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Facilities & Resources

newly built Singer Hall

The Swarthmore Biology Department is well equipped with up to date equipment and facilities for both research and teaching. All of these facilities are used by students in both courses and independent research. Use of equipment and research techniques are taught in biology courses and students are encouraged to use this knowledge in their own research projects.
The Biology Department is housed in the newly built Maxine Frank Singer Hall, along with the Psychology and Engineering, allowing for close collaboration between the departments. Each faculty member has a teaching laboratory dedicated to their own advanced courses as well as a research laboratory. A modern teaching laboratory for introductory courses and numerous shared spaces ensure that space is not a limiting factor for research in the department. In addition to research laboratories, a newly upgraded greenhouse, computer facility,  recirculating seawater system, animal facility, herbariummicroscopy suite, and a fully equipped shop for building custom equipment allow just about any kind of biological question to be asked at Swarthmore. The department is well equipped for molecular and cell biology. One example is our recent acquisition of a four channel real time PCR machine.  The biology library holdings, among the most extensive in the country for a school of Swarthmore's size, are located in the Cornell Science Library.

The Swarthmore campus is part of the world renowned Scott Arboretum and the Crum Woods, which is a tract of 236 forested acres adjacent to the College. Both provide opportunities for specimen collection and field studies.  Travel to other field sites is easy in one of the three departmental vans, and a full complement of field equipment including field telescopes, recording devices, a canoe, and professional GPS systems.

The medical school and biology department at the University of Pennsylvania are a 20 minute train ride from the Swarthmore campus which makes collaborations with Penn faculty easy and convenient. There are a number of biologically interesting places to visit in the vicinity of Swarthmore. Longwood Gardens, which has an ever-changing fantastic collection of tropical and native flora is accessible by car and is open year round. The Wistar Institute, Mutter Museum, Academy of Natural Sciences, and the Wagner Institute of Science are located in Philadelphia and accessible by car or train, and the Tyler Arboretum is within 15 minutes of campus by car.

Singer Hall, Our New Home

In response to a 40% increase in students enrolled in biology, engineering, and psychology from 2000 to 2016, the College committed to creating a new home for these three departments. That home, Maxine Frank Singer Hall, is one of very few science buildings named for a woman on an American college campus