BS/MS in Human Physiology

The BS/MS in Human Physiology is an early-admission, accelerated program that prepares students for research careers in medical, pharmaceutical, or biotechnology settings. The program provides a strong foundation for doctoral-level studies in biology, physiology, or neuroscience while also strengthening professional school applications.

As with the BS in Human Physiology, the undergraduate portion of the BS/MS program has premedical courses built into the curriculum and includes a clinical or research internship. In the senior year, however, students begin taking graduate courses and start their thesis research. Working together with a faculty mentor, a graduate plan of study based on research interests and career goals is developed. Learn more about departmental research opportunities by investigating our renowned faculty and our human physiology research labs.

Admission Requirements

Applications are accepted after an interested student has completed two years of undergraduate study, including one year each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, and general biology, with minimum 3.2 GPA. The application deadline is April 1 of the sophomore year with official transcripts submitted by June 1 and decision made by July 1 for acceptance into the program for fall semester of the junior year. Admission is based on academic record, letters of recommendation, an interview, and involvement in college and community activities, as well as evidence of curiosity, responsibility, ethics, and maturity. To remain in the program, students must maintain a 3.00 GPA both cumulatively and in the sciences, with no graduate-level course grade below B–.

Learning Outcomes

BS:

  1. Demonstrate the skills required to pursue advanced degrees in the clinical, biomedical, or basic sciences or to directly enter into employment in the biomedical field.
  2. Apply principles and generalizations learned via coursework to novel problems and situations in clinical and/or research environments.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively.
  4. Demonstrate skilled use of the materials, tools, and/or technology of the biomedical field.
  5. Show initiative and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  6. Employ professional behavior in clinical and/or research settings.

MS:

  1. Foundation in physiology: Students will demonstrate knowledge of theory and existing research in physiology and/or neuroscience.
  2. Analysis & evaluation of research: Students will identify and access appropriate resources, synthesize existing knowledge, and critically analyze and evaluate others’ findings.
  3. Effective communication: All graduates will be able to communicate scientific results in a manner appropriate to the audience.
  4. Professional behavior: Students will demonstrate responsible, professional behavior.
  5. Prepared for a biomedical career: Students will have acquired the knowledge, skills, and experience to successfully enter biomedical/biotech careers or graduate programs.

All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students majoring in Human Physiology will, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in a variety of Learning Capacities such as Intensive Writing and Oral & Digital Communication, along with Intellectual Toolkit units such as Teamwork and Critical Thinking. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major, or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

Requirements

The curriculum is similar to the BS in Human Physiology course of study through the junior year with the exception that students will be required to take the year-long Biochemistry sequence (CAS CH 421/422), which is optional for BS-only students. Students will complete all other requirements for a BS in Human Physiology. Students begin master’s thesis research in their senior year, graduate with a BS degree at the end of their 4th year in the program, and by the end of their 5th year will have completed a master’s thesis and will graduate with an MS degree.

Curriculum

Begin BS in Human Physiology

FRESHMAN YEAR

First Semester

  • CAS BI 107 Biology I
  • CAS CH 101 General Chemistry I
  • CAS WR 120 First-Year Writing Seminar
  • CAS PS 101 General Psychology
  • SAR HP 150 Freshman Experience Seminar

Second Semester

  • CAS BI 108 Biology II
  • CAS CH 102 General Chemistry II
  • CAS WR 150, 151 or 152 Writing, Research and Inquiry
  • SAR HP 151 Introduction to Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
  • PDP Activity

SOPHOMORE YEAR

First Semester

  • CAS CH 203 Organic Chemistry
  • CAS BI 203 Cell Biology
  • CAS MA 121 Calculus
  • BU Hub elective

Second Semester

  • CAS CH 214 Organic Chemistry
  • CAS BI 315 Systems Physiology
  • CAS MA 122 Calculus
  • BU Hub elective*

*For students planning to apply to medical school, the department recommends taking CAS SO 100 Principles in Sociology or CAS SO 215 Sociology of Health Care to prepare for the MCAT exam.

Apply to BS/MS combined program

JUNIOR YEAR

First Semester

  • CAS CH 421 Biochemistry I
  • CAS PY 105 Elementary Physics
  • SAR HS 251 Human Nutrition Science
  • BU Hub elective

Second Semester

  • CAS CH 422 Biochemistry II
  • CAS PY 106 Elementary Physics
  • BU Hub electives (8 cr)

SENIOR YEAR

First Semester

  • SAR HS 342 Exercise Physiology 
  • SAR HS 369 Gross Human Anatomy
  • SPH BS 704 Biostatistics
  • SAR HS 791 Research

Second Semester

  • SAR HS 370 Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology
  • SAR HS 375 Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology
  • BU Hub or general elective
  • SAR HS 791 Research

Complete BS in Human Physiology

Begin MS in Human Physiology

MS Program

First Semester

  • SAR HS 750 Critical Analysis of Physiological Information Sources
  • CAS BI 552 Molecular Biology 1
  • Elective*
  • SAR HS 791 Research

Second Semester

  • CAS BI 553 Molecular Biology II
  • Elective*
  • Elective*
  • SAR HS 791 Research

Complete MS in Human Physiology

*Electives to be chosen, in consultation with your advisor, from a list of graduate courses in the Department of Health Sciences and other University graduate programs, e.g., Biology and GRS, or GMS.