Applying to HEB

Each year, HEB accepts a small cohort of outstanding doctoral students from a broad range of undergraduate backgrounds whose research interests correspond with those of the professors in the department, including Assistant and Associate Professors. Please note that only Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Professors advise graduate students in Human Evolutionary Biology. While other instructors - such as Lecturers and College Fellows - teach courses in the department, they do not serve as academic advisors for graduate students in Human Evolutionary Biology.

For more information regarding the department’s research areas and associated faculty, please visit our "What is HEB?" page. Students may find it beneficial to establish direct contact with faculty prior to applying.

We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented minorities.

HEB graduate students have come from many different undergraduate programs including Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Genetics, and Psychology.  Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree, and take the verbal, quantitative, and analytical aptitude tests of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. Each application is judged on its own merits, and our graduate students have a variety of backgrounds. Successful applicants typically have strong backgrounds in math and the sciences, particularly in biology, some familiarity with statistics and some laboratory or field research experience. 

At the graduate level, the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University offers admission only to students seeking a Ph.D. degree. The department does not offer a terminal masters degree in Human Evolutionary Biology. We are open to interdepartmental Ph.D. programs and have strong collaborative links to faculty in the departments of Anthropology, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Psychology, and at the Harvard Medical School.

Primary advisors of graduate students must be faculty members within the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor. Other instructors - such as Lecturers and College Fellows - do not serve as academic advisors for graduate students.

The department considers a period of five or six years in residence to be the norm for Ph.D. candidates. For those students conducting international fieldwork, a 7th year may be necessary to complete the degree.

For comprehensive information regarding the Ph.D. program in Human Evolutionary Biology, degree requirements, and to apply, please visit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences webpage.