Health and Human Biology
Health and Human Biology is an interdisciplinary concentration whose goals are to provide a rigorous foundation in the biological sciences with substantive course work in humanities and social sciences within a subfield of Human Health and Disease. The program includes: background courses, a biology core courses, a set of theme courses, and a Senior Capstone activity. Background courses provide the essential foundations in chemistry, mathematics, methods, and basic biology. These support the Biology core comprised of a flexible menu of intermediate and advanced courses. A required portion of the Biology core is Genetics, which is considered a cornerstone of human biology and its interface with other fields. The Biology core underscores the related coursework within the Health and Disease Theme. This course grouping is comprised of social science and humanities courses and must form a cohesive, thoughtful cohort. Suggested theme subfoci must be discussed and approved by an advisor. It is expected that these course selections will evolve over the course of the student's college career, as each semester's experience builds on the previous one. A senior year capstone course or experience should build on the program's theme.
Students in this concentration will:
- Understand the organization and function of basic biological systems
- Know the core mathematical and chemical principles relevant to biology and genetics
- Learn the ecology and population dynamics of at least one group of organisms
- Design a course of study around a theme or topic in health and human disease
- Know how to handle and interpret scientific data
- Engage in independent research
Click here for a list of concentration requirements. For instructions for declaring this concentration, please visit the Biology Undergraduate website. Prospective concentrators should contact Marjorie_Thompson@brown.edu to schedule a planning meeting and have an advisory assignment made. For more information about this concentration, please visit the department's website. For more information about this concentration, please visit the department's website.
Honors and CapstonesView Honors website
A senior capstone is required. It can consist of an original research project, the Human Biology Senior Seminar course, an approved advanced course or seminar in another department or occasionally, an academic internship. Proposed capstones must be approved by the Concentration Advisor. The capstone may not begin before the 6th or 7th semester (or intervening summer) and for most, will take place during the senior year.
Students aspiring to receive Honors in human biology must earn quality grades (A, B, and/or S with distinction) and complete a thesis project representing the culmination of substantial research activity (which will serve as the Capstone) spanning two or more semesters. A presentation or poster is also required. Please consult the program website for a complete description of Honors application procedures and requirements.
This concentration allows you to address the following Liberal Learning goals:
- Expand your reading skills
- Collaborate fully
- Understand differences among cultures
- Engage with your community
- Develop a facility with symbolic languages
- Experience scientific inquiry
- Evaluate human behavior
Alumni have entered health careers including medicine, psychology, public health, academia, teaching and industry.
Dept. Undergraduate Group
- Elaine Hsiang
- Sheyda Bautista-Saeyan
- Jacqueline Wooley