Educational Mission

Bard College Berlin was founded with the aim of returning small-group seminar teaching and interdisciplinary undergraduate education in the liberal arts to the highest levels of the European university context where it first originated. The two degree programs that Bard College Berlin offers are predicated on the principle that specialized study in individual disciplines should proceed on the basis of a broad and thorough knowledge of intellectual traditions and the major debates, works, and transformations that have animated them. The academic lineage of 'social thought', which has its roots in post-war Germany and in the United States, is committed to examining the key innovations of human life and culture within the framework of their social and political determinations. Bard College Berlin's core courses in intellectual history directly reflect this commitment, but it is also a guiding ideal of the programs as a whole.

Bard College Berlin's BA degree in Humanities, the Arts, and Social Thought explores the major fields of the humanities (philosophy, literature, film studies, political theory, art history) with respect to their interdisciplinary development. The degree encompasses the opportunity to connect the practicing arts (theater and studio arts) with the philosophical theorization of art, and to consider the general historical relationship between knowledge, craft, and specialist discipline.

Bard College Berlin's BA in Economics, Politics, and Social Thought imparts a training in the social sciences that is grounded in the history of human cultural change and reflection. The fundamental methods and models of contemporary economics are studied in dialogue with the movement of intellectual history, and in connection to theories of politics, and models of social functioning.

In keeping with the College's belief in providing a well-informed, creative and engaged education, the study of the social sciences involves the opportunity to work in the practicing arts, pursuing aesthetic as well as socially constructive projects. Students in all of Bard College Berlin's programs are encouraged and supported in undertaking internships and in civic engagement. The college aims to ensure that a liberal arts education cultivates active and productive citizenship.