Health and Human Biology
Health and Human Biology is an interdisciplinary concentration that provides 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, 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, which is comprised of a flexible menu of intermediate and advanced courses. A required portion of the Biology core is Genetics, a cornerstone of human biology and its interface with other fields. The Biology core underscores the related coursework within the Health and Disease Theme. The Theme courses are social science and humanities courses that form a cohesive, thoughtful grouping. Theme groupings must be approved by the advisor. A required senior capstone course or activity builds on the program's focus.
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 requirements. Prospective concentrators should contact Katherine_Smith@brown.edu to schedule a planning meeting and to have an advisory assignment made. 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 students 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. 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
- Erica Lee