With the start of the acceptance season at hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide, Barnard College, the country’s most selective women’s college, is preparing for historical changes to the curriculum, the campus and the community.  The College, which received a record-breaking 7,071 applications for the Class of 2020, recently admitted 1,124 young women from around the world, marking the lowest admit rate—16 percent—in Barnard’s 126-year history.  Members of this most-selective class will also be among the first to enroll at a liberal arts college with a distinct technology requirement.  This requirement is incorporated into Barnard’s new curriculum, Foundations, which will be supported by a 128,000-square-foot teaching and learning center that will open its doors in fall of 2018. 

“We are so excited to welcome the Class of 2020, a truly exceptional group of students, to campus this fall,” said Jennifer Fondiller, dean of enrollment  management. “These students represent the qualities that make Barnard women unique: inquisitiveness, drive, academic excellence, and the desire to make their mark on the world. High-achieving young women continue to be drawn to Barnard for its international and leadership initiatives, world-class faculty, and research and internship opportunities.  The opportunities have never been richer than for the incoming Class of 2020.”

This increasingly diverse incoming class—with students coming from more than 43 countries and a quarter of them from underrepresented minority groups—will be an excellent match for the new curriculum with its emphasis on international and global learning, as well as digital learning and quantitative and empirical reasoning.  Additionally, this is the first admitted class since the College approved its notable transgender admissions policy.

Foundations is a forward-looking curriculum that asks our students, beginning with the Class of 2020, to think theoretically, empirically, and technologically; to write effectively; and to speak persuasively—all while giving them the freedom to shape their own educational experience,” Provost Linda Bell said.

In addition, the Class of 2020 will fully realize the benefits of Foundations with the 2018 opening of a teaching and learning center.  The center will double the amount of classroom, laboratory and study space; provide an enhanced library, special collections and archival space; house the College’s signature programs, the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and Barnard Center for Research on Women; and create a new computational science center, as well as a digital commons with five innovative teaching labs that utilize new media and digital technologies.

“Sharp intellectual curiosity, rigorous training and an open, bold approach to life have been among the hallmarks of a Barnard education and, thanks to our generous donors who are supporting the teaching and learning center, we can continue to connect students’ to a world without limitations,”  President Debora L. Spar said.