Return to: College of Arts & Sciences: Departments/Programs
General Prerequisite Classes
Students entering the Human Biology Distinguished Major Program should have completed the following courses:
Majors are required to complete two semesters of introductory biology (BIOL 2100 & 2200) or have received AP credit for BIOL 2100 & 2200 (i.e., a score of 5 on the AP Biology examination or at least a 6 on upper-level examinations in the International Baccalaureate Program).
Majors are required to complete two semesters of introductory chemistry with lab. The chemistry requirement may be satisfied by completing CHEM 1410, 1420, 1411, and 1421, or CHEM 1810, 1820, 1811, and 1821, or CHEM 1610, 1620, 1611, and 1621. Students with AP chemistry credit for 1410 and 1420 must still complete the laboratory courses (1411 plus 1421 or 1811 plus 1821 or 1611 plus 1621, or two higher level lab courses). Students planning a career in the biological sciences are also strongly advised to take two semesters of organic chemistry with lab.
Majors are required to complete one course in calculus or statistics. A number of courses are acceptable to meet this requirement including but not limited to: MATH 1210 Applied Calculus I, MATH 1310 Calculus I, STAT 1100 Chance: An Introduction to Statistics, STAT 2020 Statistics for Biologists, STAT 2120 Introduction to Statistical Analysis, SOC 3130 Introduction to Social Statistics, PSYC 3005 Research Methods and Data Analysis I, EVSC 5030 Applied Statistics for Environmental Scientists.
Students anticipating a career in the medical profession or biological sciences are strongly advised to take two semesters of physics with lab (PHYS 2010, 2020, 2030, and 2040).
Advanced Placement (AP) credit can be applied to fulfill one or more of these prerequisites.
Requirements for the Major
The Distinguished Majors Program in Human Biology requires completion of coursework in six areas totaling a minimum of 42 credit hours applied to the major. The coursework and credits are distributed as follows:
|1. Core Courses
|2. Science Electives
|3. Third year PHS Courses
|4. Thesis Research in Human Biology
|5. Fourth year Capstone Seminar Series
|6. Humanities Electives
All majors are required to complete the following core courses:
Students are strongly encouraged to complete RELG 2650 and PHS 3050 by the end of their second year. It is also desirable to have all core classes completed by the end of the third year.
Required Science Elective Credits (two courses)
In addition to the cores classes listed above, all majors are required to complete two additional upper level courses in advanced science. At least one course must be from Biology (BIOL) and be at the 3000-level or higher. Students are encouraged to take at least one laboratory based course in BIOL at the 3000-level or higher.
Students interested in professional school (e.g., medical, dental, physician assistant, etc) should consider taking BIOL 3030 (Biochemistry) to fulfill part of this requirement.
Courses in Biology designated as Independent Research in the Life Sciences (BIOL 4910), Independent Research in Biology (BIOL 4920), Independent Readings in Biology (BIOL 4900), and Independent Research in Human Biology (HBIO 4950-4960) cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.
Public Health Sciences courses used to meet elective credit must be at the 5000-level or higher, must be non-policy based, and must be approved by the Program Director.
Courses being applied for Science Elective Credit taken outside of Biology (e.g., CHEM, ENVS, etc) may not be counted for elective credit without prior approval from the Program Director; courses being applied for Science Elective Credit in departments outside of the college (e.g., courses taught through the Curry School) similarly require approval by the Program Director.
Science electives should be chosen based on the student’s interests and relevance to their proposed career path. Students are strongly advised to take science elective courses that deal as directly with their thesis research topics as possible. If students have questions about the relevance or applicability of courses they should consult with the Program Director and their thesis advisor.
Required Third Year Coursework in Public Health Sciences
Human Biology majors are required to complete PHS 3130 and PHS 4050 during their third year, or an approved (designated) alternative set of classes being offered in their place. PHS 3130 and PHS 4050 are generally offered in alternating fall and spring semesters, respectively, so students need to plan their schedule accordingly. For appropriate timing consult with the Program Director.
Fourth Year Capstone Seminar Series and Thesis Research (two semesters each)
All Fourth Year Human Biology majors are required to be enrolled in and successfully complete both fall and spring semesters of the Capstone Seminar in Human Biology (HBIO 4810 and HBIO 4820, respectively) and two semesters of thesis research under faculty supervision (HBIO 4998 and HBIO 4999, respectively). All semesters of HBIO 4810, HBIO 4820, HBIO 4998 and HBIO 4999 are graded credit.
Required Humanities Elective Credits (three courses)
Majors are required to complete three 3000-level or higher courses from the humanities and social sciences. Courses used to fulfill this requirement are relevant to bioethics, healthcare economics, etc. A wide variety of courses are available that could potentially fulfill this area, but those dealing directly with bioethics, health and global health policy and economics, and social impacts of health, are preferred.
When in doubt about the applicability of a particular course fulfilling this requirement it is best to seek approval from the Program Director in order to assure that the credits will count toward the major.
A number of 3000 to 5000-level Public Health Sciences course can also be used to fulfill this requirement.
Examples of courses that could be taken include, but are not limited to the following:
PHIL 3790 - Research Ethics , RELG 3860 - Human Bodies and Parts as Properties , ECON 4160 - Economics of Health , or PHIL 3650 - Justice and Health Care .
Independent Research in Human Biology (optional credits – Third Year only)
Students carrying out independent research related to their thesis in the Third Year can sign up for credit by enrolling in the following classes:
Note: These classes do not replace the fourth year HBIO 4998 and 4999 Thesis research requirements or science elective credits. Second year students who have a strong interest in research and who are planning to enter the Human Biology program are eligible to sign up for HBIO 4950-4960, but must have written approval from the Program Director.
All Human Biology DMP students are required to meet the general requirements for graduation from the College of Arts and Sciences. Students are not exempt from foreign language, humanities, or writing requirements (excepting Echols students). Students must successfully complete the minimum 120 credit hours required to graduate, of which 102 must be taken within the College of Arts and Sciences. Students graduating from the Human Biology DMP will be permitted to count up to 12 credits of PHS classes taken at the 3000 level or higher for the major as credit inside of the college. In all other aspects, students are subject to the same restrictions for taking classes outside of the College as all other students in the College of Arts and Sciences.
GPA Requirement for Distinction
All students must maintain an overall GPA of at least a 3.400, and a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.400 in all courses counted towards the major, throughout the fourth year in order for distinction to be awarded with the degree.
Interested students currently in their fourth semester in the College of Arts and Sciences are invited to apply for admission to the Human Biology major. As this is a distinguished major, the program will admit only 15-20 new students a year and all applicants should have attained a 3.40 or higher cumulative grade point average. Once admitted to the major, students must maintain an overall GPA of at least a 3.400, and a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.400 in all courses counted towards the major, throughout the fourth year in order for distinction to be awarded with the degree.
It is highly recommended, but not mandatory, that prospective applicants complete the prerequisites in biology, chemistry and math prior to application and at least one of the core courses by the end of their second year. Students interested in applying to the major should submit:
- An official copy of the student’s transcript.
- A one page statement describing the student’s purpose and goals in pursuing this major and how it will prepare them for their immediate post-graduate academic or career plans.
- A letter of recommendation from an instructor, faculty advisor, or dean.
All application materials should be submitted by mid-March (deadline is announced annually; check Program website), to the Human Biology Program Coordinator, Department of Biology, 229 Gilmer Hall. Applications will be reviewed by the faculty advisory committee. Students accepted into the major will be notified by prior to spring and registration for the fall semester. This will allow students to declare a major and select courses during the spring semester advising session. The program director holds an informational meeting for prospective majors in early February to answer questions pertaining to the application process and the major.
For more information about the program or for specific questions regarding application and admission to the program, please visit the website www.virginia.edu/humanbiology or contact Dr. Michael P. Timko [telephone: (434) 982-5817; e-mail: email@example.com ].
Note: These courses are open only to Human Biology majors.