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Bard is a college of the liberal arts and sciences. In the undergraduate college, Bard offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. There are 23 academic departments that offer over 40 major programs, as well as 12 interdisciplinary concentrations. The college was the first in the nation to offer a human rights major. In the 2011-2012 academic year, the college held 1,345 classes.In the three weeks preceding their first semester, first-year students attend the Language and Thinking (L&T) program, an intensive, writing-centered introduction to the liberal arts. The interdisciplinary program, established in 1981, aims to "cultivate habits of thoughtful reading and discussion, clear articulation, accurate self-critique, and productive collaboration." The program covers philosophy, history, science, poetry, fiction, and religion. In 2011, the core readings included works by Hannah Arendt, Franz Kafka, Frans de Waal, Stephen Jay Gould, Clifford Geertz, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Sophocles. During their winter intercession, first-year students must also participate in the Citizen Science program, a three-week program that began in 2011. The Citizen Science program introduces students to science and the ideas of the scientific method. The program is designed to promote science literacy and utilizes the theme of infectious disease: the importance of infectious disease in a community, and the impact that infectious disease outbreaks and subsequent management can have on the global society. The curriculum ranges from conducting laboratory experiments and analyzing a scientific problem, to modeling potential solutions to that problem.
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