First-Year Students

Photo by Pete Mauney
Photo by Pete Mauney '93 MFA '00

The First Year at Bard College

is a time of discovery and community building. You are becoming a Bardian, from the moment you join us on campus for Language and Thinking in August until you complete First-Year Seminar in May. The Office of the First-Year Experience is here to introduce you to Bard and guide you through a year of academic exploration and extracurricular engagement.

Your Guide to the First Year at Bard

The First-Year Guide is an indispensable resource for getting started at Bard, both inside and outside the classroom. As you look ahead to joining us on campus in August, the guide offers an introduction to Language and Thinking, a summer checklist to help you get ready for college life, and notes about travel to Bard and getting settled on campus. Please read it thoroughly and contact us at if you have any questions or concerns ahead of arrival. We can't wait to see you! Download. Download

What We Do

The Office of the First-Year Dean works closely with new students to help them to take advantage of the many opportunities and resources that the College provides. The dean's office oversees orientation programming during Language and Thinking, provides students with individual assistance throughout the academic year, and coordinates programmatic efforts that help to meet the diverse needs of the first-year class. We encourage parents, faculty, and staff to contact the dean's office with any questions regarding students of the first-year class.

First-year students also have the opportunity to begin their Bard College experience at Bard College Berlin. For more information and to apply, please e-mail

Contact the Office of the First-Year Dean by e-mail at, call 845-758-7454, or come visit Sottery Hall 108.
Meet the Dean

Meet the Dean

Kevin Dean, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the First-Year Experience

Kevin Dean provides personal support to students and helps them navigate the first-year experience at Bard. From the Language and Thinking program immediately as students arrive on campus, through the Citizen Science program in January, and to the close of the first year, Kevin is available to help students integrate personally and intellectually into the climate of Bard and together to shape a welcoming, thoughtful learning community. In order to facilitate the best possible first-year experience for students, Kevin works with and can help connect students with campus partners such as Advising, Chaplaincy, Counseling and Health Services, the Learning Commons, and student-led groups. Kevin is a soccer fan, music enthusiast (especially jazz), book lover, and is passionate about education.

Language and Thinking at Bard

As you prepare to join us on campus in August, you may be wondering what to expect for Bard's Language and Thinking program. Watch this video to hear about how first-year students spend their first three weeks on campus, and visit the L&T website to learn more.

Download the First-Year App

Sign up for the Bard First-Year app to keep track of all events happening during your 3-week Language and Thinking program and throughout your first year; connect with fellow students and Dean of Students staff; and receive notifications about important deadlines and last minute changes.

The Center for Student Life & Advising

The Center for Student Life & Advising (CSLA) at Bard College is committed to supporting students in their academic and extracurricular endeavors. The CSLA provides academic and personal advice as well as mentorship to students throughout their time at the College. CSLA comprises the offices of the Dean of Student Affairs, the Dean of Studies, and International Student Services.
Icon for First-Year Events

First-Year Events