Bard College

Bard students watch the sun set at Blithewood.

“[Bard] appeals to the student who shuns labels and whose thinking is not compartmentalized.”
Colleges That Change Lives

Bard College is currently offering Self-Guided Driving Tours (drive around campus in your car using the driving tour map). Campus visitors on driving tours must pick up a driving tour map AND identifying sticker, located at the red kiosk in front of the Admission Office. Before you arrive on campus, please go here for more details about the tour and for the health and safety protocols that must be adhered to while on campus, or call the Admission Office at 845-758-7472. 

Bard is currently offering Live Virtual Tours of campus. Students and their families are invited to register for one of these virtual tours to catch a glimpse of Bard’s beautiful 1000 acre property and ask questions of an admission counselor and current student tour guide. The virtual tours last approximately 75 minutes, and our tour guides adhere to strict safety protocols outlined by state and local health officials as they walk the tour route. An admission counselor will also provide tour guests with an information session at the start of each tour and a Question & Answer session at the end. Schedule your Live Virtual Tour here!

Bard College
Office of Admission
30 Campus Road
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504
⋅ 1900 students
⋅ 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio
⋅ Average class size: 14
⋅ Students come from 37 states + Puerto Rico and 33 countries/territories
⋅ Tuition, room, board, and fees (2021-22): $76,713 (first-year students)
⋅ 84% of students receive need-based financial aid
⋅ Average aid: $55,523

Bard dance students performing

Bard Library

Student working on the Bard Farm

Bard Student working on a chemistry experiment

Students playing music at Bard College

  • Collaborative community of creative, passionate students, faculty, and staff whose international perspectives expand every aspect of campus life
  • At Bard, we believe that education and civil society are inextricably linked through civic engagement.
  • Bard’s global network expands access to liberal arts education with campuses in Vienna, East Jerusalem, Berlin, and Bishkek, as well as early college high school campuses in Newark; Baltimore; New Orleans; Cleveland; Washington, DC; Manhattan, Queens, and Bard College at Simon’s Rock, MA.
  • Bard is also the cofounder with Central European University, our partner in Vienna, of OSUN, the Open Society University Network, and received a billion-dollar grant in 2020 to start to build out more of international access-focused programs. Over the last five years, Bard has developed a series of Network Courses that intentionally use online platforms to connect faculty and students across the Bard Network, facilitating global conversations, debates across time zones, and civic engagement project development.
  • Gorgeous 1000-acre Hudson valley campus built on two historic estates with two working farms
Worth Noting
  • Network: Bard envisions the liberal arts institution as the hub of a network, rather than a single, self-contained campus. Numerous institutes for special study are available on and off campus, connecting Bard students to the greater community. Bard’s undergraduate program is based in Annandale, but students can take advantage of many opportunities outside the region through Bard’s international campuses and partnerships in Germany (where students can start their first year through the Begin in Berlin program), Austria, Kyrgyzstan, and East Jerusalem. Bard’s philosophy is that colleges can and should play a broad role in education; for this reason, Bard operates or partners with high schools and graduate schools. Many Bard College undergraduate students began at Bard Early Colleges or go on to pursue a master’s degree through Bard in conjunction with or after completing their bachelor’s.
  • BPI: Started by Bard alumns, when they were students at Bard College, the Bard Prison Initiative is an AA and BA degree-granting program for incarcerated individuals. Today, BPI enrolls over 300 incarcerated students full-time in programs that culminate in degrees from Bard College; it offers extensive support for its alumni network in and around New York City; and, it has developed a nationwide network of leading universities and colleges to catalyze a transformation in the relationship between education and criminal justice in the United States. BPI’s newest initiative, the Bard Microcollege, expands yet further the scope and impact of this work, delivering high-quality liberal arts education to isolated communities outside of prison through partnerships with community-based institutions.
  • Conservatory: The richness and breadth of musical opportunities on campus make Bard College distinct from other liberal arts colleges. There are multiple ways to study music at Bard. Students can earn a degree in four years through the undergraduate Music Program or two degrees in five years from The Bard College Conservatory of Music, which also offers graduate programs. One doesn’t have to major in music, however, to be actively involved in music at Bard.
  • Methods of Application: Bard accepts the Common Application through Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision methods, but it also has two special ways of applying. Those are the Immediate Decision Plan (IDP) and The Bard Entrance Exam (BEE). IDP accelerates the admission process during a daylong session on campus in which students participate in a seminar with Bard faculty and then interview with an admission counselor. Decisions are posted to the student’s Bard Portal the next business-day evening. The Bard Entrance Examination is an online essay test open only to high school juniors and seniors. The exam must be finished and submitted by November 1 and invites students to write three papers in response to their choice of questions written by Bard faculty. Students who pass the exam are invited to submit their high school transcript and a letter of recommendation for review before formal offers of admission are released.
Faculty & Academics
  • Bard’s faculty approach the liberal arts and sciences with the belief that exploration across different fields develops the important skills of critical thinking and empathy, which are highly applicable in one’s professional and personal life.
  • Graduation requirements such as Language and Thinking and First Year Seminar encourage students to consider a plethora of views both in the materials they explore in these classes and through conversation with classmates and faculty. Moderation and Senior Project involve considerable research work and a faculty board presentation or performance depending on a student’s major, which provide further opportunities for students to challenge themselves academically and personalize their curriculum.
  • The Student/Faculty ratio is 10:1
Areas of Study
For the most current listings, please check the college website.

Undergraduate students can earn a bachelor of arts degree in one of approximately 35 stand-alone programs in the following academic divisions: The Arts; Languages and Literature; Science, Mathematics and Computing; Social Studies; and Interdivisional Programs and Concentrations. They may moderate into a concentration, or cluster of related courses, in conjunction with moderation into a program.

Interdivisional Programs and Concentrations is home to 24 interdisciplinary fields: 11 are offered as majors, 14 as concentrations (minors). For example, a major in literature might pair it with a concentration in Victorian studies, or political studies with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies, or human rights with a concentration in Latin American and Iberian studies. The variety of possible combinations illustrates the richness of study at Bard.

3+2 and 4+1 Programs and Pre-professional Tracks
Bard College offers a number of 3+2, 4+1, and dual-degree programs in the United States and overseas, awarding both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Many degree-granting international programs also offer study abroad opportunities for a semester or a year. Declaring commitment to a 3+2 program at moderation allows advising and course selection to support a smooth transition to the two-year master’s program. 3+2 programs include B.A. and M.S. in economic theory and policy; B.A. and M.A. in decorative arts, design history, material culture.

By selecting a 4+1 pathway, students combine the benefit of a four-year undergraduate experience with one-year Master’s program. 4+1 programs include B.A. and M.S. in environmental policy or climate science and policy; B.A. and M.A.T. in Teaching; and a B.A. and M.A. in economic theory and policy.

3+2 programs with other institutions: Columbia (B.A. and B.S. in engineering) and Dartmouth (B.A. and B.E. in engineering) and Duke University (B.A. and M.S. in forestry and environmental management).

Bard offers specialized advising for students interested in pursuing medicine and health professions, as well as law.

Campus Life
  • Every student is a member of the Bard College Student Association, a democratic forum that raises issues and takes or recommends action by the College; provides student representation on administrative and faculty committees; and administers funds for student-run organizations. Each semester, Bard’s elected student government hosts Budget Forum where student club funding is determined based on budgets submitted by each club.
  • Over 150 student-run clubs including the Surrealist Training Circus, the Bard Immigration Coalition, the Queer Straight Alliance, and WXBC (Bard’s very own radio station).
  • 75% students involved in a programs or projects in civic engagement, community service, Trustee Leader Scholars (TLS), or student club or activity.
  • The ISO (International Students Organization) show is another Bard tradition. This is a very popular performance of dance, music, and other talents followed by a dinner with food from around the world.
  • The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard is the world’s most expansive home for bold and risky humanities thinking about our political world inspired by the spirit of Hannah Arendt, the leading thinker of politics and active citizenship in the modern era. The Arendt Center cares for and makes available the Hannah Arendt Library, with nearly 5000 books from Hannah Arendt’s personal library, many with marginalia and notes. The Arendt Center oversees projects including The Courage to Be, Hate and the Human Condition, and The American Jewish Peace Archive. At Bard, the Arendt Center sponsors short courses on Hannah Arendt and the themes for their conferences, and sponsors numerous lectures and events for students, faculty, and members.
  • Support for students is available through many different offices including the Career Development Office, the chaplaincy, counseling and health services, the Dean of Students Office, the Learning Commons, and more.
Varsity Sports
  • The Bard 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, women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and squash.
  • Intramural sponsorship ranges from basketball, indoor soccer, and floor hockey to bowling and kickball. The department also offers club sports such as men’s and women’s rugby, equestrian, ultimate Frisbee, and fencing. Instructional courses range from yoga to martial arts to aerobics.
  • Indoor facilities include a six-lane swimming pool, main gymnasium, a fitness center, spin cycling room, squash courts, locker rooms, instructional class studios, athletic training room, and staff offices. Outdoor venues include Honey Field, a turf baseball facility, the Lorenzo Ferrari Soccer & Lacrosse Complex, Seth Goldfine Memorial Rugby practice field, lighted tennis courts, platform tennis court, and cross country trails.
Life After College
  • BardWorks is a week-long workshop series which connect students to the Bard network while honing job search and professional skills. The workshop helps rising juniors and seniors apply their liberal arts education to the workforce they are about to enter. Drawing on Bard’s vast alumni and parent network, BardWorks pairs participants with a mentor in a field of their interest, helps create and expand a professional network and develops interview, resume, job hunting, and networking skills. Ultimately, it aims to create a community of leaders who will succeed professionally and make a difference in the lives of others.
  • Civic engagement is at the core of Bard’s institutional mission, reflecting the fundamental belief that higher-education institutions can and should operate in the public interest. Bard’s Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) facilitates deep and sustainable relationships with the communities in which Bard has a presence both locally and internationally. Partnerships can take many forms, including internships.
  • The Trustee Leader Scholar (TLS) Program supports leadership development in the context of hands-on, student-initiated community engagement projects. Students in the TLS program propose, design, and implement civic engagement projects based on their own passionate interests. Several TLS projects have grown into permanent institutional initiatives, including the Bard Prison Initiative, La Voz, Bard Early College in New Orleans, and, most recently, Brothers at Bard.
  • The Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program in New York City (BGIA) provides a unique opportunity for college students and recent college graduates from around the world to take advanced courses in international affairs while working in carefully selected internships based on individual interests—all while experiencing life in Manhattan, the island at the center of the world. BGIA has semester and summer programs. BGIA students engage in the study and practice of international law; international relations theory; global public health; political economy; international reporting; and other aspects of international affairs.
  • The Bard Career Development Office (CDO) helps students translate their liberal arts education to the workplace through a variety of programs and resources. From one-on-one meetings, workshops, and special events, to collaborations with other Bard offices, alumni/ae and parents, CDO staff help students connect their skills, interests and values to a career path throughout their college life and after graduation. Bard College students and graduates have pursued internships, jobs and graduate school at a variety of organizations, companies, and institutions.
  • Over 90% of Bard students are either employed, in graduate school, or pursuing scholarships—such as Watson or Fulbright—within 6 months of graduating

Bard graduates are attending the following graduate schools, among others: Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Curtis Institute of Music, Georgetown, George Washington School of Medicine, Harvard Law, Johns Hopkins, Juilliard, King’s College of London, New York University, UCLA School of Law, University of Copenhagen, and Yale

Bard graduates are employed across many fields and industries, including Aperture Foundation, Apple, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Citibank, Disney, French Embassy, Foreign Affairs Magazine, Goldman Sachs, Google, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Peace Corps, Pentagon, Saatchi & Saatchi, Sports Illustrated, Teach for America, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Twitter, World Bank

Academic Profile of Entering Class

2020-21 Academic Year

  • Classes: 1,019
  • Tutorials: 124
  • Student/Faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Class size:
    2-9 students: 31%
    10-19 students: 56%
    20-29 students: 10%
    30-39 students: 1.7%
    More than 36 students: 1.3%


  • Total: 267
  • Identifies as female: 44.6%
  • Identifies as male: 55.4%
  • Faculty of color: 14%

Incoming Students

  • First-year students: 473
  • Public high school: 57%
  • Independent high school: 29%
  • Religious high school: 9%
  • Charter high school: 4%
  • Homeschool (partial or complete): 1%
  • Bard College has been test-optional for over 40 years.
  • No application fee to apply to Bard

Geographic Distribution: States: 37 + Puerto Rico and 35 Countries/Territories

  • New England: 17%
  • Mid-Atlantic: 44% (New York: 31%)
  • South/Southeast: 10%
  • Southwest: 3%
  • Midwest: 7%
  • West: 19%
  • International/Dual: 14%

Ethnic Diversity*

  • African American/Black: 6%
  • Asian: 11%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 12%
  • Multiracial: 8%
  • Native American/Alaskan Native: 1%
  • Native Hawaiian/or other Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Unknown: 8%
  • White/Non-Hispanic: 64%
    * Race/ethnicity does not total 100% because students are able to select more than one race/ethnicity

Financial Aid

  • Received Bard institutional aid: 84%
  • Average institutional aid: $51,369
  • Average aid package total: $55,523 (includes loans, work study, and grants)
  • The class of 2025 received aid in the following categories: 6% loans, 1% work study, 93% grants.
  • Total Bard aid awarded to first-years (2021-22): $19.3 million
  • Pell Grant recipients (2021-22): 27%