A recommended high school program would comprise four years of work in English, three or more years in mathematics, three or four years in a foreign language (ancient or modern), three or more years in science with laboratory, and three years in history. The remainder of the program would include additional work in these core academic subject areas with the possible addition of music and art. Students entering their senior year should be prudent about course selection. The admission committee evaluates course selection in terms of the rigor of the curriculum offered at each student’s high school and anticipates that the strongest candidates will pursue a balanced and challenging course load through senior year.
Barnard’s policy on score choice is simple. First, we expect students to choose a testing instrument, SAT or ACT, which allows them to test their best, and submit the appropriate test requirements. Second, we expect students to submit all of their scores and will use the best of those scores in our evaluation. We have always practiced the spirit of score choice; but we prefer to see a student's full testing history.
Barnard has always utilized the highest scores from any test in the review of a candidate's application. Scores are considered in conjunction with the other parts of an application at Barnard. A math score will prompt us to look at the relevant math curriculum, grades, and any related teacher comments. A writing score will prompt close evaluation of students’ essays and comments from teachers that may address use of feedback, willingness to tackle difficult subject matter, even improvement in writing. Testing is one part of the application review process and having a complete testing profile can provide insight into students’ progress. Improvement in scores over a period of time, consistency in scoring, or the knowledge that a student took the test once (as a relatively high scorer or even a lower score) provides information helpful in the review process.
SAT Reasoning Test and Subject Tests
Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 592
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: (609) 921-9000
Barnard College code for score release: 2038
ACT Assessment Test
Phone: (319) 337-1000
Barnard College code for score release: 2718
TOEFL or IELTS
Official scores from the TOEFL or IELTS are required for students who have been in the U.S. for 5 years or less and English is not one's native language.
Students may request a fee waiver if the payment of our application fee would constitute a family financial hardship. First-year applicants should consult with their high school counseling or guidance office to confirm if individual financial circumstances fit those designated by NACAC or the College Board. On the Common Application online, qualified students should choose one of the two fee waiver options and mail the form directly to the Office of Admissions. If a form is unavailable, a letter requesting that a fee waiver be considered and briefly documenting the financial hardship preventing fee payment may be provided.
Applicants have the option to submit supplementary material (art, music, or creative writing) for review. Material should be submitted only when it represents a substantial amount of an applicant’s time, dedication, and energy. Students should note that supplementary material will not be reviewed by Barnard faculty, and there is no guarantee it will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Original work should not be sent to Barnard, and all material should be clearly identified with the applicant’s name and address. Supplementary material is part of the application and will not be returned.
In terms of format, students may use any format they desire; we have no restrictive guidelines since our programs are all based in the liberal arts and sciences and do not lead to the BFA degree. While DVDs, slides, or portfolios may be submitted, uploading photos or video onto a web-based media site may be a more cost effective alternative. Please provide the site address in your application.
Early Admission allows exceptional high school students the opportunity to apply to Barnard in advance of their regular graduation date. Students who apply to Barnard as Early Admission applicants must demonstrate that they are academically and emotionally prepared for the rigors of college and must submit all required recommendations and supporting material from high school. Successful Early Admission applicants have typically gone well beyond the minimum requirements for high school graduation, exhausting much of the curriculum offered at their high school.