Other Academic Opportunities

The Writing Center 

In addition to their work in specific courses across the curriculum, Writing Fellows staff at the Erica Mann Jong '63 Writing Center (second floor Barnard Hall). Any Barnard student is welcome to confer on a particular writing project or to discuss some broader aspect of her writing (e.g., how to articulate, organize, and structure thoughts, how to use evidence effectively, how to work on English as a second language). Students confer on chapters of their senior theses, drafts of papers for First-Year English, outlines or ideas for papers in upper-level courses, lab reports, personal statements for admission to law school, etc.

Writing Fellows Program

The Writing Fellows Program offers students with strong writing, reading, and communication skills an opportunity to become peer tutors in writing. During their first semester in the program, students take a seminar and practicum in the teaching of writing (ENGL BC3101 The Writer's Process: A Seminar in the Teaching of Writing), usually in the autumn term of their sophomore or junior year. As Writing Fellows, they work in different settings (e.g., The Jong Writing Center, writing-intensive courses across the curriculum) with Barnard undergraduates at all levels and in all disciplines. Writing Fellows receive a stipend and are asked to make a commitment of three semesters to the Program.

Writing-Intensive Courses Across the Disciplines

Students in these courses undertake at least two writing projects, each of which goes through at least two drafts. Writing Fellows read and confer with students on the first drafts of their papers, which students may then revise, handing in both first and second drafts to their instructors, who comment on and grade the revised drafts.

The departments of Anthropology, Architecture, Art History, Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, Biology, Dance, Economics, Education, English, Environmental Science, French, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Slavic, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre, and Women’s Studies have offered writing-intensive courses. Both instructors and students report positive results. Students appreciate the help they get in revising drafts and experience significant gains in their writing skills. Instructors find that the revised papers they receive permit them to focus their comments on course content, rather than on the mechanics of writing.

Speaking Fellows Program

Students with exceptional public speaking skills and an interest in leading groups of their peers may apply for the Speaking Fellows Program. During their first semester in the program, students take a seminar and practicum in the theory and teaching of public speaking (ENGL BC3123 Rhetorical Choices: the Theory and Practice of Public Speaking ), usually in the autumn term of their sophomore or junior year. As Speaking Fellows, they work with small groups of Barnard and Columbia undergraduates on the fundamentals of public speaking, team presentation-giving, negotiating, and other skills required for course assignments. The program approaches public speaking as a critical leadership ability and focuses on helping students know how to use rhetorical skills to have an impact on the world around them. Speaking Fellows receive a stipend and are asked to make a commitment of three semesters to the Program.

Senior Scholar Program

The Barnard Senior Scholar Program allows a qualified student to undertake a single project for the entire senior year, or for one semester of the senior year (normally the second). The Program is intended for a student who is unusually well prepared in an academic discipline or in one of the performing arts. It offers the special advantages of concentration on one project, designation as Senior Scholar on the permanent transcript, and the amendment of some major requirements. Senior Scholars are allowed credit for no more than 30 points for the project. In the past, Barnard Senior Scholars have gained approval for a wide range of proposals.

A qualified student interested in the Senior Scholar Program should consult the Senior Class Dean in the Dean of Studies Office, who is coordinator of the program, in her junior year. Before the beginning of the senior year, the student should have completed all but the major requirements for the A.B. degree. Her written application for the Senior Scholar Program is submitted to the Committee on Honors for approval.

Athena Center for Leadership Studies

Launched in September 2009, The Athena Center for Leadership Studies offers a range of academic courses that examine all aspects of women’s leadership from the distinctive perspective of the liberal arts. Using an innovative, interdisciplinary approach that combines rigorous academic and experiential study, the courses help Barnard women prepare to assume positions of leadership at the highest levels of achievement. By focusing primarily on the social sciences, students have an opportunity to explore how women lead and whether gender affects leadership styles and strategies. The Center also sponsors lectures, mentoring and leadership opportunities, and the Athena Leadership Lab, which offers a wide range of workshops designed to teach practical elements of leadership to students, alumnae, and other leaders in New York.

Office of the Dean of Studies Opportunity Programs

The Opportunity Programs' staff in the Office of the Dean of Studies is committed to providing opportunities that will enrich and complement the intellectual life of all students, with a particular focus on students of color, first-generation and low-income students.  The staff works in collaboration with various College offices to engage students in rigorous academic experiences while providing the support needed to meet academic challenges and to “discover their own capabilities." 

Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program

The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is an academic support and financial assistance program for undergraduate New York State residents who meet New York State economic and education guidelines. HEOP provides academic tutoring, as well as individual counseling, workshops, study groups, and mentorship. All incoming HEOP students participate in an intensive residential summer academic program which includes instruction in English, mathematics, science, research, and public speaking skills.

Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program

The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) is a New York State Department of Education initiative designed to provide services to students from under-represented populations or economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are seeking careers in the sciences, mathematics and technological fields, and the licensed professions.

During the academic year, Barnard CSTEP provides academic counseling, academic and career development workshops, tutorial support, financial assistance for standardized test preparation and graduate/professional school admissions, and support for research experiences in STEM-content areas. CSTEP’s summer component introduces a selected cohort of incoming first-year Barnard students to academic enrichment in math and science gateway courses, writing, and graduate school/professional school/career advising tours.

Spelman Exchange Programs

Barnard offers students the opportunity to participate in a domestic exchange program, for a semester or a year, with the historically black institution: Spelman College.This exchange has aided in forming an alliance as a means of providing students with a truly enriching and intellectually stimulating experience.  Barnard students in the Spelman exchange program may register for classes at any of the institutions within the Atlanta University Center: Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, the Interdenominational Theological Center, as well as Spelman. Barnard students studying at Spelman pay Spelman's rates for tuition, fees, room, and board to Barnard.  

Applications for programs may be obtained from the Dean of Studies Office.

Study Abroad

Several options for study abroad are available to academically-qualified Barnard students. The Faculty has set the following guidelines for eligibility. By the time they plan to study abroad, students should:

  1. have two years or the equivalent at the college-level of the language of the host country (this includes AP test scores, language proficiency exam or courses taken at another college or university), provided the language is offered at Barnard or Columbia, OR have completed one year or the equivalent at the college-level of the language of the host country and enroll in a program with a home stay or an intensive language practicum at the start of the semester. For students studying the sciences or mathematics abroad, language requirements vary slightly. When the language is not offered at Barnard or Columbia, students should have some knowledge of the language of the host country;
  2. have no outstanding incompletes;
  3. be in good academic standing;
  4. have worked out, in consultation with the major advisor and Dean for Study Abroad, a plan for the completion of all major and general education requirements for graduation.

The educational interests of each applicant are of primary concern in acting on a student’s request to study abroad for degree credit. Interested students should begin the process of applying to study abroad by consulting the Dean for Study Abroad Advising in the Provost's Office no later than the first semester of the sophomore year. A student must obtain her approval for the program in which she wishes to enroll, as well as the approval of her academic adviser. She must obtain approval for courses to be taken abroad. Students pay Barnard tuition and an off-campus comprehensive fee for the period of study abroad. All other costs (housing, meals, other fees, etc.) are payable directly to the other institution at their own rate.

Barnard approves programs of study throughout the world. Some programs—in partnership with Barnard—require nomination by the College, e.g., Colleges at Oxford University.

Barnard students may apply to all overseas programs administered by Columbia University. These include programs in Paris, France; Berlin, Germany; Kyoto, Japan; and Beijing, China as well as summer programs.

In addition to the programs that Barnard oversees with Columbia, study through the programs of many other U.S. colleges and universities has been approved for Barnard credit. Please visit the Study Abroad website, which includes a list of all approved programs. Course credit for courses taken at institutions abroad other than the Barnard-Columbia programs is treated as transfer credit.

Study at Jewish Theological Seminary

The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS), located two blocks from the Barnard campus, offers opportunities to Barnard students for specialized study under a cooperative arrangement. Students may enroll in courses at the Seminary under either of two options:

  1. individual courses;
  2. a double-degree program.

A student wishing to study at the Seminary should consult her adviser and obtain the written permission of the chair of her major department. Courses taken at the Jewish Theological Seminary are evaluated as transfer credit. Students who wish to obtain simultaneously the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Barnard and Bachelor of Hebrew Literature from the Seminary must consult the appropriate dean in the Dean of Studies Office at Barnard and at the Seminary’s List College and must be admitted separately to each institution.

Barnard students who are enrolled in the Double Degree Program may request housing at the Seminary. Double-degree students who enroll in the Seminary College will be subject to both Barnard and Seminary tuition charges and pay their student accounts separately to each institution. Students taking JTS courses pay the Seminary directly for those courses at the JTS rate.

Study at the Juilliard School

The Juilliard School at Lincoln Center offers opportunities to Barnard students for individual courses in music. For a five-year program leading to the Barnard A.B. and the Juilliard M.M., rigorous auditions are required for which early application must be made. Students interested in these options may obtain further information and audition dates by consulting Dr. Gail Archer, Coordinator of the Barnard Music Program (319 Milbank), at the time of admission to Barnard or as early as possible. Students enrolled at Barnard taking music lessons at Juilliard pay tuition only to Barnard. Students admitted to the Juilliard M.F.A. program pay tuition to Barnard for courses taken at Barnard and to Juilliard for courses taken at Juilliard.

Study at the Manhattan School of Music

The Manhattan School of Music is located one block to the north of the Barnard campus. Under a cooperative program of cross-registration, musically qualified Barnard students who pass required auditions have the opportunity to enroll in six semesters of private instrumental lessons at the Manhattan School, subject to the regulations specified in the application form available at the Office of the Registrar. Majors and minors in Music may take eight semesters of lessons. Students must complete a Barnard approval form each semester before receiving permission to enroll at the Manhattan School. Students pay Barnard tuition.

Study at Teachers College

Permission is needed to take a course at Teachers College. Students should obtain an application from the Office of the Registrar, obtain course approval from the Dean of Studies, and return the completed form to the Office of the Registrar. Teachers College courses require the payment of additional tuition at the Teachers College rate over and above Barnard tuition.

Joint Degree Intrauniversity Programs

Barnard offers double and joint degrees in coordination with other schools in the University system, including the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Details on specific programs are given below.

School of International and Public Affairs: International Affairs and Public Administration

Barnard College and the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs offer two joint programs leading to the A.B. degree at the end of four years and the Master of International Affairs (M.I.A.) or Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) after one additional year.

Interested students should consult Dean Youngblood-Giles in Beyond Barnard in as early as the sophomore year.

Qualified students complete the application in the spring of the junior year. The final decision on admission to a program rests with the SIPA Review Committee.

Admission to a joint program does not constitute automatic admission to the M.I.A. or M.P.A. graduate program. Final admission is conditional upon the applicant’s receiving the A.B. degree from Barnard. A Barnard student’s eligibility for the joint programs is governed by the following conditions:

  1. A record of strong academic performance.
  2. At least four semesters of matriculation at Barnard before enrolling in a joint program.
  3. Fulfillment of all general education requirements and almost all major requirements before the senior year.
  4. No more than four courses in the major to be completed during the senior year.
  5. Completion of introductory courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics and a strong background in quantitative courses.
  6. Pertinent professional experience.

A Barnard student in the Program must satisfy all Barnard degree requirements. Courses in the School of International and Public Affairs may be used to fulfill major requirements only with the written permission of the chair of the major department. During the senior years she must complete at least 24 points of course work at the 4000 level or above, including the first-year required core courses. An internship, usually during the summer between the fourth and fifth years, is also required.