Bard College Student Handbook

Academic Requirements and Regulations

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

Candidates for a bachelor of arts degree from Bard must meet the following requirements:

1.     Completion, by entering first-year students, of the two-semester First-Year Seminar: "Studies in Human Experience." A student who enters in the second semester of the first year must complete that semester of the seminar. A student who transfers into the College as a sophomore or junior is exempt from the seminar.

2.     Completion, by entering first-year students, of the January Citizen Science Program. A student who transfers into the College after the second semester of the first year is exempt from the program.

3.     Promotion to the Upper College through Moderation

4.     Completion of the requirements of the program into which they moderate

5.     Completion of the courses necessary to satisfy the distribution requirements

6.     Semester hours of credit:

* 124, for students who matriculated prior to the fall of 2011

* 128, for students who matriculated after the fall of 2011

* 160, for students in five-year, dual-degree programs (156, for Conservatory students who enrolled before the fall of 2011)

*Note: At least 64 credits must be earned at the Annandale-on-Hudson campus of Bard College. At least 40 credits must be outside the major division; the First-Year Seminar counts for 8 of the 40 credits.

7.     Enrollment as full-time students for not less than two years at the Annandale-on-Hudson campus of Bard College or at a program directly run by Bard College

8.     Completion of an acceptable Senior Project

A student who fulfills the above Bard College requirements also fulfills the requirements of the Regents of the University of the State of New York and of the New York State Education Department.

Evaluation and Grades

Every student receives a criteria sheet in every course. The criteria sheets contain midterm and final grades and comments by the instructor about the student’s performance.

Grading System

The divisions of Languages and Literature; Science, Mathematics, and Computing; and Social Studies, and the Conservatory of Music regularly use a letter grading system. The Division of the Arts and creative writing workshops sometimes use honors/pass/fail or pass/fail in addition to letter grades. An honors grade (H) in the Arts Division is the equivalent of an A. Unless the instructor who teaches a course specifies otherwise, students may expect to receive letter grades on their criteria sheets in accordance with the following categories:   (The grades A+, D+, and D– are not used at Bard.)

  • A, A– (4.0, 3.7) Genuine excellence
  • B+, B, B– (3.3, 3.0, 2.7) A level of attainment that is more than satisfactory
  • C+, C (2.3, 2.0) Competent work
  • C-, D (1.7, 1.0) Performance that is poor, but deserving of credit
  • F     A failure to reach the standard required in the course for earning credit

Incomplete (I) Status All work for a course must be submitted no later than the date of the last class of the semester, except in extenuating medical or personal circumstances beyond a student’s control. In such situations, and only in such situations, a designation of Incomplete (I) may be granted by the professor at the end of the semester to allow a student extra time to complete the work of the course. It is recommended that an incomplete status not be maintained for more than one semester, but a professor may specify any date for the completion of the work. In the absence of specification, the registrar will assume that the deadline is the end of the semester after the one in which the course was taken. At the end of the time assigned, the I will be changed to a grade of F unless another default grade has been specified. Requests for grade changes at later dates may always be submitted to the Faculty Executive Committee.

Withdrawal (W) from Courses After the drop/add deadline, a student may withdraw from a class with the written consent of the instructor (using the proper form, available in the Office of the Registrar). Permission to withdraw is not given after the withdrawal deadline specified in the academic calendar. In all cases of withdrawal, the course will appear on the student’s criteria sheet and grade transcript with the designation of W.

Registration (R) Credit Students who wish to explore an area of interest during a semester may register for an R credit course in addition to their regular credit courses. To receive the R credit, a student’s attendance must meet the requirements of the instructor. An R course is entered on a student’s record, but it does not earn credits toward graduation. You may only audit 4 credits per semester without extra cost. Students must submit a request before the end of the drop/add period.

Pass (P)/D/Fail (F) At their discretion, instructors may, at the beginning of the semester, determine that they will grade a course as “Pass", “D", or “Fail ” or as “Honors”, “Pass", “D”, or “Fail”.

With the exception of the Senior Project, students who wish to petition the instructor for a Pass/D/Fail option must do so by the Wednesday of the fifth week of the semester. The grade of Pass is not used in calculating grade point average; the grades of D and Fail are used. The deadline for the Pass/D/Fail option in Senior Project is prior to, or at the very beginning of, the Senior Project board.