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.

Bard College Catalogue, 2018–19

Bard College Catalogue, 2018–19

Campus Facilities

The College campus contains more than 90 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 Viñoly. The campus is located on almost 1,000 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. Numerous art installations can be found 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, used to demonstrate permaculture design; Elizabethan knot garden; formal gardens at Blithewood and Montgomery Place; and Bard College Farm, where students 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, 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, a solar field produces the equivalent kilowatt-hours of electricity that 30 average households consume in a year, 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 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 the result of a generous gift from 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 include 400,000 volumes and access to more than 80 databases and 50,000-plus online journals. ConnectNY and other resource-sharing consortiums provide access to six million additional volumes. The Sussman Rare Book Collection, which is housed at the Stevenson Library, contains more than 1,200 items, including the 1493 Liber Chronicarum history of the world, two editions (1556 and 1680) of Magna Carta, and a 1792 first edition of Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women. For a full description of collections and services, visit the library website at


Academic and Administrative Facilities

Anne Cox Chambers Alumni/ae Center  The Alumni/ae Center is located across Rt. 9G from the College’s main entrance. The space houses the Development and Alumni/ae Affairs and Institutional Support Offices and is configured to allow alumni/ae to host small functions, gather informally, set up readings and exhibitions, and interact with faculty and students. The purchase of the property, in 2012, was made possible by donations from an anonymous alumnus and a small group of alumni/ae.

Avery Arts Center  The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center houses the Jim Ottaway Jr. Film Center, home to the Film and Electronic Arts Program; the Center for Moving Image Arts; 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 practice spaces for students and staff, faculty offices, classrooms, a listening library, fully equipped 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. 

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.

The Center for Moving Image Arts, which is dedicated to the study of cinema’s past and future, is equipped with temperature- and humidity-controlled vaults to house its collections. The archives focus on classical Hollywood, silent/early sound cinema, international auteur cinema, and East Asian cinema. To learn more, see “Additional Study Opportunities and Affiliated Institutes” or visit

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 1.25-acre Bard College Farm was established in 2012 with a mission to create a lasting connection between students, farming, and food. More than 100 students have worked at the farm to produce more than 100,000 pounds of crops, which are sold to the College dining service and at a weekly farm stand on campus. Crops include peppers, greens, tomatoes, squash, shiitake mushrooms, eggplants, hops, and cranberries; the farm also produces honey and maple syrup. Bard students grow the fruits and vegetables using organic practices. The farm stand is open Thursdays, summer and fall, in front of the Campus Center. For more information, visit

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.

Bard Information Technology at Henderson Computer Resources Center  Bard Information Technology (Bard IT) provides broadband internet access and a gigabit data 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. Students may bring their computers to Bard, although they are not required to do so; there are several public computing labs that provide Macintosh and Windows computers, scanners, and printers. Henderson Annex has a computer lab that is accessible 24 hours a day. Also located in Henderson Annex is the Bard IT Help Desk, which provides support and training to students, faculty, and staff. For details, see

Bard MAT Building  Bard’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) admission and faculty offices are adjacent to the Anne Cox Chambers Alumni/ae Center. The facility has a reception area, faculty and administrative offices, student workspaces, a central conference section, and a small kitchen and storage area.

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, the building was completed in 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 large classroom; and a lounge. 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 circa 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. Students have access to the Institute’s library, and some graduate and undergraduate courses are taught here.

Edith C. Blum Institute  See Avery Arts Center description.

Center for Civic Engagement   The Center for Civic Engagement is located in historic Ward Manor Gatehouse, with additional offices in Barringer House, which is also home to Central European University New York. 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 a major expansion in 2006, CCS Bard houses the Marieluise Hessel Collection and the Bard College Collection of more than 3,200 contemporary works, as well as an extensive library and curatorial archives that are accessible to the general public. In 2016, construction was completed on a 3,600-square-foot archives, special collections, visible storage, and collection teaching area as well as an expansion of the library and classroom teaching space. 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 in spring, summer, and fall 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 to the public, and several contemporary sculptures are installed on the grounds around the building and across Bard’s campus, including Olafur Eliasson’s parliament of reality near the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. To learn more, visit

College Bookstore  The bookstore, located in Bertelsmann Campus Center, carries texts and other books, art supplies, Bard apparel, stationery, toiletries, and food items. Many textbooks may also be rented or purchased as digital books. 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 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, practice studios, and professional support facilities. The Sosnoff Theater, an intimate 800-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. The LUMA Theater is a flexible space 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 celebrated its 29th season in August 2018; and Bard SummerScape, an annual festival of opera, theater, film, and dance.

Fisher Studio Arts Building   The Richard B. Fisher and Emily H. Fisher Studio Arts Building houses studios for painting and drawing, printmaking, digital art, woodworking, and sculpture; a welding shop; individual studios for students working on their Senior Projects; a large exhibition area for student shows; and meeting areas.

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

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.

Montgomery Place Greenhouse  Recently refurbished with help from a Burpee Foundation grant, the 1929 greenhouse is being used by the Bard College Farm to start vegetable and flower seeds for the farm and the Bard Prison Initiative. Additional improvements will enable the greenhouse to accommodate a more diverse collection of mature plants that can be used for propagation and experiments, serving the College as a unique living classroom.

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

New Annandale House  The two-story media studio, fabricated from four repurposed shipping containers and installed in 2017, serves as a videoconferencing, performance, demonstration, and reflection space. It will also be used for short-term residencies. Designed with versatility in mind, the main classroom becomes an indoor-outdoor space with a “garage” door opening onto an adjacent outdoor gathering space.

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

Olin Humanities Building  The 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 (Olin Hall) 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 that are 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 1841. 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-Kayden Center for Science and Computation  The Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation, a 70,000-square-foot science facility that opened in 2007, is home to the Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, 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 a confocal microscope, DNA and protein electrophoresis instruments, a digital gel-imaging system, an array of standard and Real-Time PCR machines, fluorescence microscopes, and a wide range of ecology field equipment. Chemistry equipment includes a Varian 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, liquid chromatograph–mass spectrometer, gas chromatograph–mass spectrometer, and transform infrared spectrophotometers. 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.

Squash Court  The Squash Court was built in 1928 by then–Montgomery Place owners John Ross and Violetta White Delafield, both passionate believers in the value of outdoor activity. In the 1940s, the building was converted into a “camp” to house guests and visiting family members. The Squash Court was recently renovated to accommodate the offices of the Bard Prison Initiative.

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”; 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

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 email 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  The Bard College Community Garden, a haven for agricultural enthusiasts since 1997, is open to Bard students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of neighboring communities. At one time it was the primary site for growing crops on campus and served as the launching pad for the Bard College Farm. Now run entirely by students, the garden is a place for gathering and experimenting with herbs, flowers, and vegetables.

Finberg House  Finberg House provides overnight accommodations for distinguished guests of the College. It is named in honor of Alan R. Finberg, a longtime trustee of the College and husband of the late Barbara D. Finberg, a close friend of the College and member of the board of the Bard Music Festival.

Kline Commons   line Commons, the main dining facility, offers a variety of nutritious and sustainable selections served in two large dining rooms, meeting rooms, and a faculty dining area. Through a continuous service plan, students on the meal plan enjoy the flexibility of dining at the hour of their choice. Learn more 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 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  Manor House Café is steps away from the 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 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.

Montgomery Place Acquired in 2016, the Montgomery Place campus has significant historic and cultural assets, including the 1804–05 Federal-style mansion, a coach house, heated greenhouse, outbuildings, gardens, walking trails, orchards, and a farm stand. Nineteenth-century tastemakers Alexander Jackson Davis and Andrew Jackson Downing helped design the house and grounds. The College has begun work on a master plan to integrate the campuses and utilize the Montgomery Place facilities. Montgomery Place Orchards grows more than 70 varieties of apples as well as other fruit and vegetables.

Root Cellar A student space located in the basement of the Stone Row Residence Halls (next to the Learning Commons), the Root Cellar is a nonhierarchical collective that serves as a lounge space for student use and a venue for shows and club meetings. It also houses one of the largest zine libraries on the East Coast.

Sawkill Coffee House  Located in the Cruger Village residence hall complex, the Sawkill Coffee House is run by students and offers high-quality coffee, tea, hot cocoa, espresso-based drinks, and fancy lemonades to the entire Bard community. To promote sustainability, all patrons are encouraged to bring their own mugs. The space is open 24 hours a day for student use.

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

Stevenson Athletic Center and Outdoor Facilities  The Stevenson Athletic Center is an athletic and recreational complex made possible by a gift from Charles P. Stevenson Jr. 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 athletic center features a 25-yard, six-lane swimming pool; fitness center; strength training center; locker rooms; athletic training room; 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, staff offices, a conference room, and an activity classroom overlooking the tennis facility. 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, featuring an artificial turf field installed in spring 2018 and a natural grass field; Seth Goldfine Memorial Rugby Field; Honey Field (home to the Raptors baseball team); and adjacent multipurpose fields.