BS/MS in Human Physiology

The BS/MS in Human Physiology is an early-admission, accelerated program that prepares students for careers in clinical, 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

Applicants should refer to the program website for the most up-to-date admission requirements and application deadlines.

Learning Outcomes

BS:

  • 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.
  • Apply principles and generalizations learned via coursework to novel problems and situations in clinical and/or research environments.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively.
  • Demonstrate skilled use of the materials, tools, and/or technology of the biomedical field.
  • Show initiative and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Employ professional behavior in clinical and/or research settings.

MS:

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

All BU undergraduate students, including both entering first-year and transfer students, will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied in a number of ways, including coursework in and beyond the major as well as through cocurricular 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 ordinarily be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major, or, in some cases, cocurricular 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

First-Year Students

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 First-Year Experience Seminar

Second Semester

  • CAS BI 108 Biology II
  • CAS CH 102 General Chemistry II
  • CAS WR 151, 152, or 153 Writing, Research and Inquiry
  • SAR HP 151 Introduction to Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
  • PDP Activity (optional); may be taken as 0.5 cr, 1 cr, or 2 cr

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 204 or 214 Organic Chemistry*
  • CAS BI 315 Systems Physiology
  • CAS MA 122 Calculus or MA 115
  • BU Hub elective**

*For students planning to apply to medical school, the department recommends taking CAS CH 421 Biochemistry, but CAS CH 373 is acceptable. CAS CH 214 is the recommended 2nd-semester organic chemistry course for those planning to take CAS CH 421 Biochemistry with lab. CAS CH 422 Biochemistry II may be taken as a general elective. Students planning to take CAS CH 421 Biochemistry should take CAS CH 214 Organic Chemistry instead of CAS CH 204. For students planning to apply to the BS/MS in HP, the department recommends taking CAS CH 421 Biochemistry and not CAS CH 373.

**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 (can be taken fall or spring)
  • SAR HS 369 Gross Human Anatomy
  • SAR HS 375 Cardiovascular Pathophysiology or SAR HS 371 Pulmonary Pathophysiology*
  • SAR HS 791 Directed Study and Research

*If both SAR HS 371 and SAR HS 375 are taken, one course counts as a pathophysiology requirement and the other course counts as a human physiology BU Hub elective.

Second Semester

  • SAR HS 370 Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology or SAR HS 371 Pulmonary Pathophysiology
  • SPH BS 704 Introduction to Biostatistics
  • BU Hub requirement or general elective
  • SAR HS 791 Directed Study and Research

Complete BS in Human Physiology

Begin MS in Human Physiology

MS Program

First Semester

  • SAR HS 750 The Physiologist’s Tookbox
  • CAS BI 552 Molecular Biology 1
  • Elective*
  • SAR HS 791 Directed Study and Research

Second Semester

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

Complete MS in Human Physiology

Electives to be chosen from the following list (in consultation with your advisor):

  • SAR HS 331 Physiology of Sex and Human Reproduction (Spring) undergraduate level
  • SAR HS 534 Physiology of Sex and Human Reproduction (Spring) graduate level
  • SAR HS 341 Physiology Across the Lifespan (Fall) undergraduate level
  • SAR HS 541 Physiology Across the Lifespan (Fall) graduate level
  • SAR HS 362 Muscle Physiology (Spring) undergraduate level
  • SAR HS 592 Muscle Physiology (Spring) graduate level
  • SAR HS 370 Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology (Spring) undergraduate level
  • SAR HS 582 Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology (Spring) graduate level
  • SAR HS 371 Pulmonary Pathophysiology (Spring) undergraduate level
  • SAR HS 572 Pulmonary Pathophysiology (Spring) graduate level
  • SAR HS 375 Cardiovascular Pathophysiology (Fall) undergraduate level
  • SAR HS 575 Cardiovascular Pathophysiology (Fall) graduate level
  • SAR HS 550 Neural Systems (Spring) graduate level
  • SAR HS 710 Graduate Field Experience: Human Physiology (Fall or Spring)
  • SAR HS 745 Advanced Regional Anatomy (Fall or Spring)
  • SAR HS 755 Readings in Neuroscience (Spring)
  • CAS BI 520 Sensory Neurobiology (Fall)
  • CAS BI 576 Carcinogenesis (Spring)
  • GRS BI 645 Cellular and Molecular Neurophysiology (Fall)
  • GRS BI 681 Molecular Biology of the Neuron (Spring)
  • GRS BI 735 Advanced Cell Biology (Fall)
  • GRS BI 755 Cellular and Systems Neuroscience (Fall)

*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, GMS, or SPH.