The Application Process: First-Year Applicants
Learn about what kind of students Barnard is looking for, how to best prepare yourself for admission to Barnard, and how we read applications contextually and holistically.
Barnard offers two rounds of admission with two different deadlines. Learn more about which application round might be right for you.
Deadline: November 1
Deadline: January 1
Notification: Late March
Reply Date: May 1 (Please note that we have extended our reply date for Fall 2021 admission to May 3, 2021)
Required Application Materials
- Common Application or Coalition Application: Barnard does not have a preference regarding which application platform you use; either will be evaluated in the same manner. Each application will include personal information such as the school you attend, your extracurricular activities, and your senior year class schedule. It will also include the personal essay that will be sent to each school you apply to on each platform.
- Barnard Writing Supplement: This will be submitted along with your preferred application platform. Supplemental essay questions may change from year to year and will become available each year in summer.
- $75 non-refundable application fee or fee waiver request: Application fees are submitted through your chosen application platform. To request an application fee waiver, you may select the fee waiver option on either application platform and ask your high school counselor to complete the waiver form. If your counselor is unable to complete the waiver form through your application platform, they may submit your waiver directly to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will gladly accept waivers from the Common Application, NACAC, SAT, or ACT. If a form is unavailable, we will also accept a letter from your counselor requesting a fee waiver that explains the financial hardship.
- Official high school and college transcripts: Please use your application platform to request that your high school counselor send us your official high school transcript. If you have taken any college classes for credit, we also require these official transcripts.
- Secondary school report and high school profile: These are documents that your high school counselor will submit along with your transcript that help our office contextualize your achievements.
- SAT or ACT scores: For information about self-reported scores, score choice, and more, please view Barnard's standardized testing policies. Please note that students applying for Fall 2021, Fall 2022, or Fall 2023 do not need to submit the SAT or ACT in accordance with our temporary test-optional policy. For more information, please see our Temporary Test-Optional FAQ page.
- High school counselor letter of recommendation: Due to large student caseloads, we understand if your counselor is unable to send a recommendation for you. Please contact us if this is the case. If your counselor is not able to submit a recommendation, we would encourage you to send an additional teacher letter of recommendation.
- Two teacher letters of recommendation: We require two letters from teachers that taught you in core academic subjects (English, foreign language, mathematics, science, or social studies [history, economics, etc.]). While we recommend that these teachers be from your last two years of high school, we will accept recommendation letters from 10th grade teachers.
- Mid-year report: Your counselor will submit your first semester senior grades by March 1st using your preferred application platform.
- Official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test Scores: In addition to SAT/ACT requirements, TOEFL/IELTS/DET scores are required for students whose primary language is not English or who do not study in a school where English is the primary language of instruction. Please visit our International Applicants webpage to learn more about our English Language Proficiency requirements and see if you are eligible for a waiver.
Optional Application Materials
- Interview: Students may choose to complete an interview to supplement their application. All interviews for students applying for Fall 2021 entry will be conducted virtually, though we expect interviews for future years to be available both in-person and online. Please see our Request an Interview page for information about how and when to schedule an interview.
- Supplementary portfolios: Students may choose to submit supplementary portfolios containing film, photo, drawing, painting, sculpture, music, dance, theatre, or creative writing for review via Slideroom. Please note that supplementary material will not be reviewed by Barnard faculty and during high volume periods, we cannot guarantee it will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Barnard does not require supplementary portfolios or auditions from any of our applicants, regardless of intended major.
- Additional letters of recommendation: Students may request letters of recommendation from up to two additional sources outside the required letters of recommendation. If you choose to request additional letters of recommendation, we recommend that they come from a different perspective than your previous letters, such as a part-time job supervisor, a research mentor, or club advisor.
- Additional Information section: Both the Common Application and Coalition Application provide students an "Additional Information" section to add anything else they want to admissions committee to know that doesn't fit elsewhere in the application. If there are circumstances that may have affected your academic performance in high school, the extracurricular activities you were able to pursue, or anything else you would like us know, we recommend telling us in this section of the application. If you would like to provide context related to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a separate COVID-19 Additional Information section for this particular information.