Human Evolutionary Biology

Brief Description of Concentration

human evolutionary biologyHuman Evolutionary Biology (HEB) explores all aspects of human biology and behavior from an evolutionary perspective. HEB thus provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to investigate and answer questions about how and why humans are the way we are, and why that matters for real world problems. Research in human evolutionary biology has implications for medical science, exercise physiology and diet as well as for economics, psychology, political science, religion and literature.

Learning Objectives

Human Evolutionary Biology (HEB) provides a general foundation in human and organismic biology as part of the life sciences cluster of concentrations. All HEB concentrators receive a core introduction to basic evolutionary biology as well as human and nonhuman primate genetics, physiology, anatomy, behavioral biology (including cultural evolution), and paleontology. HEB courses also explore interactions between genes and environments and the co-evolution of genes and culture. We encourage our students to get involved in research in HEB, and we offer many small, advanced courses for students to work intensively with members of the faculty.

Gateway Courses

  • HEB 1290: Genes, Mind, and Culture
  • HEB 1339: The Human Brain in the Animal Kingdom
  • Gen Ed 1056: Human Nature
  • Life Sciences 2: Evolutionary Human Physiology and Anatomy
  • Gen Ed 1027: Human Evolution and Human Health
  • HEB 1310: Hormones and Behavior


Many HEB alumni go on to pursue professional or graduate degrees in medical and life sciences, while others directly enter the workforce. The HEB concentration provides a foundational education in human biology and analytical thinking, and our alumni have thrived in health sciences, education, public policy, consulting, finance, and many other industries.