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

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

Independent Study Projects    Bard academic credit may be awarded for successful completion of an independent study project outside the College’s regular course structure, provided that the project has demonstrated academic value. After a proposed project has been approved by a faculty sponsor, the student submits it to the dean of studies, who presents it for final approval to the Faculty Executive Committee.

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, submitted to the dean of studies, and approved by the Faculty Executive Committee by the end of the fall semester.
Work project or internship  Paid or volunteer employment or an internship at a news organization 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 may apply for academic credit 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 0.5 credits or formal, noncredit-bearing transcript recognition for 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 an academic 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 “Bard 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 in anthropology (cross-listed, American Studies and Environmental and Urban Studies). The Field School emphasizes basic excavating techniques (digging with a trowel, recording field notes, drawing layers, and photography) and the initial steps in laboratory analysis. Current excavations focus on sites in nearby Germantown, nine miles north of Bard, related to the colonial Rhenish Palatine settlers of 1710 and their descendants, nearby Mohican people, and African Americans in the area in the 19th and 20th centuries. Previous projects have included the 7,000-year-old Grouse Bluff campsite on the shore of the Hudson River near the College and the buried foundation of the 1836 A. J. Davis–designed Gardener’s Lodge on the Bard campus, the first Gothic Revival cottage in America. For more information, visit

Bard Global B.A. The global bachelor’s degree is designed for students who intend to pursue a course of study that takes advantage of Bard’s innovative international network of institutions by spending substantive periods of time on two or more Bard campuses that grant BA degrees. Students must have approval from advisers on all campuses where they intend to study, as well as from the oversight committee in Annandale; and moderate at the campus on which they complete the Senior Project, even if this entails a second Moderation. 

Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program (BGIA)  Located in the heart of Manhattan, BGIA offers the opportunity for current undergraduate students and recent graduates from Bard, the College’s international partner campuses, and other colleges across the United States and around the world to undertake specialized study with leading practitioners and scholars in international affairs. A small group of selected Bard Early College students also study at BGIA, along with retirees who audit classes. Topics in the curriculum include grand strategy, global cities, political risk analysis, ethics in international relations, global public health, trends in terrorism and counterterrorism, international political economy, and writing on international affairs. Students are placed in high-level internships that are selected to match their experience and career interests. Housing is available. BGIA is open to students from all majors who have a demonstrated interest in international affairs. For details, visit the BGIA website at

Bard-Rockefeller Program  The Bard-Rockefeller Semester in Science 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 with 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

CEU–Bard Advanced Certificate in Inequality Analysis  The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College and Central European University (CEU), which opened an extension site on Bard’s main campus in 2017, are offering an Advanced Certificate in Inequality Analysis. Master-level courses include instruction from faculty at CEU and Bard to be held at the Levy Institute and at the CEU’s Budapest and New York campuses. To learn more, see

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 259). 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 fieldwork.

West Point–Bard Exchange (WPBE)   Founded in 2006, WPBE serves as a model of cooperation and collaboration between a U.S. liberal arts college and a service academy. The exchange provides opportunities for students and faculty from Bard and the United States Military Academy at West Point to exchange ideas in the classroom, as well as through public presentations, debates, and extracurricular activities. Bard students and West Point cadets have participated in seminars focusing on 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 the benefits of drones, and several Bard students have attended West Point’s Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA). For more information, visit the WPBE website at
YIVO-Bard Institute for East European Jewish History and Culture  The Institute for East European Jewish History and Culture, a 2012 initiative of Bard 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) designed to develop proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing and to enhance cultural literacy. Instruction is based at the YIVO Institute on West 16th Street in Manhattan. The Institute also hosts the YIVO-Bard 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. For details, see