NEW YORK, January 22, 2019 — Barnard College announced today a suite of pathways for its students to obtain Columbia University graduate degrees in five years by taking master’s-level courses alongside foundational undergraduate courses.

These “4+1 Pathways for Accelerated Graduate Study” enhance the depth of Barnard’s existing partnerships with Columbia University, and include newly added degree programs at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), and the Mailman School of Public Health (MSPH), augmenting a roster of 4+1 Pathways that also include Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. A full list of the 4+1 Pathways can be found on the Beyond Barnard website.

Students apply to these accelerated graduate programs in their junior year, enabling them to tailor the remainder of their undergraduate studies to finish with both a BA from Barnard College and Master’s degree from Columbia University one year ahead of the time it typically takes to obtain both degrees.

In a competitive job market, employers are increasingly seeking candidates with advanced degrees. According to a 2016 survey of 2,300 hiring and human resource managers by CareerBuilder that was featured in Fast Company, nearly a third (32 percent) of managers reported bumping up education requirements for new hires, with 27 percent recruiting only those who hold master’s degrees for positions that once required four-year degrees. With the addition of 4+1 Pathways, Barnard is providing its students the ability to gain an advantage one year earlier than their peers and at less overall cost.   

“We’ve seen an increase in recent years in the number of Barnard students pursuing degrees in STEM fields,” said Barnard President Sian Leah Beilock. “The accelerated pathways help lower long-standing barriers for women and minorities in these important areas by opening streamlined entry points for advanced study. I am excited to see how our Barnard students will use this program to jump start their work and make their mark in the world.”   

Barnard’s two newest 4+1 Pathways join existing 4+1 Pathways in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The latest additions extend advanced degrees to Barnard students interested in STEM fields, and mirror an emerging trend among its recent graduates. In the College’s Class of 2018, 35 percent were math and science majors—an 11 percent increase from ten years ago—compared to about 21 percent nationally. Furthermore, one-third of minority students at Barnard were STEM majors, a significant jump from the national average of 23 percent.

“Barnard offers students varied opportunities to gain a broad education across the arts and sciences, while also working toward specialized, advanced degrees in emerging disciplines such as biomedical engineering and environmental health,” said Provost and Dean of the Faculty Linda Bell. “Combined with our unique Foundations curriculum that asks students to think theoretically, empirically, and technologically, to write effectively, and to speak persuasively, 4+1 graduates will come out equipped with both the hard and soft skills that will allow them to make a substantive impact in these highly competitive fields.”

Students pursuing either of the two newest additions to the 4+1 Pathways roster will be fully engaged in the liberal arts curriculum during their undergraduate years while simultaneously working towards an M.S. in chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, industrial engineering, and operational research (IEOR) from SEAS, or a master’s degree in public health from Mailman, choosing from a wide variety of concentrations that include epidemiology, environmental health, medical anthropology, medical history and more. Each concentration is supported by Barnard and Columbia University faculty. Barnard is working on several additional engineering and applied science pathways that the College expects to be available to students by the beginning of the next academic year.

“Barnard students have the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in graduate work and in STEM careers,” said Bell. “The need and opportunity for thoughtful, brilliant, and public-minded female leaders in these fields has perhaps never been greater.”


About Barnard

Barnard provides a singular educational experience, as a world-renowned college focused on excellence across the arts and sciences, with all the academic resources of Columbia University and the City of New York as an extended classroom. Founded in 1889, Barnard was one of the few colleges in the nation where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education available to men. Today, Barnard is one of the most selective academic institutions in the country and remains devoted to empowering extraordinary women to become even more exceptional. For more information on Barnard College, contact Barnard Media Relations at 212-854-2037 or To learn more, follow Barnard on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.