Institutional Areas of Focus
Aligned with the Barnard College Mission and developed in consultation with the campus community are four strategic Institutional Areas of Focus. These goals serve to guide all aspects of life at the College.
STEM as a Critical Component of the Liberal Arts
Long a leader in promoting equity and increasing the number of women in STEM fields, Barnard is deepening its commitment to classical STEM fields and cross-disciplinary sciences like environmental science, neuroscience, and bioinformatics. Notably, 35% of the Class of 2021 graduated as STEM majors, compared with 26% nationally, and 33% of the class’s URM graduates (Black, Latinx, and indigenous). Barnard’s relationship with Columbia provides accelerated 4+1 pathways in engineering and in public health. Planned renovations to Barnard’s science building, Altschul Hall, will provide Barnard students and their STEM mentors with state-of-the-art facilities for research, teaching, and learning. Barnard celebrated a Year of Science in 2021-22 to highlight the contributions of faculty, students, and alumnae in solving important challenges across the scientific disciplines.
Health and Wellness
The Feel Well, Do Well @ Barnard Health and Wellness initiative began in Fall 2019 to promote physical and mental health, enhance social connectedness, and ensure equity of access to services across the campus community. Scheduled to open in early 2024, the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation Center for Well-Being serves as the hub for Barnard’s broad wellness initiatives, which include financial well-being. Leading the LeFrak Center is Barnard’s inaugural Vice President of Health and Wellness and Chief Health Officer, a joint appointment at Barnard and Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC).
Launched in Spring 2018, Beyond Barnard is an integrated office for the career preparation and advancement of women in academia, industry, nonprofits, the arts, and government. Beyond Barnard centralizes resources—from a student’s first day at Barnard, throughout matriculation, and as an alumna. Since its inception, students and alumnae have used Beyond Barnard’s resources for research opportunities, internships, student jobs, fellowships, graduate school support, and career services. Within six months of graduation, 90% of the classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020 had obtained full-time jobs or begun advanced degree programs.
Social Mobility and Access
A diversity of ideas and voices enables Barnard to achieve academic excellence. From its founding, Barnard has been committed to recruiting a diverse class (in terms of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background and from historically underrepresented groups) and provide resources to support student success at Barnard and beyond. Admission is need-blind for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, and Barnard meets 100% of demonstrated financial need. The College created the Council on Diversity and Inclusion in 2017, the position of Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in 2019 and launched Access Barnard in 2020, a new umbrella organization that encompasses Opportunity Programs, First-Generation, Low-Income Initiatives, International Student Services and Peer Mentoring.