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Undergraduate Studies

“The physiology of today is the medicine of tomorrow.” Ernest H. Starling, Physiologist (1926)

Human physiology is the science of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical function of humans, and serves as the foundation of modern medicine. As a discipline, it connects science, medicine, and health, and creates a framework for understanding how the human body adapts to stresses, physical activity, and disease. Human physiology is closely related to anatomy, in that anatomy is the study of form, physiology is the study of function, and there is an intrinsic link between form and function. The study of human physiology integrates knowledge across many levels, including biochemistry, cell physiology, organ systems, and the body as a whole. Contemporary research in human physiology explores new ways to maintain or improve the quality of life, development of new medical therapies and interventions, and charting the unanswered questions about how the human body works.

At the undergraduate level, the majority of our students aspire to be professionals in health-science fields such as medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, education, and research. We provide a rigorous but flexible undergraduate curriculum and an engaging learning environment to help our students reach their goals. We believe that the value of a degree in human physiology is that it prepares students to be critical thinkers who can come to independent rational conclusions regarding their own personal health and who can use the guiding principles of scientific thinking and inquiry as a model for understanding the world around them. We think our students graduate with the best education available in the field of human physiology, and that they are well prepared for future learning opportunities. The department offers a program leading to either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.


The human physiology program provides the scientific foundation necessary for professional studies in medicine, physical therapy, and other health-science fields. In addition, graduate work in the field of human physiology provides opportunities to conduct cutting-edge research, teach the next generation of scientists and medical professionals, and share the excitement of science with the general public.


You can start with the Student Guide to the Human Physiology Curriculum, which includes extensive details about your major and where your major can take you. If you have questions about undergraduate studies in human physiology, check out the Student Guide.