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Physiology Major & Minor
Physiology is the study of how animals work: how they breathe, feed, and interact with their environment. Apart from the intrinsic value of this knowledge, it is also knowledge upon which the health care professions are built. Physiology is of interest to nearly everyone; it is especially important for students who may be thinking of becoming medical practitioners, veterinarians, or other health care professionals.
Students who are interested in learning about this fascinating subject can do so by taking a range of courses the Department of Zoology and Physiology offers. As for all degree programs, students have to meet all University and College of Arts and Sciences requirements by taking additional courses outside the department.
Typical Program of Study for Physiology Majors
In this year students take introductory courses such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics as these are essential for understanding physiological processes.
In this year students finish any introductory courses they have not yet completed and also take basic courses in anatomy and human systems physiology. Human systems physiology is concerned with the function of the major organ systems of the body such as the cardiovascular system and respiratory systems.
Junior and Senior Years
Having completed these basic and introductory courses, students continue with the study of Integrative Physiology. This course emphasizes the regulation of the basic body systems by the central nervous and endocrine systems. Students will also begin to specialize in an area of physiology that they find particularly interesting. The department has two strong areas of interest. The first is cell and neuroscience physiology and the second is mammalian and comparative physiology.
Over their junior and senior years, students can expand their interests by taking courses such as Animal Behavior, Neurophysiology, Neural Mechanisms of Behavior, Comparative Environmental Physiology, Introduction to Neuroscience, Cell Physiology, and Pathophysiology.
At the end of this program students will have a thorough knowledge of the principles underlying physiological processes and will have developed analytical and problem solving skills that will be valued by employers. Students will be well-prepared for graduate studies or professional careers especially in the health care professions.