Established in 1889, Barnard College of Columbia University is a private liberal arts college in Manhattan. Students are not required to live on campus, but about 98% of first-year students and 95% of all students choose to do so regardless.
Barnard College is perhaps best known for being one of the Seven Sisters, a nickname for a coalition of women’s colleges founded in 1926 in response to gender-based inequality in higher education.
The intention of creating this group was for these seven colleges to serve as all-female counterparts to the male Ivy League colleges, thus allowing women college students to stand on more equal footing with male students.
Since its founding, the university has maintained its commitment to educating and uplifting intelligent, driven women students. As a result, admission to the school is restricted to only those who live and identify as women.
As of the fall of 2020, undergraduate enrollment at Barnard consisted of 2,744 students. Its urban campus spans 4 acres and is located in the heart of New York City.
Although Barnard is a women-only school, students may take classes, join student organizations, and participate on sports teams at the co-educational Columbia University.
Additionally, Columbia students of all genders are permitted to take part in Barnard College’s clubs, classes, and athletic organizations.
For any prospective transfer students who are interested in learning more about what the unique Barnard College has to offer, read on to learn about the school’s transfer acceptance rate, application requirements, deadlines, decision dates, and more.
Barnard Transfer Acceptance Rate
According to the most recent available data, the transfer acceptance rate at Barnard College is 26%.
The college received 1013 transfer applications for the class of 2025. From this group of applicants, 237 students were offered admission to the school.
This rate is higher than it has been in previous years. For example, In the 2019 academic year, the college received a total of 763 transfer applications. They accepted 166 students from this group, which equates to an acceptance rate of 21.76%.
For comparison, the overall acceptance rate at Barnard College is 14%. As it is usually the case that the transfer acceptance rate at a given school is lower than the acceptance rate for regular decision first-year applicants, Barnard is somewhat of an outlier in the world of transfer admission.
Thus, although admission to the school can generally be considered very competitive, transfer students actually have a somewhat higher chance of being accepted at Barnard than other applicants.
Transfer students make up only around 2% of the total student body at Barnard, which may suggest that there are relatively few students who opt to make the decision to transfer to the school. On the other hand, this figure could also indicate that it is difficult to get into Barnard as a transfer student.
Whichever way the data is interpreted, the more critical factor in determining your likelihood of being accepted at Barnard as a transfer student is your own academic background and credentials.
Application Requirements & GPA
In order to be a competitive transfer applicant at Barnard College, students should have a GPA of 4.0, meaning that they have earned straight As in most, if not all, previous courses.
To apply to transfer to Barnard, the first step students must take is to fill out the Common Application online. Additionally, they must complete the Barnard Supplement for Transfer Students as part of the application.
The transfer application process also requires that applicants submit a number of supporting documents as part of the application bundle.
One of these is an official secondary school transcript, which should include a list of all courses and grades earned in high school.
Transfer applicants must also submit ACT or SAT scores to Barnard. International transfer students, or any other students whose first language is not English, are required to submit the appropriate English language proficiency exams.
Next, transfer applicants must provide official transcripts of all collegiate coursework completed prior to the date of applying to Barnard. Along with the transcript, students must include a copy of the previous college’s course catalog, with clear marks indicating which of the courses listed they have taken.
Last, transfer applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation. One of these should be written by a faculty member at their current institution, and the other should be written by their college’s dean or an advisor.
Transfer applicants are also permitted to submit an additional letter of recommendation from a high school counselor. This is optional, however, so only those who feel that an extra recommendation will improve their chances of admission should do so.
Barnard Transfer Deadline
The application deadline for students who want to begin classes at Barnard College in the fall semester is March 1 of each year. For those who apply to transfer during the spring semester, the deadline is November 1 annually.
In addition to the application itself, Barnard transfer students also have to submit a mid-term report that includes the most updated grades they have earned at their previous institution.
The deadline for submitting this required supplement to the school is April 1 each year for fall semester transfer applicants, and November 15 for students applying for spring semester admission.
Importantly, it should be noted that Barnard does not provide institutional financial aid to spring semester transfer applicants.
Regardless, both fall and spring semester transfer applicants are still eligible to receive federal financial aid, in the form of either student loans or a Pell Grant.
For fall semester transfer applicants, the deadline for submitting the completed Barnard financial aid application is March 15 of each year.
What Is the Decision Date for Barnard?
The decision date for students who apply to transfer to Barnard College in the fall semester is around the middle of May each year.
For spring semester transfer applicants, the decision date is early December.
After being accepted, transfer students at Barnard receive academic guidance and counseling from advisors from the Dean of Studies Office.
The primary purpose of this guidance is to evaluate the student’s credits, determine which and how many the university will accept, and create a plan of study accordingly.
For comparison, the decision date for regular-decision, non-transfer applicants at Barnard is in late March of each year.
For those who apply through the college’s early decision program, the decision date is in the middle of December annually.
There are two admission decisions that Barnard transfer applicants may receive: acceptance or denial.
Those who are denied admission are not permitted to appeal this decision, but they may choose to reapply in the following academic year.
Those who are offered transfer admission to Barnard College have until May 1 each year to notify the school about whether or not they will accept the offer for admission and enroll in classes.
Deciding Whether You Should Transfer to Barnard
At the end of the day, whether or not you should transfer to Barnard College depends on a large number of factors, and especially your own particular academic and professional aspirations.
There is no definitive guide to choosing the college that is best for you, so this decision is something you should put some serious thought into.
Still, it can be noted that Barnard College is ranked #17 among liberal arts colleges in the United States, according to US News and World Report’s annual list of college rankings. On top of that, the school’s average first-year retention rate, a widely-acknowledged measurement for student satisfaction, is an impressive 95%.
Statistics can never tell the whole story, but they do strongly suggest that Barnard College is a well-revered institution of undergraduate education.
At the very least, you can rest assured that the quality of education at Barnard is high, so earning a degree from this prestigious school is likely to open many doors for you after completing your undergraduate studies.
RECAP: How to Apply As a Transfer Student to Barnard
The first step to applying as a transfer student to Barnard College is to complete the Common Application and the Barnard writing supplement. Then, students should compile their application bundle.
Required supporting materials for the Barnard transfer application include an official secondary school transcript, as well as a college transcript with a copy of the course catalog correlating to classes taken. Transfer applicants are also required to submit ACT or SAT scores.
Transfer applicants who speak English as a second language will need to submit proof of English language proficiency.
Last, all transfer applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation to the school.
One of these should be written by a past or present college professor, the other by either the dean of their current school or an advisor.
The deadline for submitting all of the aforementioned application materials, along with the $75 application fee or a fee waiver, is March 1 every year for fall semester transfer applicants. Spring semester transfer applicants have until the beginning of November to apply.