Structure of the First Year
All first-year students participate in a common curriculum—the Language and Thinking Program, First-Year Seminar, Citizen Science—and take elective courses.
Citizen ScienceFirst-year students return to Bard in January for a first-of-its-kind course that focuses on a specific scientific issue—infectious disease, for example—and looks at it from different methodological and conceptual approaches. This technique leads to an understanding of the impact of science and mathematics on everyday life and how Bard students, regardless of major, can become constructive participants in the debate over and solutions to crucial global problems.
The Language and Thinking ProgramThe Language and Thinking Program is an intensive introduction to the liberal arts and sciences with a particular focus on writing. All incoming first-year students attend the program during the last three weeks of August. Students read extensively, work on a variety of projects in writing and other formats, and meet throughout the day in small groups and in one-on-one conferences with faculty. The work aims to cultivate habits of thoughtful reading and discussion, clear articulation, accurate self-critique, and productive collaboration.