Prior to enrollment, new students are carefully matched with a faculty or class adviser, keeping in mind academic interests she has indicated in her application for admission. We view an academic adviser as a major part of a student's overall support network, someone with whom they can talk about academic interests, seek advice in planning their program and use as a resource in navigating the college experience. Group and individual meetings begin during orientation and the most successful Barnard students make a habit of "checking in" early on to keep their adviser informed about work, goals, and plans. Students select a major at the end of sophomore year and, at that time, are assigned to, or choose, a faculty adviser in their declared field of study. It is important to remember that advisers are ready to help, but the ultimate responsibility for making contact and asking for help is the student’s. Learn more about Academic Advising.
In addition to a faculty adviser, Barnard designates class deans, a transfer dean, an international dean, and pre-professional deans to anticipate the needs of our students as they move through their college career. First-Year Class Dean, Lisa Hollibaugh, for example, helps with the initial course schedule and works closely with the people who make up the Barnard community— faculty advisers, Health Services, Disability Services, Residential Life, Student Life, Diversity Initiatives, and many others—so that she can help initiate contacts in the first year. She oversees the relationships between first-year students and their advisers, and serves as a general source of information and advice for the entire first-year class. Peruse the Dean of Studies website to learn more about class advisers.
Barnard’s longstanding alliance with Columbia University is unique in the world of higher education. Each institution benefits from the relationship, which generates great value in the classrooms, on the athletic fields and courts, and in a variety of activities. Barnard's students and faculty members are a vital part of the University community, which includes an additional 7,400 undergraduate and about 17,000 graduate students in more than 15 graduate and professional schools.
Cross-registration flows across Broadway in both directions, allowing Barnard and Columbia students to take classes on either campus. In a typical year, there are 7,000 Barnard student course registrations at Columbia, and 6,900 Columbia student course registrations at Barnard. Highly motivated Barnard students may also take graduate-level courses at Columbia in international affairs, business, law, and arts and sciences. Barnard takes the lead in providing education to all university undergraduates in architecture, dance, education, theater, and urban studies, while programs in music, the visual arts, computer science, and engineering are centered at Columbia.
At the start and end of her experience (orientation and commencement), a Barnard student is involved in coordinated, university-wide programs; but the University umbrella constantly blends the community of Columbia and Barnard. Classes, club membership, athletic teams, programs, events, friendships, every opportunity imaginable might include students from both campuses. Barnard women earn an AB (Bachelor of Arts) degree and a diploma bearing the seals and presidential signatures of both the College and the University.
“I love Barnard because I feel the faculty and administrators care about each student. In spite of our many differences we are respected as individuals. It sounds simple enough, but I never felt more comfortable with who I am until I came to Barnard.
- Joi, Sophomore