Certificate Requirements

The Origins of Life Graduate Consortium offers participants an opportunity to add a vibrant interdisciplinary concentration to their graduate studies at Harvard.  Students who have successfully met the expectations below will receive a Certificate of Secondary Concentration documenting their satisfactory participation.

1.  Coursework:
          Coursework must demonstrate broad comparative knowledge of the origins of life disciplines
          rather than a focus on a specific discipline. Course requirements include:

      • The Origins of Life Foundations Course

This full-year, half course covers a broad range of the fundamental questions in origins of life research through eight to ten two-week modules taught by members of the Origins of Life Initiative faculty.  The course meets twice a week and each module is comprised of a stand-alone topic and a single homework assignment.  The course modules are offered over the course of several semesters. Consortium students are required to complete a minimum of five modules during their individualized Consortium program of study.

Two additional Origins of Life courses
        • Selected from the approved courses list, these courses are one semester each, and must be out outside of the student’s home department
        • A one semester laboratory rotation
        • The Ethics in Science Research half course (new in 2015)

2.  Field Research:
     Full participation in at least one field research expedition/trip (additional trips are optional and                        may be subject to some limitations)

3. Student Led Activities:
     Journal Club (counts as one-quarter course, faculty participation available)

4.  Progress Reports:
     Students should submit a progress report along with a copy of their unofficial transcript to the Consortium      director at the end of each term.  Ideally, this will include a brief narrative on the student’s engagement in the Consortium’s activities and planned or newly completed participation in relevant areas of origins research.

5.  General Participation:
     Beyond the specific requirements, student pursuing the Certificate are expected to join the Origins      Initiative’s intellectual community as a regular participant in its events, speakers series, etc.     

Award of the Certificate, beyond fulfilling the relevant requirements, is contingent on the successful
completion of the candidate's Harvard University Ph.D.