Human physiology is the science of how the human body functions in health and disease.  

A degree in human physiology provides excellent preparation for careers or graduate study in biomedical research and the health professions or related disciplines.

Students examine human physiological systems from the molecular and cellular levels to the human body as a whole. 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. 

Why Iowa?

Degree programs in the Department of Health and Human Physiology are versatile and designed for students with widely varying academic objectives.

Faculty members place a high priority on teaching and research. Their areas of expertise include sensorimotor mechanisms, environmental stresses, 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 faculty collaborate with faculty members in the university's Carver College of Medicine and College of Public Health.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Students majoring in human physiology (BS) may not earn a second major in health and human physiology (BA).

Also, students who major in human physiology may not earn the minor in human physiology or the minor in physical activity and nutrition science.


Human Physiology
Human Physiology
  Honors Courses
  Four-Year Graduation Plan
Admission Process

Careers and Outcomes

Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. Our  Pomerantz Career Center  offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs. 

Human physiology majors often continue their studies in health professional programs to become physicians or surgeons, physical therapists, physician assistants, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, or similar professionals. Others pursue graduate degrees (MS and/or PhD) in the biomedical or physiological sciences to prepare for careers in research and/or college teaching.

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500  student organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100  study abroad  programs and multiple  undergraduate research opportunities


The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Human Physiology with Maisey Gullickson

As a health and human physiology student at Iowa, you'll get the best of both worlds—a health sciences education preparing you for your career and a broad liberal arts education showing you the world.

Our professors will teach you the science, medicine, and social awareness necessary for a successful career in the health professions. You'll have resources and opportunities that only a world-class research university with a comprehensive teaching and research hospital can offer.

You might be laser-focused on a specific career in the health and wellness sciences. Or maybe you want to see your options and uncover your professional path along the way. However it begins, you can write your own story at Iowa.

Maisey talks more about what it's like to study Human Physiology at the University of Iowa.


The curriculum includes courses in human anatomy, physiology, and physical activity along with foundational course work in the sciences: biology, mathematics, statistics, and chemistry. Elective courses provide in-depth study across a broad range of topics in human physiology, including those related to health and disease. 

Students in this major also must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core requirements.  

View Human Physiology in the General Catalog for details on required course work for the major or minor, graduating with honors, and for information about the minor in human physiology or physical activity and nutrition science.