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Partnership with Columbia

Barnard College and Columbia University share a partnership that is unique in American higher education. It dates back to Barnard's founding in 1889 and the conviction of Columbia's 10th president, Frederick A. P. Barnard, that women deserved an education in New York City comparable to that received by men. Since that time, both institutions have benefitted from this historic relationship which allows each to leverage the assets and experience of the other—in classrooms, on the athletic fields, in extracurricular activities and community service organizations, with expanded curricular offerings, and shared faculty resources—and to claim a collective advantage unlike any other.

Here are some of the ways in which the University and the College are intertwined:

  • Students at each institution can take courses at the other, live in the same residence halls, share access to more than 30 libraries and collections, and compete together in the Columbia-Barnard Athletic Consortium.
  • Barnard students receive the diploma of the University signed by the presidents of both institutions, and the College is represented in the University Senate. At the same time, Barnard is legally separate and financially independent from the University; sets its own student fees; has a separate endowment, administration and faculty, and admissions office; and undertakes its own fund-raising.
  • Barnard provides education to all university undergraduates in architecture, dance, education, theater, and urban studies, while programs in computer science, statistics, and engineering are centered at Columbia.
  • Women at Barnard have multiple opportunities to pursue athletics both at Barnard and within Columbia University. In order to accommodate students with varying levels of ability and commitment, the University offers three tiers of competition. Students may participate as one of sixteen NCAA Division I Varsity Columbia University teams (as part of the Ivy League Conference), in more than thirty club sports (also university-wide teams), and in a wide variety of intramural sports available at Barnard and Columbia.
  • Students at Barnard and Columbia have access to over 500 student clubs and organizations. Barnard students hold prominent leadership positions all across campus, including with the Spectator, the nation's second-oldest student daily, and Community Impact, a volunteer action group dedicated to service.

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