Bard students are held to the highest possible standard of intellectual achievement.They are challenged and encouraged to take risks. They are exposed to some of the finest minds in every field and discipline, and to the newest developments and ideas in their areas of study. At Bard it’s understood that education, like life itself, is a continuous process of growth and effort. Since its founding in 1860, Bard College has maintained a firm commitment to the liberal arts and sciences, along with a readiness to innovate that has enhanced the undergraduate experience with compatible intellectual and artistic ventures at its Hudson Valley campus and at affiliated institutions around the world.
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CurriculumAt Bard, students take ownership of their education. Instead of choosing from standard departmental majors, Bard students pursue interdisciplinary, individualized programs of study. In addition, Bard's core curriculum ensures that students receive a broad academic foundation with particular emphases on writing, the sciences, and mastering the tools of scholarly inquiry.
Programs of StudyUndergraduate students can earn a bachelor of arts degree in one of approximately 35 stand-alone programs in the following academic divisions: The Arts; Languages and Literature; Science, Mathematics, and Computing; Social Studies; and Interdivisional Programs and Concentrations.
Undergraduate Course WorkAll courses offered in the undergraduate program fall under the four divisional headings, the interdivisional heading, and the Conservatory of Music. A student can expect a course listed to be taught at least once every four years. Every semester over five hundred courses are offered, about one-fifth as tutorials (often student designed) and the rest as seminars, studio courses, lectures, Senior Projects, and independent studies. The average class size is 19 in the Lower College and 12 in the Upper College.
- 100-level courses are primarily, though not exclusively, for first-year students;
- 200-level courses are primarily for Lower College students;
- 300- and 400-level courses are designed for Upper College students.