Departments & Programs

Human Biology

Major in Human Biology—B.A.


The human biology B.A. provides students with a holistic understanding of our species with a focus on our biology, including consideration of how that biology is altered by our evolutionary history and a contemporary environment that includes natural, social, and technological components. Students explore these diverse aspects of humanity while gaining a solid knowledge of our biological foundations. The focus of the B.A. is at the organismal level, with attention to lower levels as needed, and B.A. students are encouraged to investigate human biology with a broad interdisciplinary lens. Students can focus their course work in an area of concentration most suited to their interests. The B.A. degree allows for breadth and flexibility in the curriculum and the possibility for pursuing a double major. Students can also fulfill the requirements necessary for a variety of post-baccalaureate health sciences and graduate school programs.

Required Courses

In addition to the requirements for the B.A. degree in the College of Arts and Sciences, students must complete 38–40 credit hours from the following:

1. Human Biology core courses (all required):

  • B200 The Intricate Human
  • B300 Human Dilemmas
  • B400 Complex Problems of Humanity
2. Additional core course work:
  • One course from PHSL P215 Basic Human Physiology, ANAT A215 Basic Human Anatomy, or ANAT A480 Anatomy for Imaging
  • ANTH B200 Introduction to Bioanthropology
  • HPSC X200 Scientific Reasoning or HPSC X102 Revolutions in Science: Plato to NATO 
  • PSY P101 Introductory Psychology, or PSY P155 Introduction to Psychological and Brain Sciences, or BIOL L350 Environmental Biology, or BIOL L222 The City as Ecosystem 

3. One course in Statistics from STAT S300 or K310, PSY K300 or K310, CJUS K300, ECON E370 or S370, ANTH A306, SOC S371, POLS Y395, LAMP L316, SPEA K300.

4. Area of Concentration Courses: 12 additional credit hours in one area of concentration; at least 6 credit hours must be at the 300 level or above. Within the area of concentration, courses must be selected according to the following criteria:

  • At least two courses must be selected from the Life Science Perspectives list, one of which must be a 300–400 level laboratory (or lecture/lab) course. Up to 3 credit hours of life sciences research (HUBI B490 Undergraduate Research in Human Biology, BIOL L490 Individual Study, CHEM C409 Chemical Research, or PHYS S406 Research Project) may count toward this requirement.  
  • At least two courses must be selected from the Historical, Social, Arts, and Humanities Perspectives list.

5. Students who are pursuing the B.A. in Human Biology and the Minor in Medical Sciences can count up to 10 credit hours (usually ANAT A215 or A480 and PHSL P215) from the Medical Sciences minor toward the B.A. in Human Biology.

6. Core courses that also appear on the Areas of Concentrations lists may not be double-counted for credit within the major.


Human Biology Program students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities available at IU Bloomington to complement their area of concentration by seeking internships, working in research laboratories, attending seminars, or becoming human biology peer instructors. Students are encouraged to take a course in information literacy (e.g., BIOL L301 Information Literacy in Biology).