ever that citizens be educated and trained to think critically and be actively engaged with issues affecting public life.
The Division of Social Studies offers academic programs in anthropology, economics, economics and finance, history, philosophy, political studies, religion, and sociology. Additional courses are available through interdivisional programs and concentrations. Students are advised to take courses from a range of fields in the division in order to develop a comprehensive perspective on humanity in both contemporary and historical contexts. By applying what they have learned of general philosophical, historical, and scientific methods and of particular research methods and interpretations, students will be able to focus on some aspect of the diversity of human cultures and civilizations, institutions, values, and beliefs. Although the main emphasis in the division is on a liberal arts curriculum, students are encouraged to design programs to satisfy personal needs and interests in preparation for work in graduate or professional school or a profession requiring no further training.
Typically, courses in the Upper College are seminars in which the student is expected to participate actively. Advisory conferences, tutorials, fieldwork, and independent research prepare the student for the Senior Project. The Senior Project may take any form appropriate to the student’s field, subject, and methodology; most are research projects, but a project may take the form of a critical review of literature, a close textual analysis, a series of related essays, or even a translation.Division chair: Tabetha Ewing