Departments & Programs

Human Biology

Major in Human Biology—B.S.

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 course work 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.

Core course work 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 Human Biology program is designed around a core sequence of two interdisciplinary 4-credit courses and a 3 credit senior capstone course. In addition to these, students take required courses in a variety of disciplines to gain expertise in the diverse aspects of human biology, and courses in a single area of concentration, that allow for more in-depth study in their area of interest. Each area of concentration includes courses from both the life science perspective and the historical, social, arts, and humanities perspectives.

Required Courses

Students must complete the following Foundations, Intensive Writing, Foreign Language, Breadth of Inquiry, Critical Approaches, Public Oral Communication, and Culture Studies 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: one course.
  8. Public Oral Communication: one course.
  9. Culture Studies: one course from CASE GCC.

Major Requirements

1. Human Biology core courses (all required):

  • HUBI-B 200 The Intricate Human
  • HUBI-B 300 Human Dilemmas
  • HUBI-B 400 Complex Problems of Humanity

2. Additional core course work:

  • PHSL-P 215 Basic Human Physiology, or BIOL-P 451 Integrative Human Physiology
  • ANAT-A 215 Basic Human Anatomy, or ANAT-A 480 Anatomy for Imaging
  • ANTH-B 200 Introduction to Bioanthropology
  • HPSC-X 200 Scientific Reasoning or HPSC-X 102 Revolutions in Science: Plato to NATO
  • PSY-P 101 Introductory Psychology, or PSY-P 155 Introduction to Psychological and Brain Sciences, or BIOL-L 350 Environmental Biology, or BIOL-L 222 The City as Ecosystem 

3. One course in Statistics chosen from STAT-S 300 or S303, PSY-K 300 or K310, CJUS-K 300, ECON-E 370 or ECON-S 370, ANTH-A 306, SOC-S 371, POLS-Y 395, LAMP-L 316, SPEA-K 300.

4.  BIOL-L 112, CHEM-C 117 and CHEM-C 127, and BIOL-L 211 (all required)

5. Two of the following courses: PSY-P 346 Neuroscience, BIOL-L 311 Genetics, ANTH-B 370 Human Variation, or HPER-N 231 Human Nutrition

6. One ethics course chosen from BIOL-T 312 Societal Issues in Biotechnology, PHIL-P 140 Introduction to Ethics, PHIL-P 242 Applied Ethics, PHIL-P 340 Classics in Ethics, PHIL-P 393 Biomedical Ethics, POLS-Y 379 Ethics and Public Policy, REL-R 170 Religion, Ethics, and Public Life, REL-D 340 Religion and Bioethics, REL-D 350 Religion, Ethics, and he Environment, REL-D 430 Problems in Social Ethics, or ENG-L 240 Literature and Public Life.

7. Area of Concentration Courses: 12 additional credit hours in one area of concentration; at least 9 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-A 215 or A480 and PHSL-P 215) from the Medical Sciences minor toward the B.S. in Human Biology.

9. Courses taken to fulfill core course work within the major cannot be double-counted for the Area of Concentration 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-L 301 Information Literacy in Biology).

Students are encouraged to study abroad to gain a global perspective on the human condition. To take advantage of the many opportunities for overseas study, students should contact the Office of Overseas Study, 855-9304. Students should plan their study abroad experience carefully to accommodate HUBI core course scheduling.