Message from the President

Welcome to Barnard. In the pages that follow, you will find a stunning array of choices – courses in literature and the arts, in anthropology and politics, in biochemistry, neuroscience, and physics. You will find lectures taught by world-renowned scholars and intimate seminars where faculty share their latest research and ideas. You will find classes on topics you have been wanting to study for years, and classes on topics that may never have crossed your mind. 

The task before you is to choose – to pick, like the proverbial kid in a candy store, from the hundreds of options that lie waiting before you.  It can be hard to know where to start, and how best to plot a course that will satisfy your own intellectual cravings. So I urge you to go slowly. Savor the possibilities that are in this catalogue and all of the offerings you will find bursting from the halls of Barnard. Choose some courses that promise to lead you where you want to go and some that lead nowhere in particular. Take at least one class in something you have always disliked, just to see if it changes your mind or at least opens a horizon you had not imagined before. Search for your passion in these pages, but don’t be surprised if it sneaks up from elsewhere and finds you.

At Barnard, you will be able to immerse yourself in the joys and rigors of a classical liberal arts education, an education that will prompt you to explore the world from a variety of different perspectives and through the lenses of multiple disciplines. Your job is to decide how to fashion these perspectives into a world that makes sense to you and then, over time, how to shape your own role within it. Education is a journey that lasts a lifetime. I hope that your time at Barnard gives you the tools that you need to launch this adventure and the sheer joy that comes from undertaking it.

So choose well, revel in the options before you, and most importantly – enjoy.

Debora L. Spar
President, 2008-2017

Robert Goldberg
Interim President, 2017