Experience the unique learning culture at Bard College

Experience the unique learning culture at Bard College

Ninety-miles north of New York City rests the intellectual oasis of Bard College; a private independent college in the picturesque Hudson Valley.

Founded in 1860, Bard broke with Columbia over its decision to admit women, a move Columbia wished to block due to its ownership of Barnard. Today, Bard blends traditional liberal arts and sciences with innovation to offer programs with real-world contexts for each major.

The undergraduate college boasts a diverse student population of almost 1,900 at the Annandale campus. The typical class holds 16 students with an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of just 10:1. Here, undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in approximately 35 programs across four academic divisions—Arts; Languages and Literature; Science, Mathematics, and Computing, Social Studies—and interdivisional fields of study.

It’s an institution that consistently ranks among the best classroom experience and greatest return-on-investment across the US. While known for its entrepreneurship and civic engagement globally, Bard offers a rigorous liberal arts education that prepares students to take on the world. In fact, most Bard students obtain elite graduate school placement or employment within a short period after graduation.

Forbes: “Top Return on Investment”

Bard’s Career Development Office helps students translate their liberal arts education to the workplace through a variety of programs and resources. Graduates pursue an array of professional paths in companies such as: Goldman Sachs, London Film Production, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Morningstar Development Program, New York Magazine, New York-Presbyterian Weill-Cornell, UBS Investment Bank, World Bank, Peace Corps, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Students also pursue graduate-level study at placers like: Columbia University School of Law, Harvard Law School, Johns Hopkins University-Medical Campus, Juilliard School, Levy Economics Institute at Bard, London School of Economics, Paris Conservatory, University of Basel, Switzerland (Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research), and Yale University.

A Global Campus and Community

Bard boasts a high percentage of international students relative to its peers, with 17 percent having international roots from 46 countries. These students form a vital part of Bard’s inclusive community and have a very active International Student Organization that’s known for some of the best performances in Bard’s Frank Gehry-designed Performing Arts Center.

The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) at Bard embodies the fundamental belief that education and civil society are inextricably linked. Through its educational endeavors in the United States and abroad, CCE demonstrates a firm conviction that institutions of higher learning can and should operate in the public interest.

To prove the power of education and civic engagement, Bard has established dual-degree liberal arts colleges with partner institutions in Berlin, Bishkek, Jerusalem, St. Petersburg, as well as a partnership with Central European University in Budapest, and the early college programs in six American inner-city districts, in which students obtain college credits while attending public school in New York City, Newark, Cleveland, Baltimore, and New Orleans.

Civic Engagement

The CCE at Bard supports, co-ordinates, and promotes a wide array of institutional and student initiatives. Here, students have the chance to become involved in Bard’s extensive network where they make lasting connections, and eventually become active global citizens.

Student-led initiatives supported by the Bard Trustee Leader Scholar (TLS) Program create collaborations on a regional, national, and international scale. Several collaborations have grown into full-time, college-sponsored, initiatives including La Voz, a free monthly publication in Spanish that serves the Hispanic community of the Mid-Hudson Valley; and the Bard Prison Initiative, that largest degree-granting, college-in-prison program in the country.


The intercollegiate athletic program is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III, the Liberty League, the United Volleyball Conference, the College Squash Association, and other national organizations. Varsity sports include baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball and squash.

Indoor facilities include a six-lane swimming pool, main gymnasium, a fitness center, squash courts, and more. Outdoor venues include a turf baseball facility, soccer & lacrosse complex, rugby practice field, lighted tennis courts, platform tennis court and cross country trails.

Student Profiles

Bard College senior, Kevin Barbosa, has been named a Forbes Under 30 Scholar.  Kevin studies politics at Bard and was nominated for the honor by Jopwell – a career advancement platform for Black, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American students and professionals. His Senior Project is a comparative study of Brazilian and Chinese history, seeking to understand how their unique backgrounds have influenced foreign policy, and will affect the contours of the modern global order.

Kevin is also a member of the Varsity Swim Team, works as a senior strategist on Bard’s 100 Days Initiative, and is a senior fellow with the Difference & Media Project, and is the current speaker of this year’s student body. Over the summer, he accepted an offer with Goldman Sachs, and will be working there full-time after graduation.

Jordana Rubenstein-Edberg ‘17 won a Watson Fellowship for her proposal, A Place of Return: The Structure and Symbolism of Home. She is traveling to Peru, Ecuador, and Guatemala to explore home building in Latin America.

“My Watson year consists of two major components: active participation in house construction and story documentation,” she writes. “I seek to understand the nature of stability and how construction helps define it. In each country, I will visit two locations with widely different environmental, economic, and social factors. How is life experience reflected in the construction process? What is revealed about a family or place by their creation of home?”

Bard College seeks to inspire curiosity, a love of learning, idealism, and a commitment to the link between higher education and civic participation. The undergraduate curriculum is specifically-designed to address central questions facing new generations, also reshaping traditional disciplines into multidisciplinary fields and programs.

Bard offers unique opportunities for students and faculty to study, experience, and realize the principle that higher-education institutions can and should operate in the public interest.

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