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.


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Student Goals

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 to schedule a concentration planning meeting.

Honors and Capstones

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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.

Liberal Learning

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

Download the full statement on Liberal Learning at Brown

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Director of Undergraduate Studies

Graduating Class

Year Total Capstone Honors
201383  29 
201458 58 11 
201551 51 17 
201651 51 10 
201745 45 14 

Alumni Pathways

Alumni have entered health careers including medicine, psychology, public health, academia, teaching, and industry.

See more details on the CareerLAB website.

Dept. Undergraduate Group

Student Leaders:

  • Regan Butchness
  • Anthony Mei
  • Ariel Silverman
  • Jillian Glasser

If you are an advisor and would like to make changes to the information on this page, contact, or email Dean Besenia Rodriguez.