Human biology minor to offer focused sub-plans, reduce core requirements

Sept. 24, 2018, 1:17 a.m.

Starting this fall, students minoring in human biology will no longer be required to take all six human biology core classes and instead will be able to select one of three sub-plans: Global Health, Health Policy or Epidemiology.

The new minor requirements comprise three courses from the core — at least one A-side and at least one B-side class — and three elective classes totaling 10 or more units within the chosen sub-plan. A-side classes focus on biology, and B-side classes focus on social sciences.

“The decision to reform the minor requirements came about in spring 2017, when the department realized that people wanted to narrow their focus more,” human biology director and professor Paul Fisher said.

The department designed the sub-plans over the course of the 2017-18 school year, aiming to allow students to pair their human biology knowledge with their major or their larger goals. They also hoped to lighten the workload by halving the number of required core courses.

“The minor before … wasn’t very useful for students who are looking for minors because of what they’re interested in,” said Samantha Cooper, human biology course support coordinator.

The three sub-plans are also meant to reflect and reinforce a growing interest in public wellbeing and global connection among college students.

“The world is more connected, so people are a lot more aware of things going on in Asia, Africa and other continents,” Fisher said. “I think on most college campuses — I see it even in graduate school and medical school — there’s an interest more in ‘How do we help the world around us?’”

The department hopes that the change will hopefully attract a base of 20 to 40 minors, according to Fisher. Currently, there are 16 human biology minors, including Reagan Dunham ’20, a human biology minor as of this spring. Dunham is still is fulfilling the previous minor requirements but sees the merit in the new system.

“I think the new sub-plans are great,” Dunham wrote in an email to The Daily. “If you already have an idea of what you want to focus on, I don’t see the need to take the entire core. The new minor really allows students to craft a minor that is unique to their own interests.”


Contact Sarah Feng at sarahfeng55 ‘at’

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