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

  • Demonstrate a robust understanding of human anatomy and human physiology.
    • Students will demonstrate a diverse understanding of human anatomy and human physiology by:
      • Discerning anatomical features/structures
      • Differentiating function and dysfunction of various body systems
      • Recognizing the interrelatedness of body systems
      • Applying this knowledge to real-world scenarios
  • Demonstrate practical skills for research, health, and the healthcare industry.
    • Students will be able to demonstrate practical skills by:
      • Developing a variety of diagnostic and research techniques
      • Making informed decisions based on individual evaluations
      • Understanding “best practices” of patient care in real-world, clinical settings
  • Exhibit social and cultural awareness.
    • Students will demonstrate cultural and social acumen via:
      • Developing effective interpersonal communication skills
      • Displaying the ability to collaborate and contribute to a team
      • Identifying instances of exclusion and marginalization in health, research, and medicine

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.


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.


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


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


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)


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 Toolbox
  • 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

Human Physiology Elective Courses
  • SAR HS 331/534 Physiology of Sex and Human Reproduction (Spring)
  • SAR HS 541 Physiology Across the Lifespan (Fall)
  • SAR HS 550 Neural Systems (Spring)
  • SAR HS 572 Pulmonary Pathophysiology (Spring)
  • SAR HS 575 Cardiovascular Pathophysiology (Fall)
  • SAR HS 582 Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology (Spring)
  • SAR HS 592 Muscle Physiology (Spring)
  • 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)
A Selection of Elective Courses Outside of Human Physiology
Medicine & Health
  • CAS BI 576 Carcinogenesis
  • GMS PA 510 Medical Immunology
  • GMS PA 600 Introduction to Pathology and Pathophysiology of Disease
  • GMS PM 730 Introduction to Medical Pharmacology
  • SAR HP 532 Clinical Medicine
  • SAR PT 520 Functional Anatomy
  • SAR PT 634 Diagnostic Procedures for Rehabilitation Professionals
  • SPH EH 710 Physiological Mechanisms of Health and Disease
  • SPH GH Foundations in Global Health
  • SPH MC 725 Women, Children, and Adolescents: A Public Health Approach
  • SPH PH 510 Essentials of Public Health
  • SPH PH 717 Quantitative Methods for Public Health
  • SPH PH 720 Individual, Community, and Population Health
  • SPH PM 702 Introduction to Health Policy, Delivery, and Management
Life Sciences Industry
  • GMS CI 675 Designing Clinical Research Studies
  • SPH BS 722 Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials
  • SPH PH 740 Pharmaceuticals in Public Health: Intro Course
  • SPH PM 833 Health Economics
  • CAS BI 525 Biology of Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • CAS BI 545 Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior
  • CAS CN 500 Computational Methods in Cognitive and Neural Systems
  • GMS AN 702 Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
  • GMS AN 707 Neurobiology of Aging
  • GMS AN 709 Neural Development and Plasticity
  • GMS AN 716 Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
  • GMS AN 718 Methods in Neuroscience
  • GMS AN 777 Fundamentals of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • GMS AN 811 Cognitive Neuroscience
  • GRS BI 655 Developmental Neurobiology
  • GRS BI 755 Cellular and Systems Neuroscience
  • GRS BI 756 Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience
  • SAR HS 550 Neural Systems
Exercise, Nutrition & Human Performance
  • SAR HP 565 Biomechanics of Human Movement
  • SAR HP 771 Foundations of Motor Control
  • SAR HP 782 Advanced Human Movement
  • SAR HS 540 Nutrition for Sport and Performance
  • SAR HS 551 Human Nutrition Sciences
  • SAR HS 776 Nutrition Epidemiology
  • CAS BI 556 Membrane Biochemistry and Cell Signaling
  • CAS BI 560 Systems Biology
  • GRS CH 621 Biochemistry I
  • GRS CH 622 Biochemistry II

*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.