How to Get Into Barnard: How Hard is it to Get in? (2023)

Barnard Acceptance RateBarnard Admissions StatsBarnard Application Requirements and DeadlinesBarnard EssaysBarnard InterviewShould You Apply to Barnard?Tips for Getting Into BarnardFAQs: How to Get Into Barnard

How to Get Into Barnard: How Hard is it to Get in? (1)

Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 04/12/23

Known for having a “fearless history,” Barnard College has made revolutionary changes to education. To learn more about this school and how to join it, read on!

Barnard was the first college in New York City to offer degrees to women. In 1889, after years of protesting to create a rigorous college for women equivalent to the education at Columbia, a group of New York women convinced the Columbia Board of Trustees to create an affiliated college, Barnard, just for women.

Since then, Barnard has continued its path of boldness and redefined what it means to be a woman, activist, scholar, and leader!

If you’d like to join this school that’s known for producing trailblazers, this guide will explore how to get into Barnard, its admission statistics and requirements, tips on how to make your application stand out, and more!

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(Video) How I Got Into Barnard of Columbia University & Cornell University | stats, activities, tips, etc!

Barnard Acceptance Rate

As you create your list of top school choices, you’ll need to have a realistic understanding of your chances of getting into each college. So, how hard is it to get into Barnard College?

According to the Barnard acceptance rate, this college is highly selective! While 12,180 students applied, only 1,127 were granted admission, meaning Barnard has a low acceptance rate of just 9%.

Barnard Admission Stats

Don’t let this acceptance rate deter you from applying to Barnard; it further proves what an extraordinary curriculum and community Barnard offers!

Barnard has a low acceptance rate because it aims to enroll the boldest, most engaged, and intellectually curious applicants that can make the best use of their resources.

To ensure you exceed Barnard’s expectations, the first step is to meet their GPA and SAT/ACT standards.

Barnard GPA

Barnard offers rigorous curriculums that are meant to challenge its students and develop their academic skills. To assure students can handle these programs, Barnard places strong emphasis on applicants’ high school GPA.

Considering over 93% of admitted students ranked at the very top of their classes, Barnard has high expectations of its prospective students. The majority of successful candidates had GPAs of 3.9 or higher, which is what you should aim for.

There are several core courses students are expected to complete prior to enrollment:

  • English
  • Foreign language
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies (history, economics, etc.)

While students should aim to maintain good grades in all of their courses, it’s particularly important to receive high grades in these courses.

Barnard SAT/ACT

In recognition of the challenges students faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Barnard has implemented a test-optional policy for the 2020-2024 admissions cycles. This measure will only be temporary, but means students will be assessed equally with or without these scores.

Students who believe their applications have weak academic components, such as a lower than anticipated GPA, should consider submitting SAT or ACT scores to prove their academic merit. Barnard will expect students to have SAT scores between 1430 and 1550 and ACT scores of 32-34.

Barnard Application Requirements and Deadlines

Barnard uses a holistic selection process that considers applicants’ academics, personal and professional accomplishments, and experiences. Aside from your high school transcripts and potential SAT/ACT scores, you’ll have to also submit the following application materials:

Letters of Evaluation

Interested applicants must submit two letters of evaluation from teachers in their core courses. These letters should be written by your junior or senior year teachers, but Barnard will accept letters from a sophomore teacher if necessary.

Students can submit up to two more letters of evaluation from other mentors such as employers or volunteer coordinators. These should offer different perspectives on your candidacy than your teachers’ letters of recommendation.

High School Counselor Letter of Recommendation

Students are encouraged to have their school counselors send a letter of recommendation to the admissions committee. However, since larger schools are unable to send letters for each student, Barnard recommends students alternatively send in an additional letter of evaluation from a teacher.


While Barnard does not require portfolios for any of their majors, students may submit portfolios containing samples of film, photos, drawings, paintings, sculptures, dance, theater, or creative writing if they think it’ll strengthen their application.

Additional Information

Students typically apply to Barnard using the Common Application. On this application, there will be an additional information section that students can use to add anything else they’d like the admissions committee to know as they review their application.

If you faced any obstacles in your education or were unable to pursue certain activities, you can explain this to the committee. If you faced COVID-19-related issues, there is a separate section for this.


As part of the Common Application, you’ll have to submit a personal statement. This statement should provide the admissions committee with more insight into your goals, values, and principles.

While there are limitless topics you can write about for this statement, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure you write an effective essay:

  • Share a unique experience that had a meaningful impact on your life
  • Avoid using generic or overused quotes anywhere in your statement, especially as your opening line
  • Use simple language that you feel comfortable with
  • Demonstrate your potential to succeed in college—highlight essential traits that prove your academic excellence and drive
  • Be as specific as possible
  • Proofread your essay several times before submission

Aside from your personal statement, Barnard requires students to also answer a few specific essay prompts. These will be discussed in further detail later in this guide!


A large part of learning how to get into Barnard is understanding the different types of applications that are available and keeping key deadlines in mind to avoid any delays.

Barnard has an early application and regular application for first-year students. Students that are sure Barnard is their top choice can submit early applications to increase their chances of admission.

Early applicants make up a smaller pool of students, meaning there is less competition for spots! However, early applications are binding meaning students must promise to withdraw other offers if they’re admitted to Barnard. These applicants cannot re-apply for regular decision if they’re rejected.

Barnard also accepts transfer students. Here are the important dates associated with all of these applications:

How to Get Into Barnard: How Hard is it to Get in? (2)

To ensure you’re able to meet these deadlines, it’s recommended you start your application several months in advance of the due date.

(Video) Can you get into Barnard with a 3.5 GPA?

Barnard Essays

Students can expect to see the following three essay prompts on their application:

1. What factors encouraged your decision to apply to Barnard College and why do you think the college would be a good match for you? (300 words max)
2. At Barnard, academic inquiry starts with bold questions. What are some of the bold questions you have pondered that get you excited and why do they interest you? Tell us how you would explore these questions at Barnard. (300 words max)
3. Pick one woman — a historical figure, fictitious character, or modern individual — to converse with for an hour and explain your choice. Why does this person intrigue you? What would you talk about? What questions would you ask them? (300 words max)

While the third question is optional, students are highly recommended to answer it. As Barnard is an all-female college that takes great pride in the historical strides it has made in women’s rights and justice, influential women are essential to their institution.

As such, learning more about the women you look up to can help them get to know you better and prove you share the same values as them.

(Video) How I got into Barnard College with a FULL RIDE!

Barnard Interview

The Barnard admission interview is optional and mainly used as an informative and evaluative tool to share more about the school and learn more about the applicants.

Barnard's interviews are booked on a first come, first served basis and are conducted virtually. Students are encouraged to avoid memorizing answers or talking “off script.” Barnard's interviewers will want to have an engaged and more casual conversation with you.

Should You Apply to Bernard?

Bernard is a top-ranking liberal arts school. If you’re hoping to major in liberal arts or sciences, Barnard may be the right fit for you.

Located in New York City, Barnard can also offer you unparalleled opportunities to help kick-start your career! As an entertainment, business, and art hub, students are given access to countless internships and placements to begin gaining valuable experience to add to their resumes.

If you consider yourself to be a bold thinker and want to make significant changes to the world, Barnard will support you in your pursuits! If you’re up for the academic challenge of completing a rigorous program, this college can offer you the resources, support, and network to thrive in your career!

Tips for Getting Into Barnard

Considering Barnard is highly selective, you’ll want to go above meeting their minimum expectations to maximize your chances of acceptance. Follow these three tips to create a standout application and get into Barnard College:

Demonstrate Barnard’s Core Values

Barnard strongly emphasizes its dedication to boldness and facilitating intellectual curiosity. In fact, its admission page proudly presents the school’s mission as being “Boldly Barnard.” Ensure you demonstrate your boldness throughout your application.

Use your essays and personal statements to prove your values align with Barnard’s! How have you implemented boldness into your life so far? How do you plan on continuing to be bold at Barnard?

You should also demonstrate intellectual curiosity. Participate in meaningful projects in and outside of the classroom that develop your academic skills and talents.

Complete an Interview

Students do not have to complete an interview to be considered for enrollment, which may seem like a relief at first. However, completing an interview can be beneficial and increase your chances of admission.

If the committee is unsure about your application or needs convincing to take you from a “maybe” to a “yes,” you can provide this during your interview.

(Video) Top 6 Tips for Applying to Barnard! | How I Got Admitted

Your choice to participate in this interview will not only demonstrate your interest in the school but can give you the chance to share valuable information that is otherwise missing from your application.

Consider Early Decision Application

One way to prove your dedication to Barnard is to complete a binding early application. This application lets Barnard know they’re your top choice, and you’re willing to forfeit any other options if you’re admitted.

Early applicants are typically reviewed with more leniency and compete against far fewer students than regular applicants!

FAQs: How to Get Into Barnard

For any remaining questions about how to get into Barnard, read on to find your answers.

1. How Hard Is it to Get Into Barnard?

Barnard is a highly selective school. Only 9% of all applicants meet Barnard’s expectations and are granted admission to this prestigious school.

2. What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Barnard?

Students should aim to maintain as close to a 4.0 GPA as possible to be considered competitive applicants.

3. What Type of Student is Barnard Looking for?

Barnard is mainly looking for students who are bold, intellectually curious, and unique! While they place great emphasis on students’ academic performance, they also consider how students can bring fresh perspectives and ideas to their community.

As such, students should not only demonstrate their drive and strong interest in attending Barnard, but also what they can contribute to the school. Ask yourself why Barnard should choose you over another applicant. Use your application to tell the committee your answer!

4. Is it Harder to Get Into Columbia or Barnard?

These two schools are considered to have similar admission standards. Columbia offers more leniency with their GPA requirements, by accepting scores in the 3.7-4.0 range. However, it has similar SAT and ACT expectations.

5. What to Do to Get Into Barnard?

Students must demonstrate strong academic potential to get into Barnard. Aside from maintaining a high GPA, students should join extracurriculars that can help them develop their knowledge base and hone their academic skills.

They should also use their personal statements and essays to share their unique story and explain why they’re interested in joining Barnard. It’s essential that this explanation includes Barnard’s past pursuits and future visions to continue redefining what it means to be a woman.

6. Is Barnard an All-Female College?

Yes, Barnard only accepts students that identify as women into their programs.

Final Thoughts

There are few colleges that can say they’ve made major changes in history and society. Barnard is one of them and is well known for its strong commitment to improving women’s lives and access to opportunities.

Follow the suggestions and tips shared in this guide to join this revolutionary school and join Barnard’s long list of fearless leaders!


How to Get Into Barnard: How Hard is it to Get in? ›

Barnard College is selective and looking for students who excel academically. In other words, you should take rigorous high school courses in varying subjects. Take AP courses in your strong subject areas to meet the assumed Barnard GPA standards.

Is Barnard difficult to get into? ›

Barnard admissions is extremely selective with an acceptance rate of 14%. Students that get into Barnard have an average SAT score between 1350-1520 or an average ACT score of 31-34. The regular admissions application deadline for Barnard is January 4.

How likely am I to get into Barnard? ›

The acceptance rate at Barnard College is 13.9%.

For every 100 applicants, only 14 are admitted. This means the school is extremely selective. Meeting their GPA requirements and SAT/ACT requirements is very important to getting past their first round of filters and proving your academic preparation.

Is Barnard harder to get into than Columbia? ›

Is Barnard College or Columbia University in the City of New York Harder to get into? Which school is easier to get into? If you're looking at acceptance rate alone, then Columbia University in the City of New York is more difficult to get into.

What GPA do I need to get into Barnard? ›

Applicants require exceptionally good grades to get into Barnard. The average high school GPA of the admitted freshman class at Barnard College was 3.85 on the 4.0 scale indicating that primarily A- students are accepted and ultimately attend. The school ranks #10 in New York for highest average GPA.

What majors is Barnard known for? ›

The most popular majors at Barnard College include: Econometrics and Quantitative Economics; Research and Experimental Psychology, Other; History, General; English Language and Literature, General; Political Science and Government, General; Art History, Criticism and Conservation; Neuroscience; Computer and Information ...

Is Barnard as prestigious as Columbia? ›

Compared with many US colleges and universities, there is no denying that Barnard is more prestigious. This is most true since it has a partnership with Columbia University, one of the Ivy League schools.

What kind of student does Barnard look for? ›

Show academic achievement

Barnard College is selective and looking for students who excel academically. In other words, you should take rigorous high school courses in varying subjects. Take AP courses in your strong subject areas to meet the assumed Barnard GPA standards.

Does Barnard count as an Ivy League? ›

What is the Ivy League Conference? Barnard as part of Columbia University is a member of the Ivy League Athletic Conference, which also includes Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale.

Is Barnard an elite school? ›

Barnard is an Ivy League school because it is part of Columbia University. Located in Manhattan, Columbia is one of eight Ivy League universities – alongside Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, Penn, Cornell, and Princeton – that have educated some of the most brilliant minds in the nation for centuries.

What is the sister school to Columbia University? ›

Barnard and Columbia students also share in a wide variety of social and extracurricular activities. Barnard boasts 80 undergraduate clubs, and students have access to an additional 140 at Columbia. From its inception, Barnard has been committed to advancing the academic, personal, and professional success of women.

Is Columbia the hardest Ivy League? ›

Columbia University is the second hardest university, established in 1754 and based in New York, New York. According to Columbia University Admissions, only 2,247 people were admitted to the college out of 42,569 applicants.

Is Barnard women's only? ›

Because we are women's colleges, after all, dedicated both philosophically and legally to educating only women. Federal law permits us to discriminate in admissions on the basis of sex, and we do. We do not accept men for admission.

What is special about Barnard College? ›

Founded in 1889, Barnard was the only college in New York City, and one of the few in the nation, where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education available to men. The College was named after educator, mathematician, and 10th president of Columbia College Frederick A.P.

Is Barnard a top 20 school? ›

Barnard College's ranking in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, #18.

What is the average GPA at NYU? ›

Average GPA: 3.69

The average GPA at NYU is 3.69. (Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA. With a GPA of 3.69, NYU requires you to be above average in your high school class. You'll need at least a mix of A's and B's, with more A's than B's.

Is Barnard a hidden ivy? ›

This is a list of all Hidden Ivy schools: Amherst College. Barnard College. Bates College.

Is Barnard College very liberal? ›

Like Barnard, the Columbia student body is overwhelmingly liberal – just five percent of students surveyed identify as Republicans.

Is a degree from Barnard same as Columbia? ›

In short, Barnard is a college of Columbia University, meaning your diploma will be from Columbia University, Barnard College. However, Barnard has a completely separate admissions and financial aid process, separate housing, meal plans, and administrative offices.

Can Barnard students room with Columbia students? ›

Housing Period & Move In / Out Dates

Barnard students living at Columbia may occupy housing for the same time period as CU students living in Columbia residence halls (which may not match the occupancy dates for Barnard housing). For check-in dates and locations, visit the Columbia Housing website.

What is the gender ratio at Barnard College? ›

Gender Diversity

Barnard College is a women's college. There are significantly more female students than male students enrolled at Barnard College with a gender ratio of 99.74% women to 0.26% men. Though it is a women's college, 0.26% of the student body is male.

Does Barnard have Greek life? ›

Columbia College, SEAS, and Barnard College students with guaranteed housing are eligible to live in FSL Housing. Learn more about FSL Housing and contact Fraternity & Sorority Life for more information about the application process.

Who does Barnard accept? ›

Students are welcome to apply for first-year admission to Barnard if they are current high school students or high school graduates who have completed fewer than 24 credits at another postsecondary institution.

Is it harder to get into Barnard or NYU? ›

Therefore, the acceptance rate alone is not a good indicator that Barnard College is a better school or will be more difficult for you specifically to get into. On the flipside, New York University (NYU) is easier to get into based on acceptance rate alone.

What is the most accepting Ivy League? ›

1. Which Ivy League School has the highest acceptance rate? Recent data shows Cornell University is the Ivy League school with the highest acceptance rate.

What is the most selective Ivy League? ›

Harvard University

Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the US and consistently ranks #1 hardest Ivy League to get into. Founded in 1636, Harvard offers students a world-class education from some of the most brilliant professors in the world.

Are Barnard and Columbia sister schools? ›

Despite the affiliation Barnard is legally and financially separate from Columbia, with an independent faculty and board of trustees. It is responsible for its own separate admissions, health, security, guidance and placement services, and has its own alumnae association.

Is Barnard a Seven Sisters school? ›

Nicknamed The Seven Sisters, the consortium of women's colleges— Barnard, Bryn Mawr , Mount Holyoke, Smith, Radcliffe, Vassar, and Wellesley—was officially formed in 1926 in order to combat “the…

Do Barnard students live on campus? ›

Barnard College considers the residential experience to be an integral part of a student's total education. Students who live in campus housing have a more productive and more satisfying college experience than those who live off campus.

What are the 4 Columbia colleges? ›

In 1991, the faculties of Columbia College, the School of General Studies, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts, and the School of Professional Studies were merged into the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, leading to the academic integration and centralized governance of these schools.

Is Columbia the hardest college to get into? ›

While Ivy League schools make up the majority of the hardest colleges to get into, other highly selective schools, like Stanford and MIT, have comparably low admission rates.
Top 10 Hardest Colleges to Get Into.
SchoolLocationAcceptance Rate (Class of 2026)
1. HarvardCambridge, MA3.19%
2. ColumbiaNew York, NY3.73%
8 more rows

What is Yale's sister college? ›

Colleges that are paired are referred to as sister colleges, and have a ceremonial and symbolic relationship to one another. Some notable pairs include Harvard University and Yale University, the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, and the University of York and Durham University.

What is the easiest ivy to get in? ›

What's the easiest Ivy League school to get into? While all Ivy League schools have a low acceptance rate, Cornell University has the highest acceptance rate among them. Cornell's acceptance rate is 11%, but try not to get too hung up on the numbers.

What is the lowest Ivy League school? ›

Princeton. Princeton is commonly regarded as the “cheapest Ivy” thanks to its extensive financial aid offerings.

What is the smallest Ivy League school? ›

Dartmouth is the smallest Ivy, with a total enrollment of about 7,000 students.

Do Barnard students party? ›

We are always smart about how we party. While a lot of girls from other schools might get wasted and go crazy on the dance floor, there is a certain level of maturity expected from Barnard students that is always maintained. Everything in moderation.

What are Barnard girls like? ›

Barnard girls are wealthy and very fashionable. Not everyone knows what Barnard is - but those who do are usually impressed, and view Barnard students as intelligent, sophisticated, and maybe a little bit arty. This is pretty accurate! Within the Columbia community, though, the stereotypes are different.

Does Barnard share dorms with Columbia? ›

Barnard / Columbia Housing Exchange

A limited number of upperclass Barnard & Columbia students may live in the other school's campus housing. This is only possible as part of the Room Selection process in the Spring for the following academic year.

Does Barnard College have dorms? ›

98% of first year students and 90% of students overall live in the 13 residence halls that make up campus housing. Click each residence hall below for more information.

Why do people choose Barnard? ›

Barnard is amazing because it is a small liberal arts college with an abundant of resources, services, and support. It gives students the best of both worlds- a huge research university experience (Columbia) and a small student-centered liberal arts college experience.

What is the average GPA of Barnard students? ›

The average GPA at Barnard College is 4. This makes Barnard College Extremely Competitive for GPAs. (Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA. With a GPA of 4, Barnard College requires you to be at the top of your class.

What is the lowest GPA NYU has accepted? ›

Most students admitted to NYU have an unweighted GPA of 3.7 or above, so you'll need to have at least a 3.7 to be seriously evaluated.

What is the lowest GPA that NYU accepts? ›

Eligibility and Requirements: Students

All graduate students must have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.000, as reflected on their academic transcript.

Is a GPA of 5.0 good? ›

Typically, high schools that employ weighted GPAs use a 0–5 scale, with 5.0 being the best score available. Although a GPA above 5.0 is uncommon, schools occasionally design their point systems so that students enrolled in difficult courses might accrue extra points.

Are Barnard students Ivy League? ›

Barnard athletes compete in the Ivy League (NCAA Division I) through the Columbia/Barnard Athletic Consortium, which was established in 1983. Through this arrangement, Barnard is the only women's college offering Division I athletics.

Is Barnard a prestigious College? ›

Barnard is an Ivy League school because it is part of Columbia University. Located in Manhattan, Columbia is one of eight Ivy League universities – alongside Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, Penn, Cornell, and Princeton – that have educated some of the most brilliant minds in the nation for centuries.

What is the sister school of Columbia? ›

Barnard and Columbia students also share in a wide variety of social and extracurricular activities. Barnard boasts 80 undergraduate clubs, and students have access to an additional 140 at Columbia. From its inception, Barnard has been committed to advancing the academic, personal, and professional success of women.

What is the easiest Ivy League school to get into? ›

The Easiest Ivy League schools to get into

Cornell is the easiest and youngest Ivy League school. It was established in 1865 and is situated in Ithaca, New York. Out of 49,114 candidates, Cornell accepted 5,330, for an admission percentage of around 10.9%.

Why is Barnard endowment so low? ›

Goldberg's answer: “The basic answer is that there was never a culture of fundraising at the school; I think that's relatively recent in the last 15-20 years.” Since Barnard wasn't founded with an endowment and a fundraising mindset, the college hasn't been able to build up the mind-blowing wealth enjoyed by other ...

Is Barnard worth the cost? ›

Below Average Value Nationwide

Barnard College is ranked #2,215 out of 2,223 for value nationwide. Based on our analysis of other colleges at similar price points, we believe Barnard College is overpriced for the quality education it provides.

What kind of student does Barnard like? ›

The admissions committee is seeking students of proven academic strength who exhibit intellectual voracity and strong potential for further scholarly growth. While admission is highly selective, it is also holistic; no one criterion or score determines acceptance.

What type of student is Barnard looking for? ›

Barnard students change the world and how we view it. They are bold, thoughtful, analytical, intrepid and ambitious. They love to learn and make connections from the classroom to the world around them. The admissions team seeks candidates such as these to fill our first-year and transfer classes.

Can Barnard students live in Columbia dorms? ›

Housing Period & Move In / Out Dates

Barnard students living at Columbia may occupy housing for the same time period as CU students living in Columbia residence halls (which may not match the occupancy dates for Barnard housing). For check-in dates and locations, visit the Columbia Housing website.


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