Bard College Berlin

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Bard College Berlin
Bard College Berlin Logo
Type Private
Established 1999
Dean Catherine Toal
Director Florian Becker
Academic staff
approx. 50
Students approx. 260
Location Berlin, Germany
Campus Niederschönhausen

Bard College Berlin (formerly known as ECLA or European College of Liberal Arts) is a private, non-profit institution of higher education in Berlin, Germany. It was founded as a non-profit association in 1999. The college is, according to Martha Nussbaum, one of the educational institutions in Europe that makes the liberal arts idea into reality.[1] Students and faculty come from all over the world and the language of instruction is English. Qualifying students earn both an American B.A. and a German B.A.[2]


Bard College Berlin was founded as ECLA (a non-profit association) in 1999 under the leadership of Stephan Gutzeit.[3] The founding dean was Erika Anita Kiss. The first program to be introduced was the six-week International Summer University. Later two one-year programs were developed and still continue to be offered: the Academy Year and the Project Year. A four-year Bachelor of Arts program in Humanities, the Arts, and Social Thought was launched in October 2009. In November 2011, ECLA merged with Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, USA, and subsequently became Bard College Berlin, A Liberal Arts University.[4] A four-year BA program in Economics, Politics, and Social Thought was introduced in 2014.[5]


Academic programs[edit]

Seminar Bard College Berlin, 2013

At Bard College Berlin students may enroll in a BA degree, or in a one-semester or one-year program suitable to their profile, background, and individual aims of study. The college supports internship opportunities and practical training, and has many established connections with the intellectual and cultural life of Berlin. The academic programs currently offered are Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, the Arts, and Social Thought; Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Politics, and Social Thought; Academy Year; Project Year; Arts and Society in Berlin; LAB Berlin; and Begin in Berlin. Every summer the following programs are offered: Summer Theater Intensive, Summer Language Intensive, and Berlin Summer Studio.

In 2016, the Program for International Education and Social Change was introduced, which enables students from areas that are experiencing severe economic, social, and political crisis to access the liberal arts education offered by Bard College Berlin. The program continues a long tradition of Bard College.

Bard College Berlin provides an immersion in intellectual history from ancient Greece to the present day, with rigorous concentration on philosophy, economics, politics, literature, art history, film, and theater and studio arts. The total number of ECTS credits earned is 240. Study of the German language is offered and encouraged.


Bard College Berlin brings together scholars and teachers from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. Their main areas of expertise include philosophy, literature, political theory, art history, film theory, human rights, history, and rhetoric.[6]

Guest teachers and visiting academics[edit]

In addition to faculty members and postdoctoral fellows, Bard College Berlin students are taught by a series of guest teachers, who deliver lectures and participate in seminars throughout the academic year.

Past guest teachers include Frank Fehrenbach (Harvard), Costica Bradatan (Texas Tech / Queensland), Horst Bredekamp (Humboldt), Terrell Carver (Bristol), Lynn Catterson (Columbia), David Colander (Middlebury), Lorraine Daston (Max Planck Institute, Berlin), Hans Fink (Århus), Rivka Galchen (author of Atmospheric Disturbances), Edith Hall, Stephen Halliwell (St Andrews), Stephen Houlgate (Warwick), Ira Katznelson (Columbia), Sabina Lovibond (Oxford), Stephen Maurer (Swarthmore), Heinrich Meier (Munich), Glenn Most (Chicago), Stephen Mulhall (Oxford), Stephanie Nelson (Boston), Susan Neiman (Einstein Forum, Berlin), Anthony Price (Birkbeck), Christof Rapp (Humboldt), Martin Ruehl (Cambridge), Roger Scruton (Oxford and Washington), Theodore Ziolkowski (Professor Emeritus, Princeton University) and many others.[7]


As of January 20, 2017 Bard College Berlin is institutionally accredited at national level in Germany by the Wissenschaftsrat. The college first received state recognition from the Berlin Senate Department for Education, Youth and Science (Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Jugend und Wissenschaft).[8] Program accreditation for the BA program in Humanities, the Arts and Social Thought was granted by the accreditation agency ACQUIN in Fall 2013. The BA program in Economics, Politics, and Social Thought received accreditation in September 2015. Through its affiliation with Bard College, Annandale, Bard College Berlin and its degrees are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).[9]


Bard College Berlin's Campus

Bard College Berlin is a residential college. The campus is located in the northern part of Berlin, in the residential area called Pankow-Niederschönhausen. Most buildings were designed in 1966 by Eckart Schmidt and built starting 1972,[10] and formerly belonged to the embassies of several countries in GDR, among others Egypt, Cuba[11] and Nigeria.[12]

See also[edit]

Munich School of Philosophy


  1. ^ "Teaching Humanity". Newsweek. Aug 21, 2006.
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  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
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  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°35′03″N 13°23′38″E / 52.58417°N 13.39389°E / 52.58417; 13.39389