Introduction to OEB Undergraduate Studies

OEB is all about life. The members of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology share a common interest in understanding the structure, function, and variation of biological systems both now and in the past.

We ask questions about life and the natural world.

  • What kinds of organisms are there and how are they related?
  • How is an organism's functional design and behavior related to its environment?
  • What are the genetic and morphological mechanisms underlying an organism's development?
  • How is evolution influenced by development?

The department has decribed "designated pathways" (i.e., recommended combinations of mid-level and upper-level courses) for perennially popular areas along with names of faculty whose primary research is in these areas:

  • Plant Sciences
  • Marine Biology & Biological Oceanography
  • Vertebrate Anatomy & Physiology

Options in the Life Sciences

Students who are interested in the life sciences at Harvard may choose among eight concentration options, of which OEB is one. The cluster of life sciences concentrations share a common set of foundation courses and a common advising structure.

  • Biological Anthropology track within Anthropology
  • Chemistry
  • Chemical and Physical Biology
  • Human Evolutionary Biology
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Neurobiology
  • Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
  • Social and Cognitive Neurosciences track within Psychology