HUMBI-BA - Human Biology (BA)
The undergraduate program in Human Biology aims to provide students with an interdisciplinary approach to understanding human beings from biological, behavioral, social, and cultural perspectives. Core courses train students to approach significant problems from a range of perspectives. As they progress through the major, each student pursues an individualized course of study that draws upon disciplines across the university and promotes a nuanced understanding of a substantive area. The program prepares majors to pursue advanced training in professional or graduate programs and to address issues that influence human welfare.
The BA degree is designed for students pursuing a traditional liberal arts degree with coursework predominately in the social and behavioral sciences. The degree suits various career trajectories, including attending graduate or professional school, such as medical school. Students who plan to pursue graduate work should familiarize themselves with the admission requirements of the schools to which they intend to apply. 81 credit units are required for graduation, so early planning is advisable to guarantee the completion of a Human Biology major.
BA. Degree Option Requirement
For the BA degree, coursework must be predominantly in the social sciences and humanities, with a minority in the natural sciences. Courses designated as Ways for aesthetic and interpretive inquiry, creative expression, exploring difference & power, ethical reasoning, and social inquiry qualify as BA-eligible courses. Other eligible courses have been designated as BA by the program.
The section describing Breadth, Depth & Upper Division degree requirements provides more details about meeting these requirements.
Area of Concentration
After the Human Biology Core, majors design their individualized course of study with a unique Area of Concentration topic. The Area of Concentration title should communicate the focus of the student’s Human Biology coursework. Students should select courses for their Breadth and Depth requirements that build expertise in their chosen Area of Concentration topic. The student selects courses for these two requirement categories in consultation with the advising staff, who approve the final course selections.
Additional information about the major may be obtained from the program’s offices or at the Program in Human Biology website.
Preparing for the Major
How to Declare
The program allows students to start the declaration process by developing a course of study once they have passed at least two of the six courses in the HumBio Core Sequence with a letter grade. Throughout declaration, a prospective major must consult with the Human Biology advising team to develop a course of study with an individualized Area of Concentration.
Upon approval of their proposed coursework, students write a Cornerstone Essay explaining their chosen Area of Concentration. When the major is declared, the student submits the Cornerstone Essay (3-5 pages), which includes academic and long-term goals and the proposed list of courses satisfying the Breadth and Depth requirements for the major. The student advisors then review the proposal and can help identify an appropriate faculty advisor.
Students may officially declare in Axess once they have received program approval for their Area of Concentration and completed four of the six HumBio Core Sequence courses with a C- or better. (See COVID-19 exceptions for Spring 2020 through Spring 2021). The program recommends that students finish declaring by the time they finish the HumBio Core Sequence. Further details about How to Declare in the Human Biology Program are available here.