Barnard College, based in New York City, was founded in 1889 in response to Columbia University's then-refusal to admit women onto academic programmes. Today, it stands as one of the oldest women's colleges in the world, and the only women's college in the city.
When Columbia University became coeducational in 1983, Barnard College decided to remain legally and financially separate but affiliated with the university. This means that some selected academic and athletic programmes are combined. Students also have the chance to pursue elements of their education at the Juilliard School and The Jewish Theological Seminary.
Barnard's 4-acre campus is based in Manhattan and is directly across from Columbia's campus and several other academic institutions are in the vicinity.
Barnard offers courses in around 50 areas of study, primarily relating to the arts. However joint programmes within science exist when in conjunction with other universities. The most popular subjects on offer at the college are english, psychology, political science, economics, history, and biology.
An annual festival is held at Barnard Now called the Athena Film Festival, which is a celebration of women and leadership. It is a weekend of feature films, documentaries and shorts that highlight women’s leadership in real life and the fictional world. The four-day festival includes conversations with directors and talent and workshops for aspiring filmmakers.
The Barnard Library offers study space, librarians' offices, the zine collection – documents movements and trends in feminism in the form of personal work of artists, writers, and activists – and archives and special collections.
Student groups available at the college include: theatre and vocal music groups, language clubs, a freeform radio station called WBAR, a biweekly magazine called the Barnard Bulletin, community service groups, alongside many others.
In accordance with wider policies across the US, Barnard College issued a statement affirming its commitment to environmental sustainability, hoping to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2017.
Notable alumni include Joan Rivers, the American comedian, actress, writer, producer, Anna Marie Quindlen, an American author, journalist, and award-winning opinion columnist at the New York Times, and Lauren Helen Graham, an American actress, producer and novelist, best known for her role in Gilmore Girls.