The distribution requirements at Bard are a formal statement of the College's desire to achieve an equilibrium between breadth and depth, between communication across disciplinary boundaries and rigor within a mode of thought. Distribution introduces the student to a variety of intellectual and artistic experiences and fosters encounters with faculty members trained in a broad range of disciplines.
Each student is required to take one course in each of the nine categories listed below. No more than two requirements may be fulfilled within a single disciplinary program. High school Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses may not be used to satisfy the requirements. Non-native speakers of English are exempted from the Foreign Language, Literature, and Culture requirement.
- Analysis of Arts (a course in the analysis of nonverbal art)
- Foreign Language, Literature, and Culture (a course focused on language acquisition and/or the analysis of literature or culture via an engagement with a non-English language)
- History (a course focused on historical analysis)
- Humanities (a course focused on the analysis of primary texts in philosophy, religion, or social thought)
- Laboratory Science (a laboratory course in the physical or life sciences)
- Literature in English (a course focused on the literary analysis and explication of texts in English, in either the original or translation)
- Mathematics and Computing (a course in mathematics, computing, statistics, or logic; all courses require passing the Q-test, a mathematical skills evaluation exam)
- Practicing Arts (a studio course in the visual or performing arts, or creative writing)
- Social Science (a course in an empirical social science other than history)
In addition, all students must fulfill a “Rethinking Difference
” requirement. Courses with this designation focus on the study of difference in the context of larger social dynamics; they may consider the contexts of globalization, nationalism, and social justice, as well as differences of race, religion, ethnicity, class, gender, and/or sexuality. A single course may simultaneously fulfill both the “Rethinking Difference” requirement and another distribution requirement.