The Mission of the College
Bard College seeks to inspire curiosity, a love of learning, idealism, and a commitment to the link between higher education and civic participation. The undergraduate curriculum is designed to address central, enduring questions facing succeeding generations of students. Academic disciplines are interconnected through multidisciplinary programs; a balance in the curriculum is sought between general education and individual specialization. Students pursue a rigorous course of study reflecting diverse traditions of scholarship, research, speculation, and artistic expression. They engage philosophies of human existence, theories of human behavior and society, the making of art, and the study of the humanities, science, nature, and history.
Bard’s approach to learning focuses on the individual, primarily through small group seminars. These are structured to encourage thoughtful, critical discourse in an inclusive environment. Faculty are active in their fields and stress the connection between the contemplative life of the mind and active engagement outside the classroom. They strive to foster rigorous and free inquiry, intellectual ambition, and creativity.
Bard acts at the intersection of education and civil society, extending liberal arts and sciences education to communities in which it has been underdeveloped, inaccessible, or absent. Through its undergraduate college, distinctive graduate programs, commitment to the fine and performing arts, civic and public engagement programs, and network of international dual-degree partnerships, early colleges, and prison education initiatives, Bard offers unique opportunities for students and faculty to study, experience, and realize the principle that higher-education institutions can and should operate in the public interest.