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upandaway123upandaway123 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
edited September 2016 in Barnard College
I'm interested in applying to Barnard this fall, but I'm a bit deterred by some of the reactions people have to the Barnard-Columbia relationship. I've seen a lot of people who believe Barnard is a backdoor to Columbia and that Barnard students don't have a right to a diploma with Columbia's name on it. So I guess what I'm wondering is whether Columbia students actually feel that way? Is there any animosity between Columbia and Barnard students because of the awkward relationship? Also, Barnard being a women's college, how hard is it to meet guys?

Replies to: Columbia?

  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,004 Senior Member
    edited September 2016
    My Barnard-grad daughter got married last month to a guy who graduated from Columbia a year ahead of her. She met him during her senior year through other friends from Barnard/Columbia, some of whom were groomsmen & bridesmaids at the wedding. Does that answer your question?
  • upandaway123upandaway123 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Yeah, I guesss I just didn't know what the REAL relationship between Barnard and Columbia students is.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,004 Senior Member
    Between Barnard, Columbia College, SEAS, and GS, there are roughly 11,000 undergrads. Many different people, many different types of people, many different interests. The campuses are closely integrated, both socially and academically - so there really is no way to characterize a "relationship" between the students as if each school was a homogeneous lump. Certainly the supposed attitude of Columbia students toward Barnard students was never a factor or concern for my daughter.
  • exlibris97exlibris97 Registered User Posts: 1,013 Senior Member
    If you really want to pursue this discussion, there are MANY posts about it from past years and I personally find the discussion a bit numbing. I honestly think the only people who believe Barnard is a back door into Columbia are people on sites like this. That isn't a sentiment you often hear at Columbia. And as for Barnard students not having a "right" to a Columbia diploma, that's odd as all Barnard degrees are conferred by Columbia as it is Barnard College of Columbia University.

    I wouldn't base a decision on what you hear or on questions like this. Better you decide whether you want to attend a Women's Liberal Arts college in NYC and you want to be part of a major university.
  • arc918arc918 Registered User Posts: 710 Member
    edited October 2016
    I'm guessing most Columbia students & alums have better things to do with their time than opine on such matters. Indeed, if you are looking at The 7 Sisters, it's really a matter of finding the best fit.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,744 Senior Member
    There are obviously various degrees to which such feelings exist, are expressed, or are perceived.

    For a different perspective from the prior posts above, by actual Columbia students and alums, see post #17 here:


    and go to the Columbia subforum and search for "Barnard"

    For how it is perceived by Barnard students, this too varies, obviously.

    Her is one old post from a barnard senior:
    "Gwendolen, it exists, but I think largely in a satirical sense now. I'm a current senior at Barnard and I honestly have not run into a single person who noticeably looked down on me because of my school. Comedy groups will worship the so-called "tension" because more than anything, it's a goldmine for jokes that elicit responses out of the student body. People recognize that there's no truth to the animosity, and it's more of a schoolwide tradition (Columbia AND Barnard) to laugh at it than it is a reflection of people's feelings.

    If you go online, though, people like to ruffle feathers and it will seem like there's more to the rumors. You just can't let it bother you. And definitely learn to laugh at yourself.

    I'd go to Barnard fifteen times if I had the chance. I loved it here. "

    Here is one old post from a Barnard parent:
    "My daughters' experiences can confirm what I think MD is saying. D1 was aware that there were some CC students, usually girls, who looked at BC students as there social inferiors. She barely noticed it, and only discussed it after I brought it up. D2 who is more socially aware picked up on it more. She found it more irritating than D1 had. She is now traveling in Europe with a good friend who is a CC student, so even for her it died off by the end of the first semester. Final exams are good social levelers."

    I can tell you that my D2 was in mixed classes with Columbia students, (language & other), dated a Columbia guy & interacted with his friends. Through these experiences she DID feel there was an overt problem. Most Barnard parents & students on these boards did not share her experience though, certainly not equally. I*'ve read that, to the extent this exists, it diminishes in later years. I don't know, D2 didn't see it through to that point.

    As for meeting guys, this varies too. I remember when D2 had some friends over, they were all complaining about the social scene. , D2 complained too, and one of them said "that's odd, since you are the only one here that is actually dating someone".
    The combined community is male-heavy. In my day, most college relations were formed in the dorms. Barnard dorms are single sex. The amount of class time and interaction they have with Columbia students varies. The guys are there, across the street, and clearly there is social interaction. But it is not completely the same as a fully co-ed school either.

  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,744 Senior Member
    sorry I meant female-heavy, not male-heavy.
  • exlibris97exlibris97 Registered User Posts: 1,013 Senior Member
    This is a perennial issue and there are scores of threads about this. I've worked with, and known, many Barnard and Columbia students and any "rivalry" is insignificant. Indeed, other than Freshman seminars, it is rare to find Barnard courses that are all female. And we just hired a Barnard grad who majored in Mandarin and she said that virtually all her classes had been at Columbia. When she liked about Barnard was its smaller administration and the Athena Women's Leadership programs.

    I guess my plea is to look at past threads rather than reverse a tiresome subject. Suffice to say, Barnard is very different from Smith, Mt Holyoke, Sweet Briar etc as Columbia is literally across the street.
This discussion has been closed.