BIO 346 Human Biology (K. Kalthoff)

About the BS Degree in Biology, Option II: Human Biology

When the undergraduate curriculum in the Biological Sciences at UT Austin was reorganized in 1999, several new options for the BS degree in Biology were created, including Option II: Human Biology (HB). This option emphasizes the human as an object of biological study whenever appropriate. It also explores some of the societal aspects of some biological topics such as the human genome project or the carrying capacity of Earth. Most importantly, the HB plan gives students many choices to tailor their course work to their interests. This should greatly facilitate the learning process, but it also means students need to plan their curriculum carefully working with their advisors. The HB plan is designed for students planning to enter professional programs in administration, law, or medicine. It may also be suited for those who have not finalized their career plans yet and who, for the time being, are just seeking an education in biology and associated fields.

The HB plan shares with other B.S. Biology options the Area A, B, C, and D requirements as well as the introductory biology courses including BIO 325. The gateway course to the HB option is BIO 346 Human Biology, exploring hominin evolution, human genomics, human behavior, and the human impact on the environment. Students also take 18 hours of core courses, comprising 6 hours in cellular and molecular biology as well as 3 hours each in anatomy, physiology, behavior/psychology, and evolution/ecology. Lists of courses satisfying these core requirements are available in the Undergraduate Course Catalog and online at

A hallmark of the HB plan is that students complete 15 hours of coursework in one area of concentration, chosen from the following list.

Lists of courses for each of these concentration areas are available in the Undergraduate Course Catalog, at the Biological Science Advising Center in NHB 2.606, or online at Students may also petition non-listed courses in consultation with their academic advisor, or with the faculty advisor for the Human Biology option, Dr. James Bull <>. It is important to realize that, for various reasons, certain concentration courses may not always be available. Students should therefore begin planing for these courses during their junior year.

Finally, students may take a seminar course, BIO 137C Topic 1-Human Biology, in which they discuss with their instructor one or more topics of current interest.

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Last modified: 9 December 2013