- History of Bard
- Learning at Bard
- Admission to Bard
- Academic Calendar
- Division of the Arts
- Division of Languages and Literature
- Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing
- Division of Social Studies
- Interdivisional Programs and Concentrations
- The Bard College Conservatory of Music
- Bard Abroad
- Additional Study Opportunities and Affiliated Institutes
- Civic Engagement
- Open Society University Network
- Campus Life and Facilities
- Graduate Programs
- Educational Outreach
- Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
- The Bard Center
- Scholarships, Awards, and Prizes
- Honorary Degrees and Bard College Awards
- Boards and Administration of Bard College
- Bard College Contact Information
- Bard Campus Map and Travel Directions
Bard College Catalogue 2021-22
Admission to Bard
In selecting an incoming class of students for whom Bard is the right choice, the Admission Committee appraises the standards of the secondary school curriculum and considers achievement, motivation, and intellectual ambition. The committee reviews the time and effort a student has dedicated to classes and out-of-class activities and pays close attention to recommendations.
Bard expects applicants to have pursued an appropriately challenging program of study offered by their schools, including honors or advanced-level courses. In addition, a well-balanced program of study is considered the best preparation for a college of the liberal arts and sciences. The Admission Committee is interested in the entire high school record, with junior- and senior-year courses and results being especially important.
Using the Common Application, candidates may apply to Bard through the Regular Decision, Early Action, Early Decision, or Immediate Decision Plan application process. A complete application includes letters of recommendation from at least two of the student’s junior- or senior-year academic teachers (one of whom should be a mathematics or science teacher), the guidance counselor recommendation and school report, and a complete transcript, including grades from the senior year, as soon as they become available.
Alternatively, candidates may choose to apply using the Bard Entrance Examination, an online essay platform created by Bard College faculty. The Bard Entrance Exam is also open to high school juniors or students with equivalent secondary school standing who wish to apply to college during their junior year.
Candidates are encouraged to visit the Bard website and, if convenient, tour the campus with a student guide and learn about the College’s curriculum, academic programs, and cocurricular activities. Appointments for campus visits may be made through the College’s website( bard.edu/admission/tours ) or the Admission Office (telephone: 845-758-7472; email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Interviews are not required, but are available to applicants from early September until late November. The Office of Admission offers both in-person and virtual campus visits and interviews.
Immediate Decision Plan (IDP): Offered on select dates in November (dates become available in September), candidates for whom Bard is the top choice may participate in this daylong program. The IDP program is offered in both in-person and virtual formats. Participating applicants are notified of their admission decisions on the next business day. If a student submits their application as an IDP Early Decision candidate, the process is binding, and if a student submits their application as an IDP Early Action candidate, the process is nonbinding.
Early Action (EA): Candidates for whom Bard is a top choice may apply using the nonbinding EA process by November 1 for notification in December.
Early Decision (ED): Candidates for whom Bard is the top choice may opt to use the binding ED process by November 1 for notification in December.
Regular Action: The application deadline is January 1 for notification in March. This is a nonbinding process.
Bard Entrance Exam (BEE): Candidates complete the online essay examination by November 1, and receive a pass/fail notification in December. Students who pass the essay exam must complete their file by submitting two documents: an official high school transcript and a general reference letter from the high school counselor or another appropriate school official. Homeschooled students may submit documentation of their curriculum in lieu of a transcript. Following a review of these documents, official offers of admission are released to students in January. For more information, visit bard.edu/bardexam.
Commitment Dates: A nonrefundable deposit of $515 is required to hold a place in the class, and students must reply to our offer of admission by May 1 on their Bard portal.? Students admitted through Early Decision are expected to submit their deposit within a month after receipt of an offer of admission and, when appropriate, an offer of financial aid. Admitted students may ask to defer matriculation for one year. Students intending to defer must make a deposit of $515 by May 1 of the year they applied and should use the appropriate “Reply to Offer of Admission” selection on the Bard portal to indicate their intention to defer.
Bard Early College Students: Students applying to Bard Annandale from a Bard Early College program must submit the first-year Common Application. A complete application includes letters of recommendation from at least two of the student’s Year 1 or Year 2 academic teachers, the school counselor recommendation and school report, and a complete transcript, including grades from Year 2, as soon as they become available.
Students applying for the Early College Opportunity (ECO) Scholarship must submit, along with their Common Application, an ECO Scholarship form, available on the Office of Equity and Inclusion website (bard.edu/dei) beginning in September. ECO Scholarship applicants must complete an interview in January or February and, therefore, must apply via the Regular Decision application.
Students applying from a Bard Early College program receive admission decisions on an earlier timeline than students applying from outside the Bard network. Students applying via any of the early application options receive admission decisions in November. Students applying via the Regular Decision application receive admission decisions in February. Students applying for the ECO Scholarship receive admission decisions in early March. Applying for the ECO Scholarship does not inhibit students from being considered for other paths of admission. ECO Scholarship applicants who are offered admission outside the ECO Scholarship program are considered for all other forms of need-based financial aid.
Transfer Students: Transfer students are expected to be familiar with Bard’s distinctive curricular components, particularly Moderation and the Senior Project, and should anticipate spending three years at the College. Students who wish to transfer apply by March 1 for the fall semester (notification in March) or November 1 for the spring semester (notification in December). Transfer students must submit the Transfer Common Application. A complete application includes the college report and college transcript. A high school transcript is required unless the candidate will have completed an associate’s degree by the time of matriculation at Bard. Two letters of recommendation are also required from college faculty. However, for those who have completed only one or two college semesters in circumstances where the classes have been large and contact with professors minimal, high school faculty recommendations are accepted.
A student transferring from an accredited institution usually receives full credit for work completed with a grade of C or higher in courses appropriate to the Bard academic program up to a maximum of 64 credits. Interviews are not required, but are available to spring transfer applicants from early September until late November and to fall transfer applicants during the month of February.
Transfer students enrolling at Bard must complete an orientation program. Fall transfer students complete the Writing Knowledge Program, a two-week orientation and workshop, in August. Spring transfer students complete Language and Thinking in January and Citizen Science the following January. Transfer students with fewer than 28 transferable credits must also complete one semester of First-Year Seminar during their first semester enrolled at the College. Students with first- or second-year status must live on campus. Students with third- or fourth-year status are not required to live on campus.
International Students: The College encourages applications from students regardless of citizenship or national origin. Candidates whose first language is not English, and who have not spent at least three years of their secondary school education in an institution where the language of instruction is English, must submit the result of either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo test.
Based on need, international students may be eligible for Bard scholarships. Students seeking aid must also submit the Bard International Student Financial Aid Application. This form is available at most secondary schools and through the College’s website (bard.edu).
Enrolling students who are not U.S. citizens are required to complete a Certification of Finances, which is part of their I-20 Form and required for the visa application process.te.
Return to College Students: The Return to College Program (RCP) is for college applicants who are 24 years old or older. The RCP program requires that students have at least one semester’s worth of college credits (12 or more credits) from a previous higher education program that can be transferred to Bard College. In general, all transfer forms and supplements are applicable for RCP students. RCP students applying to Bard College must submit the Transfer/RCP Common Application. A complete RCP application includes the college report and college transcript from any institution of higher education where the student was previously enrolled. Two letters of recommendation are also required from college faculty. However, while recommendation letters from college instructors are preferred, this may not be possible for RCP candidates; therefore, personal or employment recommendations are accepted.
In addition to the application forms listed on the transfer student web page, RCP candidates must clearly specify in the “additional information” section of the Common Application that they are applying to the Return to College Program; include a cover letter summarizing employment and academic history; and complete a personal interview with an admission counselor.
RCP students are eligible for financial aid if they register for 12 or more credits in one semester. The FAFSA and CSS Profile must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. If an RCP student registers for fewer than 12 credits in a given semester, the cost is calculated on a per-credit basis and no institutional aid is available.
Return to College students must complete an orientation program before the start of their first semester. RCP students are not eligible for on-campus housing.
Bard Baccalaureate Scholarship Students:The Bard Baccalaureate (Bard Bac) is available only to RCP applicants and requires students to complete the Bard Bac Scholarship form on the Bard Baccalaureate website after submitting a completed Transfer/RCP Common Application. The Bard Baccalaureate is both a scholarship and a specialized program for RCP students interested in participating in a rigorous cohort model program. Bard Bac students are not eligible for on-campus housing. For more information, see bac.bard.edu.
International Students:The College encourages applications from students regardless of citizenship or national origin. Candidates whose first language is not English, and who have not spent at least three years of their secondary school education in an institution where the language of instruction is English, must submit the result of either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo test.
Based on need, international students may be eligible for Bard scholarships. Students seeking aid must submit the Bard International Student Financial Aid Application. This form is available through the College’s website (bard.edu). DACA or undocumented students may apply for Bard College institutional financial aid using the CSS Profile.
Advanced Standing Advanced standing or college credit for College Board Advanced Placement courses may be given for the grade of 5. Students who wish to request credit or advanced standing must submit the appropriate record of their grade(s) to the Office of the Registrar.
The following international diplomas may be accepted for advanced standing: International Baccalaureate, A-Levels, French Baccalaureate, Swiss Maturity, and German Abitur. A student may be allowed to accelerate for up to 32 credits (a full year) at the time of Moderation if the Moderation board so recommends. To be eligible for credit, International Baccalaureate students must score 5 or above in individual subjects; A-level students must have an A or A* to receive credit.
The Bard College Conservatory of Music
In addition to applying to the College, candidates for admission to the Bard College Conservatory of Music must complete the Conservatory’s online supplemental application. As part of this online application, candidates must upload a prescreening recording (audio or video), a musical résumé, and a letter of recommendation from a music teacher. These prescreening recordings are reviewed by faculty, and selected candidates are then invited for a live audition at Bard College. If a candidate is unable to travel to Bard for a live audition, the candidate may be permitted to submit a video recording instead. The musical résumé should include the names of teachers, dates and places of study, public performances, honors and awards, and other information about musical influences and education. For more information on the Conservatory of Music and scholarships, see bard.edu/conservatory.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
United States citizens applying for need-based financial aid must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and College Scholarship Service of the College Board (CSS) Profile to the Office of Financial Aid (for details, see bard.edu/financialaid/applying. Non-U.S. citizens applying for need-based financial aid must submit the Bard International Student Financial Aid Application. DACA and undocumented students applying for need-based financial aid must submit the CSS Profile. Applicants applying through the Early Decision, Early Action, Immediate Decision Plan, or Bard Entrance Exam process must submit these documents by December 1. Applicants applying through the Regular Decision process must submit these documents by February 1.
Applicants may also apply to their choice of the need-based scholarships listed on the financial aid page of the Bard College website: bard.edu/financialaid/programs.
Office of Equity and Inclusion Scholarships: In addition to need-based aid and need-based named scholarships, the College supports students through particular programs with wraparound support led by the Office of Equity and Inclusion. The HEOP (Higher Education Opportunity Program) Scholarship (for New York State residents), Bard Opportunity Program Scholarship, and the Early College Opportunity Scholarship (for students applying from Bard High School Early Colleges) are designed to support students who seek significant financial aid and would benefit from specialized programming, resources, and additional academic advising.
Posse: Bard College is a longstanding partner with the Posse Foundation, a college success and youth leadership development organization that recruits talented public high school students who might have been overlooked by the traditional college acceptance process. Each year, these students enter as Posse Scholars with full, four-year tuition awards as part of a group (a posse) of 10 other first-year students from the same city or country.
- Posse Atlanta: Since 2009, Bard has offered full-tuition funding for a cohort of 10 students from Atlanta, Georgia, to study at Bard College. These student may concentrate in any of the various academic programs available at the College.
- Arts Posse Puerto Rico: The Posse Foundation is expanding to increase access to art students in Puerto Rico through a new project launched in collaboration with Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Miranda Family Fund and Bard College. The Posse organization will identify, select, and train cohorts of high school seniors in Puerto Rico who are interested in pursuing undergraduate arts degrees at mainland U.S. colleges like Bard. Bard has partnered with Posse in providing this pathway to study in its renowned arts programs.