Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing
In order to meet the needs and interests of students within this diverse field, the biology curriculum at Bard is designed to be flexible. Students are encouraged to consult with their advisers to design a personal curriculum that covers requirements for advanced study and satisfies varied interests (biochemical, molecular, ecological) and approaches (laboratory based, field-based, computational). Students are also encouraged to explore, in depth, another scientific discipline. Gaining additional expertise in chemistry, physics, mathematics, or computer science is essential to the interdisciplinary nature of modern biological research. Bard’s laboratory facilities, field station, and relationship with The Rockefeller University allow students to undertake sophisticated Senior Projects in a wide variety of areas. Funds for summer research are available on a competitive basis.
In addition to the collegewide distribution and First-Year Seminar requirements, biology majors must complete a Senior Project of original scientific research; two semesters of 100-level courses (from among Biology 141, 142, 146, 151, and 152); Biology 144, Biostatistics; Biology 201, Eukaryotic Genetics, or Biology 202, Ecology and Evolution; Chemistry 141-142, Basic Principles of Chemistry; and a minimum of three additional elective courses in biology, two of which must be laboratory courses.
Recent Senior Projects in Biology
- “Inhibiting the glutamate receptor AMPA during hair-cell development in Danio rerio”
- “Learning precise timing in neural networks by stochastic perturbation of conductances”
- “Reconstructing the paleoenvironment of the Bonneville Lake cycle in the Bonneville Basin, Utah, ~35,000–11,000 years ago”
- “The presence of relapsing fever group Borrelia in Dutchess County, New York”
In addition to the laboratories and “smart” classrooms in The Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation, biology equipment includes DNA and protein electrophoresis instruments, a digital gel imaging system, an array of standard PCR machines, a Real-Time PCR machine, two fluorescence microscopes, and a wide array of ecology field equipment. Biology students may also use the facilities of the Bard College Field Station, which is located on the Hudson River and affords access to freshwater tidal marshes, swamps, and shallows; perennial and intermittent streams; and young and old deciduous and coniferous forests, among other habitats. It also houses a library, herbarium, and laboratories.
Elective courses in biology cover a variety of topics, including ecology, human physiology, botany, microbiology, cell biology, aquatic ecology, and cancer biology, among others. Upper College courses emphasize exposure to experimental techniques, examination of the primary literature, and written and oral presentation of scientific material.