Bard Graduate Center
The Bard Graduate Center is a graduate institute affiliated with Bard College that opened in New York City in 1993. Today the BGC offers two programs of study, one leading to a master of arts degree and the other to a doctor of philosophy degree. Students in these programs can select from a wide array of courses dealing with various aspects of the cultural history of the material world.
Students in the MA and PhD programs take the same courses, although their programs are articulated in different ways. The curriculum for the master’s degree includes a number of required courses, tutorials, independent studies, travel, and internships in fields chosen by the student in consultation with a faculty adviser.
Students are otherwise free to construct their own program of study (with their adviser’s help). The BGC has special areas of strength—in New York and American Material Culture; History and Theory of Museums; Modern Design History; Early Modern Europe; and Comparative Medieval Material Culture (China, Islam, Europe). But specialization in one of these areas is neither required nor necessarily encouraged for MA students. Doctoral candidates, by contrast, may wish to concentrate more and work in close collaboration with faculty advisers to craft a slate of electives in preparation for qualifying examinations and the dissertation.