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Admissions

The Committee on Admissions selects young women of proven academic strength who exhibit the potential for further intellectual growth. In addition to their high school records, recommendations, and standardized test scores, the candidates’ special abilities and interests are also given careful consideration. While admission is highly selective, no one criterion determines acceptance. Each applicant is considered in terms of her individual qualities and her potential for successfully completing the course of study at Barnard.

Barnard seeks students from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds and from all geographic regions. However, no preconceived profile of an ideal student population limits the number of applicants accepted from any one group. The College admits students and administers its financial aid and loan programs, educational policies and programs, recreational programs, and other College programs and activities without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

First-Year Application Procedures

Application for admission to the first-year class should be made by January 1 for entrance in September of the same year. Barnard uses the Common Application along with a Barnard supplement. All forms are accessible at commonapp.org or on our website. Students may also obtain copies of the Common Application from their high schools. Applicants should ordinarily be at least 15 years of age at entrance.

A non-refundable fee of $65 must accompany each application. Checks or money orders must be in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank and made payable to Barnard College. Students may also submit payment directly through the common application website. Students with significant financial hardship should request a fee-waiver from their high school counselor on school letterhead and submit it with the application.

Secondary School Preparation

Each candidate for admission must offer a college preparatory program from an accredited secondary school or an equivalent education representing a four-year course of study. Academic preparation for admission should be based on the requirements for the A.B., or liberal arts, degree. A recommended program would comprise four years of work in English; three or more years in mathematics; three or more years in a foreign language (ancient or modern); three or more years in science with laboratory; and three years or more in history. An introduction to a second foreign language is generally useful. The remainder of the program should include additional work in the aforementioned subjects with the possible addition of music and art. Applications varying from this pattern are considered without discrimination if the candidate’s records indicate genuine intellectual ability and high motivation.

First-Year Entrance Tests

Barnard requires all candidates to take the College Board’s SAT I Reasoning Test and two SAT II Subject Tests. The ACT with writing can be substituted for the SAT I and SAT II Subject Tests. We recommend that students take these standardized tests by the fall of their senior year. Candidates should consult the College Board or the American College Testing Program for descriptions of the tests, directions for filing applications, the dates on which examinations are administered, and a list of examination centers as early as possible. Dates vary from year to year, and applications to take the test must be received by the College Board and ACT well in advance. Students who require non-standard administration of the tests should consult with their guidance counselors for testing accommodations.

It is the student’s responsibility to direct the College Board or American College Testing Program to send official test scores to the Office of Admissions. The SAT tests code number for Barnard is 2038. The ACT code number for Barnard is 2718.

Another important part of the application is the submission of three recommendations, one from the high school counselor and two from academic teachers. Students should submit teacher recommendations from 11th or 12th grades in english, math, science, social sciences, or foreign language courses. These recommendations give the Committee on Admissions additional information about the candidate’s interests, character, skills, and aptitude.

Interviews

Although not required, an interview is recommended. For students who are able to visit the campus, an interview can be arranged by contacting the Office of Admissions. Appointments are scheduled Monday through Friday from 9:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., and on selected weekends throughout the Fall. Applicants who are unable to visit the College may request an interview with a local Barnard Alumnae Admissions Representative (BAAR) by calling Admissions or by submitting an online request form.

Early Decision

Well-qualified high school seniors who have selected Barnard as their first-choice college may apply under a binding Early Decision plan. To be considered under Early Decision, a candidate must submit her application and other required credentials (listed under First-Year Application Procedures) to Admissions by November 1. The Committee’s decision is mailed by Admissions no later than December 15. A student may initiate regular applications to other colleges; she must, however, withdraw all other applications upon admission to Barnard. Notification of financial aid for those candidates who have demonstrated financial need will follow the admissions decision. To reserve a place in the first-year class, an Early Decision student must submit a nonrefundable enrollment deposit. This deposit is applied toward tuition and fees for the first year.

The Committee on Admissions may choose to postpone a decision on an Early Decision application until the spring. In that event, the student is asked to submit a record of schoolwork from the first half of the senior year.

Deferred Enrollment

Admitted students who wish to defer enrollment in Barnard for up to one year must obtain permission by writing to the Dean of Admissions, explaining the reasons for the deferral request. Such a request is normally granted for purposes of work, travel, or pursuit of a special interest. Students are not allowed to matriculate at another institution during that year and should relinquish their space on any wait lists for other institutions. Written deferral requests must be received by February 1 for students admitted Early Decision and April 25 for students admitted Regular Decision. Transfer students and students admitted from a waiting list are not permitted to defer admission. Deferral requests do not factor into evaluations or committee decisions. Students can only defer for up to one year.

International Students

Barnard welcomes applications from international students following the same application procedure and presenting the same credentials as domestic candidates. Fluency in the English language is essential for admission. Those international students whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); international applicants who have lived in the United States for less than four years must also submit scores for the TOEFL. Information about registration for the test is obtained by contacting the TOEFL Program at the Educational Testing Service. The International English Lanauge Testing System (IELTS) exam may be submitted if TOEFL is not available. Information about registration for the test is available on their website.

VISP: The Visiting International Students Program

As part of Barnard College’s broad initiative to internationalize its campus, the College has created the Visiting International Students Program (VISP) for spring semesters in residence at our campus in New York City. Through a limited number of collaborative relationships with international universities, our partners send cohorts of 3-15 undergraduate students to Barnard to spend the spring semester as full-time visiting students. VISP students are fully integrated into the Barnard College academic and co-curricular community, gaining a broad understanding of how liberal arts institutions in the United States function, exploring the American model of undergraduate education, and studying and researching with Barnard and Columbia University’s world-class faculty, while also contributing to the internationalization of the student body.

Transfer Students

Barnard welcomes transfer students in the fall and spring term of each year. Applications for admission will be reviewed according to the following schedule:

Deadline Notification Enroll
March 15 mid-May Fall
November 1 December 1 Spring

Each candidate must submit the Common Application for Transfer Admission and the following credentials: the Barnard Supplement for Transfer and Visiting Students; an official secondary school transcript; the results of the SAT I Reasoning Test or ACT, and, if appropriate, the TOEFL; the official transcripts of all college work and a copy of the college catalogue in which the courses taken are clearly marked. Two recommendations are also required: one each from a college faculty member and a college dean or adviser. Transfer applicants may also submit a recommendation from the high school counselor (optional).

A strong record at an accredited college, university, or equivalent institution is required. In some cases, advanced credit cannot be assigned until a student has had an opportunity to establish a satisfactory record at Barnard, but, in general, credit is given for courses which are similar in content and depth to Barnard courses.

After acceptance, academic and general guidance is provided by the advisers to Transfer Students in the Dean of Studies Office. For information on financial aid, students should consult with Financial Aid.

Visiting Students

Undergraduate students who are degree candidates at other colleges may apply for admission as visiting students for one or two semesters. 

Other Degree Credit

Students who have satisfactorily completed college courses before entering Barnard as first-year students may apply for a maximum of 15 points of degree credit. The courses must be intended primarily for college students and taught at the college by members of its faculty and must be in excess of the courses required for the high school diploma. With the exception of Advanced Placement courses overseen by the College Board, and of International Baccalaureate work, courses taught in high school, either by specially trained high school teachers or college instructors, will not be credited towards the Barnard degree.

Resumed Education

Former Barnard students who wish to return to the College after an absence of five years or more in order to complete their degree may obtain applications from the Dean of Studies. Alumnae who wish to pursue further study in new areas of interest after graduation should contact Dean Ani Bournoutian.