The following is information on the Bachelor of Science in Human Evolutionary Biology. Students may wish to consider a Bachelor of Arts in HEB.
Anthropology undergraduates earn either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Anthropology. The difference between the two degrees lies in how they are structured. If you want a broad overview of Anthropology as a discipline or if you want to focus on the more humanistic side of Anthropology, the BA is for you. If you want to focus on a particular area within the more scientific side of Anthropology, you should pursue the BS.
Both degrees are appropriate for a myriad of post-baccalaureate opportunities including graduate and professional school training in the health sciences (e.g. medical school, public health, physical therapy), law, social justice advocacy, and (of course!) anthropology.
What does it mean to be human? Who we are as a species and where we came from forms the basis of an incredible story that spans more than 4 million years. It is a story that begins in Africa, where our ancestors first stood upright. Over millions of years they continued to evolve and eventually spread out over the globe. Today only one species of humans survives: modern Homo sapiens.
To understand our species, human evolutionary biologists begin with a simple premise: that our past informs the present — that humans, in their rich array of diversity, are the product of millions of years of evolution. Science has uncovered an evolutionary history that shaped humans to adapt and thrive in the environments of our Paleolithic ancestors. Yet recent changes in our society, our lifestyles, and our environment have occurred at an unprecedented rate — one that may have outpaced evolution. How does this influence modern human biology? Could some of the most pressing human health issues — ailments such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancers — arise from living in a world that is far different from that of our ancestors? The Human Evolutionary Biology Option will allow students to explore these questions.
Further, students who choose an option in HEB will engage in explicit training in the ethics of human subjects research and understand the uses and abuses of evolutionary theory (beginning with BIO A 101/348). Ethical practice is a foundational characteristic of “good” science and at the end of their undergraduate coursework, HEB students will have a firm grasp how to evaluate and conduct ethical scientific research.
Many students who complete this option plan to pursue post-graduate training and careers in health-related fields such as public health, epidemiology, nursing, medicine, and global health. The liberal arts education offered through anthropology is recognized as an ideal
According to Newsweek magazine, over the past 20 years, social science majors have had an increasing rate of successful admission to medical school, in comparison to their science-major counterparts (link to full article). Moreover, humanities students perform better on the MCAT, the standardized test for medical school admissions. Additionally, a recent report by the American Association of Medical Colleges and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians calls for evolutionary biology to be included among the core scientific competencies taught during premedical training. This option is designed to offer that very training.
BS in Human Evolutionary Biology (HEB) option requirements - 75 Credits
In addition to completing the core courses for anthropology (BIO A 201, ARCHY 205, and any 5 credit 200-level ANTH course) and one statistics course (choosing from CS&SS/SOC/STAT 221, STAT 220, STAT 311, Q SCI 381, or ARCHY 495), HEB students are asked to take the following courses to complete their 75 anthropology credits:
- BIO A 101 Human Biological Diversity OR BIO A 348 Evolutionary Biology and Human Diversity
- BIO A 355 Evolutionary Medicine OR BIO A 351 Principles of Evolutionary Medicine (these are overlapping courses and only one may be taken for credit)
- At least 35 credits from the approved HEB course list (below)
Additionally, out of their 75 credits, 40 credits must be Upper Division and 50 credits must be Natural World courses in Anthropology.
Approved courses for HEB:
- BIO A 206 Plagues and Peoples
- BIO A 208 Sex and Evolution
- BIO A 270 Human and Comparative Anatomy
- BIO A 344 Applied Biomechanics of Human Movement
- BIO A 348 Evolutionary Biology and Human Diversity
- BIO A 350 Men's Health across the Lifespan
- BIO A 370 Introduction to Primates
- BIO A 372 Uses and Abuses of Evolutionary Views of Human Behavior
- BIO A 382 Human Population Biology
- BIO A 387 Ecological Perspectives on Environmental Stress, Adaptation, and Health
- BIO A 388 Human Fossils and Evolution
- BIO A 389 Human Fossils and Evolution
- BIO A 409 Human Sexual Selection
- BIO A 413 Human-Primate Interface: Implications for Disease, Risk, and Conservation
- BIO A 423 Social Networks and Health
- BIO A 450 Biodemography Seminar
- BIO A 455 Reproductive Ecology Laboratory Seminar
- BIO A 459 Laboratory Methods in Anthropological Genetics
- BIO A 465 Nutritional Anthropology
- BIO A 468 Human Reproductive Ecology
- BIO A 470 Evolution of Human Behavior
- BIO A 471 Evolutionary Perspectives on Parenting and Childcare
- BIO A 473 Biological Adaptability of Human Populations
- BIO A 476 Sociocultural Ecology and Health
- BIO A 477 Evolutionary Perspectives on Sex and Gender Roles
- BIO A 482 Human Population Genetics
- BIO A 483 Human Genetics, Disease, and Culture
- BIO A 484 Human Life Cycle
- BIO A 487 Human and Comparative Osteology
- BIO A 488 Primate Evolution
- BIO A 491 Issues in Human Paleontology
- BIO A 495 Growth and Development: Infancy
- BIO A 496 Growth and Development: Adolescence and Reproductive Maturity
- ARCHY 481 Zooarchaeology