Major

Human Biology & Society, B.A.

Human Biology & Society, B.S.



CLASS OF 2016: APPLICATIONS FOR THE MAJOR WERE DUE APRIL 18, 2014.   

 

CLASS OF 2017: Applications for the Major will be due in Spring 2015.  Check back in summer 2014 for information about when the application will be 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, 5 elective courses, an internship course, and two quarters of a reading group course centered on our quarterly workshop events.

Human Biology and Society, B.A. (44 units)

Human Biology and Society, B.S. (44 units)

SOC GEN 101 (Junior Winter) SOC GEN M102 (Junior Spring)
SOC GEN 105A (Junior Fall) SOC GEN 105A (Junior Fall)
SOC GEN 105B (Junior Winter) SOC GEN 105B (Junior Winter)
SOC GEN 108 (Senior Spring) SOC GEN 108 (Senior Spring)
SOC GEN 195CE* – internship (available Fall/Winter/Spring) SOC GEN 195CE* – internship (available Fall/Winter/Spring)
SOC GEN 193 – reading group (take any two quarters; available Fall/Winter/Spring) SOC GEN 193 – reading group (take any two quarters; available Fall/Winter/Spring)
5 elective courses** from within your choice of any one of these concentration categories: Bioethics and Public Science Policy; Medicine and Public Health; Evolutionary Biology, Culture and Behavior; Population Genetics and History; and Historical and Social Studies of Science. 5 elective courses** from within your choice of any one of these concentration categories: Bioethics and Public Science Policy; Medicine and Public Health; Evolutionary Biology, Culture and Behavior; Population Genetics and History; and Historical and Social Studies of Science.

* 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 (BA only), 120, 121, 130, 131, 160, 161, 162, 163, 175, 180, 188, 195CE (if your HBS internship requirement has already been satisfied), 197, 199.

How to become a premajor in Human Biology and Society

Incoming first year students may select premajor status at time of application to UCLA or during Summer Orientation (by asking your Summer Orientation counselor to switch you into our premajor). Incoming first year premajors should enroll in SOCIETY AND GENETICS 5 during Fall term. You will learn about genes and gene expression, human evolutionary biology, and concepts of society, diversity and identity.  For all others, to become a premajor, you must first take SOCIETY AND GENETICS 5  (offered each Fall quarter, and sometimes also in Winter and/or summer) and receive a grade of B or better, and then simply contact our Student Affairs Officer, who will add you to either our HBS B.A. or HBS B.S. premajor program, according to your wish; there is no application required for premajor status.

NOTE: HBS B.A. premajors must complete all premajor courses by the end of sophomore Spring, with a cumulative premajor GPA of 2.90 or better; and HBS B.S. premajors must complete at least 13 premajor courses by the end of sophomore Spring, with a cumulative premajor GPA of 2.50 or better.

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 by the end of sophomore Spring, with a cumulative 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 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 the student 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.  In the near term (for Class of 2016), there is likely to be a somewhat higher proportion of HBS B.S. admitted, reflecting a greater number of anticipated HBS B.S. applicants.

For Class of 2016, we expect more applications than we have seats available; if the expected number of applications materializes in Spring 2014, our acceptance rate for each program may be about 60%.  In Spring 2014, we will likely admit up to 35 HBS B.S., and up to 20 HBS B.A., from amongst the pool of continuing student applicants.  In Fall 2014, Class of 2016 can still apply, but there are likely to be very few seats available (perhaps 1 or 2 in each program), and only the most exceptional applicants are likely to succeed in the application process at that time.  Considering the competitive nature of our application process, we urge that all prospective majors file their application by the sophomore Spring deadline and have in mind an alternative major in case your application for HBS is denied.

Admission is based on your progress getting through the premajor coursework, on your grades, and a personal statement.  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 an overall GPA of about 3.50.

Transfer Applicants

  • 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 2014, we anticipate the admission of 5 HBS B.A. and 5 HBS B.S., from an application pool of about 50 HBS B.A. and 50 HBS B.S.  Acceptance rate for transfer students into our major programs is therefore low, and so, to guard against disappointment, we recommend that transfer students should only indicate our major as their preference if they wouldn’t wish to be at UCLA unless part of our major program.  
  • At this time, our faculty do not not allow switching of incoming transfer students from any other major into Human Biology and Society on arrival at UCLA.  This policy is under review and may change; check back in summer 2014.

Contact:

Rich Moushegian, Student Affairs Officer
1308 Rolfe Hall
310-206-1890 (tel.)
Rmousheg@socgen.ucla.edu