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Other Academic Opportunities

The Writing Center

In addition to their work in specific courses across the curriculum, Writing Fellows staff the Erica Mann Jong 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 (The Writer's Process, see ENGL BC3101), 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 (Rhetorical Choices, see ENGL BC3123), 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 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, alumae, and other leaders in New York.

The Office of Academic Success and Enrichment Programs (ASEP)

The ASEP office is committed to providing opportunities that will enrich and complement the intellectual life of all students with a particular emphasis on achievement gap issues.  

The ASEP office, under the supervision of the Dean of Studies, provides administrative oversight for the work of the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF), and the Barnard College/Spelman College/Howard University Domestic Exchange Program, among other targeted academic assistance programs.

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.

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program

The Barnard Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program, in accordance with the mission of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, seeks to increase the number of minority students and students with a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities who will pursue the Ph.D. in core fields in the arts and sciences.  The program's long term goal is to address the under-representation of minority groups on American college and university faculties; in addition, the program promotes diversity in the professoriate and in scholarly work.  Mellon Mays Fellowships provide opportunities for talented undergraduates to work with faculty mentors in research and other activities designed to encourage the pursuit of the Ph.D. in the humanities and sciences.

Spelman-Howard Exchange Programs

Barnard offers students the opportunity to participate in a domestic exchange program, for a semester or a year, with two prominent historically black institutions: Spelman College and Howard University.  This exchange has aided in forming an alliance between these institutions 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.  In addition, students may participate in the Columbia University–Howard University Exchange Program.  Barnard students studying at Spelman pay Spelman's rates for tuition, fees, room, and board to Barnard.  Barnard students studying at Howard pay Barnard's tuition and fees to Barnard and Howard's room and board costs directly to Howard.

Applications for both programs may be obtained in 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. TC 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), the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), the School of Law, and the School of Dental and Oral Surgery. 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 Runsdorf in the Dean of Studies Office as early as the sophomore year.

Qualified students, nominated by the Dean of Studies Office, 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.

School of Law

Each year Barnard College has the option of nominating, in conjunction with the Columbia University School of Law, juniors with outstanding records to enter the Law School under the Accelerated Program in Interdisciplinary Legal Education (A.I.L.E.).

Each student must submit a record of 90 points, at least 60 of which will have been completed at Barnard. She must have fulfilled all degree requirements except those for the major, which she must be able to complete together with the final 30 points at the Law School. Twelve of the 30 must be in the liberal arts and the remainder in appropriate law courses.

To be nominated, a student must have an outstanding academic record and have taken the LSAT by March of her junior year with a score in keeping with the median level of applicants accepted to the law school in that academic year. Students interested in the program should consult with Dean Kuan Tsu early in the junior year and with Dean Schneider to ensure fulfillment of graduation requirements. LSAT registration information is available in the Dean of Studies Office.

School of Dental and Oral Surgery

A limited number of qualified students may enter the Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery after three years of undergraduate work at Barnard. To be eligible for this program, the student must have completed 90 points of academic work at Barnard and all of the prerequisite courses for the School of Dental and Oral Surgery. To be eligible for the A.B. degree, she must have completed 120 points, 30 of which may be taken at the School of Dental and Oral Surgery, and she must have completed all of the general and major requirements of Barnard College.

A student interested in this option should consult with Dean Starks in her first year for early program planning. Before her admission to the School of Dental and Oral Surgery, she should consult with Dean Schneider to make certain that she will be eligible for the A.B. degree.

Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

The first three years of the five-year program leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science are spent under the jurisdiction of Barnard. During the junior year the student applies for admission to the School of Engineering and Applied Science, where the remaining two years of more specialized engineering and major study are taken. Completion of the general education requirements is required for the Barnard A.B. degree. A maximum of 30 Engineering points may be credited toward the Barnard degree. Students interested in the program are encouraged to consult Dean Bournoutian to plan an appropriate schedule of Barnard courses.