Bard College is a private institution that was founded in 1860. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,023, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 1,000 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Bard College’s ranking in the 2017 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 49. Its tuition and fees are $51,384 (2016-17).
Bard College’s setting is less like a typical campus than a vast village spread out across 500 acres of parks and woodland. Located in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., the secluded school is close to the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains. Many students have views of the campus’s nearby scenery from their dorm rooms. First-year students must live in one of more than 40 residence halls and houses, on campus, some of which have “alcohol free,” “quiet” and “wellness” themes. For outdoor recreation, students can go horseback riding, canoeing, hiking and biking. There are nearly 100 clubs on campus, and students are welcome to start new organizations. There is no Greek system at Bard. About half of Bard students study abroad before graduation. There are tons of student volunteer options, including one that sends students to maximum- and medium-security jails throughout New York to tutor inmates. The Bard Raptors sports teams are members of the NCAA Division III Liberty League. Freshmen at Bard start college earlier than their peers at most other schools, arriving in early August for a three-week orientation to campus, academic and community life known as the Language and Thinking Program.
For day trips, New York City is 90 miles from campus and easily accessible by train. Students have several options for longer stays in the Big Apple, too. Through the Bard-Rockefeller Semester in Science, students can enroll in an intensive semester of research and study at New York’s Rockefeller University. Students live at Rockefeller and work in the university’s laboratories. Students can spend also spend a semester or two in New York through the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program, which pairs students with internships in international relations and human rights areas. In addition to its undergraduate offerings, Bard has unique graduate degree options such as a master’s of music in conducting through its Conservatory of Music and a doctorate of philosophy in decorative arts. Notable alumni of Bard College include journalist Matt Taibbi; actor Christopher Guest; and the founders of Steely Dan, musicians Donald Fagen and Walter Becker.