Undergraduate Major in Biological Sciences: Human Biology

The biological sciences major in Northwestern University School of Professional Studies’ part-time degree program develops and enhances the intellectual and creative potential of life sciences students, providing them with deep and current knowledge of human biology. Comprised of evening and Saturday courses taught by Northwestern faculty and researchers, the biological sciences major is a rigorous combination of Northwestern University science curriculum and courses in human biology that are unique to the School of Professional Studies. 



About Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences Major Goals & Curriculum

Program Goals

Graduates will be prepared to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the organization and function of basic biological systems, including genetics, physiology, evolutionary, molecular and cellular biology
  • Integrate core mathematical, chemical, and physical principles with fundamental concepts of biological sciences
  • Analyze, interpret, and critically evaluate scientific data and primary literature
  • Apply the scientific method to form and test hypotheses using appropriate laboratory techniques
  • Communicate biological principles effectively through written work and oral presentations
  • Convey an advanced knowledge of human biological processes


Choose from two degree programs for the biological sciences major. The bachelor's degree requirements are 45 units total and include distribution, writing, and elective courses, and the major requirements.

Biological Sciences major requirements

All of the following courses:

  • BIOL SCI 201 Molecular Biology
  • BIOL SCI 202 Cell Biology
  • BIOL SCI 203 Genetics and Evolution
  • BIOL SCI 232 Molecular and Cellular Processes Laboratory
  • BIOL SCI 233 Genetics and Molecular Processes Laboratory
  • BIOL SCI 234 Investigative Laboratory
  • BIOL SCI 308 Biochemistry*
  • BIOL SCI 342 Evolutionary Processes
  • CHEM 110 Quantitative Problem Solving in Chemistry
  • CHEM 131 Fundamentals of Chemistry I (with lab, CHEM 141)
  • CHEM 132 Fundamentals of Chemistry II (with lab, CHEM 142)
  • CHEM 215-A Organic Chemistry I (with lab, CHEM 235-A)
  • CHEM 215-B Organic Chemistry II (with lab, CHEM 235-B)
  • MATH 220-A Single-Variable Differential Calculus (as of Fall 2019; formerly MATH 220)
  • MATH 220-B Single-Variable Integral Calculus (as of Fall 2019; formerly MATH 224)
  • PHYSICS 130-A College Physics I (with lab, PHYSICS 131-A)
  • PHYSICS 130-B College Physics II (with lab, PHYSICS 131-B)
  • PHYSICS 130-C College Physics III (with lab, PHYSICS 131-C)
  • STAT 202 Introduction to Statistics & Data Science

Plus four courses selected from the following:

  • BIOL SCI 302 Fundamentals of Neurobiology
  • BIOL SCI 312 Evolutionary Biology of Human Anatomy, Health and Disease
  • BIOL SCI 313 Human Anatomy
  • BIOL SCI 315 Advanced Cell Biology
  • BIOL SCI 316 Human Structure and Function
  • BIOL SCI 318 Advanced Human Physiology
  • BIOL SCI 327 Biology of Aging
  • BIOL SCI 328 Microbiology
  • BIOL SCI 355 Immunobiology
  • 300-level biological anthropology course**

* Formerly BIOL SCI 218 Biochemistry

** A maximum of one anthropology course can be applied toward this requirement

Undergraduate Biological Sciences Courses

Explore Undergraduate Biological Sciences Courses for descriptions, locations, and schedules. Classes are held on Northwestern's Evanston or downtown Chicago campuses, and meet once weekly in the evening or on Saturdays.

Major in Biological Sciences Admission & Transfer Policy

Application to Northwestern University School of Professional Studies bachelor's degree programs is completed online. Once admitted, many students create a shorter path to degree completion by applying transfer credit. View detailed application instructions and transfer credit policies on the Admission & Transfer Policy page. 

Biological Sciences Tuition & Financial Aid

The School of Professional Studies offers competitive tuition rates for undergraduate courses. The Tuition & Financial Aid page lists current per-course tuition rates in addition to financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

Registration for Biological Sciences Majors

Registration for courses opens 8 to 10 weeks before each quarter and is accessed CAESAR,  Northwestern's online student records system. View course registration timelines and instructions on the Registration Information page.

Career Options for Biological Sciences Majors

The Biological Sciences: Human Biology major prepares students for a variety of positions in research and education; in medical and other health professions; in pharmaceutical, genetic testing, and other biomedical companies; and in government agencies. For details, see the  Biological Sciences Career Options page.

Find out more about the Major in Biological Sciences

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