Skip to content Skip to navigation

Practicum

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

The Practicum involves attending workshops, reflecting on your undergraduate experiences, and giving a presentation to your HumBio peers about your journey through Stanford and the major. 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. The structure of the Practicum is flexible and there is not a scheduled classroom meeting time. You are responsible for choosing the workshops based on your individual interests and schedules. In order to get the most out of your Capstone, we encourage you to participate thoughtfully in out-of-classroom experiences that are relevant to your Area of Concentration topic, Human Biology, or your career goals. The workshops complement and draw upon meaningful experiences such as community-engaged service, organizational leadership, research, and pre-professional experiences. The experiences that you deliberately engage in are an essential part of taking full advantage of the Practicum.

The Practicum is a 1-unit course listed under ExploreCourses as HumBio 191. You should enroll in HumBio 191 the quarter in which you plan to complete all of the Practicum requirements, typically Senior spring. However, you do not have to complete the entire Practicum in a single quarter. Rather, it is strongly encouraged to start your Practicum experience early, taking at least one workshop your Junior year.  The Human Biology Capstone Canvas site is used to post individual workshop announcements with sign-up links and to track academic progress of the requirements. 

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.


Practicum Examples

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

Astrid Casimire '19
Area of Concentration: Exploring the Social Determinants of Health

HB-REX Workshop
In early Summer 2017, Astrid attended Dr. Katherine Preston's workshop for HB-REX students. This workshop guided students through a goal setting activity for their summer research, which Astrid then shared with her advisor Christopher Gardner. Astrid consolidated her research experience by taking part in the HB-REX poster presentation session. By participating in the HB-REX program, she was able to fulfill one of her elective workshop requirements and her presentation requirement.

Health Career Intensive Sessions
Astrid took part in BEAM’s Health Career Intensive, which is a 5-week program where students learn about careers in health, meet alumni who successfully got jobs in the health industry, and complete critical job search tasks. Astrid went on to take several additional workshops including the graphics design workshop and BEAM’s purpose workshop.

I distinctly remember the resume session of the HCI being a turning point for me in terms of how I approach resumes. Overall, I think the health careers intensive really helped me recognize the various avenues of healthcare that are not limited to being a doctor, and also helped me see my own potential as someone who can work in a health-related career with my unique set of skills. I have since decided to pursue a coterm in journalism, and I look forward to combining my health background through humbio with my writing passion. -Astrid

In Astrid’s Capstone Essay, she reflects on her academic opportunities and how they connect to her own goals and strengths.

In fact, there are other parallels between journalism and science that I had taken for granted. Science is out to find the truth of how things work through rigorous experimentation… . Journalists also do not take headlines at face value, and must dig beneath the surface of any information they receive to verify. -Astrid

Blair Hurlock '18
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 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.

Michelle Brouckman '19
Area of Concentration: Genetic and 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.

Gianna Nino '18
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 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.


Archive of Capstone Essays