Human Biology & Society, B.A.
Human Biology & Society, B.S.
- For program description and degree requirements, see UCLA General Catalog, under INSTITUTE FOR SOCIETY AND GENETICS
- Sample syllabus for introductory course, SOCIETY AND GENETICS 5
- Our B.A. and B.S. premajor and major course requirements
- Sample 4-year course plan for our B.A. and B.S. programs
The Human Biology and Society major degrees provide an interdisciplinary education in current issues at the intersections of human biology, genomics and society.
Has human history changed your DNA? 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 such complex concepts as ‘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.
Students in the major specialize in one of five areas: 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. Community internship, research apprenticeship, and capstone seminar are mandated as well.
The Human Biology and Society major is good preparation for a variety of careers, including medicine, law, business, academia, and public policy.
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); with premajor status you may and must enroll in SOCIETY AND GENETICS 5 during your first 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) during your first two years; receive a grade of B or better, and then contact our Student Affairs Officer, indicating your desire to be a premajor in either our B.A. or B.S. program. There is no application required for declaring premajor status. As a premajor, you will work toward completing lower division preparatory requirements with the aim of applying to the major no later than your sophomore Spring.
How to become a major
No later than Spring term of sophomore year, premajors must apply to join our major program. In nearly all cases, both our B.A. and B.S. premajors do indeed apply in early sophomore Spring. B.A. applicants should be done with or completing their premajor courses at time of application. B.S. applicants should be substantially complete with their premajor coursework at time of application – specifically, B.S. premajors must start their Junior Fall term with no more than 5 premajor courses yet to be done. Communicate with our Student Affairs Officer to receive an application and determine the right time to apply.
• Application Process for continuing UCLA students
Application process is competitive. Each year, about 60 majors will be graduated with either a B.A. or B.S. degree in Human Biology and Society. Our aim is to keep the number of B.A. and B.S. graduated each year as equal in number as possible – in the near term, we estimate about 25 B.A. and 35 B.S. will be admitted and graduated each year. Note: you must have taken our introductory course, Society and Genetics 5, to apply to the major, therefore the potential applicant pool is limited. In total, about 250 students from each graduating class will take SOC GEN 5.
Admission of continuing, non-transfer students is based on your progress through the required coursework, your grades, and a personal statement of interest which explains why this major appeals to you. An admissions committee of our faculty decides all applications. Completion of course requirements alone does not guarantee admission to the major. To date, the cummulative GPA of students pursuing our B.A. or B.S. degrees has been about 3.3 and 3.5, respectively. Our B.S. applicants should be good at science – i.e., generally B or better grades in math, chemistry, life sciences, physics. Our B.A. applicants should be good at social science – i.e., generally B or better grades in non-science coursework.
• Application process for Transfer Students
Caution: Transfer Admission to our B.A. and B.S. programs is likely to be extremely competitive. For arrival in Fall 2013, we accepted 5 B.A. and 5 B.S. applicants. For arrival in Fall 2014, we do not expect an increase in this level of intake. We expect about 30-50 transfer applicants for each of our B.A. and B.S. programs. Acceptance rate for transfer students into our major programs is therefore low, and so, we recommend that transfer students should only apply to our major if they wouldn’t wish to be at UCLA unless part of our major program. Additionally, we will not allow switching from any other major into Human Biology and Society upon arrival at UCLA.Contact:
Rich Moushegian, Student Affairs Officer
1308 Rolfe Hall