Health & Human Physiology
This area of study uses basic science to measure human responses to internal and external stimuli (such as changes in activity levels, varying environmental conditions, and disease processes), and applies this knowledge to the promotion of human health.
A degree in this area prepares you to work in a hospital or corporate wellness program, or for nonprofit health agencies, commercial fitness enterprises, and federal and state health promotion agencies.
Why Study at Iowa?
Degree programs in Iowa's Department of Health and Human Physiology consistently rank among the top of their kind nationwide. They are versatile and designed for students with widely varying academic objectives. The department's students are highly motivated and do well academically. Many of them graduate with honors.
Faculty members place a high priority on teaching and research. Their areas of expertise include environmental stresses, sensorimotor mechanisms, movement control, thermoregulation, mechanical factors that regulate blood flow, blood flow in cardiovascular disease, aging, stem cells, and monitoring and tracking physical activity across lifespans and in relation to health outcomes. Many of them collaborate with faculty members in the university’s Carver College of Medicine and College of Public Health.
The department also offers a BS in Human Physiology for students who intend to pursue graduate study in the health sciences, such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, physician assistant, physical therapy, or podiatry.
Students in the health and human physiology Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program choose one of two tracks: health promotion or health studies. Admission to the health promotion track is selective and requires that you first complete prerequisite math and science courses and have a cumulative and UI grade-point average of at least 2.70.
The health promotion track is a good choice if you're interested in careers that promote wellness in the community or the workplace through changes in lifestyle and environment. If you'd prefer to have a versatile health science background, you should consider the health studies track. Both tracks offer flexible options in the high-demand area of bio-behavioral health. Whichever track you choose, you'll complete a set of common requirements plus requirements specifically for your track.
Students in both tracks take these required courses:
- Human Anatomy
- Nutrition and Health
- Physical Activity and Health
- A course in biology
- A course in chemistry
- A course in mathematics or statistics
- A course in human physiology
- A course in exercise physiology
Health promotion track students also complete these:
- Health promotion core—five courses in exercise testing, health behavior and promotion, health interventions, and nutrition interventions
- Health promotion electives—three courses in areas such as global health, health communication, health promotion, human development and aging, human physiology, leadership, psychology, and practicums or internships
Health studies track students also complete these:
- Five or more courses on topics such as aging, biomechanics of human motion, cardiovascular physiology, exercise leadership, global health promotion, health behavior and promotion, psychology of sport and activity, and sport and exercise nutrition
See Health and Human Physiology in the General Catalog for more information about this major and graduating with honors.
Minor in Health Promotion or Human Physiology
See Health and Human Physiology in the General Catalog for more information.
All applicants need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Admission to the health promotion track is selective and requires that students first complete prerequisite math and science courses and have a cumulative and UI grade-point average of at least 2.70.
Admission Requirements Tabs
Faculty, Facilities, and Resources
The department’s proximity to the university’s health sciences campus and faculty connections with the Carver College of Medicine provide health and human physiology students with access to facilities affiliated with several of Iowa’s biomedical sciences departments. These departments include anatomy and cell biology, internal medicine, neurology, orthopaedic surgery, and free radical and radiation biology.
The university's Health Iowa and UI Wellness programs and Johnson County Public Health provide additional opportunities.
Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.
Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.