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Barnard College Diversity Statistics

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Multi-racial students walking in the campus.

Barnard College Diversity Statistics: An In-Depth Overview

Barnard College is a private women’s liberal arts college in New York City. Established in 1889, it is affiliated with Columbia University, allowing its students to share resources, classes, and even degrees with the university. Barnard is one of the Seven Sisters, a group of prestigious women’s colleges in the Northeastern United States. The college is known for its rigorous academic programs, distinguished faculty, and strong emphasis on empowering women leaders.

Located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, Barnard offers its students the vibrancy and cultural richness of New York City as an extended classroom. The college offers a wide range of undergraduate programs in the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Students at Barnard benefit from small class sizes, a close-knit community, and individualized attention from professors.

Barnard’s partnership with Columbia University provides its students with access to a vast array of courses, research opportunities, and facilities. This unique relationship enables Barnard students to enjoy the advantages of a small women’s college while also benefiting from the resources of a large, co-educational research university.

The college is also known for its active student life, with numerous clubs, organizations, and activities that cater to a wide range of interests. Barnard is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive community, welcoming students from all backgrounds and cultures.

How many students attend Barnard College?

As of the fall of 2022, Barnard College had a total of 3,442 undergraduate students enrolled.

Moving into the fall of 2023, the college welcomed 711 new first-year students, bringing the total undergraduate population to 3,223 students, not including those studying abroad.

The breakdown of student attendance shows that 2,959 students are attending full-time and 84 attending part-time. For the incoming class of 2027, which started in the fall of 2023, Barnard College received 11,804 applications, out of which 920 were admitted, and 712 decided to enroll.

Regarding the acceptance rate at Barnard College, it has been becoming more selective over the years. In 2023, the acceptance rate dropped to 6.5%, marking the most competitive admissions cycle in the college’s history.

This is a decrease from previous years, where the acceptance rates were 9% for the Class of 2026, 11% for the Class of 2025, and 14% for the Class of 2024. The Class of 2027 saw an acceptance rate of 8%, indicating a slight increase from the previous year but still showcasing the college’s selective admissions process.

Two female students talking in the campus.

Barnard College Undergraduate Population

For the academic year 2022-2023, Barnard College had a total undergraduate enrollment of 3,442 students.

By the fall of 2023, this number slightly adjusted to include 711 new first-year students, resulting in a total of 3,223 undergraduate students when not counting those away on study abroad programs. Notably, 16% of these students are pioneers in their families, being the first to pursue a college education.

As of the fall of 2023, among the new faces at Barnard, there were 711 first-year students, blending both full-time and part-time attendees, contributing to the diverse and dynamic student body that excludes those studying abroad, summing up to 3,223 undergraduates. Barnard is renowned for its stringent selection process, evidenced by a notably low acceptance rate of 6.5% in 2023, reflecting the college’s status as a sought-after destination for higher education.

When it comes to academic pursuits, Barnard students show a strong preference for certain fields of study. The most popular majors at the college include Economics, Psychology, Political Science, Neuroscience and Behavior, English, and Computer Science. These disciplines underscore the broad range of interests and academic rigor that Barnard College supports, fostering a rich educational environment for its students.

Barnard College Graduate Population

Barnard College is primarily an undergraduate institution, meaning it focuses more on bachelor’s degree programs rather than graduate studies.

Therefore, it doesn’t have a notable number of graduate students. In the Class of 2023, Barnard awarded 755 degrees, with 42% of these degrees being in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.

Remarkably, 93% of the students who started as first-years in fall 2017 completed their degrees within six years. Also, 91% of the graduates from the Class of 2022 were either employed or pursuing further education in graduate or professional schools within six months of graduating.

Barnard College is recognized for its impressive contribution to producing Fulbright scholars, highlighting the school’s commitment to academic excellence and global engagement. Graduates of Barnard become part of an expansive network, joining over 40,000 alumnae who have passed through the college’s halls.

In terms of overall enrollment numbers for the year 2021, Barnard had 3,043 students, encompassing both undergraduate and a few graduate students. Of these, 2,959 were enrolled full-time, and 84 were part-time students, indicating that a vast majority (97.2%) of the student body was engaged in full-time studies.

This rate of full-time enrollment is significantly higher than the average (79.9%) seen at similar institutions that offer baccalaureate degrees, showcasing Barnard’s focus on full-time undergraduate education.

Two woman talking in a table.

Barnard College International Student Population

Barnard College boasts a diverse student body, with 57% of its students identifying as students of color and 14% as international students.

In 2023, the college welcomed students from across the United States, including 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Additionally, the international student community at Barnard represented 55 countries, highlighting the college’s global appeal.

Among the international students, approximately 103 are from China, which accounts for about 3.8% of the entire student body and approximately 30.6% of all international students at the college. The presence of Chinese students at Barnard has been on the rise, with an average annual growth rate of 15.8% over recent years. This trend underscores the growing interest among Chinese students in pursuing their education at Barnard.

The college’s commitment to providing a high-quality educational experience to its international students, particularly those from China, has not gone unnoticed. Barnard College is ranked 179th among 842 colleges and universities in the United States for its educational offerings to Chinese students. This ranking reflects Barnard’s efforts to create an inclusive and supportive environment for students from diverse backgrounds.

Barnard College Gender Distribution

Barnard College is dedicated to women’s education and, as expected, has a predominantly female student body. Women account for 97% of the student population, reflecting the college’s historical commitment to supporting and advancing women’s education. In contrast, men represent a smaller fraction, making up just 3% of the students. This distribution is in line with Barnard’s role as a women’s college.

Barnard Student Population

No. of Students

Percentage

Male

8 0.26%
Female 3,035

99.74%

When looking specifically at the undergraduate segment, the gender distribution is even more skewed towards female students, with 100% of the full-time undergraduate population being women. This statistic emphasizes Barnard’s unique position and mission in the higher education landscape as an institution focused exclusively on the education of women.

Barnard College takes seriously its role in tackling gender-related issues, recognizing the complexity and urgency of these matters. The college is committed to empowering its students and providing them with the strength and confidence needed to face life’s various challenges. Barnard’s environment is designed to support women in their academic, personal, and professional growth, preparing them for leadership and success in a diverse range of fields.

Female student holding her books while smiling for the camera.

Barnard College Age Distribution

At Barnard College, the workforce is relatively young, with 44% of employees aged between 20 and 30 years, and a smaller segment of 6% being under 18 years old. On average, employees tend to stay at Barnard College for about 4.6 years. This indicates a dynamic working environment that retains its staff for a moderate duration.

Age Range

Percentage

Under 18

3.22%
18-19

44.17%

20-21

45.51%
22-24

6.93%

25-29

0.13%
30-34

0.03%

35-39

0%
40-49

0%

50-64

0%
Over 64

0%

When it comes to the student population, Barnard College excels in attracting a diverse age range of students. However, a significant majority, 92.10% of its students, are within the traditional college-going age bracket of 18 to 21 years. This is notably higher than the national average, where only 60% of students at other institutions fall within this age range. This high percentage underscores Barnard’s appeal to younger students who are pursuing their undergraduate degrees immediately after high school.

Barnard College Diversity Statistics and Racial/Ethnic Demographics

Barnard College is a vibrant community that values diversity and inclusivity, with 57% of its students identifying as people of color. This reflects a commitment to creating a diverse educational environment. International students make up 14% of the student body, highlighting the college’s global reach and appeal. Despite these figures, there’s an acknowledgment of the need to enhance representation among certain groups to further enrich the campus community.

Breaking down the racial and ethnic demographics, the student population at Barnard College is quite diverse. White students constitute 46.41% of the student body, making them a large demographic group, but not a majority. Asian students represent 20.89%, Hispanic students 14.69%, and Black or African American students 6.39%. American Indian or Native American students are the smallest represented group at just 0.04%. Students who identify with two or more races make up 8.00% of the population, and 3.57% of students have an unknown racial or ethnic background.

Race/Ethnicity

Percentage

White

46.41%
Asian

20.89%

Hispanic

14.69%
Black/African American

6.39%

American Indian/Native American

0.04%
Two or more

8.00%

Unknown

3.57%

Barnard College is deeply committed to fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity. It emphasizes the importance of a welcoming environment that embraces diverse perspectives, cultures, backgrounds, and abilities, believing that such an environment is essential for achieving excellence in academic and personal growth. This commitment is a testament to Barnard’s dedication to preparing students for a diverse and interconnected world, ensuring that every member of the community feels valued and supported.

View of a female students holding her book.

Barnard College Racial/Ethnic Diversity Among Faculty

At Barnard College, 29.84% of the faculty members identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), showcasing a considerable degree of racial and ethnic diversity among the teaching and academic staff. This diversity among faculty members is an important aspect of the college’s commitment to creating an inclusive academic environment.

Barnard College’s faculty is comprised of scholars who are deeply committed to teaching and who hold tenure at both Barnard College and Columbia University. As of the fall of 2022, the college had 278 full-time faculty members. A significant majority of these faculty members, 64%, are women, reflecting the college’s strong emphasis on gender diversity and its historical role as a women’s college.

Faculty Race/Ethnicity

Percentage

White

55.28%
Asian

7.11%

Black or African American

19.83%
Multi-Ethnic

0.86%

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

0.11%
International

12.28%

The college prides itself on a low student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. This means students can enjoy a lot of personal attention and mentorship from their professors, making for a more individualized and supportive learning experience.

71% of classes at Barnard have 19 or fewer students, ensuring that classroom settings remain intimate and conducive to engaged learning. This structure supports a teaching and learning environment that values close collaboration between students and faculty.

Barnard College Geographic Diversity

Barnard College stands out for its geographical diversity, with a significant portion of its student body coming from beyond New York’s borders. Specifically, 73.01% of students are from other states, while 10.58% are international, showcasing Barnard’s appeal to students from across the globe and across the country.

In terms of geographic diversity rankings, Barnard is placed 109th out of 2,183 institutions, highlighting its success in attracting a wide range of students. The college scores a notable 95 out of 100 for student location diversity, emphasizing its capability to provide a varied and multicultural learning environment.

The top five states contributing to Barnard’s domestic student population include New York, with 146 students, followed by California (78), New Jersey (46), Massachusetts (42), and Florida (24). This distribution illustrates the college’s broad appeal across the United States. Internationally, the largest groups of students come from China, India, and Canada, further enriching the campus culture with a variety of perspectives and experiences.

Overall, Barnard College’s geographical diversity is a testament to its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, drawing students from a wide array of backgrounds and locations both within the United States and abroad.

View of students using a laptop in a room.

Barnard College Financial Diversity

Barnard College is actively committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, not just in terms of ethnicity and geography but also financially. About 13% of its students receive Federal Pell Grant Aid, highlighting the institution’s dedication to supporting low-income students and ensuring that higher education is accessible to individuals from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

The college’s emphasis on financial diversity is part of a broader strategy to create a vibrant learning community, further enriched by the high number of students—72%—who come from outside New York or other countries.

To bolster its commitment to financial diversity and inclusion, Barnard College has introduced several key initiatives. These efforts range from the establishment of a Diversity Council, which organizes diversity-related events and lectures, to the formation of a Staff Council that fosters communication between staff and senior administration.

The college has set clear goals for working with Minority and Women Based Enterprises in its contracting processes and offers significant scholarships, such as the Ann and Andrew Tisch Scholarship for Refugee Women, which covers the full financial needs of its recipients.

Moreover, Barnard is considering creating a Chief Diversity Officer position and aims to increase its faculty diversity by adding up to 10 faculty members of color to its ranks. The establishment of a Center for Academic Success and Excellence is another step towards supporting students from diverse backgrounds.

These initiatives have a tangible impact on the Barnard College community. For instance, 46% of first-year students receive institutional financial aid, enabling a broader spectrum of students to afford an education at Barnard.

The college’s Annual Fund supports inclusive programming and DEI workshops, enriching the campus culture and fostering an environment where all community members can learn and grow.

Scholarships like the Ann and Andrew Tisch Scholarship for Refugee Women provide crucial support for students whose education journeys have been disrupted. Increasing the diversity among faculty members enhances the learning experience for all students by bringing a wide range of perspectives and expertise to the classroom.

Barnard College’s approach to financial diversity and inclusion ensures that the college remains a place where students from all walks of life can pursue academic excellence and personal growth. Through financial aid, inclusive programming, scholarships, and efforts to increase faculty diversity, Barnard College is making significant strides toward creating a more equitable and supportive educational environment.

How diverse and inclusive is Barnard College?

Barnard College stands committed to fostering an environment where diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just valued but are integral to its mission. This commitment is reflected across various dimensions of its community life, from its mission statement to the diverse demographics of its student body, and through to its wide array of financial aid initiatives and support services.

The college’s dedication to diversity is articulated through its efforts to ensure a range of perspectives and backgrounds within its student population, recognizing that such diversity is crucial for achieving academic excellence and empowering students to become globally engaged citizens.

To enhance and promote diversity within its community, Barnard has launched numerous initiatives aimed at creating a more inclusive atmosphere. Among these are the formation of a Diversity Council and a Staff Council, designed to foster communication and support for diversity-related events and initiatives.

The college has also focused on increasing the diversity of its faculty and has considered the establishment of a Chief Diversity Officer position to oversee these efforts. Financial aid initiatives like the Ann and Andrew Tisch Scholarship for Refugee Women demonstrate Barnard’s commitment to supporting students from varied socioeconomic backgrounds, ensuring they have access to higher education.

Furthermore, Barnard College offers a suite of resources and programs aimed at supporting all students, including LGBTQ+ support, mental health services, disability access resources, and programs for sexual violence prevention. These resources underscore the college’s commitment to not only attracting a diverse student body but also to ensuring that every student has the support they need to thrive.

Participation in Barnard’s diversity and inclusion efforts extends to students as well, offering them various ways to get involved and contribute to the college’s mission. Students can engage with the Diversity Council, contribute to initiatives focused on selecting Minority and Women Based Enterprises for college projects, or participate in creating action plans for addressing issues of diversity and anti-racism, particularly within STEM departments.

The identity and inclusion programs at Barnard, such as LGBTQ+ @ Barnard, Access Barnard, and Being Barnard, further reflect the college’s holistic approach to fostering an inclusive environment. These programs not only support students’ academic journeys but also their personal development and well-being, ensuring that every member of the Barnard community feels welcomed, supported, and empowered.

Barnard College’s multifaceted approach to diversity and inclusion highlights its dedication to creating a community where every student, faculty, and staff member can find their place and thrive. Through its mission, initiatives, and support programs, Barnard College exemplifies its commitment to shaping a future that values and celebrates diversity in all its forms.

Smiling woman opening the door of a building.

Is diversity important at Barnard College?

Diversity is profoundly important at Barnard College. The college’s commitment to diversity is evident across all departments, including the STEM fields, which have publicly expressed their stance against race-based injustices and reaffirmed their dedication to the college’s diversity mission.

Barnard’s STEM departments are actively engaging in dialogue and developing action plans to address systemic inequalities and promote an inclusive community that values Black lives and the contributions of all marginalized groups.

Barnard’s overarching mission emphasizes the critical role of diversity, inclusivity, and equity in achieving academic excellence and empowering women to navigate and impact a changing world effectively. The college recognizes that a diverse community — enriched by various perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences — is essential for fostering an environment where every member can thrive.

By acknowledging structural and social differences that contribute to inequality, Barnard aims to create a space where differences in power and possibilities are addressed, ensuring no one is marginalized.

The college’s dedication to becoming an inclusive community where all voices are heard and respected is a fundamental part of its identity. Barnard’s approach to diversity goes beyond mere numbers, focusing on creating meaningful change and disrupting entrenched practices.

Through its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity, Barnard College aspires to graduate students who are not only academically accomplished but also socially conscious, equipped with the moral courage to address inequities and power dynamics in society.

Clubs at Barnard College that promote diversity

At Barnard College, there are several student organizations dedicated to fostering diversity and inclusion such as:

Student Experience & Engagement (SEE)

The Student Experience & Engagement (SEE) program at Barnard College is vital for enriching the college’s educational goals by actively involving students in various activities and events beyond traditional classroom settings.

This initiative is designed to benefit the entire Barnard community, encompassing not just students but also faculty, staff, administrators, and even the families of students. It aims to create welcoming spaces where students can interact with their peers in both structured and casual settings, promoting a supportive and cohesive campus environment.

SEE places a special emphasis on inclusivity and support for diverse groups. It organizes monthly gatherings for students, faculty, and staff who identify as people of color or as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

These meetups are essential for building dialogue, fostering connections, and offering support, contributing to a more inclusive and understanding campus culture where all members feel seen and valued. Through these efforts, SEE plays a crucial role in ensuring that Barnard College is a place where diversity is celebrated and all community members can thrive.

LGBTQ+ @ Barnard

LGBTQ+ @ Barnard is a pivotal online resource, developed and maintained by the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, aimed at supporting members of the LGBTQIA+ community at Barnard College. This comprehensive platform offers an array of resources tailored to assist LGBTQIA+ students in various aspects of their college experience, focusing on personal well-being, fostering empathy in relationships, and nurturing a caring community environment. It acts as a crucial guide for students seeking support and understanding regarding LGBTQIA+ issues, helping them navigate life at Barnard with confidence and ease.

Barnard College campus is home to several LGBTQ+ affiliated groups, including Barnard Q, the Columbia Queer Alliance, and GendeRevolution. These organizations play a significant role in creating a supportive space for LGBTQIA+ students to come together, share experiences, and engage in meaningful conversations. They offer a platform for students to find solidarity, advocacy, and support among their peers, enhancing the inclusivity and diversity of the Barnard community.

Through both the LGBTQ+ @ Barnard resource page and the active student groups, Barnard College demonstrates its commitment to ensuring a welcoming and supportive environment for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Access Barnard

Launched in the Fall of 2020, Access Barnard is a comprehensive initiative by Barnard College designed to bolster student support across the institution. This program adopts a holistic approach to student assistance, blending academic and social support to help students maximize their college experience.

Through Access Barnard, students gain access to a wide array of campus resources and become more integrated into the Barnard community. The initiative is tailored to empower students, giving them the tools and opportunities they need to excel in their studies and actively engage in campus life.

By providing such an integrated support system, Access Barnard is dedicated to enhancing students’ academic success and social connections, ensuring they have a fulfilling and enriching college journey.

These organizations and initiatives are crucial in fostering a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive atmosphere at Barnard College, enabling students from diverse backgrounds to unite, engage in meaningful conversations, and provide mutual support.

Is Barnard College The Right Fit For You?

Determining whether Barnard College is the right fit for you involves considering various aspects of the college’s environment, offerings, and community. Barnard College, as a prestigious women’s college affiliated with Columbia University in New York City, offers a unique blend of liberal arts education, rigorous academic programs, and a vibrant campus life set against the backdrop of one of the world’s most dynamic cities.

Academic Excellence

Barnard is renowned for its high academic standards and commitment to empowering women through education. The college offers a wide range of majors and minors, with popular fields including Economics, Psychology, Political Science, Neuroscience and Behavior, English, and Computer Science. This academic diversity allows students to explore their interests deeply and engage in interdisciplinary studies.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

With a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio and 71% of classes having fewer than 20 students, Barnard provides a personalized and engaging educational experience. This setting enables students to develop close relationships with their professors, fostering mentorship and individual growth.

Research and Internship Opportunities

Through its affiliation with Columbia University, Barnard students have access to extensive research opportunities and resources. The college’s location in New York City also offers unparalleled internship and job opportunities across various industries, allowing students to gain practical experience and build professional networks.

Diversity and Inclusion

Barnard’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is evident in its student body, faculty, and numerous programs and initiatives aimed at supporting a diverse range of voices and experiences. Clubs and organizations such as LGBTQ+ @ Barnard, Access Barnard, and the Student Experience & Engagement (SEE) program contribute to a supportive and inclusive campus culture.

Group of students lounging near the stairs.

Campus Life and Community

Life at Barnard is vibrant and full of opportunities for engagement, leadership, and activism. Students can participate in over 100 clubs and organizations, varsity and intramural sports, and arts and cultural events. The college’s location offers easy access to museums, theaters, restaurants, and other cultural and recreational venues in New York City.

Global Perspective

Barnard emphasizes global awareness and understanding, offering study abroad programs and international internships. This global perspective prepares students to become engaged world citizens with the skills and knowledge to navigate complex global challenges.

Alumnae Network

Graduates of Barnard join a network of over 40,000 alumnae, including leaders in politics, arts, science, business, and more. This powerful network provides support, mentorship, and opportunities for professional and personal growth.

Deciding if Barnard College is the right fit for you depends on your academic interests, career goals, and desire for a collegiate experience that combines a strong sense of community, a commitment to women’s empowerment, and the resources and opportunities of a major urban center. If you value an environment that challenges and supports its students to become leaders and change-makers, Barnard College may be an excellent choice.

Two students talking and reading.

Final Thoughts

Barnard College’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is not just a part of its mission statement; it’s a living, breathing aspect of campus life that shapes the experiences of its students, faculty, and staff. The statistics highlight a community that is both diverse and dynamic, reflecting a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.

From its academic programs to its student organizations and campus initiatives, Barnard is dedicated to creating an environment where everyone feels valued, supported, and empowered to achieve their full potential. This commitment to diversity enriches the educational experience, fosters a more inclusive community, and prepares students to thrive in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

As we look at the numbers, it’s clear that Barnard College is not just talking about diversity and inclusion; it’s making them a reality, ensuring that every member of the Barnard community can contribute to and benefit from the rich tapestry of campus life.

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