Health and Human Biology
The AB in 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. This program includes: Background courses, five (5) Biology courses, four (4) Theme courses, and a senior Capstone course.
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.
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Finally, the human biology program requires a senior year Capstone course or experience, which should build on the program's theme.
Statement for Honors Thesis Projects in Health and Human Biology
Health and Human Biology (HHB) Honors thesis projects should derive conceptually from the core components of the concentration program to address an interdisciplinary question of relevance to human health. Suitable projects are distinct from strictly Biology or strictly Public Health (or Anthropology, CLPS, Sociology, etc.) thesis projects. Instead, honors theses in the concentration should reflect a scholarly amalgamation of concepts and methodologies learned during the previous three years of study.
Theses might address a specific question using non-reductionist approaches to science, test a formal hypothesis, implement a relevant program, and so on. Regardless of the methodology employed the primary goal of the HHB Honors theses is to develop and pursue a project that demonstrates the interdisciplinary thinking central to the concentration. In this way, successful theses might draw upon core biological approaches to address an issue of public health concern, for example.
Students should have significant intellectual engagement with all phases of their honors work: the initiation of the project, design of questionnaires, interview protocols, analysis of the results, and writing of the thesis. It is not enough for students to analyze data collected by someone else, and to present this as a thesis.
Successful theses are initiated early (typically in the summer prior to the senior year) in collaboration with a faculty member. Honors applications for HHB are due by or before mid- September of the 7th semester, beginning in 2014.
A committee review will respond as to the acceptance of proposal.