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Human Biology Practicum:  HUMBIO 191 (1 unit total, letter grading)

The Practicum is a reflective Capstone option that allows students to make connections between academic, extra-curricular, and pre-professional experiences. The Practicum is done throughout the Senior year and involves attending workshops, reflecting on your undergraduate experiences through a portfolio, and consolidating assignments including a presentation to your HumBio peers about your academic journey and a final Capstone essay. There are a variety of workshop options in the Practicum; your choices will reflect your own needs and aspirations. Options include alumni and career mentoring, practical skills development, and guided reflection workshops. Capstone progress and completion is tracked through the Human Biology Capstone Canvas site throughout the Senior year. Students begin their Practicum experience early, working on it each quarter of their Senior year.

The Practicum is a 1-unit course, listed under Explore Courses as HumBio 191. Students should enroll in the HumBio 191 unit the quarter completion of the Practicum requirements is planned, typically Senior spring. The structure of the Practicum is flexible and there is not a scheduled classroom meeting time.  

For full details, students should refer to the Capstone Handbook

Note: students are added to the Capstone course website on Canvas following their declaration of the Human Biology major.

Archive of Capstone Essays

Practicum Examples

Highlighted below are a variety of students' practicum experiences with excerpts from their written work.

Gianna Nino '18 - Area of Concentration: Global Public Health

Area of Concentration: Global Public Health

Cultivate a Fail-Safe Mindset
This workshop has influenced me incredibly on the manner to regard rejection and hardship - I now believe I have more tools on the ways I may be able to address times of stress in my own life. This is largely important as I am aware that medicine is a field and career of a lot of stress and often small failures.-Gianna

Alumni Mentoring Workshop with Natalie Holles
I learned about what it is like to be a woman in leadership roles…I was excited to see the work her organization was doing because I have recently taken the Human and Viruses course within Human Biology, and learn a great deal about viral therapy for a wide range of diseases. I was happy to see that so much of the knowledge I am gaining while here has such amazing impacts in world.-Gianna

Alumni Mentoring Workshop with Dr. Sundeep Bhat
During my time at Stanford, I have had limited contact within physicians who were actively practicing in the Bay Area. Dr. Bhat is young in his career… His overview of what the career looks like is something that I haven’t heard before and it was interesting to hear about the ways it differs from other specialties, especially considering that it is one of the top specialties that I am considering for my future.-Gianna

Medical School Statement Writing Workshop through Hume Center
Living by the quarter system, means that I am often rushing and trying to finish assignments, projects and other tasks, without taking the time to think about what they mean to me. Especially considering that our summers quickly transition into fall quarter, I highly value this workshop in light of the culture of campus. I was able to take the time and space to think about the value of my experiences and how important they have been to the development of my professional and personal interests.-Gianna

Gianna participated at SURPS on "External Influences on Birth Control Choices at Ravenswood Family Health." In her Capstone Essay, she reflects that, the Capstone provided an amazing opportunity to be able to experience a wide range of mentorship and practice for a future career. As I approach the middle of my co-term, and I begin to think about next possible steps, I can think back to the different career experiences of all the individuals that I was able to listen to. I recall their wisdom and advice, and feel confident that whatever I choose to do - it will work out because the rigor and foundation provided by human biology is interdisciplinary and allows for adaptation in whatever field I may choose.

Michelle Brouckman '19 - Area of Concentration: Genetic & Neurological Approaches to Health & Disease

Area of Concentration: Genetic & Neurological Approaches to Health and Disease

Introduction to Graphic Design
I [was] interest[ed] in this workshop because it [was] at the intersection of biology, tech, and design, which is important for the future of bio and biotech. -Michelle

Capstone Workshop Reflection - Alumni Mentoring with Lizzie Dorfman
This workshop was particularly interesting for me because as a HumBio major with no interest in becoming a doctor or going into research, it has been very difficult for me to find jobs or outline career plans for myself.  Additionally, because my area of concentration is aligned with “A-side,” this workshop was fascinating because she has worked at the intersection of technology, computer science, business, and health research.-Michelle

Biotechnology Dinner with Chuck Ludlam
I found this discussion really fascinating because although I have heard from people who work within the biotechnology industry, Ludlam works from the political perspective… Not only did I learn a lot about Ludlam’s fascinating career and stories from this capstone workshop, but it also contributed to my understanding of the biotechnology industry from a completely different perspective.-Michelle

Purpose Workshop through BEAM 
This workshop was very helpful for me because it pushed me to reflect on what motivates me and use my core drivers to think about my purpose and my career.-Michelle

Michelle consolidated her HumBio experience by taking part in HumBio’s Practicum Presentation Session. In Michelle’s Capstone Essay, she reflects on her path through HumBio and her experiences exploring her diverse interests. The HumBio major was a place for her to develop and discover her interests - and she was able to take some meaningful courses outside of the major, like CS106A/B. After graduating, HumBio was lucky enough to have her work as a CA teaching a new cohort of Human Biology core students.

Blair Hurlock '18 - Area of Concentration: Human Performance, Health, & Physiology

Area of Concentration: Human Performance, Health, and Physiology

Alumni Mentoring Workshop with Dr. Ali Zaidi
Dr. Zaidi’s talk on his career path toward becoming an ophthalmologist was very enlightening and allowed me to more fully comprehend the challenges I will have to face in my own journey toward becoming a physician. -Blair

StrengthsQuest Workshop through Stanford CareerEd (previously BEAM)
[T]his workshop is very relevant to both my current personal goals as a Stanford student-athlete and my future professional goals... I learned that my love of competition with others is a strength that allows me to work hard at what I do, and acknowledging this strength and the others that I have can boost self-confidence and increase my productivity.-Blair

Alumni Mentoring Workshop with Sandie Neirenberg
This workshop allowed me to better appreciate the depth of knowledge with which the Human Biology major provides me, allowing me to be well-equipped to handle a variety of circumstances in my future professional career. I also now have a better understanding of how a degree in Human Biology can open many doors depending on the path you choose to take.-Blair

Purpose Reflection Workshop through BEAM
I now understand how I can go about my daily life with my purpose in mind so that I can be more engaged with my current school work and eventually a better professional in the medical field.-Blair

Blair consolidated his HumBio experience by taking part in HumBio’s Practicum Presentation Session. He shares in his Capstone Essay many well-framed and compelling insights about his HumBio path toward the wider world.