The Department of Biology at Vassar College, in keeping with the liberal arts tradition, provides broad coverage of the biological sciences. The department is devoted to an integrated approach to teaching modern biology. This is reflected by the integral relationship between teaching and research. Our vigorous and creative faculty who are active in research bring new knowledge and approaches to their courses. At all levels of the curriculum, inquiry-based learning challenges students to interpret findings and to understand integration among several levels of biological organization. At its best, it is also reflected in the collaborative research performed between faculty and students in research laboratories. The curriculum, faculty research interests, and interdepartmental and multidisciplinary programs each demonstrate our commitment to integration in biology and among the sciences.
Faculty research ranges from microbiology, cell and molecular biology, and biochemistry, to neurobiology, biomechanics, plant evolutionary ecology, environmental sciences, animal behavior and bioinformatics. The department offers programs in Biochemistry and Neuroscience and Behavior and actively participates in multidisciplinary programs such as Cognitive Science, Environmental Studies, and Science, Technology and Society.
The department is proud of its long–standing tradition of involving undergraduates in research. During the academic year, research experiences are available at all levels of the curriculum. Students are encouraged to participate in summer research either at Vassar, through the Undergraduate Research Summer Institute (URSI), or at other institutions through fieldwork.
After graduation, students may be found pursuing advanced degrees at the finest professional and graduate schools or starting careers in academia, medicine, or industry.