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It is a satisfying feeling for any Harvard man, and especially for the men who listen to the testimony brought to the meetings of concentrators for the Confidential Guide, to find a Department which the undergraduates really consider top-notch. Such a Department is Biology, for in all but a few instances the courses are well-taught, many of the teachers exhibit a desire to be of more than impersonal help to the students, and the plant and equipment with which the Department labors ranks as among the finest laboratory facilities in the Country. And the field is valuable to the undergraduate not merely because it is an interesting subject in itself, but also because it supplies an excellent springboard into the realm of medicine.
The one minor criticism with regard to the Department, however, has to do with laboratory hours. The Official Register of the University has traditionally shown reluctance to publicise the number of hours a student actually spends in laboratory, as against the number of hours the Department expects him to spend. In the case of the Comparative Anatomy course, for instance, it was estimated that the number of hours ran from two to four per week over the official figure, and in physiology from four to six. And Biology is by no means the sole offender in this practice among the science divisions.
Other minor criticisms levelled at the department dealt with the first term of Biology D, a rather trying presentation of elementary botany, and also the lack of a course in Biological Chemistry. But in general the Department is felt by the students to be an interesting one in which to major, and a credit to the University both at home and in comparison with Biology departments elsewhere.
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