Program in Human Biology


Professors Emeritus/a
Helen T. Ghiradella, Ph.D
University of California, Santa Barbara
Timothy B. Gage, Ph.D.
Pennsylvania State University

Lawrence M. Schell, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

Associate Professors
Adam D. Gordon, Ph.D.
University of Texas at Austin
Julia Jennings, Ph.D.
Pennsylvania State University
John Polk, Ph.D. (Program Director)
Stony Brook University

Assistant Professor
John Rowan, Ph.D.
Arizona State University

Clinical Assistant Professor
Amanda N. Spriggs, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Lecturer and Lab Director
Mercedes Fabian, Ph.D.
University at Buffalo

The Human Biology program is a combined major/minor designed for students interested in a liberal arts education with particular focus on the human organism. It provides a strong background in human evolution, structure, function and behavior. This program is especially suitable for those seeking careers that deal directly or indirectly with human health and welfare (e.g., medicine, allied health [physician assistant, occupational therapy, physical therapy, nursing, etc.], public health), forensics, administration, business, journalism, and teaching.

Students interested in research and/or teaching careers in biological anthropology are especially encouraged to major in Human Biology. Most graduate programs in Anthropology require undergraduate coursework in at least three of the four traditional subfields of anthropology (archaeology, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology), and some also require linguistics as the fourth subfield. It is advisable, therefore, for those intending to do graduate work in an anthropology department to take at least one course in each of these subfields. Students who plan on graduate work and professional careers in Biology are advised to major in Biological Sciences.

Degree Requirements for the Major in Human Biology

General Program B.S.: Combined major and minor sequence consisting of a minimum of 55 credits to be taken from:

(a) Required courses (42 credits minimum):
Basic Sciences:
A BIO 120 or 131; A BIO 201; A BIO 121 or 130; A BIO 202Z; A BIO 205 or 212Y;
A CHM 120 or 130 or T CHM 130, 121 or 131 or T CHM 131, 124, 125;
A MAT 108 or A PSY 210 or A SOC 221 or one semester of college mathematics exclusive of A MAT 100, 102, 104, or 105;
A PHY 105.

Fundamentals of Human Biology:
A ANT 110, 211, 316, 318, and one of A ANT 312 (= A BIO 318) or 319 or 416.

(b) Major electives (13 credits minimum):
A ANT 111, 119, 304, 309, 311, 312 (= A BIO 318) if not used in (a) above, 319 if not used in (a) above, 364, 416 if not used in (a) above, 314, 317, 365, 414, 416, 418, 419, 450;
A BIO 117, 205 or 212Y if not used in (a) above, 217, 308, 311, 314, 329, 330, 320 or 401, 402, 410, 411;
A CHM 220, 221, 222, 223;
A PSY 203, 314, 329, 340, 385, 387;
A SOC 359, 370
H SPH 201, 231, 341       

A maximum of 3 credits may be selected from R SSW 290/390, A BIO 399/499 and/or A ANT 498/498, with prior approval for appropriate activities from the Director(s) of the Human Biology major. The one-credit writing intensive courses, A ANT 389Z and A BIO 389Z, taken in conjunction with a required or elective course in the major, may also yield credit toward the major.