Overview of Bachelor's Degree in Human Physiology
Individuals that pursue studies in human physiology will learn about the human body. Human physiology programs look at the functions of all parts of the body, right down to the molecular level. Students who study human physiology will develop a strong academic foundation in biology and chemistry, as well as human anatomy and physiology. It's common for individuals that are interested in healthcare careers or scientific research to consider an undergraduate degree in human physiology.
Admission Requirements for Human Physiology Programs
In order to study human physiology, schools consider high school transcripts and standardized test scores. The applicant's high school's Regent Admission Index ranking may need to meet a specific score for them to qualify. During high school studies it is necessary to complete courses that provide a foundation for the human physiology degree. These typically include three courses in natural sciences, as well as courses in English, algebra and social studies. Some colleges also consider teacher or guidance counselor assessments and recommendations.
Human Physiology Degree Program Coursework
It's common for human physiology programs to require students to take courses in natural sciences before advancing to more specific studies. Anatomy, physiology and exercise physiology are typically required for degrees in this field. It is also important to learn about medical terminology because these terms may be commonly used in junior and senior year courses that concentrate on health issues. Many programs offer senior year options in research, as well as internship options.
Students who study human physiology often pursue careers in healthcare or healthcare-related research so a course in medical terminology is essential to prepare them for their career. They do not simply learn different medical terms that are commonly used. Courses in medical terminology explore the words in detail, including how to express medical terms in plural form and how to properly pronounce medical terms. The medical terminology course also requires students to have a clear understanding of the meaning of the medical terms covered.
Human physiology students may take more than one course in human anatomy. Foundational courses in this subject will develop their understanding of the physical components of the human body. Everything from the brain to muscles to bodily fluids is explored. Students learn to have a very detailed understanding of all the parts that make up the human body and how different types of injuries can affect people. When students move to advanced anatomy classes they typically learn about things like the musculoskeletal system and the functions of the heart and lungs.
Courses in physiology cover muscular systems and how muscles work. They also look at the functions of the nervous system. The objective is for students to understand all the steps involved in performing functions that involve these systems. Students will learn about their senses and how our senses receive and process information. Advanced studies in human physiology look at other parts of the human body, such as the cardiovascular system.
Physiology of Exercise
A course in exercise physiology develops the student's understanding of how exercise impacts the human body. On a technical level, students learn about how the act of exercise impacts the body physically. The impacts of short-term and long-term exercises are explored. The systems of the body that facilitate exercise and are impacted by exercise are specifically looked at. This includes the metabolic system and respiratory system. Ultimately, students will develop an understanding of how human health is affected by exercise and how to use exercise to effectively address specific health issues.
Metabolism and Nutrition
Students learn how the metabolic system works. They look at every level of the human body and how a person's metabolism affects them on a cellular level. The objective is for students to have a clear understanding of the role of nutrition in human development. Students also learn how nutrition impacts a person's health.
How to Choose a Bachelor's Degree in Human Physiology Program
Some human physiology programs provide a general base in scientific studies while other programs focus on more specific courses about health-related issues. Concentrating on studies in biology and natural sciences may be more ideal for individuals planning to pursue a career in research. Those considering a medical career may be more interested in programs that have a wider range of elective studies in relevant fields, such as courses in sleep physiology or pharmacology.
Career Options with a Human Physiology Degree
A degree in human physiology is ideal for preparing individuals to pursue occupations in scientific research or healthcare. Although some healthcare careers may require additional education, an undergraduate degree in human physiology will provide the educational foundation needed to attend medical school or pursue other healthcare careers, such as becoming a physiotherapist. Those interested in entering the workforce without pursuing graduate studies can consider working in laboratories, becoming an exercise physiologist or becoming a registered respiratory therapist.
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