Human Biology   (No longer available to new declarations. ScB limited to those already declared)

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. This approach is based on the understanding that biology and human impacts are inextricably related within the fields represented in each of the four program tracks: Health and Disease, Brain and Behavior, Race and Gender; and Ecosystems, Evolution and Environment.

The program includes background courses, 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 chosen Track. The Tracks are built of predominantly social science and humanities courses and must form a cohesive, thoughtful grouping. Suggested track subfoci must be discussed and approved by an advisor. It is expected that these course selections will evolve over the course of the studentís college career, as each semesterís experience builds on the previous ones.

Finally, the human biology program requires a Senior year CAPSTONE course or experience, which should build on the programís theme. The capstone may be a research project, an advanced seminar, or an academic internship.

Students who complete the Human Biology program are prepared for a variety of professional paths and graduate programs. Examples include health careers, clinical psychology, environmental law, conservation, academic science, epidemiology, health education, and teaching.

A.B. Program:

  1. MATH 0090; CHEM 0330; BIOL 0200 (or equivalents).


  2. Statistics or Methods course (chosen with advisor's approval);. examples: CLPS 0900; SOC 1100; APMA 0650, 1650; EDUC 1110; PHP 2120 and others; MATH 1600; ECON 1620.


  3. Biology: Five courses including:


  4. Tracks: Choose one of the four Tracks and take four additional courses, usually chosen from outside BIOL offerings. These MUST form an approved, cohesive grouping.



    1. All courses to be included must be approved by the advisor, and represent a coherent grouping.
    2. Track courses should be taken mainly outside of biological sciences, in keeping with the interdisciplinary intent of the program.

  5. Senior Capstone Activity: May be fulfilled by an independent study such as Directed Research Project (BIOL 1950/1960); a suitable advanced course or seminar such as BIOL 1920C; or an appropriate, approved internship with academic emphasis. The Capstone activity must be approved by the concentration advisor. Honors in Human Biology is based on research, thesis and presentation (see http://bms.brown.edu/bug/ugres.html).

NOTE: The inclusion of independent study courses (such as BIOL 1950/1960) within this program, and their fulfillment of the advanced level course requirements are subject to approval by the advisor.


Sc.B. Program:

  1. CHEM 0350
  2. A sixth advanced 1000-level biology course
  3. A fifth advanced 1000-level Theme course
  4. The Capstone must be an approved, for–credit, research project, expected to span two semesters.

Capstones in Human Biology

Advisors:




Page last updated in February, 2011.

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