Student Programs

Opportunities for Students at Barnard College and Beyond

The Athena Center for Leadership Studies offers various opportunities for students at Barnard and beyond.  Ranging from curricular programs to leadership development workshops, the Athena Center teaches students how to take an active role within their own lives and make informed and strategic decisions that reflect their personal and professional aspirations. 


For Undergraduates

The Athena Scholars Program

The Athena Scholars Program combines rigorous academic and experiential studies that help students prepare to assume positions of leadership at the highest levels of achievement. Barnard students of any major may participate in the Scholars Program. The declaration of intent must be filed by the Spring of sophomore year. Participation in the Athena program does not constitute a major. Rather, completion of the program is typically done in conjunction with the College’s general educational and the student’s major requirements. Students who complete the program receive recognition on their transcripts indicating their standing as an Athena Leadership Scholar.  Special opportunities, including fellowships and mentoring, are available to Athena Scholars.   LEARN MORE

The Athena Leadership Lab

Open to all Barnard students, the Athena Leadership Lab enables students to explore and practice practical leadership skills. Taught by professionals in their fields, these interactive workshops center on eight themes including communications, management, financial fluency, negotiation, risk-taking and resilience, technology, entrepreneurship and political and civic engagement. Every Leadership Lab session includes opportunities to network with others and share secrets of success in an informal setting.  LEARN MORE

Fellowship Programs

The Athena Center for Leadership Studies offers three fellowship programs that are open to all Barnard students: the Athena Summer Fellowship Program, the Williams Program for Women in Politics, and the Non-Profit Leadership Summer Fellowship.  Through these fellowships, students gain insight on leadership styles and strategies in the public and private sectors; develop personal leadership and professional skills; and create support networks with fellow young female professionals. LEARN MORE

Mentoring and Enrichment Programs

Mentoring is an important component in leadership development, as it bolsters good communication skills and encourages self-reflection.   Athena’s three mentoring programs offer different types of mentoring: adult/student, peer advising, and group mentoring.  We aim to create relationships that encourage personal leadership development, which encompasses a strong sense of self, vision for the future, cultural sensitivity and awareness, and a determination to make the world a better place.
In addition, Athena plans a variety of events that help Athena Scholars get to know one another and feel connected to the program.  They include parties, faculty-student dinners, opportunities for younger students to talk about potential majors with juniors and seniors, senior project presentations, tickets to charity dinners, and more. LEARN MORE

On Our Terms: The Undergraduate Journal of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College

Undergraduates and recent graduates are invited to submit their work to On Our Terms, the online academic journal of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College. On Our Terms provides a venue for undergraduates to express their vision of women’s leadership and to recognize their scholarship.  The journal features undergraduate research across all disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and the STEM fields, on the broad topic of women and leadership. LEARN MORE


For High School Students


In collaboration with Barnard’s Office of Pre-College Programs and leading business and STEM educators, Athena hosts an intensive 10-day summer program for female high-school students. Participants will design businesses, pitch their plans to respected investors from the startup sector, and be exposed to core entrepreneurial concepts.  LEARN MORE

The Girl Scout Leadership Institute

Created in partnership with the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, the Girl Scout Leadership Institute - NYC has been specially designed to help Girl Scouts in grades 9 through 12 unlock their leadership potential.  Serving 50 girls, this 10-day program will provide an intensive immersion into the world of ethical and effective entrepreneurship.  During the school year, the Girl Scout Leadership Institute will include an ambitious program that will focus on developing a wide range of leadership skills and exposing the young women to dynamic role models and committed mentors.  In future years, we hope to grow the Institute to serve 150 girls from all five boroughs.   LEARN MORE