B.S. Degree Policies

About the BS

Human Biology is excited to be offering a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) option to our majors. The B.S. will be available to undergraduate students alongside the current B.A. option and minor. More information about the details of pursuing the B.S. major option is available in the Stanford Bulletin.

Bachelor of Science Degree

The B.S. in Human Biology (HUMBIO) requires 81+ units in the major divided among four levels of courses: Fundamental Program requirements (which includes the Human Biology Core), Breadth requirement, Depth requirement, and Upper Division. The B.S. degree allows students a slightly more scientific and technical focus for their studies, and requires completion of coursework and specialization in the biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, and/or computer science and engineering.

For the B.S. degree, majors will take 10 or more units of Breadth courses and 5 or more classes in the Upper Division and Depth courses from a set of pre-approved Life and Natural Sciences courses. Many pre-approved courses satisfy University Ways of Thinking and Doing requirements, specifically Applied Quantitative Reasoning, Formal Reasoning, and Scientific Methods and Analysis. Students will still also take courses in the social sciences or humanities, although fewer.

Requirements and Policies

1) For the 5 or more B.S. eligible courses in your Depth and Upper Division, at least 3 of those courses must be in the Depth section. It's fine if all of your Upper Division courses are B.S. eligible, but only 2 of them will count towards the requirement of 5+ B.S. eligible courses for your degree. You can view a list of many B.S. eligible courses here:

List of B.S. Eligible Courses

There are three categories of courses which students are allowed to use for the B.S. in Human Biology degree option. This page will break down those categories, and provide a list of eligible courses which might fit into your course of study for the B.S. degree.

Note: Some of the courses in these categories are not suitable for the Depth portion of your Course of Study!

Catgory 1: WAYS-SMA / FR / AQR

Most courses with a WAYS ceritifcation in Scientific Method & Analysis (SMA), Formal Reasoning (FR), or Applied Quantitative Reasoning (AQR) are treated as eligible to count towards the B.S. There are a few exceptions - courses that are also designated with WAYS Creative Expression (CE) require case-by-case approval from the Human Biology advising team to count towards the B.S. 

Lastly, even if a class has one of the WAYS designations described above, it's still crucial that the class fits into your course of study in a meaningful and cohesive way. A class on Biomechanical Engineering, for example, might be considered B.S. eligible but probably wouldn't get approved for someone with an Area of Concentration in Healthcare Policy and International Human Rights. 

Category 2: B.S. Approved non-WAYS Courses

The Program in Human Biology has cultivated a list of commonly used courses which don't have a WAYS designation from Category 1 but are eligible towards the B.S. specific unit requirements (this list is NON-EXHAUSTIVE):

HumBio Courses

  • HumBio 112 - Conservation Biology: A Latin American Perspective
  • HumBio 114 - Global Change and Emerging Infectious Disease
  • HumBio 131 - Kinesiology
  • HumBio 133 - Human Physiology
  • HumBio 135 - Exercise Physiology
  • HumBio 135S - Applied Topics in Exercise Physiology
  • HumBio 136 - Human Physiology Laboratory
  • HumBio 139S - Sport and Exercise Medicine
  • HumBio 140 - Sex and Gender in Human Physiology and Disease
  • HumBio 151R - Biology, Health, and Big Data
  • HumBio 154B - Principles of Epidemiology, with an emphasis on women's health
  • HumBio 161 - The Neurobiology of Sleep
  • HumBio 163 - The Opioid Epidemic
  • HumBio 164 - Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • HumBio 57 - Epidemic Intelligence: How to Identify, Investigate, and Interrupt Outbreaks of Disease

Non-HumBio Courses

  • Appphys 293 - Theoretical Neuroscience
  • Bio 101 - Ecology
  • Bio 104 - Advanced Molecular Biology
  • Bio 123A - Cell and Developmental Biology I
  • Bio 123B - Cell and Developmental Biology II
  • Bio 124 - Topics in Cancer Biology
  • Bio 145 - Ecology and Evolution of Animal Behavior
  • Bio 151 - Mechanisms of Neuron Death
  • Bio 154 - Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology
  • Bio 168 - Explorations in Stem Cell Biology
  • Bio 171 - Principles of Cell Cycle Control
  • Bio 204 - Neuroplasticity: from Synapses to Behavior
  • Bio 222 - Exploring Neural Circuits
  • Bio 230 - Molecular and Cellular Immunology
  • BIO 267 - Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Disease
  • BioE 51 - Anatomy for Bioengineers
  • BioE 260 - Tissue Engineering
  • CBio 101 - Cancer Biology
  • CBio 240 - Molecular Genetic Basis of Cancer
  • DBIO 210 - Developmental Biology
  • Educ 266 - Educational Neuroscience
  • GENE 247 - Genomic Approaches to the Study of Human Disease
  • GENE 271 - Human Molecular Genetics
  • GENE 272 - Introduction to Molecular Genetics
  • HRP 231 - Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
  • HRP 238 - Genes and Environment in Disease Causation: Implications for Medicine and Public Health
  • IMMUNOL 205 - Immunology in Health and Disease
  • IMMUNOL 275 - Tumor Immunology
  • MCP 126 -  Neurons and Disease
  • ME 80 - Mechanics of Materials
  • ME 104 - Mechanical Systems Design (previously ME 112)
  • ME 234 - Introduction to Neuromechanics
  • ME 281 - Biomechanics of Movement
  • MI 104 - Innate Immunology
  • MI 155A - Humans and Viruses I
  • MI 210 - Advanced Pathogenesis of Bacteria, Viruses and Eukaryotic Parasites
  • MUSIC 251: Psychophysics and Music Cognition
  • NBio 206 - The Nervous System
  • OSPAUSTL 25 - Freshwater Systems
  • OSPAUSTL 30 - Coastal Forest Ecosystems
  • Psych 204A - Human Neuroimaging Methods
  • Psych 232 - Brain and Decision Making
  • Psych 234 - Topics in Depression
  • Soc 278 - Introduction to Computational Social Science
  • Surg 101 - Regional Study of Human Structure
  • Surg 101A - Head and Neck Anatomy 

Category 3: Student Petition

Although we've tried to capture the majority of courses that students will want to use for the B.S. degree in categories 1 and 2, we're aware that some courses might have slipped under our radar.  So, we've automatically tagged a handful of courses that don't fit in the above categories as 'TBD' on our course planning tool, SFACT. If in the process of building your course of study you come across a course that is marked 'TBD' and you think it should be eligible towards the B.S. unit requirements, you can petition our Student Services and Advising team to have it become eligible. If a petition is successful, that course's status will be updated to count towards the B.S. for all Human Biology students. 

NOTE: If a course is listed as 'HB-BA' on SFACT and doesn't have a WAYS designation on ExploreCourses, that means we have already evaluated that course and will not accept further petitions for it. 

In order to submit a petition for a class, please send an email to HumBio student services titled "Petition for HumBio BS" and include the current syllabus for that class as an attachment. If you don't have access to a digital version of the syllabus, you will need to drop off a physical copy of the syllabus with student services in Bldg 20 - Room 21D or 21E. 


2) For Seniors wishing to change their degree to a B.S. the deadline is the Friday before the end-quarter-period two quarters prior to the graduation quarter.  CHANGES MUST BE APPROVED BY STUDENT SERVICES.  Please note that the course of study must be in final/approved form BEFORE the change can be processed by HumBio Student Services and the University Registrars (in Axess).