Human Biology


The B.S. major in human biology is designed to meet the needs of students who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine or biomedical research. Like many other biological sciences majors at UC Santa Cruz, the human biology major satisfies subject requirements for most medical schools. Unique features of the human biology major are the required courses related to human health, the requirement of proficiency in Spanish, including a course in medical Spanish for health care workers, and participation in a formal internship program. About 100 students at UC Santa Cruz seek admission to medical school each year; UC Santa Cruz students have been accepted at the eight California medical schools, as well as at all the major medical schools in the country, including Harvard, Yale, and Johns Hopkins.

Degrees Offered

  • B.S.

Study and Research Opportunities

The Health Sciences Internship Program offers students a unique opportunity for personal growth and professional development. Paired with a professional mentor, students spend one quarter interning in a community health care setting. Placement opportunities cover a broad range - from individual physicians to community clinics and hospitals, hospices, and public health agencies - and provide students with the opportunity to experience working in health care. The Health Sciences Internship Coordinator works with students to prepare them for their internship and match them with an appropriate placement.  

Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

High school students planning to pursue the human biology major should have a solid background in high school biology (including physiology), chemistry, advanced mathematics (precalculus and/or calculus), and physics.

Information for Transfers

Junior transfer students who plan to major in human biology must complete the introductory requirements prior to transfer, specifically a complete year of calculus, general chemistry, and introductory biology. Additionally, students who complete a year of organic chemistry, statistics, and calculus-based physics will transfer prepared to begin their advanced degree requirements.

California community college students should follow the prescribed coursework in the UCSC transfer agreements available at


  • Chiropractics
  • Dentistry
  • Medical technology
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Public health
  • Veterinary medicine

These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.

Department Website

More Information

Molecular Cell & Developmental Biology Advising
142 Jack Baskin Engineering Building
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064