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Certificate in Evolutionary Medicine

About the Certificate Program

The Certificate in Evolutionary Medicine complements the education of pre-medical students and biomedical researchers. It offers a rigorous evolutionary framework for understanding human illness and applications to public health planning.

Certificate in Evolutionary Medicine Learning Goals

The Department of Anthropology (SAS) and Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources (SEBS) offer a Certificate in Evolutionary Medicine (13 credits). The Certificate in Evolutionary Medicine (CEM) is intended for students planning or already pursuing careers in medicine and allied health professions, medical research, public health, or global development.

The goal of the CEM is to provide the basis for applying the perspectives of evolutionary theory to medical challenges from specific illnesses to public health planning. The Certificate may be pursued by matriculating and non-matriculating students who have fulfilled the Certificate prerequisites (see below).

The certificate involves a minimum of 6 credits in required prerequisites, and then 13 credits in courses applied to the certificate, as detailed below. In addition, completion of General Biology (8 credits) is encouraged, as it allows greater choices among the certificate courses. Students are strongly encouraged to choose courses from more than one department as a part of the completion of the certificate.

Prerequisites for Certificate Program

  1. Complete one introductory evolution course with a grade of B or higher from among any one of the following:
    • 216:110 Evolution, Disease and Medicine
    • 216:251 Fundamentals of Evolution
    • 090:296 Genes and Evolution
    • 070:102 Introduction to Human Evolution
  2. Complete one quantitative perspectives course with a grade of B or higher from among any one of the following:
    • 447:302 Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics
    • 070:316 Quantitative Methods in Evolutionary Anthropology
    • 216:369 Analytical Methods in Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources
    • Another quantitative course approved by either the SAS or SEBS Certificate in Evolutionary Medicine Program Co-Director
  3. Register with either the SAS or SEBS Certificate in Evolutionary Medicine Program Co-Director

Required Courses (minimum 13 credits):

Students are encouraged to approach the directors about other courses qualifying for these areas as some honors seminars and special topic courses could be excellent fits.

One genetics course (3–4 credits)

  • 447:380 Genetics
  • 070:240 Introduction to Molecular Evolutionary Anthropology

One course on diet, physiology or microbiome (3 credits)

  • 216:360 Animal Physiological Ecology
  • 070:362 Evolution of Human Diet
  • 070:409 Primate Nutritional Ecology
  • 680:475 Microbiomes and Health

One course on genetic variation and evolution in humans or infectious microbes (3 credits)

  • 216:405 Evolution of Infectious Disease
  • 216:302 Parasite Ecology
  • 216:469 Wildlife Diseases
  • 070:356 Human Variation
  • 447:392 Pathogenic Microbiology

One advanced evolution or evolutionary medicine elective (3 credits)

  • 447:356 Evolutionary Medicine
  • 447:470 Evolutionary Developmental Biology
  • 070:325 Evolution and Culture
  • 070:328 Evolution and Cooperation
  • 070:422 Theories in Physical Anthropology
  • 070:420 Evolutionary Genetics: Human and Other Primates
  • 216:486 Principles of Evolution

3 credits of research in evolutionary medicine (as approved by the co-directors) can be used to substitute for one of the latter three electives.

Capstone colloquium in evolutionary medicine (1 credit)

  • 070:491 Evolutionary Medicine Capstone Colloquium