What would you like to know about Bard College?Here we've gathered our most frequently asked questions from prospective parents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please click the questions below for answers to the most common questions asked by families of students applying to Bard.
Can my student meet with a faculty member from a particular program or division?
We encourage students to read through the division and program websites thoroughly. We can arrange virtual or in-person meetings with Bard faculty upon request. Students who would like to meet with a faculty member should email [email protected] to set up a meeting.
Class visits are available only to admitted students in the spring. Admitted students interested in visiting a class should email [email protected]
During a virtual campus visit, is it possible to meet with a Bard student who is studying in a particular discipline?
Student tour guides working in the Admission Office represent most disciplines offered at Bard, so you can ask your questions during one of our in-person or virtual campus tours.
If a prospective student has a particular request to speak with a Bard student from a specific discipline or geographical location, we can arrange that upon request. Please fill out the 'Ask a Student' portion of this webpage.
Is there much to do on Bard's campus and in the Hudson Valley region? How do Bard students have fun outside of class, especially on weekends?
Bard’s calendar is full of activities sponsored by the student body, the faculty, and the staff. Film screenings, music, dance and theater performances, visual art shows, academic panels, visiting speakers, athletic events, and workshops of all disciplines are commonplace on Bard’s campus. There are more than 100 active clubs at the College. Participation in campus life is an essential part of the Bard College experience.
The nearby villages offer many local shops, arts events, and entertainment. The area's many fine restaurants offer a variety of global cuisines, vegetarian options, and farm-to-table dining, not to mention a Bard favorite—burritos from Bubby’s in Red Hook!
The Hudson Valley provides outdoor enthusiasts with all types of activities, including hiking, canoeing, and skiing. Nearby historic sites immerse visitors in the lives of past presidents (Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park), artists (Frederic Church at Olana), and the historic districts of Kingston and Woodstock. Local roadside farm stands, weekend farmers markets, and our own Bard College Farm make the bounty of the Hudson Valley available to our students.
New York City is 90 miles south, easily reached by train or car. While most of our students remain on campus on any given weekend, the proximity to New York City affords Bard students with intellectual and artistic opportunities beyond our campus.
The College offers transportation assistance across the local region in several ways. Bard offers students free transportation across campus and to towns and train stations in the local area. Shuttles from campus to Kingston, Red Hook, and Rhinebeck allow students without a vehicle of their own to explore the local area, dine with friends off campus, run errands at local shops and grocery stores, and access local job opportunities and internships. Shuttles from campus to Rhinecliff and Poughkeepsie allow students to access both Amtrak and Metro-North trains to New York City. The College also offers students the opportunity to register for Zip Car, a service located on campus that allows students with valid driver’s licenses to rent a car for several hours or a full day. Clubs on campus also have access to College vans to shuttle students to hiking trails, ski, and snowboarding slopes, as well as apple orchards and other attractions in the Hudson Valley. Defensive driving courses are required by the Office of Transportation for any student, faculty, or staff member wishing to use a Bard vehicle.
Does the College help students secure internships and jobs?
Yes! Our Career Development Office (CDO) and the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) provide internship resources and job search support in a number of ways. The CDO hosts information sessions and recruitment events throughout the year where students meet with employers representing various fields. Through the CDO, students have the opportunity to work one-on-one or in small groups with College staff and faculty as well as alumni/ae to workshop their cover letter and resume writing skills and engage in mock interviews. The CCE provides funding for summer internships in the fields of civic engagement (locally, nationally, and worldwide). The Local Is Global internship program, sponsored by CCE, connects students to local engagement and volunteer opportunities that help them explore professional options.
Bard Works is a program designed by the CDO and CCE Offices specifically to help students prepare for their first job post-graduation. Bard works is a week-long workshop offered to all students in January that focuses on job application preparation and culminates in several alumni/ae and Bard family networking events where students can find mentors and connections to job opportunities through the supportive alumni/ae and family network.
Center for Civic Engagement (CCE)
Career Development Office (CDO)
What is campus dining like?
Bard requires all students who live on campus to be on the meal plan. All meal plans have the same cost, and there are flexible options regarding the distribution of campus meals and “Bard Bucks.” On-campus students are assigned the base meal plan and are allowed to make changes within the meal plan selection period communicated via email through the Residence Life and Housing office. Off-campus students can opt to have a commuter plan added to their account by adding funds through their online student account using the appropriate flex option or by contacting the Bursar’s Office.
Parkhurst, the College's dining service provider, uses local produce whenever possible, typically buying from more than a dozen nearby farms, including the Bard College Farm on campus, which provides about 20,000 pounds of fresh produce to Kline Commons, Bard’s main dining hall. Vegan and vegetarian choices are offered at every mealtime. In September 2022, Parkhurst Dining opened a Clean Plate kitchen in Kline Commons for all lunches and dinners. This station offers a full hot meal with entrees and sides devoid of the top 8 allergens (wheat, soy, dairy, egg, tree nuts, peanuts, seafood, & shellfish). Those with the 8 most common food allergies can rest easy knowing they will always have an option each meal period. Visit the Parkhurst website for more detailed information about different dining options.
What are Bard Bucks and how do they work?
Bard Bucks are additional credits that can be spent like cash at any Parkhurst location (Kline Commons, Down the Road Cafe, or Manor House). Each meal plan includes a set amount of Bard Bucks for the semester. Bard Bucks can be spent in any amount at any time, which makes them more flexible than meal swaps. Bard Bucks roll over from the fall semester to the spring semester but do not carry over after the academic year.
Whether you have a weekly or block plan, the number of transactions you possess either weekly or per semester are commonly referred to as “swipes”. Typically, most swipes are used at Kline. Instead of swiping at Kline for a given meal period, you can choose to do any of the following: A Meal Exchange at DTR, a Cash Equivalency at DTR, or a Meal Exchange at Manor. A Meal Exchange is a predetermined offering of an entree, side, drink, and dessert from a set menu in exchange for a swipe. A Cash Equivalent transaction can be used to credit your purchase up to $6.
If you find yourself low on Bard Bucks, you can add Flex Dollars to your account anytime. Flex Dollars work exactly as Bard Bucks and can be increased at any point by making a deposit to the account. Students who are not on a meal plan can open a Flex account to give them a convenient way to make dining purchases on campus. The remaining Flex accounts balance at the end of the semester will roll over to subsequent semesters until graduation. Contact Student Accounts ([email protected]) for more information.
Meal Plan FAQs
Is it possible to set up a bookstore account so my student can buy books and sundries without going off campus?
Yes. The campus bookstore is owned by Barnes & Noble. Declining balance accounts can be created through our Student Accounts Office on arrival day (or any time afterward) so that students can use their college ID to purchase items in the bookstore. Barnes & Noble reloadable gift cards are also available for purchase at our bookstore or at any other Barnes & Noble. The bookstore accepts all major credit cards and cash.
Bard Bookstore Website
Are parents welcome to visit and are students permitted to have overnight guests?
Students are allowed to have overnight guests on campus as long as they have discussed it with their roommate(s). All guests need to be registered with the Safety and Security Office. Once registered, guests will receive a guest pass for the entirety of their stay. Advance notice is not necessary; simply bring your guest and their ID to the Security Office.
What security services are available at the College?
Bard provides round-the-clock, year-round safety and security coverage by a staff of highly trained, registered New York State security personnel. Other campus safety measures include a student foot patrol that provides after-dark walking escorts and a bike patrol that supports safety and security efforts in collaboration with Bard Security. The student-operated Emergency Medical Service (BEMS) is on call at all times while school is in session and is staffed with New York State-certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). BEMS works alongside Bard Security to ensure prompt response to medical emergencies. The College’s shuttle bus system provides students with transportation to sites on and off campus. Finally, a blue-light phone network on campus provides students with access to phones located at regular intervals along walking paths across campus that provide quick and easy access to the security office. Bard Security can be reached 24 hours a day/7 days a week at 845-758-7460 for non-emergencies or 845-758-7777 for emergencies.
What type of computer would my student bring to Bard? Are there computers on campus if they do not bring one?
Public access computers are available in the Bertelsmann Campus Center, Stevenson Library, Henderson Computer Resources Center, and Henderson Technology Laboratories.
Many students choose to bring a computer to campus. All residence hall rooms and common spaces have access to the College’s WiFi, as do all other academic buildings and facilities on campus. Students are encouraged to register laptops with homeowners'/renters' insurance as a security measure. The College does not recommend any one computer type or brand. Both PCs and Macs are supported. However, students interested in the Film and Electronic Arts Program should have a Mac for editing software if interested in editing projects while off campus. A computer lab in the Avery Film Building is reserved for film students and houses all software needed for classes.
Computing at Bard
I understand that first-year students return to campus for Citizen Science in January. In subsequent years, may students remain on campus during intersession?
Select Upper College residence halls are used for conferences and groups, Citizen Science faculty, as well as Bard student-athletes and other students in need of on-campus accommodations during intersession. Generally, students are not allowed to remain in their rooms over intersession and will be notified in advance of plans for the use of their rooms.
I have heard that college students sometimes take out a renter's insurance policy. Is this a good idea?
We encourage all students to obtain renter's insurance if they live on campus. The College is not liable for any theft or damage of personal property. Bard does not endorse any specific company, but many students have utilized National Student Services. We encourage families to choose a company and plan that best suit their needs.
My student may want to take a car to college. Is this possible at Bard?
All students are allowed to bring cars to campus; however, Bard encourages biking and alternative methods of travel as a part of the College’s commitment to sustainability. An annual $200 vehicle registration fee goes toward the Green Fund, which supports sustainability projects on campus and scholarships. Students are allowed to park in designated student parking lots only.
The Bard Office of Sustainability provides resources for alternative transportation on and around Bard's campus, including information about ride-sharing and public transportation.
If we have to send large boxes from home, how are they handled once they arrive?
Packages that arrive before Arrival Day will be stored at our shipping department, which will be open upon arrival for people to pick up their packages. Please mail packages so that they arrive no earlier than the last two weeks in July for first-years and new transfer/RCP students arriving for the Fall semester. Transfer and RCP students arriving for the spring semester should have packages arrive no earlier than the second week in January. Packages can be sent to the following address:Student Name – “Incoming First-Year Student” or "Incoming Transfer Student"First-Year Experience Website
30 Campus Road
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000
What sorts of on-campus services does Bard offer?
The College affords a wide range of activities and opportunities for students to engage in challenging and rewarding ways with peers, faculty, alumni/ae, local neighborhoods, and the world at large. It also provides a support system of advisers, tutors, counselors, and related programs to help students successfully negotiate their undergraduate experience.
The Center for Student Life and Advising (CSLA) provides academic and personal support as well as mentorship to students throughout their time at the College. CSLA comprises three offices at Bard: Dean of Student Affairs Office, Dean of Studies Office, and Office of International Student and Scholar Services.
Most residence halls are equipped with washers and dryers that are included in room and board fees, and the College also has a partnership with a local dry cleaning service, Classic Cleaners.
Bike riding has a long tradition at Bard, and there are resources available for those interested in using bicycle transport. The Bike Co-op is a free resource for the Bard community’s bike-related needs. The Co-op is a community of bike enthusiasts who work together to fix bike problems. Revolution Bicycles in Kingston has a semester-based rental package they offer to Bard students over the summer: bikes are delivered on first-year opening day.
For more information about services available on campus, please visit the Student Services page.