Bard College Student Handbook


Moderation is undertaken in the second semester of the sophomore year. Through this process students make the transition from the Lower College to the Upper College and establish their concentration in a program. (Transfer students entering with the equivalent of two full years of credit should, if possible, moderate during the first semester of residence, but in no case later than the second.) Moderation requires students to examine their experience in the Lower College, their goals, and their interests; to evaluate their performance and their commitment to their chosen field; and to plan their work in the Upper College.

Each program specifies the course work that a student entering the program should be in the process of completing at the time of Moderation. Each student prepares two Moderation papers, the first assessing his or her curriculum, performance, and experience in the first two years, and the second identifying his or her goals and proposed study plan for the last two years. The student also submits a sample of work he or she has done in the program, for example, a long paper written for a course. The papers are reviewed by a board of three faculty members, who then meet with the student for a discussion that is likely to range from the content of the papers to the state of the field in general to the student’s accomplishments and progress toward his or her goals. The board evaluates the student’s past performance, commitment, and preparedness in the field, makes suggestions for the transition from the Lower to the Upper College, and approves—or denies—promotion of the student to the Upper College.