Barnard College Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Kat

Just as the admissions office will tell you over and over - Barnard is the best of both worlds, a small college in a big city. People choose to take advantage of this differently. Some people spend most of their time in the Barnard/Columbia/Morningside Heights area while others prefer to spend more time adventuring into the New York. The community can be what you make of it, if you want to find a large, close-knit, group of friends (girls and guys) you will be able to. If you prefer to have one or two close girl friends, you can do that to. The community is a good size, Barnard is small but if you ever feel claustrophobic, Columbia is a much larger community right across the street. Most people hangout on campus in the dorms, or in the Diana Center (newly completed student center). A lot of people also choose to hangout at Columbia, in the libraries or the student center over there. Barnard has a lot of "Barnard Women" pride, but not a lot of pride in the traditional sense. If you really want a rah-rah campus with tons of pride for athletic events and school-sponsored functions, Barnard/Columbia is not the place for you. I love pretty much everything about Barnard, I think its great that you can get the benefits of a women's college (sisterhood and all that jazz) without having to sacrifice men.

Devin

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.

Emma

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

Carolina

The best thing about Barnard is that it really is a big family. I know that most colleges hold the same claim, but at Barnard it's actually true. I'm a commuter student who transferred to Barnard. During orientation, I was scheduled to meet with my new class dean. The first thing she did was hug me and welcome me to the school. During my first semester there and subsequent semesters thereafter, she continued to keep in contact me. All of my professors followed suit. Everyone I came in contact with was genuinely interested in helping me succeed.

Rory

The big picture is that Barnard is an all women's college in the middle of New York City. It's small, but you still get the big city atmosphere by just stepping out of the gates. For me, this school is just right and what differentiates it to me apart from the other Sister schools is that it is not a) isolated or in a boring location (sorry if you go to one of the other sister schools; the other sister schools are wonderful, but they just weren't right for me) and b) it doesn't really feel like an all women's college because you're in the city and also because Columbia students are allowed to take Barnard classes and eat in the dining halls and vice versa. You really get the best of both worlds at Barnard. You get the comfort of a school really dedicated to helping women be successful and you get to use all the resources of Columbia University. There is a lot of pride at Barnard and I don't see why there shouldn't be. It is discouraging sometimes when people ask me where I go to College and when I tell them they don't even know or they reply by saying, "You go to an all women's college?!?!" But I just set them straight.

Brett

The best thing about Barnard is that whatever interest you have, you will always find means to develop that interest. If you are interested in a certain career, you can use the funding that school provides through the Office of Career Development to attend conferences or get paid for a non-paid internship. Another great thing is that if you don't have enough money to pay for your tuition, they will try to do everything to help you in terms of scholarships, grants and low interest loans. The school is just the right size, it is small enough to provide personal help and support, however, it supplies lots of resources within big campus of Columbia University. Most of my time on campus I usually spend, in libraries, of which there is plenty, beautiful college lawns in spring, campus caffe's and in nearby restaurants. Barnard's administration is really great-everyone is very helpful. The most frequent complaints are about housing-even though the dorms are very nice, you can live in a student's hall or an apartment, further or closer to campus, the administration often has trouble in placing everyone where they want to be, however, the older you get, the better chance you have of getting what you pick.

Jacqueline

barnard is full of amazing women who get over the unfortunate fact that their school is not widely known and never gets the credit it deserves, but revel in the great opportunities barnard, columbia, and new york city are able to provide for them, anyway.

lucy

liberal, eclectic, prestigious, access to many exciting events and experiences, open-minded

Ruthie

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?

Sarah

I have never once thought twice about my decision to come to Barnard. The small classes allow you to make more personal connections with both the professors and the students. Sometimes it may be annoying to have to meet with your adviser at least 4 times a year, but I much prefer that than being at a school where you never once see your adviser.

Leslie

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.

Devin

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.

Anais

columbia with a diffent feel. barnard almost feels as a sorority. it's an amazing combination of a large school and small school setting. most people don't really know about barnard so when you tell them you go there most won't know, at least from my home. in new york, people regard you with much respect because they know barnard is a great school. i'm not sure what the reactions are from people around the US if they're not from the east coast. it's amazing to have a campus but at the same time have the freedom to explore manhattan. it's very well balanced in that way.

Amreen

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.

Kris

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...

Ellie

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.

amanda

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).

Casey

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!

Cat

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.

Skylar

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.

Blake

"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.

Tess

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.

Hayley

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.

Kristina

I love Barnard. It's the only school where you have the advantages of a small college (amazing advising system, more approachable administration) plus the advantages of large ivy-league university (tons of great classes and famous professors, high-profile speakers like Ahmadinejad and Natalie Portman) AND! a campus but also the city at your fingertips. It's an amazing combination! Sometimes when I tell people I go to Barnard they're like "Oh...how do you like it being around all girls?" but I don't really feel like I go to a women's college. While the freshman dorms are single-sex, all my classes and extracurriculars have guys in them and I have several guy friends from Columbia. Your experience can be more or less "Barnard" or "women's college" depending on your own decisions and wants.

Claire

Very good education but lacking in community. There is little connection between the students and it can be very isolating. Extremely heavy work loads but the classes are normally very good. Its great living in NYC but very expensive to do anything.

Alex

The best thing about Barnard is the advising system and the sense of community that you feel on campus.

Dylan

-Best thing about Barnard: an intimate community, integrated with NYC (can be as anonymous as you would like by wandering away from Morningside Heights and into the city) -Worst thing: Combine Barnard and Columbia housing...while Barnard girls can live with Columbia, would be a more unified community if everyone was living together from day 1 (if necessary, have an all-girls Barnard option) -many racial controversies over the past year -Barnard is very unusual- in a good way. It is impossible to explain and can only be understood if you are a Barnard student. My love for Barnard has grown immensely as the years have gone by. While Freshman year was difficult, I am going to be a senior at Barnard and could not be freaking out more about graduating. Barnard forces you to become an individual and to just be completely comfortable in your own skin.

Megan

I get different reactions when I tell people I go to Barnard. Some respond with, "where's that?" and others know right away where and what it is. Most professionals in academia know of Barnard and I believe it has a good reputation for turning out strong women leaders, however there are some people who look down upon it. It's frustrating to go here sometimes because if I'm abroad I have to say I go to Barnard and it's affiliated with Columbia University, otherwise people won't have a clue what I'm talking about. Because Columbia has the Earth Institute, Lamont-Doherty and the new Climate Center, you'd think Barnard and Columbia would be way ahead of other campuses in "going green." While they are making an effort, Barnard certainly has a long way to go.

Avigail

The best part about Barnard is that we are a small liberal arts college with our own beautiful campus, yet we have all the resources and offerings that Columbia University provides. And who can forget New York City, and all the internship/job opportunities? About being an all-women's college: for those wanting to be in New York, at a school with a campus, and who aren't interested in Columbia's Core, do not be deterred by the "absence" of men. Barnard students are very well integrated into the student body at Columbia's 3 other undergraduate colleges, and few students have trouble finding male friends. Boyfriends can be more difficult, as the ratio is not in girls' favor, but New York is filled with men. Whether or not you choose Barnard for being all-women, something must be said for the value of a women's college. Students approach the community in a variety of ways, and everyone benefits from the experience differently. To some, it provides comfort and convenience, as services such as counseling, health services, and college activities are specialized and cater exclusively to 18 - 22 year old females. Others find it empowering to be surrounded by intelligent, articulate women. Some students learn, finally, how to trust women, or realize they can be both an athlete and a nerd. Some forget entirely that they go to an all-girls school. It's what you make of it.

Ryan

People do not know what Barnard is. Explaining that it is an entity of Columbia University is tiring. I spent most of my time in my room or the lounges. Lounges NEED an upgrade!!!!!! NO OLD and SLEEPY security guards PLEASE

Louise

Barnard is an awesome school because of the students. Maybe I just went to a particularly mean school, but everyone here is so nice! Academics take a priority, but most students take advantage of NYC and have fun whenever they can. I always see familiar faces, but the school isn't too small because I definitely have never met half of the student body. Broadway, uptown by school, is our version of a "college town." If you're looking for a school that prides itself on camaraderie and a "ra-ra-ra" spirit, it's not the place for you. It is the place for anyone who enjoys city life, independence, and a warm student body. When I tell people that I go to Barnard, I have such a sense of pride. Most react positively ("How impressive!") but a few people still haven't heard about the school (I wouldn't want to associate with those kind of people anyway!).

Katie

Barnard is for girls who are a) good at making guy friends outside of their everyday life (because trust me you probably wont make to many accidentally) or girls who don't need guy friends. b) for girls who are willing to go out and make their own plans because even though there are campus events all the time, you have to be willing to really put your self out there. c) girls who really love New York and want to take advantage of all its exciting life. d) gilw who do not need the full "college experience" aka constant dorm and greek parties that everyone you know will be at-those don't exist here. Most parties are smaller and more intimate and tons of people just go off campus every weekend and explore New York.

Pauline

I've met some of the most interesting and smart people ever at barnard. I know i've definitly met friends that i will still know in 50 years. The girls are (mostly) awesome, some can be anal and stuck up, but you can avoid those ones. In general, the atmosphere is simply amazing. I really really love barnard. And Columbia is just across the street. Both campuses are AMAZING.

Charlie

One of my reasons for coming to Barnard is the fact that it's in New York City, which has so much to offer. At the same time, there is a small campus so it isn't like NYU where you are simply thrown into the city. One thing that I don't like about Barnard is that I think it is not very campus oriented like other schools. A lot of people are very independent here and so they sort of do their own thing in the city. We do have the benefit of taking classes at Columbia and going to their events but there is some friction between the girls at Columbia and the girls at Barnard. I think it's because some girls say they go to Columbia when in fact they go to Barnard and the Columbia girls sometimes feel like we are stepping on their turf.

Molly

Barnard is the perfect size, and the campus has a homey feeling even though the area is actually quite urban. There is a lot of construction going on there now, which makes it a little harder to hang out on campus, but there are still tons of places at Columbia and in the neighborhood to hang out. Barnard's library could be a lot better. The building is kind of run down. That said, it's always possible to go to any of Columbia's library's to read and study. I had a very positive experience with the administration with the exception of the class registration process, which is ridiculous and requires you to wait in a huge line for hours in order to sign up for classes. During my time there I only had a few professors that I did not like.

Alex

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.

Kendall

Perhaps the best thing about Barnard is that it is a small liberal arts college associated with a large university, so there are tons of classes to choose from but still the more intimate feel of a smaller school. It also has an amazing dance department. Professors on the whole are really excellent, although classes are often less stimulating than one would hope. The student body, unfortunately, seems to be less influenced by the cultural and artistic opportunities offered by the city, preferring instead the shallow, materialistic, elitist side of city life.

Laura

Barnard is a small liberal arts college in the middle of NYC. It is an integral part of the umbrella school, Columbia University. You really can't mention Barnard without Columbia because all of our sports and activities take place there, across the street and the traffic certainly goes both ways. You just have to stand at 117th street and watch to see that! So in a way, Barnard is the perfect size. Small enough to have a community feel but large enough that you don't feel claustrophobic. There is a lot of school pride here. On spirit day, everyone comes out, sporting I <3 BC tee-shirts and during orientation, the pride is really overwhelming. The OLs all love Barnard and are so enthusiastic that as a freshman it is pretty daunting and stressful, feeling pressured during the first week to fall in love with the school. But their excitement is contagious and by the end of the first year, the love and pride catches on. The best night of the semester is probably Orgo night. On the night before the first day of finals, the student body is served breakfast at midnight by the deans of the college and at about 1am (after interrupting intense cramming in Butler Library), the Columbia University Marching Band crosses the street and serenades us in the Quad. We throw all the papers we don't need out the window, in a snow flurry of papers and dance around them in the quad. I think we may be the only school to celebrate the beginning of finals, but it really is great! The first final is always Organic Chemistry, one of the hardest finals the school offers, hence "Orgo Night"

Parker

The great thing about Barnard is that you get all of the benefits of Columbia ("Columbia University" stamped on your diploma, access to all of Columbia's facilities including its GORGEOUS libraries...) without having to go to Columbia. Columbia is great for some people, but it is huge and students can slip through the cracks there with no one noticing. At Barnard everyone- and I mean everyone, even the desk attendants in the dorms- is committed to helping you succeed. Plus, Barnard has incredible resources of its own: its alumnae are quite generous and sponsor everything from scholarships to creative writing prizes to internship grants. And these alumnae are also a great support network for finding jobs, internships... even apartments!

carly

Kind and always trying to make students relax and have fun while achieving their goals.

Veronica

Barnard is the perfect combination for students who want a small, liberal-arts focus but also want the opportunities and variety available on a big, city-based campus. Because the college is part of Columbia University, students can attend Columbia classes and attend CU events, but because they are a part of the Barnard system, they get one on one advising and mentoring opportunities available only on small campuses.

Simone

The best thing about Barnard is the courses, the small college/big university feel. One thing I would change is the required two lab science courses. One is sufficient or do as Columbia does and have three lectures required. Sizewise it is just right. My class at BC is slightly bigger than my graduating class in high school--CC is too big. Reactions to Barnard: 1) That's a great school 2) I didn't think you were someone who'd go to a chick school. 3) how are you going to pay for that? Columbia University/Barnard have the smallest campus ever (well not really). I am living half a mile away from the main part of campus next year and people act like it's in pluto. UMD's campus in diameter is about 3 miles. Seriously. Barnard has a great campus feel--we have all sorts of fun spirit activities, from midnight breakfast to Greek Games to bling night. Columbia students don't have it and frankly they covet the fun and often show up to eat at our events. Currently, I'm mad at the administration, because of the tenure process--the head of the Urban Studies program did not get tenure, which is upsetting. Also President Judith Shapiro, of whom I'm a big fan is leaving and we're getting a new president, so I can't speak to that. The Deans are great--they are accessible and really care about their students. Controversies tend to stay more across the street at CC : eg. Ahmedinijad (sp) and the Minute Man. Lately, Barnard controversies have been really only around tenure. School pride in abundance. Barnard has sexhibition every year which is kind of hilarious (a fair about consensual sex). Being in New York City makes Columbia unique--we have a whole range of options of things off campus. Complaints are usually about the housing lottery.

Amelia

Barnard is inextricably linked to New York City and Columbia--two things you must know and be okay with before coming here. New York City gives us access to absolutely unparalleled learning experiences (and is, in my opinion, the greastest city ever), but having Columbia right across the street gives the neighborhood a bit of the feeling of a more normal college town. As Barnard is pretty small, there's a HUGE amount of school spirit, and the administration is filled with caring people who have devoted their lives to advancing the role of women in society.

Isabelle

Barnard is great but I would not attend the school if it were not connected to Columbia! Barnard is great because you have all of the resources of Barnard and Columbia but you don't have to deal with the core curriculum and arrogance of Columbia. Also, there is NO COMMUNITY here - campus events are very poorly attended. However, there are many smaller communities. If you are looking to attend a college that has a typical, school spirit-filled environment, this is not the school for you - most of the time people aren't even aware when campus-wide events, such as homecoming, are happening. New York is awesome for getting internships and for going to museums.

Reese

Barnard: a small, prestigious liberal arts college for women in New York City When I tell people I go to Barnard, if they're from the tri-state area they've heard of it and they're impressed. If they haven't heard of Barnard, I have to explain to them that it's one of the Seven Sisters colleges, and it's across the street from Columbia. During the week, most students are in class/the library/their dorm room. On the weekends, if you're not studying, you're probably going somewhere else in NYC to do something fun. There's a subway station 20 feet from the first-year dorms... there's no reason not to explore the city.

Tristan

Barnard is amazing because it is a small liberal arts college with an abundant of resources, services, and support. It gives students the best of both worlds- a huge research university experience (Columbia) and a small student-centered liberal arts college experience. The community on campus is warm and welcoming, and the intellectual debate and dialogue is rigorous and stimulating. The all-women aspect is empowering and enriching. There is a ton of school pride, and most students are thrilled to be here and love it.

Brittany

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.

Sarah

Okay...so I'll write about my college town, New York City... First of all, you'll never, ever be bored. New York is the most incredible and exciting place to be. Morningside Heights, which is the area Barnard's in, is calm and far from the hustle and bustle of midtown. It's a nice area with lots of great restaurants, book stores, and other little fun shops. The campus, however, is right next to the subway, so if you want the fast-paced city experience, in 30 minutes you'll be downtown. I can't even begin to count the amount of incredible experiences I've had in New York...but to name a few: walking across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset, going swing dancing in a club downtown with my friends, getting orchestra seat tickets to Avenue Q, Phantom of the Opera, and the Drowsy Chaperone through CAO, eating gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches near NYU, exploring the huge number of incredible museums of New York, interning at an art gallery in Chelsea...and so so many more. There's definitely a lot to see and do on both the Columbia and Barnard campuses, but the city also offers incredible experiences that you'll never forget.

Lauren

Barnard is a womens college, but it's more than that. It is a liberal arts college but because of Columbia across the street Barnard students get both a small community and a larger university. And in all honesty, Barnard truly does feel like a little more independent undergraduate college of Columbia University, it's a pretty close relationships. Barnard students are very smart and very passionate. They speak their mind and stand up for what they believe in. It's rare to find a Barnard student who doesn't express what she feels articulately in a class.

Julia

The great thing about Barnard is that it's a small college in New York City. While most students love to take advantage of the city, if it ever gets too overwhelming, we have a cute little campus with a lawn and trees to retreat to. Within the first week it already felt like home. The administration and faculty are great: they encourage us and let us know that we really can do whatever we want, and they are always available to talk one on one. There's an enormous amount of school pride, which is exhibited the most on Spirit Day, where we play music and hang out on the lawn, eat free food, and basically demonstrate why Barnard is great. The size of the school is perfect. I've only gone to Barnard for a year, but already I recognize people wherever I go. Everyone at Barnard is really nice, and it's been a wonderful experience so far.

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