About Bard College

Founded in 1860 and located in New York’s Hudson Valley, Bard College is a four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences with a record of academic excellence and innovation. As a leader in promoting and increasing access to the liberal arts, Bard provides the Early Colleges with strong resources and support for curriculum, pedagogy, and methodology.

A Private College in the Public Interest

The Early Colleges are just one expression of Bard’s vested interest in bringing the liberal arts into communities where it is often the least accessible. Since it’s founding, Bard has been a committed pioneer in higher education opportunity.

The Bard Prison Initiative is the nation’s premier college-in-prisons program, which enables men and women who are incarcerated to earn associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from Bard, tuition-free.

The Clemente Course in the Humanities provides accredited college-level instruction to economically and educationally disadvantaged individuals at no cost. Participants study literature, art history, moral philosophy, and U.S. history in an accessible and welcoming community setting. Since its founding, over 100 courses have been offered across fourteen states.

Leaders in the Liberal Arts and Sciences

As a prominent and prestigious liberal arts college, Bard serves as a hub for a number of nationally-recognized initiatives in the advancement of pedagogical methods and tools.

Bard houses the Institute for Writing and Thinking, which leads professional development workshops for secondary and postsecondary teachers and develops curriculum based on Bard’s Writing and Thinking pedagogy. IWT guides teachers in developing and refining writing practices with the goal of enlivening and enriching classroom learning through writing. The philosophy and the practice of IWT are one: writing is both a record of completed thought and an exploratory process that supports teaching and deepens learning across disciplines.

Bard is also home to the Master of Arts in Teaching graduate program, which trains and certifies educators through immersive teaching residencies and intensive workshops in liberal arts practices.

International Reach

From a home campus in New York State, Bard College operates an extraordinary network of national and international programs lauded for academic excellence and civic engagement. This includes programs in the West Bank, East Asia, and Berlin.