The Evolutionary Medicine Minor

The EVOLUTIONARY MEDICINE minor is designed for students who wish to augment their major program of study with courses that combine the disciplines of ecology and evolutionary biology, anthropology, psychology, and zoology with medicine to create new paradigms for investigating and understanding disease. The minor seeks to provide students with a greater depth of experience and understanding of the integration of evolutionary biology and medical education.

Fore more information about the Evolutionary Medicine minor please visit the Evolutionary Medicine Program at UCLA website at: (


All pre-requisites for the Evolutionary Medicine minor must be taken for a grade of “C” or better:

  • Life Sciences 7B or LS 1 (5 units)
  • EE BIOL 100 (4 units)
  • EE BIOL 120* (4 units) OR EE BIOL 185 (4 units) – Choose one
    *Students who have received credit for EE BIOL 120 cannot take EE BIOL 185.


Minor Worksheet: Fall 2020-present [download PDF]
Fall 2013-Fall 2019 [download PDF]

Required Research Project or Internship (4 units minimum): Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 195 or 199 or another suitable research internship from another department.

Highly Recommended: Participation in Annual Biology Research Symposium (Poster Session) sponsored by Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Spring Quarter

No more than two upper division required courses may be applied toward both this minor and a major or minor in another department or program and at least 20 units applied toward the minor must be taken in residence at UCLA. Transfer credit for any of the above is subject to departmental approval; consult the undergraduate counselors before enrolling in any courses for the minor.

All minor courses must be taken for a letter grade, with a minimum grade of C (2.0) in each course and an overall grade-point average of 2.0 or better. Successful completion of the minor is indicated on the transcript and diploma.

Evolutionary medicine, sometimes referred to as Darwinian medicine, combines the disciplines of ecology and evolutionary biology, anthropology, psychology, and zoology with medicine to create new paradigms for investigating and understanding disease. Drawing from the existing knowledge base from human medicine, veterinary medicine, and evolutionary biology, evolutionary medicine provides a way in which to explore causes and treatment of both physical and behavioral disorders. In evolutionary medicine, evolutionary principles and theories, such as natural selection, heritability, fitness, and speciation, among others, are utilized to advance the understanding of human health, development, and disease. The field is growing both nationally and internationally as leaders from varying fields recognize that novel translational insights can be gained by adopting a functional perspective.

History of the Minor:

UCLA has taken a leadership role in this emerging discipline with the founding of the Evolutionary Medicine Program in 2012 after two successful years of collaborative educational and training activities between the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and the Departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Anthropology, Psychology and others.

UCLA is the first institution to offer a formal minor degree in Evolutionary Medicine. The Evolutionary Medicine minor program would provide students who demonstrate an interest in expanding their natural science knowledge base with substantial course material, both introductory and specialized, in the fields of evolutionary biology and medicine. The required minor preparation and upper division foundation courses supply students with a greater depth of experience and knowledge of the role that evolutionary biology can play in medical advances and understanding of human development. This basis is augmented by the upper division electives, which allow students the ability to diversify their interests within specific areas of ecology or evolutionary medicine.

UCLA is considered to be a leader in educational innovation and is known for being one of the premier research universities in the world. Moreover, the UCLA Health System consistently scores in the top ten in multiple categories in the annual rankings of health care facilities published by U.S. News and World Report. Experts in the field recognize UCLA as one of the leaders in evolutionary medicine.

Students are expected to complete either a research project or an internship for the minor. There are many opportunities from across campus for students to become involved in evolutionary-medicine research.