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...
Barnard is a small liberal arts college located in the upperwest side in New York City. It is across the street from Columbia University, which the school is affiliated with. Initially, Barnard was the sister school to Columbia, with women attending Barnard and men Columbia. Once Columbia went coed though, Barnard has maintained its identity as one of the seven sisters; a prestigious womens college. Now Barnard is completely seperated in terms of admissions process, though Barnard women receive a degree from both Barnard and Columbia University. Since Barnard is relatively small (approximately 2500 students) its a tight knit community where most people know the others in their class, or at least know who you are. There is tons of diversity as well, so there are a number of niches within the larger community. Alot of interest groups and cultural groups work together for a common goal. Overall, the environment is very inclusive. Also, Barnard girls have access to all the facilities and most of the classes at Columbia. So if for some reason Barnard doesn't have what you are looking for, Columbia probably does, and you can access it across the street. This is one of the reasons Barnard is the best of both worlds; it has a small college feeling, but is also within a large university. Since Barnard is all-girl, the dorms are all single-sex. This is nice because it eliminates the whole hooking up with floormates that occurs in coed dorms...which can get very awkward. Also, Barnard and Columbia people can room together, but they have to choose the dorm depending on the ratio of Barnard students to Columbia students. The system would be better if all the students had access to both Columbia and Barnard dorms, but this would integrate the schools more than Barnard would like. Since Barnard is in the city, where there are endless oppertunities and distractions, most students use the surrounding neighborhoods as places to socialize and hang out. Campus life is definitly not as big as it would be in a college town. There are still all types of events and parties on campus though, for those people who don't want to stray away from campus for the night. There is also a pretty active Greek life. In terms of the administration, most of the deans and advisors are really helpful and there to help you make descions etc. You can usually always get in to see a dean, or they always are prompt regarding emails. Also, if you are struggling academically, the deans make an effort to reach out and help you to do better. My only qualm with the school is the price. The school is extremely expensive...more than 40,000 a year, and is always looking for ways to charge its students extra fees. There is a fee for almost everything: not registering in a specific time, changing your meal plan, leaving housing, its outrageous! This past semester I took leave from Barnard, and housing charged me $1000 for breaking my one year contract, even though they quickly moved someone else into my room, then charged them more for the single. Also, if you plan on studying abroad and your program is much cheaper than Barnard, you still have to pay the entire semester's price, which I don't think is fair. Overall, Barnard women have alot of pride in our school. We are getting the best education money can offer, and even though it is really expensive, I would not have been happier anywhere else. You really come into your own here, and gain skills necessary to make a difference in the world.
The best thing about Barnard is choice. You get to choose how you want your experience to be. Barnard is a small liberal arts college within a larger universtiy which is then within New York City. So, if you want your experience to be small and communal it can be. Barnard's dedication to creating a sense of community on campus is unbeatable at any school I've seen. But, if you want to feel like you're at a bigger school you can spend more time at Columbia. In regards to the city, you can stay on campus or go out and explore. I personally think it would be a waste to come to school in the city and not use it to your advantage, but you have that choice. New York City is the most incredible place to go to college. There is so much culture and thanks to our student IDs a lot of it is free or heavily discounted. You can have fun in the city doing nothing. My friend and I once had the best night walking around times square for 3 hours. As for administration, the deans work hard to be available as much as possible. That's the beauty of a small school. You can really get to know your dean if you want. They have appointments all the time, but it is often difficult to snag a time that fits your schedule, especially during the first two weeks of every semester - program planning season. Administration is very hands-on at Barnard. There is a lot of school pride rather than school spirit so to speak. Women are proud to be Barnard students, but the bleachers are pretty empty at football games. My biggest complaint is in regards to registering for classes. There are 97 different ways to sign up for a class and different classes require different things. Some have a simple online sign up. Some are limited enrollment so you can be shut out. Some require instructor permission. Some require applications. Any number of them require combinations of these requirements. It can be confusing until you learn to double check everything. Also, Barnard advertises small class size. Seminars and language classes are always small. However, I've found - and maybe it's because I'm pre-med and I am stuck in science classes - that too many of my classes are big lectures. I still have to wait until my upperclassmen days to take specialized classes that will inherently be smaller. The best night of the semester by far is midnight breakfast. The themes get better as the years go on. The event just oozes with Barnard pride - and half of Columbia crashes. Who can refuse free food at midnight?
The best thing at Barnard would be the size of the school, not just in mass but also in faculty. Barnard has a really comfortable campus and the faculty there takes the time to get to talk to and know the students. If I could change one thing about Barnard, it would be the tension between Barnard and Columbia students. I remember that as incoming freshmans once, during the Blaze where Barnard and Columbia students were to come together and have fun, had a Columbia girl stop talking to us because she found out that we were from Barnard. It is this type of tension that I talk about and wish it didn't exist, but it does. Even in my sophomore year at Barnard, this tension still exist. I used to spend most of my time in Macintosh before it was torn down. There, students could hangout and listen to live performances as they ate, sit and chat with friends, and watch movies on a projector screen. Now, I don't really hangout anywhere except for my room, where most of my friends come and hangout with me. The biggest recent controversy I heard was about a girl who wanted to have a sex change operation. And with Barnard being an all girls school, well you could see how that wouldn't have worked out. I have lots of school pride and quite often I find myself defending it when it is attacked by Columbia professors and students who didn't know that I was a student who went to Barnard out of the many Columbia students in the pack. It's a tough world out there for some Barnard students.
Barnard is all girls school that partners with Columbia University. It is a small school in a huge and always loud and noisy city. We are located on the Upper West Side, south of Harlem. This however makes no difference as one must watch their surroundings and be street smart no matter where they go to school. We have on campus dorms as well as places to live off campus. We have some of the best professors in the world teaching at our school and thus we have a rich educational environment. At this moment they are doing building a new addition to our campus and although I am excited to see the new community center it has been very hard to live 24/7 with the construction going on. I have made some wonderful friends and taken great classes. I love that we have such a close relationship with Columbia as well which gives us more options on classes and even dining options. As we are located in New York City we are everyday given the option to use the wonderful things around us to further stimulate our education and further our growth into intellectual young adults.
Barnard is really caring and community oriented. The administration tries to be open, transparent, and available to the student body. Right now we are transitioning to welcome our new president, which may change how the administration operates. I feel that sometimes this community feeling is undermined by the diversity programs at both Barnard and Columbia that seem to split people up into religious, ethnic, and racial groups rather than make people feel like they are forming one group with many different traits. A lot of people don't really know what or where Barnard is. Some people recognize that it is affiliated with Columbia University, but many of those who do don't know that it's right across the street. I definitely feel like Barnard has a campus, and you are either on or off it. The Barnard campus feeling for me is so strong that being on Columbia's campus warrants a distinction despite the close proximity; I am at Columbia, not on campus.
As a first year at Barnard, life is pretty terrifying. The city is scary, the prestige of the school is intimidating, and the freshmen dorms emanate a summer camp feel. Once you adjust enough to emerge from your small room, though, you are forced to become an independent, opinionated, and confident woman. The small size of the school creates a heightened sense of academic competition while providing a more comprehensive student support system than larger institutions. Like any city school, the social life on campus is lacking because students tend to venture off campus and into the city. This diminishes school spirit a bit, but by the time senior year approaches, students feel a deep reluctance to leave Barnard. Seniors graduate from Barnard well prepared for the real world, demonstrating a sophistication and level of professionalism unparalleled by other liberal arts schools.
barnard prides itself in being small and intimate. there is a nice prof to student ratio making the lecture and learning experience highly gratifying. the profs are really good and efficient. the barnard setup is traditional with a campus, midterms and finals (multiple choice), hardly any papers, major general education requirements and little room for flexibility in terms of academic planning. barnard has a plan and will force you to go by that plan. the lectures are typical lectures but the profs try to be as engaging as possible. this is especially doable due to the smaller class sizes (50 students max). obviously being in nyc is wonderful and makes the entire experience a hundred times better. it is a good feeling to go to a great school made for women that gives every student what they need for their future careers and lives in general.
You really have to go out of your way to form a bond with teachers. Often times, people don't know what/where Barnard is--in the circles where it matters most, your peers will understand (and be impressed with the fact) that you are a "Barnard Woman". Lots of "red tape", crazy course selection processes, millions of mazes and forms and meetings with Deans and Advisers are necessary to get anything done. Recent controversy: Columbia and Barnard students going on a [completely unnecessary] hunger strike in an attempt to demonstrate the need for an "Ethnic Studies" department...even though we already have one... Other recent controversy: Having Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak on campus Other recent controversy: Columbia expansion into a section of Harlem and the effects of relocating housing for thousands of Harlem residents
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.