New York, NY
Barnard College


38 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Amreen
What is your overall opinion of this school?

It's a great liberal arts college focused on goal oriented women's success. We're in Manhattan, the train is right at our fee...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

It's a great liberal arts college focused on goal oriented women's success. We're in Manhattan, the train is right at our feet. Our school is small (but not too small-i.e, if you're involved, you'll get to know a lot of people and many people become familiar to you, even if you dont' remember their name. If you're not involved, you can be friends with who you want, and maintain your distance) and caters to the individual rather than having a bureacracy that deals with no one. All of the administration wants to help and be accessible to the students. Barnard students, for the most part, while having a competitive edge, want to help each other. People think it's great when you tell them you go to Barnard, although initially between Columbia College Students and Engineering students, there may be a little tension. THere is always controversy on campus. Always. WE love it, breathe it, eat it, and sleep it. I don't spend all of my time on campus, there's lots to do in the city, and I view seeing the city as part of my education. Lots of school pride.

Describe the students at your school.

Barnard is very diverse, although sometimes those diverse groups don't intermingle--although if you get involved in campus life (which you absolutely should) then you will have those experiences. I can't imagine anyone really feeling out of place, although those looking for the sports games every weekend and drinking constantly would not find that at Barnard. Students go out in to the city to socialize, drink, explore, etc. Students do dress up on campus--how you look does matter. Brand names are prevalent, sweatpants and a t-shirt/sweatshirt everyday is not common at all. Half of Barnard's population doesn't apply for financial aid-so yes, many students are well- to do, although there are also many middle class students, and a lesser amount of students from working class backgrounds. Students are definitely politically aware and some are active. Everyone is active in their own interests for sure, whether it be art, finance, business, music, education, scieces, politics, academia, etc. THe food at the dinining hall is good, and progressively getting better. Kosher and Halal are served.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Barnard is an amazing school with an excellent education, many alumna who remain in touch with the school and support it, a supportive and challenging environment, the best years of your life, amazing people who will be life long friends and mentors, great, smart excellent teaching professors who are dedicated to you and their work.

What are the academics like at your school?

I have had class of about 100 students about twice, and both times, the actual Professor made a very concerted and success effort to learn all of our names. Favorite class: too many. Least favorite: Islamic Civ. I have had Professors meet me on the weekend. Class participation is practically a mandate of going to Barnard. Too often, you come to class with tons to say. Students are competitive, hard working, and very into their work. Professors are very available to meet outside of class for the most part, and most of the time are willing to be flexible in when to meet with you. I like the requirements, you can find more out about the 9 ways of knowing on the website. We do have a gym requirement though, which is good, but some people wonder why we still have it. I would say that Math classes aren't available in a Barnard environment, but anything we don't have is definitely available at Columbia (we have full access, we are an independent part of the Columbia University system, so we all take each others classes). Education at Barnard is about learning, learning how to think and apply knowledge. It isn't really job oriented. However, Barnard students often get internships or other relevent field work experiences and/or research awards in order to develop their resume and supplement their classroom experience. I sound like i could be a Barnard spokes woman, but this is really how I feel, and I really love Barnard. Learning is definitely very much for its own sake, although there is a bit of hype about grades, and many students are pre-professional.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Most popular groups: (from my perspective): The student councils, the Asian American Alliance and all the groups under that umbrella, the South Asian social, political and dance groups, Political groups in general, religious groups, esp, Hillel and MSA (which I'm involved in), the Student Councils are very active. In the MSA and the SGA we work very hard to serve student interests by plannign unique events (Big Sub-a day where we have one sub go all the way across campus) Midnight breakfast-night before the first day of finals in fall and spring semester the admnistration, including the President and deans serve the student body breakfast form 11pm-1am in the gym. MSA- we have Ramadan meals every week-night, and many students get together for suhoor. If I am awake at 2AM on Tuesday night I am either answering/writing e-mails for things I'm involved with or doing work and maybe chatting depending on whether it's a stressful time period. Many students go to the library and many don't. I've gone down to the lower east side to study on a monday night. ON the week-end, we eat out, sleep, go out in the city, stay on campus on go to the many on-campus events/dinners/parties/observe religious holidays. I met my closest friends through our commonality in religion and MSA and student involvement. In case you haven't noticecd, students are very involved. IN the first year dorms, people are very friendly, and upper classmen dorms tend to be a little more independent, and often people live with/near their friends after first year.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

1) That we're all amazing and smart and intelligent and aim to achieve as much as possible, that we respect one another.

Kris
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The first thing anyone will tell you about Barnard (if you ask someone more official than a student) is that it is a college ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The first thing anyone will tell you about Barnard (if you ask someone more official than a student) is that it is a college devoted to empowering young women. This is certainly true, but I dont generally find it to be something that gets rubbed in my face the way you think it might be. From a more student-based perspective, some good things: -discounted tickets to movies and broadway shows -midnight breakfast (the night before exams start, in the gym in Barnard Hall, a HUGE* breakfast is served from 11:30 to 1am) -its a good size. I went to a school where there were 90 kids in my grade, and I was slightly nervous about being able to find my own niche here. Because its not an overwhelmingly large school, its relatively easy to settle in. The campus itself is kind of small (especially now because of the construction going on), but the Columbia campus is right across the street which has a lot of open space to relax. There are also a few parks near by if you want to leave campus without having to go too far away. -its in NYC. you'll never be bored. ever. there is always something to do no matter the time of day or year. this also means that Barnard feels less like an all female college, so it kind of takes away from "oh my god, too much estrogen" feeling that I would imagine you get from attending a women's college in the middle of no where. personally, without a big city like this, I would go crazy. -no core curriculum. thank god. if I'm paying an arm, a leg and my first born child just to be here, I had better be able to pick my own classes thank you very much. barnard just has general education requirements (See below). Not-as-good-things: -I feel like the administration (deans, the bursar, housing people, I'm just going to lump everyone together under the heading "administration") oscillates between being very helpful and as inefficient as possible. generally speaking, housing will screw you over fairly regularly, but this applies to any college (anyone who tells you differently is lying to your face). Here I am speaking of the housing PROCESS though, as in how you go about getting a room after freshman year. its never fun and it always sucks. this is a universal rule, I suspect, and really its an every-man-for-himself situation (or woman as the case may be). outside of housing, things can take a while to process, and while I'm not on financial aid, I've heard that the financial aid office has the same sort of polarity going on in terms of how useful they are. -While the food here isnt terrible, the meal plan is kind of annoying. Its definitely better to get as many points as you can, but for whatever reason Barnard points dont work at columbia, where as columbia dining dollars (their equivalent) work here. Basically its designed for maximum confusion and all around annoyance. Get a meal plan your first year because its required, but after that just open a dining dollars account at columbia instead so you can eat wherever you want. -there is construction going on right now on campus because they're building an enormous student center (I suspect this is some sort of "mine-is-bigger-than-yours" competition going on with Columbia), and while I'm sure it'll be nice when its done, for now its just bothersome. Funny anecdote about the student center: The last name of the woman who donated the bulk of the money to build the student center is Vagilos. One of the proposed names for the student center was "The Vag". I wish I was kidding. When they were celebrating her donation and the student center on Spirit Day, they had the name Vagilos constructed on this big wooden frame, and then sparklers and fireworks went off all around it. This has spawned a number of speculations as to whether there were will be libraries devoted to Kant, and if the new cafeteria will be called the Va-John-Jay (john jay being the columbia cafeteria). Talk about perpetuating a stereotype...

Describe the students at your school.

Barnard has a really diverse student body. Again, this is coming from someone who went to a prep school with 90 kids in which I made up one of the 1.5 hispanics in my graduating class, so I'm not sure what other people might think. To me its certainly diverse. People here are from all sorts of racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, and while this may not be Lesbian College as many of my male friends like to imagine, there is certainly a prevalent gay community. The downside is that there arent a lot of boys, seeing as there are barnard girls AND columbia girls on campus. Its not too too hard to meet guys though. Just dont expect to meet tons through your classes. You have to join clubs and put a little more effort into it. There are also a good number of international students here, and I've found that a lot of students are from the New York area.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

All of this is coming from someone who is introverted, somewhat socially retarded and who would rather spend a saturday night in watching a movie or reading a book. I resist change like a grumpy old man and perhaps did not have the smoothest transition possible. With all that in mind, I've found my own crowd of friends and I really do love it here. I dont regret coming to Barnard in the least. If I of all people can make it, I have no doubt anyone else can too.

What are the academics like at your school?

Barnard classes will range from being very large to very small. In larger classes, whether or not a professor knows your name will depend on how much you talk to the professor and how thoroughly you go out of your way to make yourself known. Barnard is the type of school where help and attention will be given to you if you want it, but it wont just be offered spontaneously. Professors here expect that you'll ask if you want something and have no intention of babying you. If you dont come to class, no one will care (unless its a smaller class, in which case the professor might get annoyed), its your own decision and its up to you to decide how good of a student you want to be. I think this is true of college in general really. Your grade is determined in large part by how hard you're willing to work. As this is an intellectual campus, you can expect to talk about more than just the weather with your fellow classmates. Columbia and Barnard students really like protesting, so there is plenty of opportunity to discuss current events or things you learned in class in an ouside-of-class setting. On a similar note, class participation is fine for smaller classes, and is encouraged in seminars, but in a big lecture, not quite as much. If you have something intelligent to say, then fine, but if you are going to regale the class with a story about how intuitive your 3 year old cousin is, and how this relates to Freud, I assure you wholeheartedly that no one cares, and you will be generally hated for telling irrelevant anecdotal stories in class (again, this applies to all colleges. shut up in lecture unless you have something intelligent to say or unless you are going to ask a question. those of the not-obvious variety are preferred, but not required). General education requirements: known as "the 9 ways of knowing" (knowing you're educated? knowing you're a barnard graduate? i dont know, but they're 9 ways that you know). Instead of saying "you must take class XXXX", barnard gives you categories and asks you to take a class that fits into that category. no worries, its not a narrow pool to choose from. Example: for those of you that hate math, a class in logic satisfies the quantitative reasoning requirement. there are ways of getting around the stuff you dont like to do. Specific to me: I can really only speak for the science side of Barnard, being premed and a neuroscience major, but I generally find that students are competitive in a more subtle way. Science majors tend to be a bit more... aggressive in terms of work ethic. The neuroscience department isnt a real department, by which I mean it doesnt have its own faculty. As far as I can tell, the Bio and Psych departments had a play-date and the Neuro department was thus created. This creates a bit of difficulty when you're signing up for required classes for your major, because labs have to accommodate more students, but there arent enough lab sections made to do this efficiently. That said, I'm really glad there is a neuroscience department. Psychology wasnt rigorous enough for me, and I got really quickly bored in the upper level classes I took (this is just my craziness, dont think that this should reflect badly on the Psych department), and neuroscience is a really nice balance between the psychology and biology that interests me. Barnard has also recently made a big push to get women as involved in science as possible (largely due to the lack of women in the science community). Needless to say, a lot has been invested in the science labs and classes, so you can expect that the labs and equipment will be of good quality. Work load: A guess a lot by some people's standards, but considering the type of student that goes here, its certainly manageable and by no means unreasonable. There is a lot more work that goes into sciences, but I suppose I'm a bit biased in that regard. I dont considering being asked to read a novel a week or to write a few papers a semester to be exceptionally rigorous. One thing that surprised me a little is that the majority of classes will not have lots of little assignments. I took a class my first semester here in which the grade was based on a midterm and a final, each of which was 50% of the final grade. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but it isnt that bad.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Because Barnard and Columbia share most things (this really is not as confusing as everyone makes it out to be) there are a lot of clubs to choose from. There is everything from culture clubs to an S&M club (I'm so not even kidding). There are also a lot of different community service groups. The two that I'm most involved in are Peer Health Exchange and CU Medical Brigades. PHE is an organization that teaches health education to urban high schools without a health edcuation program, and CU medical brigades organizes a trip to Honduras to help run a local clinic for a week (different colleges across the country rotate in and out of the make shift clinic, so its not as though it just falls apart when we leave). There are guest speakers all the time, you'll get enough fliers to make you crazy. As I mentioned previously, its not as though there's a surplus of boys on campus, but thats not to say they're impossible to find. Just dont expect them to show up at your dorm, you have to make a bit of an effort if you want to meet anyone. Making friends is relatively easy. Most of your friends will be people on your hall. I met almost all of my closest friends simply because I lived near them, but I also met a lot of the people I'm friends with now sort of randomly. There are generally a few parties going on every weekend. I personally find going out and drinking for the sake of drinking to be impossibly boring, so I'm always on the lookout for something more dance-oriented (like any college, alcohol is easy to find, but you'll need a fake if you want anything thats a grade above cat urine). Frats and sororities are kind of prevalent, but unless you're in one, you dont really hear about them at all. They arent a super big deal on campus (you're better off at a place like UVM if thats what you're after). There are about a million movie theaters, as well as museums and broadway shows (Which barnard gives you discounted tickets for, and the seats are sometimes actually really really good). Campus traditions: - midnight breakfast: see previous explanation - orgo night: also the night before exams start, the columbia marching band comes to the quad at 12am and plays music for an hour, and then everyone throws all their notes and papers from the semester out of their windows. it sounds stupid but its the best night of the semester, even if you have an exam at 9 the next morning (speaking from experience) - the big sub: or some witty name involving "sub", I forget what exactly. Basically, a 700 foot sub sandwich is set up on campus, and then starting at 7 we get to eat it. As this is a campus filled with hormonal women, the sub is typically consumed within 10 minutes. - take back the night: a protest to end sexual violence. its a good experience, but also kind of intense - certain dances are held by clubs every year, as well as a number of cultural events and shows and whatnot

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

1. We're all lesbians. 2. We're all feminists. Overbearingly so. 3. We wish we were Columbia girls (funny bit: columbia had no women until the 70s I think, we ARE the original columbia girls...)

Ellie
What is your overall opinion of this school?

As Hannah Montana says, its always best to get the best of both worlds, and that's what makes Barnard amazing. The small size...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

As Hannah Montana says, its always best to get the best of both worlds, and that's what makes Barnard amazing. The small size- about 2500 students- make professors accessible, classes intimate and the community connected. Barnard students love their school and their traditions and embrace the small, all-women environment with traditions that go beyond the typical Midnight Breakfast to include, for example, free massages, manicures and Sex and the City viewing during reading week. (There are, of course, less "girly" student traditions. But I personally love the environment in which I can act unabashedly girly without losing respect or IQ points!) On the other hand, Columbia University, a prestigious Ivy League research university, is right across the street. Barnard students cross-register to take almost any Columbia classes (and it works both ways: many Columbia students take advantage of Barnard's classes), participate in any Columbia club, student group or team and treat Columbia's beautiful campus, including massive Butler Library, as their own. Barnard students are Columbia University students as well. Having every advantage of Columbia's academic and social resources but a close-knit community to take care of you makes life at Barnard incomparable to life at any other school in the country.

Describe the students at your school.

While Barnard is quite liberal and one of the most welcoming environments I have ever experienced, it is not particularly diverse. Most students are white and middle to upper-class, and a shockingly high proportion are Jewish. (It's rumored to be up to 45%.) That said, Barnard does a great job at highlighting different cultures with an active Office of Multicultural Affairs, and blatant prejudice on campus is pretty much non-existent. Students coexist fairly harmoniously even though some races are represented more than others.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Students at Barnard are genuinely happy- happy to study, happy to be together, happy to be at Barnard. It is a self-selecting group, women who want to learn in a academic environment and learn from each other. It makes Barnard a pleasant and, moreover, inspiring place to be. We are all striving to see ourselves and our fellow women succeed.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

The extreme stereotypes, while based on true specimen, are rare and in most cases blown way out of proportion. While there are Barnard "sorority" types, the partying and hooking up is no crazier-- in fact, probably less so-- than happens at most bug state schools. And as for lesbians? Well, if they're here, I rarely notice. Both lesbians and their straight counterparts basically go about their business without needing to advertise their preferences. What is pretty accurate is the picture of Barnard students as hard working and high achieving; Columbia professors love their Barnard students, and there is no denying the amazing successes of Barnard alumni worldwide.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics at Barnard are no joke. Students come here serious to learn, are not afraid of showing their intelligence and are ready to take the workload head on. But while Barnard students tend to be overachievers, the sense of competition is surprisingly low; students' good nature travels into the class room and most everyone is willing to help a fellow student out when it comes to studying and classes. An upside to the school's small size is how easy it is to meet with professors for help and guidance. Barnard professors are known for their willingness to work with students, keeping office hours and encouraging email. Most professors are on your side- and those who aren't can be avoided with the help of www.CULPA.info (Columbia Underground Listing of Professor Ability), a student-run site that profiles numerous University professors' habits and competence honestly. Another "best of both worlds" perks of Barnard is the opportunity to take Columbia classes without the burden of Columbia's infamous Core Curriculum. More flexible that Columbia and never requiring any one specific class, Barnard's Nine Ways of Knowing are nine categories, including Quantitative Reasoning, Historical Studies and Visual and Performing Arts, and students are required to take one class in each over their time at Barnard. The categories can be fulfilled with a broad range of classes, and fulfilling the requirements is often more rewarding and mind-expanding than burdensome.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Barnard is in and of New York City, providing Barnard students with countless opportunities for culture and nightlife. "Student activities" exist on campus, but for many "student activities" means local bars, performances and other city-specific activities like movies, restaurants, relaxing in any number of parks, etc. For others New York means museums, film festivals, Yankee games, galleries and, of course, shopping. Basically, student activities and social life overflow from campus and into Manhattan. As for campus activities, Barnard students participate equally in all Columbia groups, including athletic teams and all student groups. Dance and a capella groups are popular, as well as religious and political groups. While Columbia competes in the Ivy League, sports are basically a joke-- athletes aren't super stars like they might be at Duke or UNC. Fraternities and sororities are popular in their own circles (Barnard girls an pledge just like Columbia girls) but a small percentage of students actually go Greek, as it really does not dominate the social scene. For the most part no one group or activity dominates the social scene: Barnard and Columbia students tend to be pretty independent and urban-minded, making their weekends look like pretty much whatever they want.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

The stereotypes are abundant and the most common range from each extreme of the spectrum. On one side, there's the slutty JAP who frequents the fraternities and is usually escorted back to the west side of Broadway by her flavor-of-the-week boy. On the other extreme there's the fanatically feminist lesbian who uses only gender-neutral language and takes full advantage of what is assumed to be a women's-only social scene. A more general stereotype is that Barnard is a school full of hard-working, overachieving future-CEOs/Presidents/Pulitzer Prize winners who are, as the Barnard tag line goes, "strong and beautiful."

amanda
What is your overall opinion of this school?

the best thing about barnard is the advising system, the internship opportunities, being in the city, the career development ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

the best thing about barnard is the advising system, the internship opportunities, being in the city, the career development office, and the academics. i don't think i would change anything about it; although, some people say that they wish the school had a greater sense of community. i think, however, that the city takes away from a sense of community that you would find at a bigger university in the suburbs. and the city adds to barnard, so there's no way to really fix that. i think the administration is great: they're more personable and approachable than other administrations (JShap singing, or serving breakfast to students at midnight).

Describe the students at your school.

i think that there are a lot of different students at barnard. it's great for jewish students, with the Jewish Theological School program, great for Islamic students (being an all girls school with the benefits of a bigger university), great for lower income students (with HEOP, a program for NYC residents), and of course a wide range of other students. the city attracts a certain type of person, and therefore a certain type of student is likely to be found at barnard. a friend of mine once commented that you can see a distinct difference between the girls at barnard from columbia. we dress quirkier, and seem more "hipster". i feel that one a whole, however, different students don't typically interact. i was lucky to be paired with a great roommate with was indian (i am not), so i got to know all her friends and i went with her to a lot of events on campus that i wouldn't normally go to, which was great. even though the website says that more than half of the student body has financial aid, i feel that a lot of students come from rich families. students are politically aware, and most, if not almost all, are liberal (it is ny, after all).

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

i don't think so, but unfortunately, there are a few students at barnard who only say they go to columbia, spend all their time over there (deliberately) and specifically sign up for classes over there. these students are embarrassing, to columbia and barnard, and i think that both schools tend to just ignore these students.

What are the academics like at your school?

every professor, except one, i am on first name basis with. i think that in order to get close to profs, especially first year, is to go to office hours. i learned that going to office hours of profs with 150 student lecture classes helps. they remember you, and like that you came to them, because a lot of students are too afraid. i've had some fabulous classes, and one that was absolutely horrible (and i expected better, from the english department). i think that some students study a lot, and some little. it depends on who they are. everyone, that i know, studies enough, and is concerned about classes and assignments. i think that some students are competitive, however, i haven't been in any small class where that is obvious. i have a unique relationship with the profs in my department, because i work there. i know them all, and they know me, even though i haven't taken a class with all of them. as a rising soph, i think this puts me in a good place. i think the 9 ways of knowing is great; it's better than core requirements, like at columbia. you can fulfill requirements in a variety of ways, instead of being forced to take specific classes (except first year english, unfortunately). as a humanities students, the math requirement was tough, but it's only one class. i think the 2 semester lab requirement is a little much. one should do. i think that education here is geated towards learning just for learning. many people have majors that are obscure, or would make it difficult to get a job after school.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

we rarely stay on campus on weekend nights. it's ny, and ny has a lot more to offer than a college campus does, no matter how hard they try. some do stay; there are frats, and other dorms, but generally, the city has more to offer. i feel like there's not much you can do on weekend nights except party, although if you're not into that, you're probably friends with like people, so you don't have to worry. and my friends and i don't go out every night. it is barnard, and academics are important. i've stayed in doing homework on weekend nights. i've also stayed in and just hung out with friends, watching movies or whatever. i like how the school isn't totally into partying, like a lot of other schools are. i like the balance. i like how i don't have to feel weird if i don't feel like partying on a saturday night sometimes.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

sometimes people think that barnard students only went to barnard because they think it's the "backdoor" into columbia. or, "barnard to bed, columbia to wed".

Casey
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Barnard is the best of both worlds- small liberal arts school with the benefits of a large city and Columbia. We have an all ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Barnard is the best of both worlds- small liberal arts school with the benefits of a large city and Columbia. We have an all women's environment, but a co-ed one with columbia men!

Describe the students at your school.

very bright!! you will be schoked at the achievements of all these women. they inspire you daily.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Like all stereotypes, it is kind of true - we like to work hard, but its really because we are dedicated and motivated. And the lesbian thing- not true. we have a gay community like most schools but by no means are we all lesbians.

What are the academics like at your school?

very rigirous, but really worth is- the professsors are so caring, and if you want close relationships you can find it.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

NEW YORK CITY!!! Make the best of it...

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Some people think Barnard students don't know how to have fun, are too studious. Also sometimes they are seen as lesbians because of the all girl thing

Cat
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The friction between Barnard and Columbia is always present, it just depends on how much you ignore it. I'm sure it subsides ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The friction between Barnard and Columbia is always present, it just depends on how much you ignore it. I'm sure it subsides as you get older as well, because Columbia freshman are so stuck up that they'll put anyone down to boost their pride. But it's hard at first- I felt like I had to prove to myself that I was smart, and constantly justify my choice to go to Barnard. Lots of people don't know what it is, but when you say it's affiliated with Columbia University, well then obviously they know. For this reason some shameful girls only put "Columbia" on their facebook profiles and not "Barnard", which is misleading. But these are the types of trivialities that occupy some girls' minds, I know. You have to love it, because you have to constantly defend your position there. But besides all of this, it's great school. Girls go there not because it's all girls, or because they can say "Columbia" but because it's simply a great school with amazing resources, professors, and surroundings. You couldn't ask for a better location. And ultimately in college it's about what you do with your time, what you make of it, and being at Barnard definitely shows that to you by instilling each person with a sense of inspiration but also extreme focus, dedication and hard work ethic. It's quite a stimulating place. Also the fact that Barnard itself is small and Columbia University is large gives it the feeling of both sizes simultaneously. You can feel the cozy environment as well as the expanse of all the different schools.

Describe the students at your school.

Barnard's student body is a homogenous crowd, at least compared to my highly diversified high school class at a New York City public school. It came as a bit of a shock to me. Most girls, it seems, are highly social, very trendy and into clothes, and if you don't know anyone too well all kind of act the same at first. But they are all extremely busy and motivated, running around doing a million things, highly organized and intelligent, lively beings.

What are the academics like at your school?

The classes are great, hands down. You have both small intimate seminars for, let's say English, where participation is not a chore but comes naturally because of the interesting topics. The lecture classes are usually not larger than 200, simply because the lecture halls are Barnard are small. If you want a big lecture, or simply a different class that isn't offered at Barnard, you can take anything except Core Classes at Columbia. Half my classes are there. Barnard classes are harder/easier than Columbia classes, just different. Perhaps Barnard inspires more creativity and Columbia is more strictly prescribed. But either way, the small intimate classes want more out of you in terms of a personal level, and the large lectures want to see you absorb information as efficiently as possible.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That we're lesbians. That we're Columbia rejects. That we're dumb.

Skylar
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Enjoying the Barnard experience, for me, was a lot about enjoying the feeling of living in New York, particularly in a more s...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Enjoying the Barnard experience, for me, was a lot about enjoying the feeling of living in New York, particularly in a more subdued neighborhood like Morningside Heights (not as busy and over-stimulating as, say, the neighborhood around NYU). I liked the balance between having an entire city at my doorstep (the subway stops right outside the gates of the college) and having the quiet, intimate retreat of the Barnard campus to come back to. The campus is physically very small, but it doesn't feel this way, because you have access to space, activities, and resources across the street at Columbia. One potentially uncomfortable aspect of going to Barnard is the ambiguous relationship between Barnard and Columbia, which the administration does a pretty poor job of defining. When I tell people I went to Barnard, I often get the question, "Oh, so, is that like, the same thing as Columbia?" The answer I give them is no, it's not, it is its own college with its own philosophy of higher education. But, being affiliated with Columbia University, it offers students the opportunity to take Columbia courses, participate in Columbia student groups, use the Columbia libraries, and just hang out on the Columbia campus. The way I see it, every student can choose her own balance between Barnard and Columbia life and find some satisfying meeting point between the two worlds.

What are the academics like at your school?

I found the professors at Barnard to be very accessible, supportive, and always willing to talk outside of class. Academics at Barnard are quite competitive, especially within the sciences, and there is a tendency among students to make the workload seem harder than it really is. After freshman year, and adjusting to the academic standards of college, the workload for most of my classes was rigorous but definitely manageable. I would recommend taking a combination of Barnard and Columbia courses. I absolutely loved my major, American Studies, but some of the key courses I took for it were offered at Columbia, and I don't think my experience would have been as fulfilling if I had stayed solely within the American Studies department at Barnard.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There are lots of options for socializing at Barnard. Lots of students go out to bars on the weekends, sometimes in the neighborhood around campus, sometimes in other parts of the city. If you want do this, it is vital to get a fake ID. If not, you're in New York, and there is, of course, a lot of other stuff to do. It's important to remember, though, that it takes a good deal of effort and exploration and trial-and-error to find YOUR New York, to discover the scene that appeals the most to you. There are also a lot of fun events happening on campus, like student shows and guest speakers. Fraternities and sororities exist, but they're not that popular. I met my closest friends on my freshman year floor. Before going to Barnard, I read in some college guide that the dating scene was competitive, because there are so many more girls than guys. As it turns out, this really is the case. Making friends with guys and finding boyfriends--especially in a casual, sober setting--is not the easiest task, but it can be done.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Barnard girls are "easy," because, being at an all women's school, they are starved for the attention of men. They are not as "smart" or intellectually capable as the Columbia students across the street. But, they are cuter and better dressed than girls at Columbia.

Blake
What is your overall opinion of this school?

"Small liberal college in the best city in the world with all the perks of a big university across the street," is exactly wh...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

"Small liberal college in the best city in the world with all the perks of a big university across the street," is exactly what admissions office will tell you and they're right. If you love the city, but still want a campus that feels like home... If you want to be surrounded by the most intelligent, driven women you'll ever meet in your life... If you want all the resources of a huge university, but the care and attention of a small school... If you want a solid liberal arts base, but the opportunity for great work experience during your time in college... If you want to feel like you're part of a greater legacy and network of alumnae... Then Barnard is the place for you.

Describe the students at your school.

What similarities do I share with the Barnard student body? The three biggest ones: 1) we're women 2) We're intelligent 3) We're driven. However the similarities end there. Whether it is regarding politics, religion, class, hometowns, Barnard is extremely diverse. I would say there is a higher percentage of Jews, but it's new york city, it's expected. And we tend to be liberal, but once again, we're in nyc. When i'm in a classroom arguing liberal fiscal policies, I can be sure someone will have an opposing view and not be afraid to argue against me. When I'm arguing about the Iranian president's right to free speech in the dining hall, I can be sure someone will be there to debate my point. I admire my peers and love engaging in debates with them because I've learned so much from them. They are the future women leaders of the world, it's an honor getting to know them now.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

You need to have thick skin to go to a women's institution. Smith, Wellesley, Bryn Mawr, and Mount Holyoke (the remaining colleges of the 7 sisters) all have the misogynistic labels of "whores" and "lesbians" as well. Stereotypes of these colleges have really hurt their image. For example, there is a bus that goes from wellesley to boston during the weekends for students, MIT/Harvard boys have referred to this as the "fuck truck". Smith is notorious for being the school for lesbians, when in reality their lesbian population is roughly the same percentage as other co-ed schools. Who knows how these labels are started... probably by a boys who were rejected by women from these schools or women who were jealous that "their" men were being "stolen" by women from these schools. But regardless of a basis in truth, they still exist. I would argue that it's even worse at Barnard, simply because we have to deal with Columbia being right across the street. This sterotype isn't dealt with only on weekend bus trips or on rare occasions they leave their beautiful, isolated campuses... it's dealt with everyday because we are very much a part of the columbia community. The barnard-columbia relationship is complicated... but what barnard students need to remember, is that they're amazing women that were accepted into the MOST selective women's college in the United States. It is a fantastic education in the world's greatest city. The opportunities are truly endless here... but that all said, you need to have or be able to develop the thick skin to deal with that kind of misogyny. It's no different than the "real world", but it's more hurtful because we're only college students. So although we don't burn bras here at Barnard, through out the four years every student develops pride in being a Barnard woman. The real question is, whether you think you can keep up with them. My FRIENDS have won the coveted Marshall prize, they have received the Fullbright scholarships, they have been recruited by McKinsey and Goldman alike, they are the future teachers in TFA, they are the brightest women I've ever met, and am proud to have known.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Women cannot be categorized under one label. Some are lesbians and some are sexually liberal, typecasting 50% of the population as such can never be accurate.

What are the academics like at your school?

I came into college knowing that I wanted to be an Economics major. What I didn't expect was that I would end up loving every professor in the Econ deparment. Over my 4 years I took over 10 classes in the Barnard Economics department and came to know all my professors very well. Close enough that I'd discuss their research papers with them during office hours, close enough that they'd invite our class to dinner at their homes, close enough that I could ask them advice about my future and know that they know me well enough for it to be trustworthy. I came into college expecting rigorous academics, I did not expect such personalized care. During my senior year, I was having doubts about whether I was choosing the right career path, and other concerns. I dropped by my advisor's office one afternoon and somehow we got into a discussion about God. Two hours later I left the office more confused than ever, but enlightened. My advisor always said that he loves to leave us more confused than when we entered because being unsure is how we truly learn about ourselves. I've loved having the opportunity to study with the most driven women i've ever met. Imagine taking all the courses you took in high school, history, english, etc... but now question it all from a woman's persepective. This is NOT about the feminist movement, or rewriting a misogynistic history. It IS about questioning the beliefs of the authors of our textbooks and exploring a viewpoint that has been supressed for so long. It is an experience that you cannot get anywhere else.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Activities... Arts is huge on this campus. Dance, theater, music, singing, there are over 50 clubs dedicate to the arts, each with it's own speciality. You can find your niche here. I ended up joining a dance team thats specific to the folk dance of Northwest india. If i can find that, you can find anything. Religious, cultural, politically active groups on campus are huge. As are pro-environment ones. Student government is good. They do a lot of good work, but are still somewhat detached from the students. Social Life.. It's nyc. Enough said. If you dont have a social life here, you wont be able to have one anywhere. I typically go out/downtown 1-2 nights a week, I would stay around campus for parties another 1-2 nights a week. We definitely live the work hard, play harder mentality. If you are worried about meeting boys and dating life at an all-women's college, just stop. Not only is columbia literally right across the street, but it's Manhattan. 3 million men in a 10 mile radius.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

At an all-women's college you will always have misogyny rearing it's ugly head from your male counterparts. The stereotype is that we're all whores or we're all lesbians. These just come with the territory.

Tess
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love Barnard. It's a clode-knit community of amazingly motivated and socially-conscious women. I have made the best friends...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love Barnard. It's a clode-knit community of amazingly motivated and socially-conscious women. I have made the best friends there. People are often scared of the whole all-girls thing, but it honestly is not a problem. Freshman year can be a little rough, but now I feel fully integrated into the Columbia community and have just as many guy friends as girlfriends. I feel like Morningside Heights (the neighborhod of both campuses) is my home. It's kind of like a college town in the middle of New York City. It's where I spend most of my time although I try to go explore other areas of the city as well.

Describe the students at your school.

Of course, as an all-women's school, there is a large lesbian population at Bnard. I would say most Bnard students are very active in the community and are socially-conscious: for instance, the Columbia community service umbrella agency is mostly Bnard students. Students who were all into frat parties and the "typical" college experience would feel out of place at Barnard. You have to be independent and willing to put yourself out there. Most people get dressed up for class - you don't see many Bnard students rolling ou of bed in sweat pants.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

No!!! And anyone who is in the community for more than a year knows that these stereotypes are silly freshman insecurities.

What are the academics like at your school?

Barnard has this 9 Ways of Knowing curriculum. In that way, it's learning philosophy is distinct from Columbia's, where they have a strict Core Curriculum. Bnard basically has subject requirements. They've been fairly painless except for the lab science requirement: it is way too much for non-science people. Most people say that and I think it's something the student govt is working on changing. I've liked classes and not liked others - it really depends. I like my major, urban studies, but it's seen some neglect in the past year. There couldn't be a better place to study cities than NYC, though.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Lots of people are involved in community service groups. Other popular orgs are the Columbia Spectator (daily newspaper), the College Democrats, and dance groups. Lots of dancers go to Bnard. Nobody goes to athletic events, but everybody works out. There are lots of cool guest speakers. Lots of Bnard girls date Columbia guys and also guys from other schools (or not) in NYC. My closest friends were my freshman year hallmates. If I'm awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I'm probably studying at the library - the Columbia library, Butler, is super intense. On a Wednesday though, I might be at a bar drinking. Got to balance it all. People party at Morningside bars. You'll always find people you know there on weekend nights (Thurs-Sat). There are also dorm parties and frat parties, but the frat scene is pretty small. People also go to bars and clubs downtown. You need a fake ID as a freshman!

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Barnard to bed, Columbia to wed...this is the gist of stereotypes that comes from Barnard's awkward, colvoluted relationship to Columbia. Others: Barnard girls are all sluts, lesbians, stupid, etc, etc.

Hayley
What is your overall opinion of this school?

It's a small intimate environment that really creates adult women who genuinely care about helping the world around them. The...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

It's a small intimate environment that really creates adult women who genuinely care about helping the world around them. These women really care about learning as well, and very much enjoy learning. Many many students go on to become Phd students as a result of this environment. It takes an unusually independent minded woman to decide to go to an all girls school, and so Barnard attracts a lot of liberal thinkers. NYC of course is fabulous as a college town. There is ALWAYS something to do. I would say the Career Development office does a very good job of taking advantage of the job and internship opportunities in the city. Barnard academically also takes good advantage of the city. For my art history class we visit museums constantly.

Describe the students at your school.

Students interact well across race lines and and economic lines. Big jewish community at barnard that tends to seclude itself. Many barnard students come from all across the country. The school is world class and attracts women from all over the world. Barnard women are very fashionable and rumored to be gorgeous. (This is true!) Most people politically lean left, but there are plently of old money types too. Students talk about helping the world when they graduate, mostly. Though i would say there is a population that is interested in joining the finance and consulting world, and they are certainly interested in the money that will bring them.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Basically, the only REAL critique I have of Barnard is that it NEEDS to define its relationship to Columbia better. Do I go to an ivy league school? Sort of.. .maybe. The point is I don't really know. Half of my classes are columbia, I get As in columbia classes just as often as my columbia counterparts, but still many snobby people at columbia talk about how barnard girls are not as smart because our acceptance rate is higher than at columbia. This is elitist bullshit mainly, but it still bothers me. Barnard also gets rated a lot as if its an island, without all the resources that columbia has. (it was rated something ridiculous in U.S News, something like 29 in the US) this just isnt true in terms of so many things, including academics and financial aid (financial aid is GREAT) they've helped my family so much. So Barnard needs to just go for it and package itself as an ivy league school, because it is! Its professors go through the same tenure process as columbia, we take many of the same class, many of columbia departments are even house at columbia! So my request to Barnard is just to figure this out and define us more against these snobby people who think Barnard women are not as intelligent because of the acceptance rate. In reality our acceptance rate would be just as difficult as columbia's except for the fact that we have only females applying and not males and females, and this cuts our application pool in half.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

the only ones that are accurate are the wealthy and fashionable stereotypes :)

What are the academics like at your school?

Class participation is common. Small classes, definitely have the chance to get to know world class professors. Also, we can take as many columbia classes as we want as columbia students can ours. Our professors also go through the same rigorous tenure process as columbia ones, so we're really getting all the advantages of a huge world class ivy league university but along with a tiny intimate environment dedicated to the advancement of women in the workplace and in the world. The professors care, the classe choices are wide and assorted.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

social life is integrated with columbia in pretty much every way. Sororities and frats are nice, many people join them, but if you dont there is also plenty to do. The bars in morningside heights are a lot of fun for college students, though many people choose to venture downtown to clubs or to a variety of restaurants in NY. The location in NYC is fabulous, but also expensive. We have some pretty hokey and silly traditions that i find kind of idiotic, like midnight breakfast during finals week, and the big sub which spreads out across campus every semester and everyone eats it.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That, compared to Columbia Barnard girls are not as smart. That Barnard girls are crazy lesbian feminists. It's an all girls school so everyone is a lesbian. Barnard girls are wealthy and very fashionable.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 2,510
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $50,394
  • Acceptance rate
  • 17%

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