The Life Sciences Experience

Harvard does not have a single concentration (the Harvard word for major) in biology. Rather, we have a cluster of nine related concentrations in the life sciences.  These nine concentrations span seven academic departments.  Depending on your interests, you might choose a more quantitative approach, or you might integrate courses from the social sciences with your study of biology.  Overall, life sciences education at Harvard has a distinctly interdisciplinary focus.

When you first enter Harvard, you do not need to know exactly what you wish to study; you have until November of your sophomore year to declare a concentration.  Freshmen interested in the life sciences typically take a set of interdisciplinary foundational courses, and sophomores usually enroll in courses that serve as portals into the various concentrations.  As students continue, they begin to specialize in distinct areas of the life sciences.  If your interests change, we will help you move between concentrations to find the best match for you.  Even if you choose not to concentrate in the life sciences, there are many ways to engage in research and coursework in the life sciences.

Home to a vast array of cutting-edge research, Harvard University is an exciting place to study science.  Students are encouraged to pursue original research with a faculty member, and undergraduates can choose from labs not just at the Cambridge campus, but also at any of the affiliated hospitals – with well over one thousand research groups in the life sciences.  In classes and tutorials, students have the opportunity to learn from faculty about the process of science and about recent breakthroughs.