FAQ For Interested Students

Q: Am I eligible?

A:  All Barnard students currently enrolled are eligible to join the program.


Q: When can I join?

A: Students are eligible to join the Athena Scholars Program starting Spring of their first year, and must join no later than Fall semester of their sophomore year. Junior transfer students must contact Sarit Abramowicz (sabramow@barnard.edu) by the first week of their junior year.


Q: How do I join?

A: In order to join the program, you must attend an information session:

Monday, September 23, 2019: 6:30-7:30pm, Diana 501
Thursday, October 3, 2019: 5-6pm, Diana 501
Friday, October 18, 2019: 12-1pm, Diana 501

Q: Is the Athena Scholars Program a minor?

A: No. It is a co-curricular and experiential learning program, which includes five courses, six leadership labs and a practicum. When you complete the program, it will be noted on your final transcript.


Q: What are the benefits of being an Athena Scholar?

A: Beyond the academic and communication skill components of the Program, students can participate in mentorship opportunities, summer fellowships and Center internships, to name a few! You also join a fantastic community of like-minded women – who want to lead both personally and professionally, and want to make a positive impact in the world. 


Q: How do I know if the scholars program is right for me?

A: There are several ways to engage and participate in the Athena Scholars Program, and we encourage students from all majors and interests to join.  That said, the requirements are time consuming and should not be treated lightly.  The purpose of the information session is to figure out if the program is right for your schedule and if it makes sense in your larger collegiate goals while at Barnard. If you have more questions after attending an information session, you can contact The Student Advisory Board at athenastudentadvisoryboard@gmail.com.


Q: Can I do the program and study abroad?

A: Yes, many of our Scholars go on semester and yearlong study abroad programs.  However, it does take some extra planning to stay on track.  If you have concerns, please discuss them with a member of the Student Advisory Board at your information session or contact Sarit Abramowicz (sabramow@barnard.edu)


Q: Can I take Women and Leadership if I’m not an Athena scholar? What about the leadership labs?

A: Priority for Women and Leadership is given to those in the Athena Scholars Program.  If there are seats available, priority is given to students in class order.  First years are not eligible to take the class. Leadership labs are open to all Barnard students, regardless of class year or affiliation with the Athena Scholar Program. 


Q: Can I go to the PLEN seminar in Washington D.C. if I am not an Athena Scholar?

A: All students are eligible to attend PLEN seminars. For those in the Athena Scholars Program, the registration and seminar fees are covered, and Scholars can apply for an Athena travel grant. 


Q: What is the make up of the Athena Scholar student body?

A: Athena Scholars represent about 25 different majors, with the majority of students in either a social science or humanities discipline.  Our students hold a wide variety of leadership positions on campus as class officers, elected leaders in student government, resident advisors and in a multitude of student organizations at Barnard and Columbia. Currently over 40% of Scholars identify as students of color or international students.