Bard College Student Handbook

Learning at Bard

Bard is an independent, residential college of the liberal arts and sciences, located in New York’s Hudson Valley, about 90 miles north of New York City. The College provides a beautiful setting in which students pursue their academic interests and craft a rich cultural and social life. The campus covers approximately 1,000 acres of fields and forested land bordering the Hudson River and features such state-of-the-art facilities as the Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation and Frank Gehry–designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. Many facilities are clustered at the center of campus (the library, student center, dining hall, and most classrooms), while others are within easy walking or biking distance.
There are approximately 1,900 undergraduates at the Annandale campus, representing all regions of the country. Nearly 11 percent of the student body is international, representing more than 45 countries. Undergraduates share the campus with the students and faculty of a conservatory of music and several graduate programs, which present lectures, concerts, and exhibitions that are open to the entire College community. Affiliated programs and research centers, such as the Levy Economics Institute, Hessel Museum of Art, Human Rights Projects, Bard Field Station, and Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities, also enrich the undergraduate experience.
Choice, flexibility, and rigor are the hallmarks of the Bard education, which is a transformative synthesis of the liberal arts and progressive traditions. The liberal arts tradition at Bard is evident in the common curriculum for first-year students, including the First-Year Seminar and Citizen Science program, and in general courses that ground students in the essentials of inquiry and analysis and present a serious encounter with the world of ideas. The progressive tradition is reflected in Bard’s tutorial system and interdisciplinary curriculum, which emphasize independent and creative thought—and the skills required to express that thought with power and effect. Students are encouraged to be actively engaged throughout the four years of their undergraduate experience and to help shape, in tandem with faculty advisers, the subject matter of their education.