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Student Reviews

Barnard College Reviews

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  • 06/05/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    12 out of 12 people found this review useful. 1 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Barnard is very safe. Although New York is a major city, Manhattan in general tends to be pretty safe. The neighborhood where Barnard is located- Morningside Heights- is very quiet, as mostly only students or professors live there. Something that a lot of students find a little excessive is that Barnard and Columbia students cannot enter each other's dorm unless they give their ID and are signed in personally by whomever is with them; however, I think this does show that security does take their job quite seriously.

    Greek Life

    Greek Life isn't big. Actually, it doesn't even technically exist at Barnard, but you can rush for a Columbia sorority if you wish. Being or not being in a sorority isn't considered a big deal, either way. The frat houses are actually brownstones, just to give you an idea of how small they are.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are a lot of clubs to join at Barnard! Also, besides just joining Barnard clubs, a lot of Columbia clubs are open to Barnard students, too. There are a lot of dance groups, in particular. Theatre is also big. Athletics are not as popular, but there are intramural sports to join if you want to. Also, there are also a lot of cultural clubs to join.

    Great for these types of students

    Barnard is great for students who are very motivated and ambitious, as well as hard working. Sometimes women's colleges are stereotyped as being liberal and feminist to a fault; while I do think more liberal minded students will fit in more at Barnard, by no means are all crazy feminists. Most of the women are simply secure in their ability to succeed. Also, I think Barnard is good for the independent person. Because of NYC, most people go out into the city a lot- you have to accept that campus life is not as close knit as it would be at a school where it is more of a hassle to leave campus.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Midnight Breakfast is the most famous Barnard tradition- the Deans and the President of the college serve a giant breakfast the night before finals start. Also, the same night is Orgo Night- a Columbia wide tradition where the marching band takes over the library to perform a comedy show, and then marches throughout the Barnard and Columbia campuses. Everyone throws their old notes and papers out the windows as they pass by.

    Bang for the buck

    Barnard is very expensive; however, a lot of students are offered financial aid. The education is fantastic though, so I do think you are paying for something worthwhile.

    What to do for fun

    Barnard is located right on Broadway- you are literally in the midst of New York City. As such, there are a million things to do for fun, on and off campus. Most people go off campus at least once every weekend. New York has fantastic restaurants and shopping, all of which is just a subway ride away. There are also great deals in the city for Barnard students. With your ID, you get free admission to a lot of museums like the Metropolitan. Also, the New York City Ballet, the NY Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, and most Broadway shows have seriously discounted tickets for Barnard students. There are also a lot of concerts and clubs throughout the entire city to take advantage of. On campus, the frat scene isn't very big, but it does exist at Columbia. Also, the arts and cultural clubs often hold events, so there is always something going on if you want to stay at Barnard for the night.

    Food and Dining

    The food is decent at Barnard. Dorm food can get kind of monotonous, but although there is only one dining hall at Barnard (Hewitt), there are also two at Columbia that Barnard students can eat at, so you can find some variety. All first year students are required to be on the Unlimited meal plan, but after that you can choose. There are a lot of vegetarian and vegan options available, and a decent amount of Kosher options. Overall, I would say the food is pretty good.

    Dorm Life

    During your first year, you are required to live in the Quad with the other freshmen. After that, you can live off campus, but because of how expensive that can be, very few people do. The dorms are decent- most are pretty big, and if you're lucky you can get one with air conditioning. The RA's are usually available and really try to make sure they're there to help you out.

    Academic Rigor

    Academics at Barnard (and at Columbia, where you will most likely take at least a few courses) are definitely rigorous. Classes tend to be small, which requires a high level of participation- and consequently, you need to be able to keep up with the readings and assignments in order to contribute in class. Classes tend to have a lot of assignments; science lab courses in particular are very demanding. It can be frustrating living in NYC when you don't always have loads of free time, so it's really important to learn how to manage your time and find a balance between work and all the amazing opportunities NYC has. However, despite the sizable work load, the atmosphere is generally non-competitive. Most students are more than willing to help each other, and professors tend to be really helpful (most of my professors have more than enough office hours). Therefore, even though the work can be difficult, you do get a lot of help in learning how to handle it. Additionally, most of the classes (even if they are challenging) have been extremely interesting- overall, I'd say the homework load is worth it.

    Tips for prospective students

    Going to Barnard, I think it is very important to learn how to find a balance between work and play. Academics are demanding, and you are surrounded by what tends to be a very motivated and driven student body. Because of this, students at Barnard sometimes get stressed out, and you need to learn how to handle this stress. Definitely make sure you find time to enjoy yourself and see New York!

    In three sentences

    Barnard college is one of the most unique college experiences that exist- partly because of it's location in NYC, partly because of the affiliation with Columbia, and partly because of its existence as a women's college. Being a part of Columbia is fantastic, but by also being part of a close knit liberal arts college, Barnard offers a much more supportive environment for it's students. Also, as a women's college, Barnard surrounds you with an amazing, driven group of extremely successful women- yet, because of the Columbia affiliation, you have the opportunity to have an entirely co-ed social life.

  • 03/08/2010

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    6 out of 13 people found this review useful. 2 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Intelligent, Educated, and Patient.

    Tips for prospective students

    Barnard College is an all women college. Barnard is a school for women who are interested in making sure their education is their priority.

  • 07/29/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 3 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very safe.

    Clubs and Activities

    Tons. Barnard and Columbia clubs. Not to mention everything in the NYC community.

    Great for these types of students

    Students who love learning, who are unafraid to stick by their convictions, but who also have the courage to let their initial biases and assumptions be challenged and changed.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Midnight Breakfast, Orgo night, Big sub, Finding the owl in alma mater

    Bang for the buck

    Financial aid pleasantly surprises me every semester.

    What to do for fun

    Anything and everything. The city is your oyster.

    Food and Dining

    It's okay. One cafeteria on Barnard's campus, two on Columbia's. Cafes dispersed throughout campus, lots of places to eat on Brodway, right outside campus. But really, learn to cook.

    Dorm Life

    All freshman live in the Quad on campus with a roommate. I've been extremely happy with my housing so far. Dedicated residential life community and RAs that plan awesome events-- ice skating in Bryant Park, anyone? I've worked for residential life and they really want you to have the best living experience possible. Being in New York City means less space and more expensive housing, so I think Barnard does well with what it can get.

    Academic Rigor

    Demanding, but not at all impossible. Academic culture here values hard work-- often becomes a little too much, in my opinion. Stress is contagious, so be careful.

    Tips for prospective students

    If you're that worried about your grades, or exam scores, or extra-curriculars won't make the cut-- don't be. Barnard admissions looks at your entire common app holistically. Genuinely think about and convey why you want to be at Barnard, and you can't go wrong.

    In three sentences

    Women's college in New York city dedicated to creating women leaders. A place that will inevitably change you, no matter who you are when you first arrive at the gates. A very unique college experience, and one I truly cherish.

  • 03/06/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    3 out of 4 people found this review useful. 4 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Will learn a lot

    There are numerous classes to take. They make you take a bunch of classes that are totally different from what you want to do. They make sure that when you declare your major at the end of your sophomore year, you know that you deff. want that major.

  • 12/21/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 5 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Put a lot of thought in your supplemental essays, and make sure they reflect who you are and what you want to accomplish.

    Will enjoy being here

    I can't wait to start school here next fall. The location and everything about it is exactly what I am looking for in a college.

  • 06/14/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review useful. 6 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very safe and secure.

    Greek Life

    Good way to make friends who are girls and boys at Columbia.

    Clubs and Activities

    SO many amazing clubs, activities, non profits. Everything is here. If not, it is easy to start one.

    Great for these types of students

    People who love living in the city, being creative, being in a woman's college (sense of sisterhood), and care and support from professors

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Midnight Breakfast, Spirit Day,

    Bang for the buck

    Lots of things are expensive, but there are many free things as well. Just go to studentrush.org, highfive.org , freenyc,.com, and you will find free yoga classes, cheap broadway shows, and so forth.

    What to do for fun

    ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING NYC HAS TO OFFER! :D

    Food and Dining

    On campus is good but gets boring, off campus is great but it gets expensive.

    Dorm Life

    All freshman live in the quad, so you never have to go outside to see any of your friends! The dorms may be small but are very nice, and res life and housing try to accommodate your needs.

    Academic Rigor

    This school is pretty rigorous. I spend a lot of my time studying. But that's okay because there is still time to go out once a week and enjoy youself.

    Tips for prospective students

    Definitely use CULPA when signing up for classes. Try to do activities on campus before NSOP, such as the admitted students weekend, and Columbia Urban Experience (CUE). These programs help you meet wonderful people over at Columbia. Even with NSOP (New Student Orientation Program), it can be hard to make friends at Columbia. (This is for those who want a more coed experience).

    In three sentences

    Barnard is a wonderful college with so many activities, classes and resources that you wish you could be here for more than four years.

  • 03/25/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 7 of 16

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    see a broadway show, do one of a million events on campus, hang out with friends, and go explore the city.

    Food and Dining

    The dining hall isn't the best, but there are amazing options all over the city.

    Dorm Life

    first year housing isn't the best, and you can be unlucky with your room mates, but after the first year, options improve.

    Academic Rigor

    there is a lot of work, but amazing teachers

    Tips for prospective students

    don't overpack-and be ready for a whole lot of work.

    In three sentences

    It's an interesting place, where you will meet incredibly bright and enthusiastic young women with huge ambitions.

  • 05/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 3 people found this review useful. 8 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    a lot of stores around the neighborhood.

    Tips for prospective students

    I think you'll have an amazing time here, just be prepared to work hard

    In three sentences

    the campus is really nice.

  • 05/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 9 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Public Safety is there for you on the go. They really are fast and will in fact drive you to anywhere in the neighborhood late at night if you feel unsafe.

    Greek Life

    GO OUT ON THE LAWN AND PARTICIPATE! It really is a wonderful experience.

    Clubs and Activities

    Being that Barnard is affiliated with Columbia University, all of the clubs and organizations you can think of exist on campus and it is because of them there is student life on campus.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Midnight Breakfast- Breakfast for all Barnard and Columbia Students on the midnight before the first day of finals during both semesters. Breakfast with music and dancing offered by the President of the College, deans, and Professors.

    What to do for fun

    Go out to the city on weekends and weeknights, go to events on campus and on Columbia's campus.

    Food and Dining

    Hewitt Dining Hall is the only Dining Hall on Campus. This Dining Hall

    Dorm Life

    There are four Dorm buildings in the Quad, which is within the campus and there are several apartments for upperclassmen off campus. In the Quad, there is Sulzberger (the newest building), Reid, Brooks, and Hewitt (single dorms). The bathrooms are big and very clean. The hallways are always clean and very catchy on every floor. You have an RA and leader on every floor who come up with events for the floor every month and make life in the dorms worthwhile.

    Academic Rigor

    In terms of the work-load, everything is doable and nothing is impossible. To be honest, it will be quite a transition for you from high school to College, but it will all fall into place. You're first-year experience will be pretty rough in that it will cause you a lot of stress trying to learn how to study for every course and how to manage your time quite well. The reason I rate this as 4 stars is because Barnard is indeed an ivy league and you will be asked to put in all the effort you need to put in to do really well, but with the help of the professors who are literally always there for you to support you. The resources on campus are there for your use, so take advantage of them.

    Tips for prospective students

    You may be homesick and you may find it difficult to adjust to the college life, however just stay open to everyone on your floor in the dorms and I promise you will have an unforgettable and amazing First-Year experience.

    In three sentences

    Being part of an all Women's College in NYC provides me with various opportunities in the social aspect. With very enthusiastic women, you are able to get through your worst day with a smile on. The positive atmosphere you get from faculty and professors is your motivation.

  • 05/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 10 of 16

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Out of everything, this probably varies the most. You have the entire city--which means bars, concerts, clubbing, foodie restaurants, anything you want. Campus activities and organizations also tend to get pretty involved and make the school seem smaller. Sororities and Frats are available if you're into those.

    Food and Dining

    It's decent. You have choices from all the dining halls on Barnard and Columbia campuses (three) but to be honest the Barnard one is closest to the dorms so that's the one I use the most. Salad bar is a constant, and there's usually a good variety of things to choose from.

    Dorm Life

    I've seen it vary. The first year at Barnard can be a little lonely for some people and the social dynamic (all girls) can take a little while to get used to. I've seen it go both ways-- my freshman dorm really kept their distance, but I've seen hallways of girls from all over the country become a legitimate family to each other.

    Academic Rigor

    Barnard is tough. I'm a Neuroscience major and I think if I wasn't so involved in campus activities I'd have an easier time academically, but New York and friends can sometimes be distracting and keep me from studying as much as I should. I have no regrets, however.

    Tips for prospective students

    The all-girls thing is worth being a little apprehensive about. Yes, you live in the city and you can take classes at Columbia, so it's not really an all girls school in that you'll see guys a lot. But Barnard is still you're primary community, so keep that in mind.

    In three sentences

    Simply put, I love Barnard and truly almost everyone I know does as well. I have never felt more independent, challenged, or excited as I do living in New York City and taking classes at Columbia. And because of Barnard, I also feel empowered as a woman.

  • 06/21/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 11 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The Barnard shuttle is the safest! I love Barnard College!

    Greek Life

    Greek life is there, but it does not have a huge presence on campus. It is not crucial to join anything.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is something for everyone.

    Great for these types of students

    Driven, independent, strong, and hard-working. Don't to be lazy. This is not the typical college were all you will do is party. You must want a much more sophisticated experience. If your college goals are to drink and party every weekend, that's chill and all, but Barnard is definitely not the school for you.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Midnight Breakfast-professors serve you breakfast at 12am Big Sub- gigantic sandwich across the campus

    Bang for the buck

    Barnard is a great experience.

    What to do for fun

    The subway is literally right outside the gates of Barnard College. The limit is non existing. There are many on-campus and off-campus activities.

    Food and Dining

    Hewitt is delicious! there is always something for everyone.

    Dorm Life

    Not the best. Housing is horrible, it is all done by lottery numbers. Honestly no building is the best, it really all depends on the individual.

    Academic Rigor

    Academics are really hard. You have to know how to time manage and Barnard students need discipline.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't try to be someone you are not. Yes, it is college and you can re-make yourself, but that doesn't mean lying to yourself and others. Keep it real and classy.

    In three sentences

    Barnard is the perfect mix between a great college experience, while also have the advantage of having NYC in the palm of your hand. Barnard is a welcoming community and a helpful one. Barnard women are strong, bold, and beautiful.

  • 07/07/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 12 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I've never felt unsafe. You can usually see public safety vehicles everywhere.

    Greek Life

    If you're looking for a huge Greek scene, you should look somewhere else.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Primal scream, Orgo Night, Tree lighting

    Food and Dining

    Edible at best. The dining hall staff is pretty moody, but burrito night is the best.

    Dorm Life

    A bit quiet, with bits of drama here and there. The quad tends to get pretty loud.

    Academic Rigor

    There are some very interesting classes, though professors do expect a lot from students. As long as you work hard, results will show.

    Tips for prospective students

    1. Make CULPA your second adviser. 2. Sign up for as many clubs or groups during the first few weeks of school. That's how you'll find out about events. 3. Grades aren't everything, but you'll have to work hard to keep up with the intelligent people here.

    In three sentences

    Barnard may be away from the bustling NYC scene, it's nothing a subway ride won't fix. MoHi is a nice place to get a decent college education, although it tends to get a bit boring up here.

  • 08/01/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 13 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    We have a tunnel system and a great security team which is makes a point of keeping students informed and safe.

    Greek Life

    There are some sororities on campus...

    Clubs and Activities

    Everything under the sun! We have tons of teams and clubs, and students have access to many Columbia teams as well!

    Great for these types of students

    Focused, passionate students belong at Barnard. Barnard girls are easy to spot because they are usually well-rounded and have distinctive personalities.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    During orientation we make a huge sub sandwich and share it ( and when I say huge I mean that it takes up the full length of campus) and the school has loads of other cheesy but fun traditions!

    Bang for the buck

    I've never met a Barnard alumna who didn't LOVE her time at the school.

    What to do for fun

    Barnard is located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. You have your choice of museums, parks, and theaters, not to mention other cultural activities and opportunities right at your fingertips.

    Food and Dining

    The cafeteria isn't great, but it has a wide range of options. And there are literally thousands of restaurants in the surrounding area.

    Dorm Life

    Remember, this is Manhattan. The dorms are tiny, but that's just part of city life.

    Academic Rigor

    This is one of the original Seven Sisters and technically part of Columbia University, so be ready for Ivy League academics!

    Tips for prospective students

    Go see the campus and talk to current students!

    In three sentences

    Barnard is wonderful for a number of reasons, including its small class size and resulting individual attention. The campus is cozy but allows instant access to Manhattan culture, and both the academic and non-academic opportunities are amazing. Don't worry about the fact that it is an all girls school, there are plenty of boys right across the street at Columbia!

  • 03/20/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 14 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    They have to be on point.

    Greek Life

    lol no.

    Clubs and Activities

    Clubs are great on campus. We share with Columbia but we can have our own clubs as well.

    Great for these types of students

    Studious. Lesbians. Jewish girls.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    GO DOWNTOWN!! That is where the night life is.

    Bang for the buck

    It is a very expensive school and place to live.

    What to do for fun

    It's new york city! C'mon people!

    Food and Dining

    Great food, but people complain about it a lot.

    Dorm Life

    It is a hit or miss. I felt as if I did not click well with my floor.

    Academic Rigor

    Oh yeah, the work is hard. And a lot of it. But you feel so gratified in the end.

    Tips for prospective students

    Try to time manage!

    In three sentences

    Barnard College is an amazing college for women. It has the personal attention that we need along with dedicated faculty. We all get stressed a lot, though.

  • 11/23/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 15 of 16

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are some events on campus, but if you don't like them one of the distinct advantages of attending college in New York City is that you have a myriad of things to do at your fingertips.

    Food and Dining

    I enjoy both the Barnard dining halls and the Columbia dining halls.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are very old, but that is expected in an institution with such a rich history.

    Academic Rigor

    It's very difficult. Stay on top of things or you will definitely fall behind.

    Tips for prospective students

    The classes are extremely difficult, but if you stay on top of everything you should be fine.

    In three sentences

    I am absolutely in love with Barnard. Barnard offers the best of both worlds, operating as a small liberal arts women's college yet offering students all of the resources available at the Ivy League Columbia University.

  • 01/13/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 16 of 16

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is quite safe. You periodically get emails about a cell phone theft however it is rare and well controlled. Public Safety will come pick you up if you ever feel unsafe where you are and in general, you feel very secure on campus. To be honest, I was quite nervous about going to school in New York City, however I never feel in any danger and Barnard's campus seems almost like a small suburban block in the middle of a huge city.

    Greek Life

    There are so many sororities and fraternities at Columbia. If you are interested in rushing, you are almost guaranteed to be accepted into one. There are sometimes problems with hazing in which some frats have lost their charter, however as a whole, the greek life at Columbia is well controlled.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many clubs and activities students can get involved in. Every sport you can think of, tons of opportunities for community service or for connections with other students. In addition, if you want to start a club and are enthusiastic about the activity, the faculty will be more than happy to help you.

    Great for these types of students

    Barnard is great for any type of young woman. The students at Barnard are passionate and driven young girls, and their interests span a seemingly infinite range. If you are motivated and truly excited about your college education, it will be the time of your life.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Midnight Breakfast! An awesome tradition on campus where, the night before finals, the faculty serves a giant delicious breakfast to all the students to relieve some of their pre-finals stress. Primal Scream. The night before the Organic Chemistry final, at midnight everyone throws open their windows and screams at the top of their lungs and throws their papers out the window. It's amazing.

    Bang for the buck

    Obviously, if you are considering this school you know it is quite expensive. The education is amazing however, and the financial aid department is most accommodating to those who demonstrate financial need. They truly want to make this top-notch college education possible for those who are motivated.

    What to do for fun

    Go into the city! One of the greatest parts of going to school in New York is that you have everything right at your fingertips. Take the subway downtown and explore! Go to the Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center and Georgetown Cupcakes! There's so much to do, and while it's not right on campus, it's pretty close.

    Food and Dining

    The dining hall is awesome. The staff is so friendly and if you are a vegetarian (like me) there are great options. They also have an entirely kosher section (which I hear is much better than anywhere else).

    Dorm Life

    The quads for freshman are very nice...if you get Sulzberger Hall. While it is not stellar, the dorms are a great place to make friends and if you make your room the cozy oasis you need, it will be an awesome place to stay.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes require a lot of study time and work, however the subject matter is always interesting and the teachers are brilliant. Even the least enigmatic teacher is willing to help you and if you are enthusiastic, they will be too. Like any school, you will get as much out of the education as you put in and there is much to be had at Barnard. If you work hard and study, you will succeed and form many valuable skills in the process.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be Social! There is nothing like talking with other young people to make connections you never would have believed were possible. There are so many interesting young women with a huge variety of backgrounds and getting to know them is one of the best parts about school. Also, if you're considering the school, COME VISIT! Take a tour around campus or stay for a weekend. It really helps you to get a feel for the school and evaluate if it is the right fit for you.

    In three sentences

    Barnard is an amazing school. The faculty is supportive and enthusiastic, always willing to help. The students are bright, amazing, young women and the community there is truly wonderful.