Academic Program Overview

Academic Program Overview

As accredited branch campuses of Bard College, the Bard Early Colleges’ academic program is closely modeled after Bard College’s core course sequence. The program is overseen by the Dean of the Early Colleges and a committee of Academic Program Chairs who ensure consistent academic rigor and integrity across the network.

Our fundamental principles: 

  • That many motivated students are fully capable of beginning college work by the time they would normally reach the 11th grade;
  • That success requires a faculty as committed to fostering adolescent development as they are to teaching and scholarship;
  • That a strong general education in the liberal arts and sciences should be the foundation of the curriculum; and
  • That an early college based on these principles could provide a model for reforming the education of American high school students.

What we hope to teach our students:

  • An understanding of the scientific method – its approaches to inquiry, its strengths and limitations as a mode of analysis, and a basic comprehension of the fundamental laws governing both physical phenomena and human behavior;
  • An appreciation of several forms of artistic and literary expression, the creative process, and the disciplined use of imagination, formal structure, and aesthetic values;
  • A flexibility of thought that allows for creative problem solving through an integration of quantitative and qualitative techniques;
  • Knowledge of some of the most influential works of Western culture and critical understanding of the values, assumptions, ideologies that they express;
  • Knowledge and appreciation of modes of thought of other cultures – including non-Western cultures, and groups or societies that exist as distinct subcultures within Western culture; 
  • A sense of history – ideas, movements, peoples, and events of the past – and an understanding of how our view of the past is shaped, and shapes our understanding of the present and future; and
  • Sensitivity to the moral and ethical dimensions of thought and action, and developing the ability to make informed moral and ethical decisions.

Credit Transfer

The Bard Early Colleges are designed with the intention of creating a smooth transition for students who wish to pursue a four-year degree following graduation. Students from the Bard Early Colleges have a strong history of credit transfer, in thanks to our rigorous academic standards and our many higher ed partners.

Colleges and Universities with whom the Bard Early Colleges have formed official articulation agreements include:

  • Bowie State University
  • The College of New Jersey
  • The College of St. Rose
  • Goucher College
  • McDaniel College
  • Mount St. Mary’s University
  • Ohio Northern University