Departments & Programs

Human Biology

Major in Human Biology—B.S.

The human biology B.S. 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. Core coursework extends the investigation of human biology to the sub-cellular and molecular level and places the details of human biology within the larger context of biological and biochemical mechanisms common to all life forms. The B.S. degree in Human Biology is designed to provide students with a strong scientific knowledge base in human biology, interdisciplinary perspectives on the human condition, and an opportunity to focus their coursework in an area of concentration most suited to their interests. Many human biology B.S. degree students are preparing for graduate education or professional school in the health sciences, business, or law. Students can also prepare for careers in the life science industries.

Required Courses

Students must complete the following Foundations, Intensive Writing, Foreign Language, and Breadth of Inquiry requirements:

  1. Writing: same as the general requirements for the B.A. degree (Intensive Writing, English Composition).
  2. Foreign language: three semesters in the same language, or equivalent proficiency.
  3. Mathematics: one of MATH-M 118, M119, or M211.
  4. Arts and humanities: two courses.
  5. Social and historical studies: two courses.
  6. Natural and mathematical sciences: fulfilled by major.
  7. Critical Approaches to the Arts and Sciences: one course.
  8. Culture Studies: one course from CASE GCC.

Major Requirements

1. Human Biology core courses (all required):

  • B200 The Intricate Human
  • B300 Human Dilemmas
  • B400 Complex Problems of Humanity

2. Additional core course work:

  • PHSL P215 Basic Human Physiology, or BIOL P451 Integrative 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 chosen 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.  BIOL L112, CHEM C117, and BIOL L211 (all required)

5. Two of the following courses: PSY P346 Neuroscience, BIOL L311 Genetics, ANTH B370 Human Variation, or HPER N231 Human Nutrition

6. One ethics course chosen from BIOL T312 Societal Issues in Biotechnology, PHIL P140 Introduction to Ethics, PHIL P242 Applied Ethics, PHIL P393 Biomedical Ethics, POLS Y379 Ethics and Public Policy, REL D340 Religion and Bioethics, or ENG L240 Literature and Public Life.

7. 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:

  • One course from the Life Sciences Perspective (List A)
  • One Lecture/Laboratory course (List B)
  • At least two courses must be selected from the Historical, Social, Arts, and Humanities Perspectives (List C)

8. Students who are pursuing the B.S. degree 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.S. in Human Biology.

9. Courses taken to fulfill major requirements cannot be double-counted for the Area of Concentraion requirement.


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).