The Admissions Office is always happy to schedule a call to talk about your application.
- Application/Financial Aid Application due: November 1
- Notification: December 31
- Deposit due: May 1
- Application/Financial Aid Application due: January 15
- Notification: Late March
- Deposit due: May 1
- Application/Financial Aid Application due: May 1
- Notification: June 1
- Deposit due: June 10
All application materials should be in English or German, or should be submitted together with certified English translations.
Online Application Form
Bard College Berlin does not charge an application fee.
Applicants can submit their application by filling out the Bard College Berlin Online Application form.
Please create an account, and follow the steps indicated in the registration form by filling out the required information carefully. After registration, log in with your credentials and complete the application form. Please indicate in the application your interest in being considered for the Academy Year program specifically.
The motivation statement is one of the most important components of your application. This should be a brief essay about why you want to study at Bard College Berlin. It’s also an opportunity for the Admissions Committee to get to know you better. Your motivation statement should be between 250 and 500 words in length.
A strong motivation statement will address the following points:
- Why you want to study at Bard College Berlin
- How the academic offerings at Bard College Berlin fit with your aspirations and future plans
- Your interest in being part of an international community in Berlin
Graded Writing Sample
The graded writing sample should be an essay written in English that you submitted as an assignment for a class. It should include your teacher's comments and the grade you received for the assignment.
The graded writing sample may be on any topic, though we recommend selecting a sample that is related to the academic disciplines offered at Bard College Berlin. Whenever possible, the Admissions Committee prefers to see writing samples that analyze a text or research a topic. Journal-style entries or personal reflections are less helpful to the Committee.
The graded writing assignment must be typed. It must be uploaded as a PDF attachment, and the size of the file should not exceed 500 KB. If you need to reduce the size of your PDF file, you may wish to use a free online service to do so.
If you do not have a suitable graded writing sample, please fill out this form to receive an alternative essay prompt.
Official Transcript or School Reports
Applicants should arrange to have an official record of courses and grades of their last four years of high school, as well as any university coursework, sent to Bard College Berlin. Transcripts are considered official if they are sent by representatives of the institutions, such as teacher, principal, or counselor, and not the applicants themselves.
The Admissions Committee will accept transcripts in English or German. If you do not have transcripts in either of these languages, you must submit an official translation along with the original transcript.
Applicants whose coursework is still underway should submit their most recent transcript or school record. Any offer of admission will be conditional upon receipt of a final transcript and proof of graduation.
Students using the Common Application Form can request a transcript by adding their guidance counselor, and having them submit the school report. Schools and universities may also submit official transcripts electronically to [email protected], or have them mailed to the following address:
Bard College Berlin
Two Letters of Recommendation
All applicants are asked to submit at least two academic letters of recommendation as part of their application. Letters should be written by teachers or professors who are familiar with your academic work. The Admissions Committee will accept letters of recommendation in English or German. Recommenders may also opt to use the recommendation form available below.
In order to request a recommendation letter, you will be able to add your recommenders in the relevant section of the Common Application or in the Bard College Berlin Online Form.
When you send a request, the recommender will receive an email with instructions and a link to the application system where they can enter their name and contact information, and submit their letter. Recommenders may upload a letter as a PDF or type a letter directly into the space provided. Alternatively, they can send their letters of recommendation directly to [email protected].
Please note that there is no required format for the letter of recommendation. If a recommender would like to use a recommendation form, please find the Bard College Berlin recommendation form here:
Download the Recommendation Form >>
Proof of English Proficiency (if applicable)
Applicants to all programs at Bard College Berlin who are not native English speakers must provide proof of English proficiency at C1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
If you are currently enrolled at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction or have completed at least one year of high school courses with full instruction in English, you do not need to submit an English proficiency test result.
Please refer to the table below for an overview of the tests we accept and the required scores. Applicants should arrange to have official test results sent by the testing center to Bard College Berlin.
Bard College Berlin TOEFL Code: 8527
|Test||Minimum Required Score|
|Cambridge||CAE (A-C), CPE (A-C)|
|Duolingo English Test||120|
Prospective Student FAQs
Q: How do I apply to Bard College Berlin?
A: Bard College Berlin accepts applications through Common Application or our own application portal. You can find these links and learn more about the application deadlines in the How to Apply section.
Q: Can I submit my transcripts or letters of recommendations myself?
No. Please have your high school transcript submitted by your high school counselor, teacher or principal. Recommendation letters and required education records should be submitted by your recommenders and counselor/teacher/principal directly to BCB either through the application form or by email to [email protected].
Q: Does Bard College Berlin accept transfer students?
A: Yes. Transfer students can apply for Fall or Spring semester entry. See application deadlines here: Transfer Students.
Upon admission, each transfer student will receive a statement of estimated transfer credits.
Q: Does Bard College Berlin offer financial aid?
A: Yes. In 2022, 79 percent of Bard College Berlin students received financial aid. Financial aid is available for BA, Academy Year, and transfer students.
Bard College Berlin’s financial aid packages are need-based and contribute to the cost of tuition and fees. Financial aid at Bard College Berlin is awarded in the form of tuition waivers covering from 20% to 100% of the comprehensive fee.
Find out more about financial aid at Bard College Berlin here: Financial Aid.
For information about particular scholarships, which are offered on the basis of need and merit, in conjunction with other criteria, click here: Scholarships.
Q: How do I apply for financial aid?
To apply for financial aid, complete our financial statement form and upload it in your applicant portal or send it digitally to our financial aid office before the application deadline for your admissions cycle. This form also requires official documentation, such as tax returns.
It is important that you complete this form and provide supporting documentation within one week of submitting your application for admissions. Without a completed financial statement, Bard College Berlin will be unable to award any aid.
For more information, including the financial aid forms, click here: Financial Aid.
Q: When will I find out about my admission and financial aid decision?
A: The date of your admissions notification depends on the cycle in which you submitted your application. Click here for more information: Application Deadlines BA; Application Deadlines Transfer.
The sooner you submit your financial aid form, the sooner you will know about your financial aid offer. Financial aid notifications are sent out a few weeks after your admission decision.
Q: Do I need to have a German high school degree?
A: No. You only need a valid high school diploma to matriculate at Bard College Berlin. All students admitted to Bard College Berlin qualify for a BA degree (accredited in the United States).
Those with German Abitur (or Abitur equivalency) can receive a German BA degree in addition to an American BA degree. There are no differences in requirements in the degree program itself, but rather in the high school course of study before entering college. The German BA degree offers visa benefits that may be of interest.
Though both German and American BA degrees are accepted in graduate school applications in Germany, those without EU citizenship and a German BA degree will receive an 18-month “job search” visa upon graduation. This allows the graduate to remain in Germany and search for employment post-graduation. You can learn more about Abitur equivalency here: Abitur Equivalency (see bottom of page).
Q: Do I need to speak German?
A: You do not need to speak German to be admitted to Bard College Berlin. We do require all students to achieve B1 German competence by the end of their second year. This can be accomplished through German language classes or a proficiency exam.
Q: Do I need to speak English?
A: Yes. The majority of courses at Bard College Berlin are conducted in English, and students must demonstrate C1 proficiency in order to enroll at Bard College Berlin. Students who do not speak English as a native language (or have not studied at an English-language international school) must submit documentation to confirm their level of English.
We require a minimum TOEFL score of 95 or an IELTS score of 7.0 for admission to Bard College Berlin. These scores must be supported by official documentation.
Q: What programs do you offer?
A: Bard College Berlin offers two four-year bachelor of arts programs.
The program in Economics, Politics, and Social Thought offers specializations in Economics and in Politics. The BA program in Humanities, Arts, and Social Thought includes specializations in Literature and Rhetoric, Art and Aesthetics, and Ethics and Politics. Find out more about our courses of study here: Degree Programs.
Bard College Berlin also offers two one-year programs: Academy Year, which is intended as an introduction to academic life at the university level, and Project Year, a year in which students conduct research with a faculty member to deepen their individual studies. Find out more about one-year programs here: One-Year Programs.
Q: How can I visit Bard College Berlin?
A: You can schedule a campus tour by completing the online form available at this link. If there is no appointment available, please contact the Admissions Office in advance ([email protected]) to request a campus visit.
Bard College Berlin also hosts Open Weeks. Open Weeks are a fantastic opportunity to learn more about life at Bard College Berlin. You can attend a class, get to know faculty, meet other prospective students, and speak with Admissions Office representatives. Learn more about upcoming Open Weeks here: Connect with Us.