The Division of Social Studies offers academic programs in anthropology, economics, economics and finance, history, philosophy, political studies, religion, and sociology. Additional courses are available through interdivisional programs and concentrations. Students are advised to take courses from a range of fields in the division in order to develop a comprehensive perspective on humanity in both contemporary and historical contexts. By applying what they have learned of general philosophical, historical, and scientific methods and of particular research methods and interpretations, students will be able to focus on some aspect of the diversity of human cultures and civilizations, institutions, values, and beliefs. Although the main emphasis in the division is on a liberal arts curriculum, students are encouraged to design programs to satisfy personal needs and interests in preparation for work in graduate or professional school or a profession requiring no further training.
Photo by Scott Barrow
Coursework and Requirements
Typically, courses in the Upper College are seminars, in which the student is expected to participate actively. Advisory conferences, tutorials, fieldwork, and independent research prepare the student for the Senior Project. The Senior Project may take any form appropriate to the student’s field, subject, and methodology; most are research projects, but a project may take the form of a critical review of literature, a close textual analysis, a series of related essays, or even a translation.
Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization that encourages a diversity of opinion in the examination of economic issues. The Institute offers graduate programs in economic theory and policy, as well as 3+2 and 4+1 dual-degree options for undergraduates. Bard undergraduates also have the opportunity to meet the prominent figures who serve on the Levy Institute’s research staff and attend its conferences. Integrated activities of the Institute and Bard College include the Levy Economics Institute Prize, awarded annually to a graduating senior; annual scholarships for students majoring in economics; and an endowed professorship, the Jerome Levy Professor of Economics.
How Campus Activist Madeline Firkser ’19 Channeled Her Passions Into a Career
Madeline Firkser’s advice for activists and young job seekers is the same: Participate. Firkser spoke with the Wall Street Journal
about how she pivoted after realizing her first job wasn’t a good fit. Firkser is the special projects associate at JustLeadershipUSA, a New York City–based criminal justice reform organization. More >