Undergraduate Student Advisement FAQs

Is it mandatory that I meet with an advisor every semester?
What is the difference between the BA and BS in Human Biology?
Can I earn a second bachelors degree or minor while studying Human Biology?
What kind of career can I have with a degree in Human Biology?
I am currently attending a community college. What courses should I complete before transferring to USC in Human Biology?
Can I take summer school to fulfill major requirements?
Will I have time to join campus organizations or work a part-time job while studying Human Biology?
Will I be able to study abroad?
How do I join the Human Biology club?
Can I get major credit for off-campus internships?
What types of research opportunities are available through the department?

 

Is it mandatory that I meet with an advisor every semester?

Yes. It is important that you make an individual appointment each semester. During your advisement appointment, Laura Ames or Courtney Byrd, Student Services Advisors, will discuss your current course load, evaluate remaining requirements, look at potential summer school options, and help you choose new classes for the upcoming semester. 

What is the difference between the B.S. & B.A. in Human Biology?

The B.S. in Human Biology is a pre-professional degree that prepares students for a career in several health-related arenas (i.e. physical therapy, medicine, nursing, nutrition, pharmacy, etc.). A main focus (specific track) of this degree will be explored in great depth, such as Applied Physiology, Biomedical Sciences, Nutrition and Metabolism, or Human Evolutionary Biology.

The B.A. in Human Biology is a degree for students who do not wish to pursue a careers on medicine or similar professional field. Some career examples might be coaching, teaching, research, etc. A specific focus (track) of this degree will be explored in depth, such as Human Physiology and Metabolism, Human Evolutionary Biology, or Human Performance.

Can I earn a second bachelors degree or minor while studying Human Biology?

Absolutely! We have a number of students who pursue another major or minor while completing the degree in Human Biology. It is important that you notify your advisor as soon as you select your additional academic interest. Early academic planning will give you more flexibility and the ability to graduate in a timely manner.

What kind of career can I have with a degree in Human Biology?

Potential careers with a degree in Human Biology are endless, but might include: physical therapy, medicine, occupational therapy, physician assistant, nutrition/dietetics, nursing, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, athletic trainer, exercise physiologist, personal trainer, biomechanist, primate research and/or care, forensics, paleoanthropology, and disease research.

I am currently attending a community college. What courses should I complete before transferring to USC for Human Biology?

Transfer students must follow USC’s transfer application process.

For those wishing to pursue Human Biology, courses in biology, chemistry, and math are good courses to complete before entering USC. Please contact Laura Ames or Courtney Byrd, Student Services Advisors, to ensure appropriate selection of transfer course work.

Can I take summer school to fulfill major requirements?

Yes. Students are allowed to complete lower-division major requirements and required electives during summer session. Required core courses must be taken in residence. Please make sure your summer classes will be accepted before completing the course: USC's transfer credit policies 

Will I have time to join campus organizations or work part-time while studying Human Biology?

Yes. A large percentage of our majors are involved in many diverse extra-curricular activities on campus. Our students participate in athletics, band, athletic training, intramural sports, Greek life, campus organizations, community service, and part-time employment.

Will I be able to study abroad?

Yes. We encourage our students to study abroad during their undergraduate career. Human Biology currently accepts course work from the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia, in The School of Human Movement Studies & Biomedical Sciences. Another study abroad option is at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, in The School of Physical Education. Students will participate in courses such as exercise metabolism, advanced exercise physiology, and motor control.

How do I join the USC Human Biology Club?

Connect Health Education and Fitness (CHEF) is an on-campus student organization for students who have a major or minor in Human Biology. The club is structured to promote the field outside of the classroom: to form a social network with peers who share the same or similar career interests; and to form professional relationships between current students and future employers of Human Biology graduates.

Each year, CHEF elects new officers to run and organize club functions. Please contact Laura Ames, and she will forward your inquiry to the current club staff.

Can I get major credit for off-campus internships?

Unfortunately, we do not offer major credit for off-campus internships. However, we continually encourage our students to pursue part-time jobs or volunteer opportunities that will enhance their overall experience in a professional environment. Work experience is valuable when applying to graduate programs and full-time employment.

What types of research opportunities are available through the department?

Research opportunities are available in our department for unit credit, as well as volunteer options. Drs. Casey Donovan, Jill McNitt-Gray, Lorraine Turcotte, Stephanie Bogart, Scott Kanoski, and Craig Stanford offer research opportunities in their funded laboratories.
If you are interested in research for unit credit or a volunteer experience, please contact them directly.

  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • University of Southern California
  • Allan Hancock Foundation Building
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371