Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

The faculty of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB) study biological systems at all levels from molecules to ecosystems, united by a shared foundation in evolutionary biology. Our department offers courses in a broad range of topics, including (in alphabetical order): anatomy, biomechanics, genetics, genomics, behavior, development, ecology, entomology, evolution, forestry, marine biology, microbiology, molecular evolution, mycology, paleontology, physiology, plant sciences, oceanography, systematics, and zoology.

Students may have an interest in pursuing a secondary field of study in a particular discipline, or may prefer to sample broadly across the offerings of the department. Rather than draft a set of requirements for each possible field of study, the department chose a flexible set of requirements that should maximize students' freedom to craft their own programs in consultation with an academic adviser.

Requirements: 5 half-courses

A secondary field requires the completion of five half-courses in OEB. For this purpose all courses listed in the OEB section of the Courses of Instruction, including cross-listed courses, as well as Life Sciences 1b and Life Sciences 2, will count as courses in OEB.

Other Information

All courses must be taken for a letter grade, with the exception of one approved Freshman Seminar. The grade minimum for a course to count toward the secondary field shall be C-.

Courses taught by members of the department at Harvard Summer School will count toward the secondary field. One Freshman Seminar or one course in the Core or General Education may count toward the secondary field (in each case the course must be taught by a member of the department). One course taken while studying abroad may count toward the secondary field if approved in advance by the head tutor.

The secondary field will be closed to students in the Biology concentration, on the principle that Biology and OEB are offered by the same department.

Advising Resources and Expectations

The head tutor (Professor David Haig; dhaig@oeb.harvard.edu) and the OEB concentration adviser (Dr. Andrew Berry; berry@oeb.harvard.edu) are available for advice about the secondary field. Students are assigned a faculty adviser once they have registered with the department. Students can register at any time but are encouraged to register early to take advantage of departmental advising resources. The head tutor or OEB concentration adviser must sign the final form for secondary field credit.