About the Physiology Major
Are you fascinated by how living things work? Physiology, the science of how living organisms function, could be the major that will satisfy your curiosity and lead to an exciting career in health and science. We all have a general understanding of how our bodies work, but physiology majors get the "inside" scoop by exploring how cells, tissues, and organ systems work together to keep living organisms healthy. They also gain an understanding of physiological processes such as homeostasis, the body's tendency to maintain a stable internal environment.
Physiology's role in biological and clinical sciences in clear, as it allows for scientists and researchers to understand and identify new treatments for disease. It provides a solid scientific foundation for students who plan to continue advancing their education in health and science. Medicine, physical therapy, nursing, dentistry, fitness and nutrition, pharmacy, and research are just a few of many career paths graduates could take.
Physiology majors complete classes in biology, physics, chemistry, and human anatomy. For major-related courses, physiology classes focus on the processes and functions of the body's cardiovascular, respiratory, digestion, musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine, and nervous systems. Classes also consist of laboratory components, giving students a chance to examine physiology processes beyond their textbooks and classroom lectures. Many schools also offer students the opportunity to participate in research and lab activities outside of their scheduled classes, especially major research universities.
While undergraduate programs in physiology are broad, doctorate level education allows students to pursue studies in a specific branch of physiology, such as cardiac and respiratory physiology, metabolism and endocrinology, cellular and integrative neuroscience, or vascular and smooth muscle physiology.
A bachelor's degree is the minimum needed to pursue a career related to physiology. A master's degree is required for clinical careers, management, and public health, and a PhD is required for work in a university or a private or government research lab.