Human Biology & Society, B.A.
Human Biology & Society, B.S.
The deadline to apply for Fall 2015 has passed.
Please check back late Winter 2016 quarter for Spring 2016 applications (for Class of 2018 students). Applications will be due early Spring quarter.
Human Biology and Society informational links:
- HBS B.A. and HBS B.S. program requirements
- 4-year course plan for HBS B.A. and HBS B.S.
- Our faculty and undergraduate counselor
- To receive emails from the Undergraduate Counselor, subscribe to our listserv
- Premajor in HBS BS compared with other BS programs
- SOC GEN course schedule and sample syllabi
- For complete program description, see this link. A PDF version of the UCLA General Catalog is also available.
The Human Biology and Society major
Human Biology and Society, B.A. and Human Biology and Society, B.S. provide an interdisciplinary approach to learning about current issues at the intersections of human biology, genomics and society.
Our major degrees attempt to bridge the gap between life sciences and humanities/social sciences, generating an interdisciplinary perspective needed to address many important and current questions of ethics, history, and public policy about food and nutrition, genetics research and commercialization, genetic origins and relatedness of human populations, medical privacy rights, etc. For example, what issues are raised by genetic modification of our food crops and animals? Who owns your body? How expansive is your right to medical and genetic privacy? What are the individual and social consequences of personalized genetic medicine? What, if anything, can human biology and genetics tell us about ‘race’ and ‘identity?’ How does commercialization impact academic research? If questions like these interest you, then the Human Biology and Society major may be an important opportunity for you.
Human Biology and Society, B.S. is good preparation for careers in medicine, public health, and other health services fields.
Human Biology and Society, B.A. is good preparation for careers in law, business, academia, and public policy.
Students admitted to the major take 4 core SOCIETY AND GENETICS courses and 5 elective courses, and obtain course credit for internship, apprenticeship and/or supervised research.
* The SOC GEN 195CE internship requirement may also be satisfied by completing at least 4.0 units of any upper division, letter graded internship, apprenticeship or wet lab research, such as: SOC GEN 196 research apprenticeship (or course 196 in any other department); SOC GEN 199 laboratory research (or course 199 in any other department); PUBLIC HEALTH/MEDICINE M160B (to enroll, you must be part of the T.E.A.C.H. program); MCD BIO 192B (to enroll, you must be part of CITYLAB); Community Health Sciences 187B (to enroll, you must be part of the Mobile Clinic Project); POL SCI M195DC (to enroll, you must be part of the CAPPP Quarter in Washington program).
** At least one of your 5 elective courses must be a SOC GEN course. The following SOC GEN courses may be used for elective credit in each of our five concentrations: SOC GEN M102 (elective for BA degree only), 120, 121, 130, 131, M133, M140, 160, 161, 162, 163, 175, 180, 188, 195CE, 197, 199.
To receive departmental honors, students must take each course in the major for a letter grade and complete all upper division courses in the major with an overall grade-point average of 3.50 or better. Students who also take Society and Genetics 197 or 199 in which they write a research paper in their major concentration area and receive a grade of A or better will receive highest departmental honors.
How to become a premajor in Human Biology and Society
Incoming first year students can select premajor status at time of application to UCLA or during Summer Orientation. All others should first complete Society and Genetics 5 (or M71A, or M72A), and then contact our Student Affairs Officer at 3360C Life Sciences Building.
All premajors must apply for admission to the major in early sophomore spring. Admission is not guaranteed.
How to become a major
Admission to HBS B.A. and HBS B.S. is by application and competitive. Apply during sophomore Spring. Applications filed after sophomore Spring will be competing for a sharply reduced number of seats available in the program. No applications will be accepted after Junior Fall quarter. You may apply for either HBS B.A. or HBS B.S., but not both. HBS B.A. applicants must complete all premajor courses by the end of sophomore Spring, with a cumulative premajor GPA of 2.90 or better. HBS B.S. applicants must complete at least 13 premajor courses (including SOC GEN 5/GE CLUSTER M71A/MB72A) by the end of sophomore Spring, with a premajor GPA of 2.50 or better; those admitted to HBS B.S. must complete any remaining premajor courses before graduation.
All applications are decided by an admissions committee of Institute for Society and Genetics faculty. Applications submitted during sophomore Spring quarter will be decided by about mid-Spring. All decisions of the ISG admissions committee are final; there is no appeal. Re-application is NOT permitted, unless the admissions committee, at time of its initial denial of application, takes the unusual step of inviting you to apply again.
Our HBS B.S. program is designed for and aims to admit students whose interests and coursework are diverse and lie predominantly within the life sciences. HBS B.S. applicants should be good at science – i.e., generally B or better grades in math, chemistry, life sciences, physics.
Our HBS B.A. program is designed for and aims to admit students whose interests and coursework are diverse and lie predominantly within the humanities and social sciences. HBS B.A. applicants should be good at social science and humanities – i.e., generally B or better grades in non-science coursework.
Competitive nature of the application process
About 60 majors will be graduated each year with a major in Human Biology and Society. Our aim is to keep the number of HBS B.A. and HBS B.S. as equivalent as possible – hence, our goal is to admit about 30 HBS B.A. and 30 HBS B.S. each year.
Demand for admission to both our HBS B.A. and HBS B.S. programs is very strong. In Spring 2015, we admitted 55% of 101 applications (non-transfer) from Class of 2017. Transfer admissions brings our combined B.A. and B.S. program size for Class of 2016 to just over 60 students.
NOTE: In Fall 2015, Class of 2017 can still apply, but there are likely to be very few seats available (if any), and only the most exceptional applicants are likely to succeed in the application process at that time.
Admission is based substantially on your progress getting through the premajor coursework, on your grades, extracurricular activities, and your personal statement(s). Completion of course requirements alone does not guarantee admission to the major. The typical applicant for HBS B.A. and also for HBS B.S. has a pre-major GPA above 3.0, and cumulative GPA of about 3.50.
- To gain a seat in our major program, transfer students should indicate HBS B.A. or HBS B.S. as their major degree preference when they apply for admission to UCLA through the UCLA Undergraduate Admissions process, https://www.admissions.ucla.edu/prospect/adm_tr.htm. On acceptance to UCLA, transfer students admitted to the HBS B.A. or HBS B.S. programs will have “premajor” status; after meeting with our Student Affairs Officer during summer orientation, you will be switched to “major” standing with no additional application required. Caution: Transfer Admission to our HBS B.A. and HBS B.S. programs is likely to be extremely competitive. For arrival at UCLA in Fall 2015, we offered transfer admission to 5 HBS B.A. and 2 HBS B.S., from a transfer application pool of about 60 HBS B.A. and 60 HBS B.S. Acceptance rate for transfer students into our major programs is therefore low, and is likely to remain low in the next application cycle. If admission to UCLA is your primary goal, then almost any other major program is likely to have a higher rate of transfer admission. You may wish to contact other departments to ask for their rate of transfer admission into their major programs.
- Transfer students admitted to UCLA and who want to switch majors to Human Biology and Society B.A. or B.S., may apply to this major in early Fall quarter of their Junior year, and no later. Information about the Fall application process for newly arrived transfer students will be updated and posted on this webpage in summer.
Cyndi Tando (Undergraduate Counselor): firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: 9-11am, 1-4pm
Location: Life Sciences Building 3360C
Weeks 1-2 of quarter: Drop-in basis
Weeks 3 and beyond: Appointment basis – please email.