Major

Human Biology & Society, B.A.

Human Biology & Society, B.S.



Next deadline for APPLICATION to the major will be in early Spring 2015 for Class of 2017; find information about it here. The application will be accessible on this website by mid-Winter 2015.

To see copies of previous applications (Fall 2014, for Class of 2016), click on the relevant links:

NOTE: FALL 2014 APPLICATION PROCESS IS NOW ENDED. 

 



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.

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)  [NOTE: ISG faculty have voted to drop 193 as major requirement] SOC GEN 193 – reading group (take any two quarters; available Fall/Winter/Spring) [NOTE: ISG faculty have voted to drop 193 as major requirement]
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, 197, 199.

How to become a premajor in Human Biology and Society

There is no application required for premajor status.  Simply contact our Student Affairs Officer before your sophomore Spring quarter, and he will add you to either our HBS B.A. or HBS B.S. premajor program, according to your wish.  Incoming first year students can also 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, M71A, or M72A during Fall term, which will supply an introduction to the interdisciplinary method and concepts relevant to this major.  A

All premajors must apply for admission to the major in early sophomore spring.

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 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 2014, we admitted 69% of 78 applications (non-transfer) from Class of 2016.  Transfer admissions brings our combined B.A. and B.S. program size for Class of 2016 to just over 60 students.

NOTE: In Fall 2014, Class of 2016 can still apply, but there are likely to be very few seats available (perhaps 0-2 in each program), and only the most exceptional applicants are likely to succeed in the application process at that time.

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 offered admission to 5 HBS B.A. and 5 HBS B.S., from an 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. 

Contact:

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