Bard College at Simon's Rock

Bard College at Simon's Rock Logo

Basic Information

Address: 84 Alford Rd. Great Barrington, MA 01230
County: Berkshire
Phone Number: 413-644-4400
Fax Number: 413-528-7365

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Bard College at Simon's Rock
Bard College at Simon's Rock
Bard College at Simon's Rock
Bard College at Simon's Rock

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Additional Information

President: Leon Botstein | Provost and Vice President: Ian Bickford
School Type: Academy and Early College
Founded: 1966
Ages/Grades: Academy 13-15; Early College 16-20. Bard College at Simon's Rock: The Early College is the only college in the country specifically designed for bright, highly motivated students ready to enter college after the 10th or 11th grade, usually around age 16.
School Size: 450
Classroom Size: 11
Student/Teacher Ratio: 8:1



Languages and Literature
Social Studies
Science, Mathematics, and Computing
Interdisciplinary Studies

Percentage of Graduating Class: More than 80% of our students earn their BAs within four to six years, compared to 59% nationally. Simon's Rock ranks 13th among all US colleges/universities in percentage of alumni who complete their PhDs.
Support Services:

ACADEMIC ADVISORS WHO ACTUALLY GIVE GREAT ADVICE Academic advising isn't just an occasional, check-the-box formality at Simon's Rock. It's a serious, essential, ongoing relationship. You'll meet with an advisor every week to plan and talk about coursework, tackle academic challenges, celebrate achievements, and explore intellectual directions--your advisor has the time and the commitment it takes to really understand what's going on in your life, in and out of the classroom.

PEER TUTORS WHO HAVE BEEN IN YOUR SHOES Our peer tutors have already taken the courses they tutor (earning a 3.3 or higher), have been recommended by faculty, and are closely supervised. So they know the ins and outs of particular courses, and even of particular professors.

DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF WHO UPHOLD OUR COMMITMENT TO EQUAL ACCESS The director of accessibility and academic support works individually with students with disabilities to assure that they have equal access to the full range of opportunities at the College.

LIBRARIANS WHO PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL NEEDS Our librarians are notoriously helpful. Whether you need assistance finding your way into a thorny research project, or you simply have to get your hands on a hard-to-find book, our library staff will help make sure your paper or project is everything you want it to be. No one-size-fits-all solutions here, we take pride in working with you to find the resources and information that fit your specific needs. (And if you're just looking for a quiet place to study, we know how to stay out of your way, too!)

SPECIAL SUPPORT STAFF WHO PROVIDE A WARM WELCOME TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS Our commitment to international diversity means Simon's Rock provides a full range of support services to make sure that international students feel at home here, so they can thrive--both personally and academically.

ACADEMIC SUPPORT STAFF No one at Simon's Rock flies under the radar. While you may have more freedom here than at home or at boarding school, our entire staff works together to make sure that you can't get lost here. Your advisors are always in close communication with your professors and Residence staff. We care about you as a person, and about making every moment matter.

School Clubs:

Anthropology Movie Club
Black Student Union (BSU)
BEWF: Bard for the Empowerment of Women & Femmes
Cardio Hiphop (Lama Loco Motion)
Chinese and Japanese Poetry Club
Club de Español
Computer Science Club
Cooking Club
Dance Club
DC Comics Club
Debate Union (College)
Debate Union (Academy)
Descendants of Bacchus
Dungeons & Dragons
Harry Potter
International Affairs Council
International Students Club
Interfaith & Spirituality Club
Fashion Club
Fellowship at the Rock
Fitness Club
Foraging Club
Friendship Bracelet Making
Math Club
Modern Music Club
Performance Club
Pre-Engineering Society
Pre-Med Society
Physics Club
Quote Unquote
REACH (Rockers Engaged in Active Community Help)
RISE (Rockers for Intervention Support and Education)
ROARING (Rockers Organize and Resist Injustice, Nativism, and Groupthink)
Science-Fiction & Fantasy Books Club
Science Research Club
Self Defense Club
Sexual Health Awareness Group (SHAG)
Speak Easy (School Newspaper)
Tea Appreciation Club
A Voice for Animals
Workout Club
Zine Society

Notable Graduates:

Doug Ahlers
Builder of first commercial website; director of Broadmoor Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government

Henry Alford
Author; New York Times columnist

Loren AliKhan
Attorney; Deputy Solicitor General of Washington, DC; Forbes’“30 Under 30”

Kyle Allison
Systems Biology Fellow, Columbia University; 2014 recipient of the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award; Forbes’ “30 Under 30”

Kristen Anderson
Department Chair, Psychology, Reed College

Alison Bechdel
Graphic artist; author; 2014 MacArthur Genius Award, "Fun Home" (based on her book) wins 2015 Tony Award for best musical

Joel and Ethan Coen
Oscar Award-winning filmmakers

Jennifer Fan
Founder of Arabalet Capital LLC Hedge Fund; one of Forbes’“30 under 30”

Ronan Farrow
Former US State Department official; Rhodes Scholar; special correspondent for NBC/Universal

Rachel Feltman
Science Editor, Popular Science

Mark Leiter
Chief Strategy Officer at Nielsen Company; founding chair of Demand Institute

Jessica Mah
Founder and CEO of; one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30”

John McWhorter
Linguist; author; political commentator for The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times

Eli Pariser
Former executive director; CEO of UpWorthy

Nina Perales
Vice President of Litigation at Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (MALDEF)

Anne Reid
Director, American Academy of Microbiology at American Society for Microbiology and former Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education

Brooke Skinner Ricketts
Head of Brand Strategy at Twitter

Parking Spaces/Availability:

Students are permitted to keep a motor vehicle on campus after successfully completing two semesters in residence. First-year students of age 18 or older who are in good academic and social standing may petition for an exception in their second semester to have a vehicle on campus.

Mission Statement:

At Bard Academy and Bard College at Simon's Rock, age doesn't define intellect: our mission is to inspire the curiosity and creativity of motivated younger scholars with a challenging, empowering, and inclusive education in the liberal arts and sciences.

Bard College at Simon’s Rock is the only four-year college in the United States specifically designed to allow bright, highly motivated adolescents to fully realize their intellectual and creative potential by beginning college immediately after the 10th or 11th grade.

Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock is an independent boarding school that prepares bright, motivated 9th- and 10th-grade students to enter college two years early at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.

Offering students both significant autonomy and appropriate support, Simon’s Rock fosters a diverse community of intellectual and chronological peers. Under the guidance of talented and dedicated faculty, students learn to formulate and defend their own ideas; to engage with the ideas of others; and to become innovative thinkers who contribute with purpose to the world around them.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

We believe that the rich multiplicity of identities and backgrounds in our community makes us stronger and enhances our experiences in and out of the classroom.

The Council for Equity and Inclusion (CEI) works to create, build, and support a welcoming environment at Bard College at Simon’s Rock for all students, faculty, and staff. CEI is made up of faculty, staff, and students working together on a wide range of initiatives. Council members represent a cross-section of staff from departments across campus including the offices of Admission, Career Development, Campus Life, Marketing and Communications, and Institutional Advancement. CEI also serves as a source of support for our student affinity groups.

School History:

Few institutions have had more of an impact both in the lives of individual students and in the national conversation about education than Simon’s Rock. Founded in 1966 by one extraordinary innovator, Elizabeth Blodgett Hall, and led since 1979 by another, Leon Botstein, Simon’s Rock has been the locus of a radical rethinking of higher education. In its early decades, it was the only institution of its kind: the idea of Early College was synonymous with Simon’s Rock, and Simon’s Rock with Early College. Today, the Simon’s Rock idea serves as the organizing principle for a nation-wide movement of public and private institutions providing higher education to younger scholars, and Bard College at Simon’s Rock is the founding site of the nationally recognized Bard Early College network.

As the Simon’s Rock idea has taken root beyond the Simon’s Rock campus, the recognition that many students can and should start college early has become less of a curiosity and more of an assumption in higher education. That’s not to say there’s any place like Simon’s Rock. There isn’t. It’s only to say that in defining a groundbreaking model, and in providing leadership and advocacy, we’ve successfully convened a context in which families are empowered to consider not only where to go to college, but when.

Notes/School Information:


With 35+ concentrations and a Princeton Review Academic Rating higher than Harvard and Princeton, you'll find a true academic community here.

You'll learn how to think, manage time and budgets, see big projects through to the very end, persuasively express your opinions, listen thoughtfully to others, and generally do what responsible, worldly people do. The average class is 11 and every week you'll meet with an advisor to talk about your work and your life. Our community is centered around your success.


You'll always have the unmistakable feeling that you've found where you belong.

Rockers are just flat-out amazing people: visionaries, iconoclasts, pioneers, and leaders who are working for a better, smarter, saner world. After Simon's Rock, a head start on life is inevitable. It's time to get started on a path to becoming a Rocker--don't delay.

You'll share a residential campus with about 450 uncommonly interesting, wildly different people your own age--people who want to talk about the things you want to talk about, who are in love with ideas and politics and culture and science and more.