Welcome to Barnard!

I can imagine no better place to be. At Barnard College, you will immerse yourself in an education that prompts you to explore the world from a variety of different perspectives and through the lenses of multiple disciplines. From this foundation, you can begin to shape your own educational journey. And I have no doubt that your years at Barnard will give you the tools necessary to pursue your passions with knowledge, confidence, and humanity.

 During your time here, you will discover what makes this College such a singular and extraordinary institution — with excellence across the arts and sciences, our world-class faculty of scholars dedicated to teaching, and the vast resources of Columbia University and New York City. And like few others, the last year has reminded us of what a privilege it is to live and learn together on campus — surrounded by our extraordinarily caring community and inspired by academic excellence.

 We see that excellence, of course, in teaching and learning and in research, art and scholarship. But the full measure of Barnard’s distinction emerges through our life together, with a vast diversity of thought and experience, and mutual support in cultivating lives that are full and healthy. These create the foundation for all of our work, inside and outside the classroom.

In the pages that follow, you will find courses in literature and the arts, in anthropology and politics, in languages and mathematics, and in psychology, neuroscience, computer science, and physics. You will find lectures taught by world-renowned professors as well as intimate seminars where faculty share their latest research and ideas. You will find classes in subjects that you have been wanting to study for years, and others that may never have crossed your mind.

There are hundreds of options waiting for you — now you simply need to choose. It can be hard to know where to start, and how best to plot a course that will satisfy your intellect and your imagination. So don’t rush. Take time to discover the possibilities and enjoy the process. And feel free to take a risk — take a course that may lead somewhere new, or one in a subject that unnerves you.

Barnard is truly the best of all words for intellectual risk-taking and discovery, and I know that you will graduate prepared to go out and change the world.

Sian Leah Beilock