Academic Advising

Barnard's model of mixed advising, where faculty and administrators advise pre-major students, is one of the hallmarks of the Barnard experience. Although the responsibility of knowing the degree requirements rests with each student, advisers offer support, guidance, and a sounding board for students, helping them set goals and priorities, select courses, and understand the curriculum. Class Deans in the Dean of Studies Office also offer support, especially if students encounter issues or have concerns that might extend beyond the classroom. 

Class Deans and Advisers

Prior to matriculation, each entering first-year student will receive A Guide to Your First Year at Barnard from the First-Year Class Dean. The student selects courses for the autumn term and submits the completed on-line program form to the Class Dean who, insofar as possible, schedules classes accordingly. Class schedules are available when students arrive on campus for Orientation.

Assistance in planning courses of study is given to first-year students and sophomores by their academic advisers with whom students are expected to schedule appointments for individual advising throughout the year. Group meetings with department chairs and other professors are arranged each semester to facilitate the selection of majors.

By the middle of the second semester of her sophomore year, each student chooses her major field in consultation with the Sophomore Class Dean, her adviser, the academic department, and the Office of Career Development. From then on, her major adviser guides advanced study for the undergraduate degree and is the principal source of information on preparation for graduate school. Also available to her for general academic guidance are the Junior and Senior Class Deans.

Students are responsible for completing all degree requirements and are aided in doing so by the degree audit program on the Barnard website. A Senior Class handbook describes College policy on honors, application procedures for graduate or professional study, and deadlines for major examinations, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, and fellowship applications. The Senior Class Dean and the Coordinator for Commencement oversee the planning for commencement with the help of Class officers and the Commencement Committee.

Transfer Students

Incoming transfer students are assisted by the transfer advisers in planning their courses of study and selecting majors. Group meetings are scheduled in the summer and during Orientation, and individual appointments may be arranged throughout the academic year. Transfer students who enter with junior class standing are guided by both transfer and major advisers during their first Barnard semester.

International Students

Dean Bournoutian is available to meet with international students regarding issues that arise from their international student status. Group meetings are scheduled during Orientation and throughout the year to give international students the opportunity to become familiar with one another, the College, and life in the United States. The International Student Handbook is also available in the Dean of Studies Office.

Visiting Students

Students who enroll for classes at Barnard as visitors who will graduate from another college must have approval from the degree-granting school for coursework to be completed at Barnard. Program filing and registration are guided by designated transfer advisers.

Study Leaves

Students who wish to study abroad for credit toward the Barnard degree are urged to discuss their plans and to apply for approval from the Dean for Study Abroad Advising, Gretchen Young, early in the year prior to the period of enrollment at the other institution. Information is available on the web and in 105 Milbank.

Program Planning for Students Interested in Health Professions

The basic pre-medical and pre-dental requirements are two semesters of introductory biology (BIOL BC1500 Introduction to Organismal and Evolutionary Biology and BIOL BC1502 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology) and two semesters of biology laboratory (BIOL BC1501 Introductory Lab in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology and BIOL BC1503 Introductory Lab in Cell and Molecular Biology); two semesters of general chemistry and one semester of laboratory (CHEM BC2001 General Chemistry I, CHEM BC3232 Chemistry IV); two semesters of organic chemistry and one semester of organic laboratory (CHEM BC3230 Organic Chemistry I and CHEM BC3231 Organic Chemistry II) with at least 2 points of lab; two semesters of physics with accompanying laboratory (PHYS BC2001 Physics I: Mechanics, PHYS BC2002 Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism [calculus I and II are typically pre- or corequisities] or PHYS V1201 General Physics I, PHYS V1202 General Physics II, PHYS UN1291 General Physics Laboratory, and PHYS UN1292 General Physics Laboratory II [calculus I prerequisite]; two semesters of English (fulfilled by First-Year Seminar and First-Year English); and one year of college-level mathematics which can be fulfilled by either two semesters of calculus or one semester of calculus and one semester of a specified statistics class (not including STAT UN1001 Introduction to Statistical Reasoning). Highly recommended courses, which are required by a number of medical schools, are biochemistry (CHEM BC3282 Biological Chemistry), and genetics (BIOL BC2100 Molecular and Mendelian Genetics).

Students should become familiar with the most recent edition of Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR), an annual publication of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Pursuing a major in the sciences is not necessary for premedical students, provided they include the aforementioned required courses in their programs. The requirements listed above must be completed prior to the actual summer that one is applying to medical, dental, or veterinary school. Students are strongly advised to complete all the science requirements listed above prior to taking the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) which is offered approximately 20 times per application cycle.

All students who are interested in the health professions should consult Dean Starks in the Dean of Studies Office.

Program Planning for Students Interested in Law

There are no specific course requirements for entry to law school, and there is no specifically recommended major. Students are encouraged to develop strong skills in writing and in speaking with precision and to take programs that require demanding critical analysis and effective study habits. Information about law schools and the application process can be found in the Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools, an annual publication of the Law School Admission Council and the American Bar Association, and Barnard’s Pre-law Advising Guide and Pre-law Packet at

Students are encouraged to consult Dean Kuan Tsu in the junior year or earlier. The LSAT should be taken in June or October of the year prior to expected entry to law school; the June test is recommended because it allows for better planning. Information for the LSAT and Credential Assembly Service (a required transcript analysis and recommendation service) is available at

Graduate School Advising

Students interested in advanced study in the liberal arts and sciences or the performing arts may consult faculty members in appropriate departments and the Senior Class Dean.


Students are encouraged to establish recommendation files for future use for graduate and professional study with Mr. John and Ms. Torres, the recommendations assistants in the Dean of Studies Office.


The following awards, administered according to the provisions of their respective donors, were established to honor students who have shown exceptional distinction in their studies.  Students do not apply for these awards; rather, recipients are selected by appropriate Faculty departments and committees.


Alpha Zeta Club Graduate Scholarship (1936)

For graduating seniors who show promise of distinction or to outstanding recent Barnard graduates who are candidates for higher degrees.

Associate Alumnae of Barnard College Graduate Fellowship (1963)

For a graduating senior or graduate who shows exceptional promise in her chosen field of work. Information and applications may be obtained in the Alumnae Office.

Anne Davidson Fellowship (1971)

For graduating seniors who will pursue graduate study in conservation at a university of approved standing.

George Welwood Murray Graduate Fellowship (1930)

For graduating seniors who show promise of distinction in the humanities and/or the social sciences and who will pursue graduate study at a university or college of approved standing.

Josephine Paddock Fellowship (1976)

For graduating seniors who show promise of distinction in such fields of graduate study in art as the faculty shall determine. Holders are to pursue studies, preferably abroad, at a college or university of approved standing.

Grace Potter Rice Fellowship (1935)

For graduating seniors who show promise of distinction in the natural sciences or mathematics and who will pursue graduate study at a university or college of approved standing.


Estelle M. Allison Prize (1937)

For excellence in literature.

Mary E. Allison Prize (1937)

For general excellence in scholarship.

Annette Kar Baxter Memorial Fund Prize (1984)

For juniors who have distinguished  themselves in the study of some aspect of women’s experience.

Frank Gilbert Bryson Prize (1931)

For a senior who, in the opinion of the class, has given conspicuous evidence of unselfishness and who has made the greatest contribution to Barnard during the college years.

Eleanor Thomas Elliott Prizes (1973)

Two prizes to juniors chosen by the Honors Committee from among the five most academically outstanding students in the class based upon overall academic record, integrity, and good citizenship in the College.

Katherine Reeve Girard Prize (1964)

For a student whose interests are in the international aspects of a major.

Ann Barrow Hamilton Memorial Prize in Journalism (1978)

For a graduating senior who will pursue a career in journalism.

Alena Wels Hirschorn Prize (1986)

For a senior majoring in economics, with preference for a student who has a strong interest in English literature and/or in pursuing a career in journalism.

Lucyle Hook Travel Grants (1987)

To promising individuals with enriching, eclectic projects that demonstrate originality and self-direction.

Jo Green Iwabe Prize (1986)

To a student for active participation in the academic and extracurricular life of the College.

Ethel Stone LeFrak Prize (1986)

For excellence in a field of the arts.

Schwimmer Prize (1986)

For an outstanding graduating senior in the humanities.

Bernice G. Segal Summer Research Internships (1986)

One or more internships for supervised research in the sciences during the summer.

Marian Churchill White Prize (1975)

For an outstanding sophomore who has participated actively in student affairs.


Helen R. Downes Prize (1964)

For graduating seniors who show promise of distinction in medicine or the medical sciences.

Ida and John Kauderer Prize (1973)

For premedical students majoring in chemistry.

Barbara Ann Liskin Memorial Prize (1995)

For a premedical student committed to women’s issues and to a humanistic approach to patient care.

Lucy Moses Award (1975)

For a premedical student likely to provide service to the medically underserved.

Gertrude Bunger Zufall Award (1987)

For a premedical student entering her senior year

By Academic Area

American Studies

John Demos Prize in American Studies (1995)

Awarded to a senior major for excellence in American Studies.


Marcia Mead Design Award (1983)

For architectural design.

Art History

Nancy Hoffman Prize (1983)

For students who plan to enter museum or gallery work or art conservatorship.

Virginia B. Wright Art History Prize (1969)

For promising seniors majoring in art history.

Asian-Middle Eastern Cultures 

Taraknath Das Foundation Prize (Columbia University)

To a student of Barnard College, Columbia College, or the School of General Studies, for excellence in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

Biological Sciences

Edna Henry Bennett Memorial Grants (1927)

For summer study at a biological research station.

Hermann Botanical Prize (1892)

For an undergraduate student proficient in biology.

Herbert Maule Richards Grants (1933)

For botanical or general biological research.

Donald and Nancy Ritchie Grants (1979)

For biological study or research.

Spiera Family Prize (1986)

For promise of excellence by a student majoring in biological sciences.

Constance Von Wahl Prize (1915)

For advanced work in biology.


American Chemical Society’s Division of Analytical Chemistry Award

For outstanding work in analytical chemistry.

American Chemical Society’s Division of Polymer Chemistry Award

For outstanding work in organic chemistry.

American Institute of Chemists, New York Chapter Prize

For an outstanding student of chemistry.

CRC Press First-Year Chemistry Achievement Award

For outstanding achievement in first-year chemistry.

Marie Reimer Scholarship Fund Prize (1953)

Awarded at the end of the junior year to an outstanding major in chemistry.


Alena Wels Hirschorn Prizes (1986)

To a junior and a senior for the best essay on a subject of domestic or international economics.

Beth Niemi Memorial Prize (1981)

For an outstanding senior majoring in economics.

Katharine E. Provost Memorial Prize (1949)

For superior work by an undergraduate major in economics.

Sylvia Kopald Selekman Prize (1960)

For the first-year student who is doing the best work in introductory economics.


Susan Riemer Sacks Prize

For the Barnard student teacher who has made the most noteworthy contribution to secondary school classrooms.

Stephanie Kossoff Prize (1972)

For the student who has made the most noteworthy contribution or meaningful endeavor in childhood education.


Academy of American Poets Prize (Columbia University)

For the best poem or group of poems by a student.

Lenore Marshall Barnard Prizes (1975)

For both poetry and prose of distinction.

Saint Agatha-Muriel Bowden Memorial Prize (1971)

For superior proficiency in the study of Chaucer and medieval literature.

Bunner Award (Columbia University)

To the candidate for a Columbia degree who shall present the best essay on any topic dealing with American literature.

Doris E. Fleischman Prize (1992)

For the Barnard student judged to have written the best short piece, fiction or nonfiction.

W. Cabell Greet Prize (1974)

For excellence in English.

William Haller Prize (1987)

For excellence in the study of English literature.

Amy Loveman Memorial Prize (1956)

For the best original poem by an undergraduate.

Sidney Miner Poetry Prize (1962)

For the senior major who has shown distinction in the reading, writing, and study of poetry.

Peter S. Prescott Prize for Prose Writing (1992)

For a work of prose fiction which gives the greatest evidence of creative imagination and sustained ability.

Helen Prince Memorial Prize (1921)

For excellence in dramatic composition.

Helene Searcy Puls Prize (1984)

For the best poem in an annual student competition.

Stains-Berle Memorial Prize in Anglo-Saxon (1968)

For excellence in Anglo-Saxon language and literature.

Howard M. Teichmann Writing Prize (1986)

To a graduating senior for a written work or body of work that is distinguished in its originality and excellent in its execution.

Van Rensselaer Prize (Columbia University)

To the candidate for a Columbia degree who is the author of the best example of English lyric verse.

George Edward Woodberry Prize (Columbia University)

To an undergraduate student of the University for the best original poem.

Environmental Science

Lillian Berle Dare Prize (1974)

For the most proficient Barnard senior who will continue to study in geography or a related field.

Henry Sharp Prize (1970)

For an outstanding student majoring in environmental science.


Helen Marie Carlson French Prize (1965)

For the best composition in fourth-term French.

Isabelle de Wyzewa Prize (1972)

For the best composition in the French course Major French Texts.

Frederic G. Hoffherr French Prize (1961)

To a student in intermediate French for excellence in oral French.

Eleanor Keller Prizes (1968)

For juniors in French literature and seniors in French culture.

Rosemary Thomas Prize in French (1966)

For evidence of a special sensitivity and awareness in the study of French poetic literature.


Dean Prize in German (1952)

For the senior who has throughout college done the best work in German language and literature.

German Scholarship Fund Prize (1950)

Awarded at the end of the junior year to an outstanding major in German.

Louise Stabenau Prize in German (1988)

Awarded to a junior or senior major for excellence in oral German.

Greek and Latin

John Day Memorial Prize (1986)

For a high-ranking sophomore in the field of Greek and Latin.

Earle Prize in Classics (Columbia University)

For excellence in sight translation of passages of Greek and Latin.

Benjamin F. Romaine Prize (Columbia University)

For proficiency in Greek language and literature.

Jean Willard Tatlock Memorial Prize (1917)

For the undergraduate student most proficient in Latin.


Eugene H. Byrne History Prize (1960)

For superior work by a history major.

Ellen Davis Goldwater History Prize (1982)

For superior work by a history major.


Bettina Buonocore Salvo Prize (1966)

For a student of Italian.

Speranza Italian Prize (1911)

For excellence in Italian.


Margaret Kenney Jensen Prize (1973)

To first-year students, sophomores, and juniors for excellence in mathematics.

Kohn Mathematical Prize (1892)

To a senior for excellence in mathematics.


Robert Emmett Dolan Prize (Columbia University)

To a student in any division of the University for instruction on a chosen musical instrument.

Ethel Stone LeFrak Prize (1986)

For a graduating senior whose creative writing in music shows promise of distinction.


William Pepperell Montague Prize (1949)

For promise of distinction in the field of philosophy.

Gertrude Braun Rich Prize (1986)

For promise of excellence by a student majoring in philosophy.

Physical Education

Margaret Holland Bowl (1974)

For excellence in leadership and participation in Barnard intramurals and recreation.

Marion R. Philips Scholar-Athlete Award (1981)

To the senior female winner of a varsity letter who has achieved the highest cumulative academic average and who has participated on a Columbia University team for at least two years.

Tina Steck Award (1980)

For the most outstanding member of the Swimming and Diving Team.


Henry A. Boorse Prize (1974)

To a graduating Barnard senior, preferably a major in the department, whose record in physics shows promise of distinction in a scientific career.

Political Science

James Gordon Bennett Prize (Columbia University)

For the best essay on some subject of contemporary interest in the domestic or foreign policy of the United States.

Phoebe Morrison Memorial Prize (1969)

For a political science major planning to attend law school.

Political Science Quarterly Prize (2000)

To a Barnard political science major for excellence in analytical writing on public or international affairs in a paper that has been presented in a colloquium.

Caroline Phelps Stokes Prize (Columbia University)

For the best essay on any topic approved by the Stokes Prize Committee, which has been presented in course or seminar work.


Hollingworth Prize (2000)

For an outstanding research project in psychology.

Ida Markewich Lawrence Prize (1982)

For the best paper in psychology, preferably child psychology, by a major.

Millennial Psychology Prize (2000)

For a student who plans to continue her scientific or professional training in psychology or a related discipline.


Samuel Dornfield Prize (1979)

To a Barnard student whose work in Old Testament or Ancient Near Eastern Studies reflects special sensitivity and academic excellence.

Caroline Gallup Reed Prize (1916)

For outstanding work either in the field of theorigin of Christianity and early church history or in the general field of the history and theory of religion.


John Bornemann Prize in Spanish (1976)

For superior performance in the first- or second-year language courses.

Carolina Marcial-Dorado Fund (1953)

For a student from Spain, or to a Spanish major continuing graduate studies in the United States or abroad, or to a student who is majoring in Spanish.

Eugene Raskin Prize

For the best essay in fourth-term Spanish.

Clara Schifrin Memorial Spanish Prize (1998)

For an outstanding student of Spanish and Latin American Cultures in courses above the level of Spanish 1204.

Spanish Prize (1959)

For a Spanish major who has done the most distinguished work in Spanish language and literature.

Ucelay Recitation Prize

For the best recitation of a poem or dramatic passage in Spanish.

Susan Huntington Vernon Prize (Seven Colleges)

For the best original essay written in Spanish by a senior whose native language is not Spanish.


Kenneth Janes Prize in Theatre (1987)

For a Barnard junior or senior who has contributed notably to the theatre program of the Minor Latham Playhouse.

Women's Studies

Bessie Ehrlich Memorial Prize (1980)

For an oral history project concerning a female relative of a preceding generation, in conjunction with the Women’s Studies Department.

Jane S. Gould Prize (1982)

For an outstanding senior essay by a Women’s Studies major.