Human Evolutionary Biology

Kent State University’s Human Evolutionary Biology Program is internationally known as a center of excellence in research and doctoral training in this disciplinary area.

This program enrolls a small and highly select number of doctoral students interested in research in human evolutionary biology. The program emphasizes a biological approach to research problems focusing on both human and non-human evolutionary anthropology. Our faculty and facilities are outstanding and provide access to state-of-the-art facilities for young scientists interested in research careers in Human Evolutionary Biology.


The Human Evolutionary Biology Program

The Human Evolutionary Biology Program offers research training in a wide variety of specializations including:

  • brain evolution
  • human and primate paleontology
  • evolutionary genetics
  • human and primate gross anatomy and osteology
  • palaeodemography and biological demography
  • skeletal biomechanics
  • primate behavior and ecology and endocrinology
  • cognate areas of basic biology and human structure


The course of instruction in the Human Evolutionary Biology Program strongly emphasizes basic human anatomy, developmental biology, mammalian physiology and paleontology. In general, most graduates are prepared to teach both human  anatomy and another cognate field in demand at most medical schools such as neuroanatomy, cell biology, and physiology. Because of this, our Human Evolutionary Biology students normally face attractive postgraduate training and teaching options. Many graduates also use their training and teaching experience to enter regular anthropology or corporate research positions.

Resources for the Human Evolutionary Biology Program

Human Evolutionary Biology faculty are drawn from the Departments of Anthropology and Biological Sciences at Kent State, the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. This interdepartmental and inter-institutional structure structure allows there to be significant resources available to doctoral candidates. Some of these resources include: 

  • state-of-the-art laboratories for evolutionary genetics, bone and brain evolution, primate endocrinology, paleontology and experimental archaeology
  • an in-house computer facility
  • the Hamann-Todd human and primate skeletal collection

Additional resources and collections for the Human Evolutionary Biology Program are available to students and graduate faculty through collaborators at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoological Center.

Admission to the Human Evolutionary Biology Program

Applicants for admission to the Human Evolutionary Biology Program:

  • should hold an M.A or an M.S. in Anthropology or one of the Biological Science disciplines
  • must have completed two years of college chemistry (including organic chemistry), one year of college biology (including genetics), and at least one course in college mathematics, statistics or computer science.

Admission to the Human Evolutionary Biology Program is based on a review of a candidate's academic record, the general GRE exam score, and the recommendation of the faculty familiar with the candidate's academic and research abilities. We encourage students to contact faculty to discuss the program and their research interests. Additional information and an application can be obtained by contacting the Director of the School of Biomedical Sciences.

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