Deciding to major in human biology may not be the first college major that people consider. Still, it’s the right choice when you want to understand the interconnected systems and processes of the human body. It’s a highly specialized biology major focusing on foundational life science courses and connects this knowledge with biological sub-disciplines: anatomy, physiology, genetics, nutrition, ecology, evolution, and anthropology. Pretty cool, eh?
Of course, every human biology program will be somewhat different. Traditional liberal arts colleges may not cover subjects as deep as universities that offer only life sciences and healthcare degrees. Typically, these universities provide more comprehensive instruction and extensive laboratory facilities. For example, a histology lab allows students to study the microanatomy of cells, tissues, and organs.
Some universities offer human biology majors the chance to complete a capstone project catering to a specific biological topic. Advanced learning like this can be advantageous when continuing to graduate school or qualifying for specific healthcare specialist roles.
Deciding to major in human biology means understanding the importance of big-picture thinking. Because you’re gaining a top-down, wide-scope picture of human biology, you’ll be better prepared for opportunities in graduate school. That would include medical, chiropractic (non-pharmaceutical treatments), osteopathic, optometry, dental, physician assistant, nursing, pharmaceutical industry, and physical or occupational therapy.
Other occupational avenues to explore are biotechnology, becoming a medical laboratory technician, biomedical product developer, clinical specialist for private medical companies, or biological laboratory technologist.
Here is an example of the learning objectives for one university’s human biology program. Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a 100-year-old university specializing in chiropractic and life sciences degrees.
The learning objectives for the CUKC B.S. in Human Biology degree:
At the beginning of a B.S. in Human Biology program, the emphasis is on general education classes that prepare students for more advanced topics.
Examples of “gen ed” classes include:
Following those are mid-degree classes and labs focusing on life sciences and mathematics.
Finally, expect upper-division classes to cover a range of other related topics:
Now that you’re intrigued by the possibilities for human biology education, it’s natural to ask what type of academic preparation is best.
The first step is to have an academic advisor evaluate your high school transcript. If you’re ready to apply, you’ll need an official transcript. This should show the graduation date or a GED credential certification or verification from an accredited appropriate home-school agency.
It’s always a good idea to have your transcript evaluated in your junior year. By doing that, you have time to make adjustments, such as Advanced Placement (AP) or honors courses in life sciences or mathematics.
In most cases, universities look for incoming students with a cumulative 3.00 GPA, although some universities provide “provisional admission” for applicants with at least 24 college credits.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Our mission since our founding in 1922: Educate and develop leaders in health promotion.
CUKC offers an Associate of Arts in Biological Sciences that students can apply towards earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology. CUKC offers these courses in eight-week intervals on campus and online.
Many CUKC human biology program graduates apply to medical, dental, or chiropractic programs. Some students at CUKC concurrently major in human biology (B.S. degree) on the way to their Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.). This option works well for focused students who want to maximize the overall value of their education by earning two degrees at once.