Human Biology Synthesis:  HUMBIO 192 (2-3 units per quarter for 6 units total, letter grade only)

Students enroll in HUMBIO 192 over two or three quarters: 192A (Autumn), 192W (Winter), 192S (Spring).

Applications are open now for Class of 2023! Applications are due week 2 of Autumn quarter, Senior year.
Juniors interested in starting the Synthesis before Senior year should discuss their options with the Capstone Coordinator.

The synthesis is a platform that allows you to bring your personal and academic interests together into a culminating intellectual, creative project. It is an opportunity for you to explore topics within or outside of your Area of Concentration through mediums that include creative writing (non-fiction or fiction), alternative media (visual arts), and service projects. You present your work during senior year at the spring quarter Human Biology Honors & Synthesis Symposium. The synthesis is broadly defined to foster creativity and intellectual latitude in your project.

Instead of a formal class associated with the Synthesis series, there are Synthesis specific workshops and assignments that will provide you with guidance toward completing your Synthesis project. The workshops are scheduled once per quarter and you will work with a small community of students to share the experience and help develop your project more fully. Synthesis projects are showcased at the HumBio Symposium. For full details, students should refer to the Capstone Handbook.

Getting Started 

1. Have an idea of a project that ties together your HumBio experience. Set up a meeting to discuss your project with Dr. Katherine Preston or Samantha Cooper. Booking links are:

2. Find a faculty mentor. Contact student services if you need assistance identifying someone. 

3. Consider the medium of your final product.  

4. Apply - these are reviewed on a rolling basis with a final deadline during week two of Fall quarter, Senior year. 

Apply below:

Synthesis Application

Note: some Synthesis projects could benefit from funding to help cover expenses that might be required to create the final product. We encourage students considering Synthesis projects to learn about and apply for support from the Bingham Innovation Fund:

Bingham Innovation Fund


Across Oceans: An Anthology of the Asian Adoptee Experience

By Lea Wenting Rysavy '22

After interviewing Asian transnational and transracial adoptees, Lea put together a collection of written pieces about how adoption affects bodies physically, socially, and mentally. These reflections from the adoptees highlight their experiences and how their perception of their bodies affects their lives.

Creating Community-Based Solutions to Food Insecurity

By Emily Swinth '22

In collaboration with two local organizations, Emily worked on the implementation and evaluation of an innovative food security program in San Francisco. She developed a narrative-based case study and a final evaluation report based on feedback from patients, business owners, clinic staff, and financial data from the La Cocina Marketplace system.

Blue Dragon Curriculum Resources

By Ciauna Tran '21

Ciauna developed her Synthesis project with the community partner, Blue Dragon. The resources on this page highlight the issues faced by children at Blue Dragon children and all around Vietnam.

The Puzzle of Adolescent Camera Use

The Puzzle of Adolescent Camera Use

By Mary Rose Hawkins '21

Based on 9 Qualitative Interviews with East Palo Alto Middle Schoolers & Current Research on Adolescent Development

Many of our most important experiences we smooth and shape in the retelling like pebbles being polished by the tides. Some are more valuable for their sharp edges and the pains and lessons they bring by holding them tight. Share the lessons you want to share and hold the other ones close.
Hee Joo Ko
Duty to Prevent Harm
a short story by Hee Joo Ko '19
Screenshot of Seun in Black Women in Medicine

A Conversation with Black Women in Medicine

By Oluwaseun Adebagbo '18

As of 2015, 4.5% of physicians in the US are African American and black women make 2.5% of physicians in the country. African Americans take up 13% of the US population, needless to say there lacks diversity in the medical field. With this video, I hope to not only highlight the need for more doctors of color, but also encourage minorities of color to continue pursuing their dreams of becoming a doctor.

Digest This

By Grace Rabinowitz '21

Healthcare news and views you can use! Digest This provides information about various health care topics to anyone and everyone. Each episode features a different expert and topic in conversation with Grace Rabinowitz.