A Deep Dive into the Barnard/Columbia Affiliation
Question: I love Barnard for a lot of reasons, one of them being its unique relationship with Columbia. I know from visiting it is directly across the street, but I was just wondering about the overall relationship with Columbia. Do Barnard students have the same opportunity to register for Columbia classes (besides the Columbia core classes of course), without a disadvantage? Do Barnard students have equal access to the dining halls for the most part? Are events at Columbia (speakers, performances, etc.) open to Barnard?
Are there any clubs and opportunities outside the classroom that are specifically unique to Barnard/Columbia? Of course, every club and its community is unique in its own way, but are there certain ones that stand out as something you can rarely find anywhere else (aside from student government)?
Answer: When Barnard and Columbia students register for classes, they are assigned to a registration time based on their class year, not according to which school they attend (i.e., Barnard juniors will have a registration time prior to Columbia first-years and sophomores). Barnard students can register for basically any class that Columbia undergraduates can register for, provided there is still space available in the class. Theoretically, if there were space available in a core class at Columbia, Barnard students could also register for it; however, Columbia students are given priority for those classes since they are required for graduation. When you're in class - no matter which campus its on - it's hard to distinguish the Barnard students from the Columbia students.
Barnard students have access to all of Columbia's dining halls - and if they want to - they can also add flex dollars onto their meal plans, which they can use at student cafes at Columbia as well as some stores in the neighborhood (they can also use cash or credit/debit cards at any of these places). Every speaker/performance event I've gone to at Columbia has been open to Barnard students as well.
The club that I'm involved with that I feel is very unique to Barnard's environment is Mujeres, Barnard's Latinx organization. While I know just about any school has a Latinx club, I think having one in an environment that is women-centric really changes the dynamic of the conversations we have in club meetings. Since there are only a handful of women's colleges in the U.S., it truly is a unique club, even if the premise of Mujeres is something common to that of clubs found at most colleges and universities in the U.S.
A unique research opportunity at Barnard is the Summer Research Institute. Barnard puts a lot of emphasis on research (especially original research) conducted by undergraduates, not only in STEM fields, but in the social sciences as well as the arts and humanities. Barnard as an institution supports these pursuits, but professors really take the time to mentor students individually and work with them every step of the way.
- Cassandra Clifford '21
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