Location: New York City, New York
Funding: Private Liberal Arts College
Size: 2400 students
Percent Women: 100%
Tuition (one year): $55,000
Most Popular Majors: Economics, Biology, Psychology, English, Sociology
Greek Life: No greek life at Barnard, but greek life at Columbia
Acceptance Rate: 20%For more information, please visit Barnard.edu/admissions
Why Choose Barnard?
“I loved that Barnard was the best of all worlds - a small liberal arts college within a larger university, a small enclosed campus within a huge city, and an all women's education with coed options.”
“I chose Barnard because of the intimate environment. You get access to a variety of resources, from Columbia to the city in general. Yet the campus is small and warm enough that you don't feel over stimulated or overwhelmed by the ivy league environment next door or New York City.”
“I applied to Barnard because I wanted a place where woman worked well as both individuals and as part of a larger community that did include males. It felt like the best of both worlds, a way to foster education and ideas produced by women while not unrealistically separating ourselves from men.”
“Barnard is the best of both worlds. You get a small community of kick @$$ women with the resources of a large university and on top of that the city is your oyster.”
“I decided to come to Barnard because I loved the idea of going to a small liberal arts college with an intimate academic setting while also getting the opportunities that a large research university provides. Barnard’s Campus does not end on 116th Street...New York City is our campus. So there are always endless opportunities to learn, explore, and expose myself to things that I wouldn’t have been able to if I was in a smaller town”
“I knew I belonged here because after leaving Barnard on the last day of the Pre-College Program the summer before my senior year of high school, I wouldn’t want to step foot on another college campus. Also, the nurturing, creative, and empowered spirit of the community is so visible and constantly moves me.
"Professors and classes are amazing (and there are so many options!). you get individual attention in barnard classes because the professors really care about students, specifically in smaller lectures or seminars. barnard has silly and fun traditions that everyone looks forward to and attends such as big sub, and midnight breakfast.”
"I love Barnard's campus. It is small but beautiful, and everything is easy to find. I love the close knit environment. My favorite tradition is midnight breakfast."
“The Diana. Fitbear”
“Liz's Place is a cozy nook in the center of campus that serves up delicious coffee as well as occasional Motown tunes.”
“The best part of Barnard is the Diana Center Cafe. I SWEAR TO GOD I DREAM OF THOSE PIZZAS.“
“The small class sizes are amazing. Its so rare to be able to have 5 people in a class with a professor, and only at Barnard are these classes so available. You can’t really find this at Columbia or other Ivy leagues”
“All the Columbia Libraries! Because Barnard is just across the street from Columbia, we get to use all the libraries and buildings and some of those reading rooms are gorgeous!”
“The social scene is not "amazing" but there are definitely many options for going out in the city. It also sometimes difficult to branch out outside of the Barnard bubble.”
“Signing up for courses. The gym. Dorms that are 6 whole blocks away (imagine this in snow)”
"The General Education Requirements are slightly overwhelming and could afford to be paired down.”
"The heaters don't work. And the Barnard Public Safety Shuttle seems to be ‘out of service’ quite often”
"The logistical connection with Columbia. You cannot use your Barnard dollars at Columbia which really limits the places on campus that there are to get snacks and coffee.”
New Collegiette on Campus
“All first years live on the quad in 3 different buildings that are all connected which is great to create a strong sense of community between the class. Orientation is a great time with a lot of different fun events to acclimate students to both college life and city living. It is not SUPER easy to get to know upperclassmen when you're a freshman; in my experience, freshman are generally friends with freshman during their first semester and then tend to start branching out more during second semester.”
“Columbia Urban Experience is an awesome pre-orientation program that is both a wonderful opportunity to get involved with community service opportunities throughout the city as well as take advantage of all the cool and fun things the city has to offer. By the time orientation comes around you already know 30 other freshman, which is a very comforting way to start the year!”
“The first year quad is one of the best things about being a freshman at Barnard. Being able to just walk down the hallway, turn left, and be at your friend’s room without having to walk in the snow is a miracle! Also the first year dean, Lisa Hollibough, made the transition so smooth. She writes a first year blog that helps you with things like registering for courses, learning about the Barnard traditions etc. And she is always available to talk. I’m pretty sure every Barnard freshman cries in her office at least once. But she doesn’t let you leave until your questions are answered and you are smiling again!”
“Due to the great activity fairs at both Barnard and Columbia it is really easy to get involved in clubs (but usually you sign up for like 30 of them and then can’t get them to stop sending you emails!). Because the social scene is really hard to get into as a freshman, clubs and activities are the go-to way to meet more people.”
All About Academics
1. “Many people major in Economics, Psychology, Biology, English, and Art History. The barnard workload is VERY heavy (the classes are the exact same caliber as Columbia, as all classes are dual enrollment between the schools). Most majors require a thesis, even some of the sciences. It is generally pretty easy to get into classes you want to take and professors are accommodating to students who may not have originally been able to get in. It is manageable to fulfill the 9 ways of knowing but students definitely have be organized about it (although there are SO many classes to fulfill each requirement that it's not super difficult).”
2. “Students spend a lot of time in the library specifically during midterms and finals because barnard/columbia is A LOT of work. Everyone has different study preferences so some study in the library while others remain in their rooms/student centers/coffee shops/etc.”
3. “Even though there is a two-week shopping period, it is easy to feel behind if you do not immediately sign up for the classes you plan on taking.”
4. “You may change your major once, twice, or three times -- this place makes you constantly question your intellectual passions and purpose, but when you find what’s right, you feel completely taken care of. However, you must take initiative and seek professors out when you are struggling in any way.”
5. "It's really nice to study at a school where the people around you appreciate studying. There are a lot of group study rooms available, especially at the Business school library, so studying here is social and serious at the same time"
Learn from the Best
“CULPA (a website where students review professors) is very helpful in telling how great professor is but generally professors are very good and attentive to their students. people do go to office hours; it is NOT uncommon at all to know your professor well. ”
“Najam Haider, by far the most innovative and inspiring teacher in the religion department. He made everything fun but also challenging.”
“Professor Bernstein is wonderful. In particular, her class Sociology of Gender is extremely interesting and relevant. She truly cares about her students and makes material accessible and engaging.”
“Mark Carnes -- his style of lecturing is extremely dramatic and engaging. He worships the process of storytelling and will completely shock and amaze you every time you step foot in his American History class.”
“Kate Levin, who I had for both first year english (a requirement for every Barnard freshman) and Critical Writing is one of most kind, intelligent, and sensible professors I’ve ever had. She spends numorous hours in meetings with students, providing help whenever needed, and being flexible and kind to create the most condusive learning environment possible.”
“The Dance Department is really well known at Barnard and Colleen Thomas, one of the modern teachers, leads a challenging class that is always really full every semester”
Interests & Involvement
“Everyone is involved in some sort of extracurricular(s)/club(s). there are activity fairs at the beginning of the fall and winter semesters. there are SO MANY options to join clubs because barnard and columbia clubs are mixed.”
“As the president of a club on campus, I can say that participation on campus in most clubs is low, occasionally they'll be a random serge in one club or another based on an issue becoming popular in the media, etc. but those people always come and go, its almost always a small group of dedicated core people who really keep the clubs alive.”
“ONYX Dance Troupe is Columbia's pre-professional hip hop dance group. It has been one of the most important experiences to me during my time at Barnard.”
“I would definitely say the two extracurricular areas most prominent in Barnard girls’ lifestyles are media and the arts. Many students here are personally passionate about writing or are performing in a dance or theater groupe regularly throughout the year.”
“Barnard has no sports teams but students are able to participate in columbia's division 1 athletics. students generally go to homecoming and some basketball games. there is not a separate athlete culture (except for the fact that athletes usually aren't as smart as everyone else at barnard/columbia).”
“We call homecoming Christmas because it is the one time during the year that there is a semblance of a tight-knit athletic community. No one really watches the football game though, people just want to be seen with facepaint and in their greek letters"
"I definitely wouldn't say Columbia is most known for its team spirit but it does have school spirit! With events like Orgo night, Bacchanal, Midnight Breakfast, and 40s on 40, we are really united and proud to be Columbia/Barnard students"
"I didn't go to sports games until my junior year, but when I went to Basketball Mania and then to the basketball games I really felt excited about cheering on my peers! People bring posters, wear columbia geer, and there are always fun performances and half time performances"
"Everyone worships Debora Spar (our president)"
"Feminism is definitely a presence here, but it's not overbearing or aggressive. It's a community of women who are intelligent, fun, and incredibly dedicated to this school."
"The next Hillary Clinton will come from Barnard."
"Girl power takes on a new meaning at Barnard. Given our incredible alumnae--Joan Rivers, Anna Quindlen, Martha Stewart, Cynthia Nixon, women that graduate from Barnard go on to do amazing things, especially in the world of humanities."
"I feel safe at Barnard. I am surrounded by women who care about me and care about their education. I feel confident in all of my classes and my voice is always heard."
"There is always strange competition between Columbia and Barnard girls. But, for me, there's no contest. Barnard girls know what they want and aren't threatened by anyone."
Food & Drink
“Barnard has 2 dining halls (Hewitt and the Diana Center Cafe) but also has access to all columbia dining halls. there are many options but the food is not that good. there are a lot of great restaurants/supermarkets/cafes in the area that students frequent as well”
“I don't love the dining at Barnard. Hewitt can be hit or miss but generally has a limited number of options. My favorite place to eat on campus is John Jay dining hall because it has a lot of options. A lot of people stop going to the dining hall after a while. It is not super easy to access a kitchen: in Sulzberger, there is one kitchen on each floor, and after that the kitchens in apartments are generally very small. There are good places to eat around campus, like Vine or Westside market, but food from these places tends to be pricey.”
“The food is pretty good at Barnard. The Diana center is the best food. There are made to order pizzas, a big salad bar etc...lots of options. There is also Hewitt, which is not as good but not bad. A lot of the columbia guys looove Hewitt. Barnard also have access to all columbia dining halls, which are pretty good with a lot of options but it gets old.”
“Go to JJ's place!”
"There is definitely limited housing for Barnard students and there is usually housing drama when it comes to picking where to live. However, once you figure all that out, you can live in a suite with your friends or block together in singles. All freshman must live in the Barnard quad, which is made up of doubles and suites. After your freshman year, you can live in other housing, which spans across Morningside Heights. It's all about the lottery numbers, but usually everything works out."
"I live in a sorority house on campus, which is technically Columbia housing, but Barnard students can live there if they have enough housing points. I love living in the sorority. It's so nice and I can live with all of my friends."
"Barnard housing is definitely a struggle, but living with your friends is fun. The best dorms are Cathedral Gardens (which is very far), 110, and 620 senior suites. Sulz tower is also pretty good.
“Some people go clubbing/go about the downtown scene. Many stay in the Morningside Heights area and go to bars, dorm parties, or frat parties. Bars are the largest scene on campus (there are a few that students frequent every weekend)”
“Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturdays are the biggest nights to go out. People usually go to bars around campus but sometimes go downtown on weekends. There are mixers between frats and sororities and the frats have open parties. But I wouldn't say frats are the biggest scene on campus. Alcohol is pretty prevalent just like at any college but it's nothing like big state colleges. There are no keg parties but people drink a lot for events like homecoming and bacchanal (our big spring concert). Drug use is also prevalent just like any other college but you don't need to be around it if you choose not to. The great thing about being in NYC is that there are so many alternatives to drinking. There are a million things to do in NYC day or night that don't involve drinking. People are very open to meeting new people even upperclassmen and it makes a very inclusive social scene. It's easy to get around at night because of the subway and cabs!”
"The most rewarding nights involve going out for a glass of wine witha group of girls, at one of the more relaxed, sophisticated night spots such as Varelli or the Dam. People admire 1020 for its ability to facilitate “interesting conversations” with grad students, intellectuals, and artsy types, but you’ll really find a variety of personalities and intentions here. Mel’s has the most ‘college-y’ feel to it with its plethora of athletes, greek presence, dive atmosphere and high volume.”
“People will plan their weeks around and measure their happiness with Senior Night, the crazy Wednesday-night dance party w/ a DJ at Havana Central. Be careful of ID scanning for the underage crowd. Leave your judgments at home, let loose, and dance the night away”
“Have your friends fulfill many different purposes in your Barnard experience. Make sure you have loyalty, humor, compassion, listening ability, adventure, and ambition as qualities represented in your choice of friends, otherwise you might question where you belong here.However it isn’t hard to find people who have many of these qualities!”
“Most people here are looking for a stable friend group structure, which may be fixed around sophomore year or even after, but the ones who have individual friends from all the different walks of campus life are also some of the happiest.”
"New York City is obviously a major major reason why I chose to go to Barnard. I love that this school isn't in the middle of nowhere. I can order takeout at 3 AM after leaving the library, I can go out downtown with my friends any night of the week, there are concerts, movies, restaurants, festivals...so much to do that it makes me sad that I can't do everything."
"Many girls choose to go to Barnard because of the city whereas Columbia students usually go to Columbia because of its ivy status. For that reason, you'll see more Barnard girls taking advantage of the city."
"I transferred to Barnard from NYU and I love that Barnard is still very much a part of the city, but also has an actual campus. It feels like a home in the midst of the overwhelming city. At the same time, when I get overwhelmed with work, I can go to Brooklyn for the day and go to a food festival (Smorgasburg...it's awesome)."
"Obviously we have the best nightlife of any college. There are frats and bars around campus, but we can go to clubs, rooftops, apartments, film festivals, food festivals. There are endless options and we have four years to take advantage of it. That is, if you can resist staying in New York after college. Most people can't leave."
"The best shopping of all time."
HC's Complete College Guide: Barnard College
Do you have a way with words? Apply to write for Her Campus!