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 gain additional expertise in chemistry, physics, mathematics, or computer science to prepare for 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 college-wide distribution requirements, First-Year Seminar, and Citizen Science, biology majors must complete a Senior Project of original scientific research; at least 6 credits of 100-level course work (from among courses numbered above 140); Biology 201, Genetics and Evolution; Biology 202, Ecology and Evolution; Biology 244, Biostatistics; two courses outside of the Biology Program within the Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing; at least two biology laboratory courses; and 4 credits of 400-level biology seminar courses.
Recent Senior Projects in Biology
- “Comparative microbial flora study of tap water and bottled water in the United States using BOD protocol”
- “The insectivore’s dilemma: An assessment of the potential impact of red-backed salamander predation on tick populations”
- “Lime juice as an abundant and affordable mechanism for prevention of food-borne cholera infection”
- “Nutrition, thrift, and metabolism: The transgenerational effects of maternal diet on Danio rerio”
Biology equipment includes standard and real-time PCR machines, tissue culture facilities, growth chambers, two fluorescence microscopes, a confocal microscope, and a wide variety 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.
Elective courses in biology cover a variety of topics, including ecology, animal physiology, neurobiology, microbiology, conservation biology, cell biology, animal behavior, virology, genomics, and cancer biology. Upper College courses emphasize exposure to experimental techniques, examination of the primary literature, and written and oral presentation of scientific material.