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Everything About Barnard College

Everything About Barnard College

Total Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,562

Curricular Flexibility: Somewhat Flexible

Academic Rating: 4.5

Institutional Type: Private

Top Programs

Area Studies

Art History

Dance

Economics

English

Neuroscience and Behavior

Political Science

Psychology

Who Recruits

1. Harlem Arts Alliance

2. 826NYC

3. Bank of America

4. Mastercard

5. Hospital for Special Surgery

Notable Internships

1. U.S. Embassy

2. MacMillan Publishers

3. Prudential

Top Industries

1. Business

2. Education

3. Media

4. Social Services

5. Healthcare

Top Employers

1. NYC Department of Education

2. Google

3. JPMorgan Chase

4. Citi

5. IBM

Where Alumni Work

1. New York City

2. San Francisco

3. Boston

4. Los Angeles

5. Washington, DC

Median Earnings

College Scorecard (Early Career): $57,900

EOP (Early Career): $56,300

PayScale (Mid-Career): $109,800

Inside the Classroom

Affiliated with Columbia University, this all-women’s college serves 2,500-plus accomplished young women in the heart of Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The institution’s cosmopolitan locale is appropriately populated by a diverse student body—52 percent of attendees identify as women of color, and 22 percent are first-generation college students. Roughly fifty majors are offered, including crossover programs with Columbia, such as the 3:2 engineering program or five-year programs that lead to a BA plus a Master of International Affairs or Master of Public Administration. Barnard also has partnerships with the Julliard School.

The newly-adopted Foundations curriculum has refined an already rigorous educational tradition at the college. Freshmen must tackle a first-year writing course and a first-year seminar that emphasizes persuasive writing/speaking. In subsequent years, students must fulfill six Modes of Thinking courses that focus on local NYC history, global inquiry, social difference, historical perspective, quantitative and empirical knowledge, and technological thinking. Distributional requirements in a foreign language, arts/humanities, social sciences, and the hard sciences also must be fulfilled. Regardless of major, seniors must complete a semester or year-long thesis/project that is publicly presented or displayed.

All of this unfolds in an academic environment in which students work closely with professors. Barnard has a 10:1 student-faculty ratio, and a sensational 75 percent of courses are capped at nineteen or fewer students; 26 percent have fewer than ten. Many get the chance to engage in research alongside a professor; 197 undergraduates were granted such an opportunity through the Summer Research Institute last year. Many students also take advantage of the more than 150 study abroad programs spread over sixty-five countries. Roughly one-third of students elect to take a semester in a foreign country.

Barnard’s most popular majors, by number of degrees conferred, are economics, English, political science, history, psychology, biology, neuroscience, computer science, urban studies, and art history. The dance program is notably strong and often places near the top of national rankings. With a strong emphasis on global perspective and public service, it makes sense that the school produces a disproportionately high percentage of Fulbright and Truman Scholars.

Outside the Classroom

Outside the classroom is where Barnard’s affiliation with Columbia really comes into play. The school doesn’t have its own athletic teams, so Barnard students are recruited to play for Columbia’s NCAA Division I teams. Barnard has seventy clubs of its own, mostly of a fairly serious nature (pre-professional and performance-oriented), but the bulk of opportunities for campus engagement come from Columbia’s more than 500 student organizations that are open to Barnard students. Parts of dorm life are also a shared experience. For the 91 percent of students who decide to live on campus, two buildings serve as co-ed dorms where Barnard students are mixed with Columbia students, and meal plans for all dorm residents can be utilized at either school’s cafeterias. Of course, being located in the heart of New York City, opportunities for fun and excitement are hardly limited to the Barnard and Columbia campuses. Within a single mile of their dorm rooms, students can enjoy multiple parks, theaters, music venues, diners, and countless other attractions.

Career Services

Barnard has ten professionals, a number of peer advisors, and a handful of administrative assistants working in the offices of Beyond Barnard, the recently reorganized/renamed career services center. In past years complaints about the lack of hands-on assistance from the career services office were voiced by the student government and school newspaper. The college responded by beefing up its offerings, and the work being done today is impressive by any quantifiable measure. Beyond Barnard’s 256:1 student-to-advisor ratio is superior to many other colleges featured in this guide, and it puts that staffing to good use. Last year, they conducted 4,424 one-on-one appointments, hosted 350+ events, and served 2,500 individuals in some capacity.

The school hosts career and internship fairs in the fall and spring. Fairs are attended by 1,000 students and approximately fifty employers including Brown Brothers Harriman, Uber, and Hearst Magazines. Those sessions are also open to Columbia students, and there is some degree of reciprocity with Barnard students being allowed to attend a good number of Columbia-hosted events. The New York Network mentoring program saw 140 alumni work in person with current students, and an additional seventy individuals participated in a Virtual Mentoring program. Beyond Barnard helps fund internships offering summer stipends of $4,000; it funded 425 internships last year alone. Students interned at exciting locations including the New York Times, the US House of Representatives, Comedy Central, and Christie’s.

Professional Outcomes

Six months after graduation, 93 percent of last year's Barnard grads had found employment or were enrolled in a graduate program. The school is known for producing women with a wide array of interests, so it makes sense that grads disperse into many different fields. Finance and banking led the way, albeit only representing 10-15 percent of graduates. JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Blackrock, Citibank, and Morgan Stanley all appear on the list of the top fifteen employers of Barnard alumni. Education, law, and technology sectors are next in popularity. Across all fields, companies employing twenty-five or more Barnard alums include the NYC Department of Education, Google, IBM, Accenture, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The median income for Barnard grads at age thirty-four is $56,000.

For comparison, women graduating from Columbia have a median income of $64,000 at the same age. By leaps and bounds, New York City remains home to alumni with small clusters of graduates forming in San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, DC, and Philadelphia.

It is rare for a student to call it an academic career after finishing her bachelor’s. Within ten years of graduation, over 80 percent of Barnard alums eventually enroll in graduate school. Those entering graduate school flock to a number of other nearby institutions with Columbia, Yeshiva, Rutgers, Fordham, NYU, and Hunter College (CUNY) among the ten most commonly attended schools. Boston University, Georgetown, and Harvard also have a strong representation of Barnard grads in their graduate/professional programs. Medical Schools where last year's grads enrolled include St. Louis University School of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine, and Jefferson College of Health. Barnard typically sports a medical school admissions rate of 60-75 percent.

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