IB Secondary Field Requirements

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.

Requirements: 5 half-courses

A secondary field requires the completion of five half-courses in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. The following courses count: all those listed as OEB in the Course Catalog, plus non-OEB courses taught by OEB faculty, such as Life Sciences 2 and Life Sciences 1b.  A listing of OEB faculty can be found here.

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 General Education course may count toward the secondary field (in each case the course must be taught by a member of the OEB department). One course taken while studying abroad may count toward the secondary field if approved in advance by the Head Tutor.

Advising Resources and Expectations

The Assistant Head Tutor (Dr. Andrew Berry; berry@oeb.harvard.edu) is available for advice about the secondary field.

Students can register at any time but are encouraged to register early to take advantage of departmental advising resources. 

go to top