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Overall School Rating
71 Ratings

4.5 out of 5 Stars

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20
2 Stars
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20 Student Reviews (4 star). See all 71 reviews.

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“Great education”
October 2015CURRENT STUDENT
Uppers

Great education, access to resources of a large university but also resources just for Barnard (for example the Athena Scholars Program for Women's Leadership)

Downers

Work-a-holic culture, people always want the next big thing

Comments

Can you handle competition? Do you like to be pushed beyond your limits?

Would You Recommend

Yes

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

9 Ways of Knowing: essentially comprised of math, science, literature, foreign language, art, social theory, history, cultural anthropology and physical education requirements. Classes are taken at both Barnard College and Columbia University. Average class size differs, grading is moderately difficult, study abroad opportunities are available, workload is tough but not insurmountable.

Quality of Life

Housing is expensive as you are living in New York City, as is the general cost of living for being in Manhattan. Facilities are state of the art, campus is beautiful, dining is fairly good, especially at the cafes, crime is fairly low for New York City, and community relations with our Harlem neighbors leaves much to be desired. Overall happiness ebbs and flows; the campus does not have a typical collegiate feel of support and intimacy, but it fosters a sense of possibility and ambition.

Admissions

Unique application questions, essays, interviews, early decision available.

Level

3

Graduation Year

2012

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

There are 9 areas of study that a student must complete, called the "9 ways of knowing" - these include quantitative learning (math/science), language, etc. There's academic advising (which I personally did not find helpful). Classes are generally quite small, but many Barnard students take courses at Columbia and vice versa. Barnard has a great study abroad program and great professors. Barnard's courses and faculty are just as good as Columbia's (if not better, at least for the courses I took) but feels less competitive. It's a fairly friendly campus given the strength of the academics.

Quality of Life

Most students live on campus, which is great, and there are plenty of events that most Barnard students attend (Midnight Breakfast, etc.) as well as tons of great lectures and parties. The neighborhood is fantastic and very much a part of the Columbia campus - students go to the same stores, restaurants, bars, and cafes. The area is incredibly safe and Barnard especially so -if it's late at night, for example, you can get free Barnard shuttle service to pick you up and drop you off.

Admissions

I applied early decision, submitted essays & an application (can't remember the questions) and had an interview. I did not apply for financial aid or scholarships.

Graduation Year

2008

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Rigorous but attainable

Admissions

Common application, unique admissions essays/short answer

Graduation Year

2009

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

standard liberal arts gen ed requirements.

class sizes were small for seminars (5-20) and pretty standard for lectures (100-150)

almost studied abroad - was accepted through a relatively seamless process - but decided not to go

workload was what you'd expect from a good college

Quality of Life

housing was cheaper than living off-campus

libraries were plentiful/wonderful

very safe neighborhood

were students happy? about as happy as the standard new yorker.

Admissions

common app, a handful of short essays, one long essay

regular decision

great financial aid (Barnard matched a competitor's, Haverford College's, offer)

Graduation Year

2010

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Barnard does not have core classes that a student must take, but instead has an educational philosophy called the 9 Ways of Knowing. These "9 ways" cover all academic areas from sciences to language to performing arts. There are about 40 classes under each category from students to choose from, so no one is stuck taking a boring class just to fulfill a requirement. The majority of the classes at Barnard are under 19, so there are very strong connections between the students in the class and with the professors. No TAs teach classes and it is clear that the professors are passionate. Barnard is competitive, but not cut-throat. Students are not necessarily competitive against one another, but are instead competitive with themselves and truly want to do the best they can.

Quality of Life

I really enjoyed my first year living on campus at Barnard in a first-year dorm. I became very close with my hall-mates and it was easy to make friends when all of the first-years were required to live in the quad. I loved Barnard's neighborhood, Morningside Heights. Even though we are in New York City, Morningside Heights is a little set back from the busy, loud nature of downtown NYC. Our neighborhood is quieter and more academic. The NYPD even argues that it is one of the safest areas of New York.

Admissions

I think Barnard looks very closely at how prospective students answer the supplement essay questions. Each question can show a different side of the student and I think Barnard really wants to get to know their applicants as much as possible before making an admissions decision. These essays definitely took a lot of work, but the questions were interesting and allowed me to show creativity in my essay writing. I applied early decision and once I arrived at Barnard I found that many of my friends also applied early decision.

Level

2

Graduation Year

2013

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Quality of Life

When I attended, there was no alot of school spirit.

Graduation Year

2004 or earlier

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

The nine ways of knowing is a flexible core that allows a student to achieve a liberal arts curriculum while tailoring their education to their interests. Academic advisors may change once a student declares a major, advisors are very involved with their students, as they are not required to be an advisor. Class sizes range depending on the department but are generally quite small. Workload is also dependent on the department but generally heavy.

Admissions

I applied at the time when the Common Application was an option among the Barnard specific application. The tour was integral to my decision to apply, early decision at that. Financial aid was appropriate and need-based only. Overall, it was a personal and positive experience.

Graduation Year

2008

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Admissions

General (common) application with unique guestions and essays, a suggested (but not required) interview.

There is the option for early decision, which precludes deferring for a year, but does not affect financial aid.

Graduation Year

2006

2010VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

The general requirements at Barnard are relatively painless. You can complete them without going too much out of the way of what you want to study. My academic advisers were always available to talk and were mostly pretty knowledgeable on major requirements, grad school advice, etc. Professors in general are available to their students - office hours are a university-wide requirement. That said, since Barnard is undergraduate-only, it was much easier to set up times to meet with your Barnard profs than your Columbia profs outside of class or office hours.

If you major in something legitimate, there is A LOT OF WORK. This is not one of those "good" schools that you can go to, slack off for four years and still end up with a degree. Barnard classes are on the same difficulty level as the Columbia classes. You don't have to take over 5 classes a semester, but you will be pummeled by the amount of homework you're given. I was a history major and a polisci minor, so I was reading 1000+ pages a week by the time I was in upper-level classes and writing at least four 10+ page papers a semester. Most people do their homework, too. It's not really a cut-throat environment in the non-sciences, but you do have to stay on top of things if you want to do well. You can take a night off from work to be social, but you will be studying at some point during your weekend, and if you're not, you're going to be screwed during finals. Also, for most majors, you HAVE to write a senior thesis or do a year-long research project in order to graduate. It doesn't sound like anything when you're applying to college, but your thesis completely takes over your life all of senior year.

Quality of Life

Housing is small, but it's New York City. It's guaranteed for four years and by the time you're a senior, you get to live where you want. The dining halls are fine if a little lacking in variety. The Barnard library is small but convenient, and the Columbia U library system is one of the largest in the world, so you'll always find the book you want. People who say Barnard/Columbia is in Harlem and is unsafe are ignorant and incorrect. The Morningside Heights area is incredibly safe and is like a self-contained dome within Manhattan.

Admissions

The Barnard application was fairly standard for college applications; there were a few Barnard-specific short answer questions, but nothing too unusual. I think the financial aid at Barnard is phenomenal. Everyone who needs aid gets aid, and although my student loans are higher than if I went to a state school, they are much lower than most people I know who went to other private colleges.

Graduation Year

2008

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Uppers Downers Comments Would You Recommend

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