A Visit to Barnard College by jgn on Monday, July 2, 2018 in Colleges, College Visits, Liberal Arts, and Small Liberal Arts Colleges

Yesterday, Sunday, July 1, 2018, we visited Barnard College in New York City. This was not a typical campus visit because it was the weekend and there was no one to give us a tour. Instead, we leveraged a PDF to give ourselves a self-guided tour.

Barnard is amazing because it seems to be only 4 square blocks (4 acres) across Broadway from Columbia University. The college is a marvel of compression: It has all of the things that other small colleges have, but on a smaller scale: Dormitories, an old historic building, a modern science building. barnard4 According to Wikipedia, Barnard has 2,360 students -- I can't imagine that they all live in Barnard dorms in that 4 block compass, so there must be dorms in surrounding buildings. Still, it felt like a campus. barnard5

We got a very palpable feeling that Barnard is a safe place in the big city. You can take any classes you want at Columbia, and still return to this safe place. On a Sunday, it was absolutely charming. There is a pretty stair-stepped green area next to the Diana Center. barnard1 A young couple was sitting there talking; I guess it is culturally stereotypically to imagine that they were young lovers having a Sunday morning conversation, but there they were.

Some of the buildings were unlocked. We wandered into the LeFrak Center, barnard2 which is housing a number of campus functions where the new Milstein Center is going up. The temporary library in LeFrak is in space that was formerly the gym; we thought it was cool that the old gym floor is still visibly in place. barnard3

Caroline got a positive vibe from the place, and it is on her "possibles" list. Having said that, we are probably going to have to go back and/or read a lot more about Barnard: We understand the resources for women and the research opportunities for women's history: But . . . what does one get from Barnard that one wouldn't get from regular admission to Columbia? One thing that I imagine Caroline might get from Barnard is full professors teaching the first year seminar (if they have one) and selected introductory courses. barnard6 There will probably be a Part 2 to this one, but: so far, so good.

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