Barnard College, a private 4-year college and one of the “Seven Sisters” (seven women’s colleges in the Northeast: Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Radcliffe College, Smith College, Vassar College, and Wellesley College) is located between 116th street and 120th street in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, NY. Founded in 1889 as a women’s alternative to the all-male Columbia University, Barnard is both independent and an official college of Columbia University. Barnard prides itself on being the most selective women’s college in the country. Barnard has graduates some of the most influential women in history; a list of alumnae includes Margaret Mead, Joan Rivers and Martha Stewart.
Barnard College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and offers bachelor’s degrees in 20 programs within 28 departments. Barnard has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Commission on Accreditation. The most popular programs are in Social Sciences (Economics and Political Science) and Psychology. Closely coordinated with Columbia University, the school’s Mission Statement is as follows: “The Office of the Dean of Studies is committed to supporting the academic planning and success, academic integrity, and well-being of all students and to supporting the teaching efforts of faculty members. To those ends, the members of the Office are easily accessible to students and work closely and collegially with all offices that report to the Dean of the College, with the International Programs staff members in the Provost’s Office, and with faculty members—as teachers and academic advisers. In addition, members of the Office work often with parents and with counterpart offices within Columbia University.”
The student body may be small in number (>2,500) but the Barnard Bears (formerly the “Honeybears”) are the only women’s school to compete in the NCAA Division I in 16 sports. They coordinate Intramural and Club sports with Columbia. There are also over 70 clubs on campus sorted into the general categories of Pre-Professional, Cultural, Special Interest, Performance and Publication. Barnard students are familiar with the school’s core objectives: a dedication to women’s education, devotion to the liberal arts, mutually beneficial relationship with Columbia University, recruitment and support of top-tier faculty, recruitment and intellectual nourishment of top-tier students, nurturing and expanding diversity within the community, commitment to an innovative curriculum that aligns with the College’s mission and provides a distinctive educational experience for all students. Traditions at Barnard include a Midnight Breakfast to mark the start of Finals Week and the Big Sub – students construct (and consume) a submarine sandwich that measures 1 foot for each number of the graduation year (i.e. 2,016 feet long).