Academic Centers

Barnard is home to several academic centers that are at the heart of the Barnard liberal arts education. Several are housed within the Milstein Center, a new academic hub in the heart of campus, bringing students and faculty together, facilitating collaboration, and fostering dialogue. It provides a diverse range of innovative and essential resources that reflect the connections that lie at the core of Barnard's educational philosophy.


Athena Center for Leadership Studies

The Athena Center is dedicated to the advancement of inspired and courageous women leaders around the world. The ground-breaking programs educate and develop new generations of women leaders, create and promote innovative approaches to leadership development, challenge—and change—cultural stereotypes of leaders, and foster research and public dialogue that expands our understanding of leadership. 
» See Athena Center videos on Entrepreneurs in Training, Power Talks and more

Barnard Center for Research on Women

The Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) brings together scholars and activists through working groups, public events, publications, and multimedia projects that advance intersectional social justice feminist analyses and generate concrete steps toward social transformation. BCRW is committed to vibrant and engaged educational models that stimulate research, teaching, art, activism, policy, and social change, which in turn impact the way we know and understand the world around us.

Center for Toddler Development

The Toddler Center has the mission to provide a warm, positive first school experience for parents and children, and a forum for parents and caregivers to discuss and learn about the development of toddlers; to conduct research on early development and parenting; and to educate students about toddler development. 
» An alumna and Columbia professor discusses her experience working at the Toddler Center


Center for Engaged Pedagogy

The Center for Engaged Pedagogy (CEP) is a hub for supporting innovation and experimentation in classroom pedagogy, including curating related work of the other centers. The center advances classroom instruction through direct support to faculty for training, methods assessment, and evaluation, and to students by providing them with support for their classes and research projects. Consistent with Barnard's mission, and in keeping with the goals of our curriculum, the center is dedicated to supporting innovative, inclusive and engaged pedagogy in support of student learning.

The Diana T. Vagelos and Roy P. Vagelos Computational Science Center

The Computational Science Center (CSC) facilitates students’ understanding of how powerful tools of digital technology can help craft robust solutions to the world’s most challenging problems. Home to a help room focused on mathematics and computer science, the CSC supports the undergraduate data science curriculum, as well as assists students with advanced Heading 3computational needs. In the Computational Science Classroom, students connect with core endeavors in Data Science, ranging from large-scale molecular visualization, to mapping global population trends, to large-scale text and data-mining of early English literature.

Design Center

The Design Center (DeC)  is an incubator for creative making where students will experiment with, pilot, discover, and test new tools and practices. The Center supports the design of objects, as well as the pedagogy and learning associated with making. It fosters a “maker environment” on campus, collaborating and coordinating activity with other maker spaces across the campus and the University. The center encourages design-centered thinking across the disciplines and collaborates with campus initiatives, such as sustainability, to develop supportive programs and associated workshops.

Digital Humanities Center

The Digital Humanities Center (DHC) is designed to foster technological approaches to the humanities, facilitate and encourage faculty and undergraduate use of technology, and host conversations about the intersections of critical theory, technology, humanities and feminism. The DHC  provides students and faculty with techniques to engage in new ways with text and theory and to investigate new disciplinary intersections. Tools in digital humanities range from textual and timeline analysis to sonification and mapping, as well as practical workshops on ideation strategies.

Empirical Reasoning Center

The Empirical Reasoning Center’s (ERC) purpose is to help faculty and students generate data-rich analyses and conclusions that are methodologically sound and derived from ethically appropriate, reliable sources. The ERC enables faculty to develop new courses, modules and materials that embed empirical reasoning and critical inquiry into the liberal arts curriculum. The ERC offers consultation for both students and faculty, course-integrated instruction and stand-alone workshops on empirical reasoning and data-related topics ranging from Excel, to survey creation, to geographic information systems (GIS).

Media Center

The Media Center (MC) includes both pre-production and post-production labs. The labs function together to permit students to become digital content producers and creators, and offer space for them to gain knowledge and confidence in media production, post-production, troubleshooting, and team work. The center collaborates with faculty to enhance our liberal arts curriculum by using media content in developing new courses, workshops, and instructional and research materials.

Movement Lab

The Movement Lab provides a space in which movement research and exploration can take place in all its varied forms, particularly those related to technology and new media, including screen-dance, virtual reality, motion capture and other genres. The lab is designed as a flexible, multi-purpose movement space that can function as screening or new media exhibition room, dance studio, performance hall, and motion capture studio, and to be a multi-disciplinary facility for collaborative research and practice.