Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Degree Options: BA and AA

Two degree options—and an infinite number of opportunities.

Graduating students throw their caps

The Four-Year Plan: The Bachelor’s Degree

We offer two degree pathways: the BA and AA. (If you want to get really technical, there is also a third pathway, for students who want to pursue one of our dual degree options.) Whichever one you choose it is likely that you’ll complete your BA by age 20—a significant head start in pursuing your personal and professional goals.

Graduating students at the 2013 commencement ceremony

As a BA student, you’ll have an incredible amount of freedom, and a high degree of responsibility. You’ll be able to customize your areas of concentration, choose your courses, take advantage of horizon-broadening study-away or signature program opportunities and design and complete your Senior Thesis. Your classes will be small, intimate conversations, and you’ll work closely with faculty and advisors who know you and your work. Along the way, your professors will offer support and guidance as they inspire you to meet the ambitious goals and high standards they know you are capable of meeting.

It’s an exceptional educational experience designed by you. And one that will leave you formidably positioned for opportunities after graduation, including advanced study at the best graduate schools (80 percent of Rockers enroll in grad school) and work with some of the most innovative employers.


Around my sophomore year, I had already developed so many connections here, had so many great opportunities with faculty, had so many friends in my class and in other classes that I just knew that I had to stay for the BA. Where else would I be able to have all of these great opportunities?

-Gabe '05

Simon's Rock offers dual degree options through partnerships including Columbia University and Dartmouth Engineering Programs and the Vermont Law School Environmental Policy Program.

The Two-Year Plan: The Associate’s Degree

Degrees ready to be awarded to graduating studentsAll students at Simon’s Rock earn their associate’s degrees (AA) after two years. It’s a liberal arts framework that is individualized but also rigorous and well-rounded. You’ll be asked to choose courses that appeal to you in all the required disciplines. Shared common experiences such as the Writing and Thinking Workshop, Book One, and First-Year Seminar will help you build a strong foundation for further study. By the end of the second year, you will know what it means to engage in meaningful intellectual inquiry, and you’ll be ready to follow your curiosity wherever it leads you.

Students go through Sophomore Planning and create an individualized path for BA completion. Students who decide to transfer after their AAs, complete their final two years of college at some of the nation’s most prestigious, selective colleges and universities—Brown, Columbia, University of Chicago, Hampshire, and Stanford, to name a few.

Talk to students in the AA and BA programs about how they create their own paths.