I'm an English Major. Barnard's English Academic Department is comprised of an eccelectic group of Professors who range from film makers to creative authors. Each professor develops different types of relationships with their students, but in my experience, students are always encouraged to meet with professors to discuss their courses, experiences and goals. Although the coursework is difficult and professors expect a great deal from their students, it never seems impossible because the professors are so engaged in helping students achieve success.
While most Barnard women take half their classes every semester at Columbia, the general consensus is that Barnard's faculty focus more on teaching and less on their research. This means fewer "superstar" professors, like Jeff Sacks or Alan Brinkley at Columbia, but our faculty are more accessible. Many students develop close relationships with professors. Barnard women are very competitive, less against each other and more against themselves. It can be a problem. Too many girls don't get enough sleep, and have real issues about getting "bad" grades.
Academics at Barnard are very strong. Really interesting courses, great teachers who know your name and are generally available for extra help. Students are super studious. You know the saying "work hard, play hard"? Well Barnard students work very hard and play so so. I'm an Urban Studies student which is great because a lot of my class projects involve getting outside of the classroom and doing field research...and what better place to be for Urban Studies research than NYC?
at barnard you will probably end up taking half your classes at barnard and half at columbia, although you can lean any way you choose to. classes at barnard are a great experience. professors are very passionate and communicative. professors usually know your name, except in some large lectures. classes are hard and grades will not be given away, but they are also not impossible. i have enjoyed my classes at barnard mostly more than my classes at columbia.
Academics is taken very seriously at Barnard and everyone is constantly studying. Of course we all explore the city every so often, but less than one would imagine due to the vast amounts of work we receive. I feel lucky to go here because of some of the really neat courses offered. For example, I took an exhibit design class at the American Museum of Natural History this past semester! Where else but New York?
I much prefer classes at Barnard to classes at Columbia. I'm not a big fan of the Nine Ways of knowing but I heard that they are decreasing it next year. The professors are all great and you know that you are going to get a good degree when you come here. I prefer seminars to lectures because I don't like big classes, but that's just me. I don't really feel a competitive vibe as of now.
My favorite class is Applied Ecology and Evolution. It's a great class, only 7 girls in total, 5 of which are Biology majors, 2 which are just generally interested. It is an upper level class so the course load can be challenging but the professor is wonderful and more than happy to sit with you all night long helping you on a problem set if need be.
I don't see the need of having the english requirement-> USELESS Professors usually know my name which is nice. Students study a good amount. Not much competition. Urban studies is very interesting! Education at Barnard is not geared toward getting a job which is a bit of an issue. The academic requirements are nonsense.
Barnard is for very serious students, who are devoted and passionate enough about their studies to spend all night at the library, if need be. It is not unusual to form friendships with the professors, who are very approachable and committed to teaching. I've found the English department to be especially fabulous.
Classes are on the small size. Seminars run around 12-18 students. Lectures from 20 to 100 (my biggest). My professors know my name but that's because I talk to much. Urban Studies rocks. education for its own sake and getting a job.