Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology

The section of Human and Evolutionary Biology within the Department of Biological Sciences oversees the Human Biology (B.A.) at USC. This degree is designed for students seeking a course of study in human applied physiology and metabolism, performance, and/or human evolution.

Students will complete a general core (20 units) of fundamental coursework in biology, anatomy, evolution, and math. From there, they will select one of three “tracks” (16 units) in the following areas of emphasis: Human Physiology and Metabolism, Human Evolutionary Biology, or Human Performance. An additional 8 units of coursework is required from an extensive list of restricted electives or courses comprising any of the other tracks. Total requirements: 44 units including at least 20 upper-division units.

Human Biology (B.A.) is an excellent option for students pursuing careers in physical therapy, nutrition, pharmacology, sports training, kinesiology, biomechanics, human evolution, primatology, evolutionary biology, etc.


General Core Courses (20 units)

HBIO 200L The Human Animal (Also satisfies GE Cat IV or GE-D) 4
HBIO 301L Human Anatomy 4
BISC 120L General Biology: Organismal Biology and Evolution (GE Cat III or GE-D) 4
BISC 220L General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology (GE-D) 4
MATH 108* Precalculus (GE-F) 4

* Prerequisite is required.


Major Track Module Courses

Choose 16 units from one of the tracks below and 8 additional units from the restricted elective list or other tracks below for a total of 24 units. **No more than 2 courses may be lower division (100- or 200- level)**

Human Physiology and Metabolism (select 16 units)

BISC 307L* General Physiology (BISC 220L) 4
BISC 320L* Molecular Biology (CHEM 105bL or 115bL) 4
BISC 421* Neurobiology (BISC 220L) 4
HBIO 302L* Nutrition and Metabolism (BISC 220L) 4
HBIO 350* Nutrition and Homeostasis (HBIO 302L) 4
HBIO 420L* Applied Human Physiology (BISC 220L) 4
HBIO 407L* Endocrinology and Metabolism (HBIO 302L) 4
HBIO 408L* Biomechanics (MATH 108, PHYS 135AL, HBIO 301L) 4

* Prerequisite is required - parentheses denote mandatory prerequisites


Human Evolutionary Biology (select 16 units)

HBIO 300 Evolution, Ecology, and Culture 4
HBIO 306 Primate Social Behavior and Ecology 4
HBIO 308 Origins and Evolution of Human Behavior 4
HBIO 406* Theory and Method in Biological Anthropology (HBIO 200L) 4
BISC 313* Evolution and Population Genetics (BISC 220L) 4
BISC 371L* Molecular Approaches to Diversity of Life (BISC 220L) 4
GERO 440* Biodemography of Aging (BISC 120L) 4
PSYC 401* Evolutionary Psychobiology 4

* Prerequisite is required - parentheses denote mandatory prerequisites


Human Performance (select 16 units)

HBIO 202L Principles of Nutrition and Exercise 2
HBIO 203L Individualized Exercise Prescription 2
HBIO 250g The Pharmacology of Performance Enhancing Drugs (GE-D) 4
HBIO 320L* Muscle Physiology (BISC 220L) 4
HBIO 310 Sociopsychological Aspects of Sport and Physical Activity 4
HBIO 400L* Motor Control and Learning (HBIO 320) 4
HBIO 401L* Physiology and Biomechanics of Movement (BISC 220L) 4
HBIO 441L* Prevention of Athletic Injuries (HBIO 301) 4

* Prerequisite is required - parentheses denote mandatory prerequisites


Restricted Electives (select 8 units)

HBIO 405 Evolutionary Medicine 4
HBIO 409 Metabolic Diseases 4
HBIO 439L* Human Performance and Bioenergetics 4
HBIO 442L* Advanced Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries 4
BISC 305* Intro to Statistics for Biologists 4
BISC 307L* General Physiology 4
BISC 325* Genetics 4
BISC 371L* Molecular Approaches to the Diversity of Life 4
BISC 403* Advanced Molecular Biology 4
BISC 405L* General Embryology 4
BISC 410* Applications of Molecular Biology to Medicine 4
BISC 423* Epilepsy to Ecstasy: Biological Basis Neurological Disorders 4
BISC 424* Brain Architecture 4
BISC 426* Principles of Neural Development 4
BISC 435* Advanced Biochemistry 4
BISC 450L* Principles of Immunology 4
BISC 480 Developmental Biology 4
BISC 490x Directed Research 4
CHEM 322abL* or 
CHEM 325abL*
Organic Chemistry, or
Organic Chemistry
CHEM 432* Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences 4
GERO 310* Physiology of Aging 4
GERO 411L Physiology, Nutrition, and Aging 2-4
GERO 414* Neurobiology of Aging 4
MATH 125* Calculus I 4
MATH 126* Calculus II 4
PSYC 274 Statistics I 4
PSYC 320* Principles of Psychobiology 4
PSYC 326* Behavioral Neuroscience 4
PSYC 360 Abnormal Psychology 4
PSYC 425* Functional Imaging of the Human Brain 4

* Prerequisite is required.

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