Human Biology Requirement

All MSW students are required to complete a 3-credit undergraduate human biology or anatomy and physiology course from an accredited college or university before beginning the advanced coursework. Your mailed acceptance letter will state whether or not you have fulfilled this requirement based on your undergraduate coursework. If you have not yet fulfilled the requirement, choose one of the options below.

Please Note!

The requirement is VERY specific. It must be a 3-credit undergraduate course (lab not required) from an accredited college or university.
The course must cover:

1. Human life span development from birth through aging
2. Basic anatomy and human systems including nervous, skeletal, digestive, reproductive, muscular, cardiovascular and respiratory

Course titles that typically satisfy this requirement are:
Human Biology, The Human Machine, or Anatomy and Physiology

Courses that usually DO NOT count:
Intro to Biology or General Biology
Cell Biology
Anatomy (without Physiology)
Physiology (without Anatomy)
Bio/ Developmental Psychology

Option 1: Take Before Enrolling (Recommended)

If possible, we recommend satisfying this course requirement before you begin your MSW coursework as a matriculated student. There are a few ways to do this:

Take last semester of bachelor's degree

For students still enrolled in a bachelor's degree program, we recommend taking the human biology course during your last semester, as part of your undergraduate degree. 

Take at UB

If students prefer, they can take one of UB's approved courses. If you are starting the MSW program in the fall, then the summer before you begin is the best time to fulfill this requirement. 

If you would like to enroll in one of UB's approved courses before you officially begin your program, you will need to apply as a non-degree undergraduate student through the Registrar's Office. Make sure you complete the undergraduate application, since the course you will be taking is an undergraduate level course. View the list of approved UB courses on this page. 

Take at another accredited institution

Students can also take the course from a local community college or other regionally accredited institution. If you are beginning the MSW program in the fall, then the summer before you start is the ideal time to fulfill this requirement.

Community colleges are typically the least expensive option when it comes to taking a non-degree course. In order for the requirement to be fulfilled:

  1. It must be an undergraduate level course from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. The course must be from a biology department (it must have that school's biology prefix - ex. BIO 102, BI 107). 
  3. The course must cover the content noted above. Potential titles may include "Human Biology" or "Anatomy and Physiology." 
  4. The course content should solely focus on human biology, and should not include plant, environment, or non-human animal content.
  5. The course must be at least 3 credits.
  6. The course needs to be documented on a transcript, and you must earn a passing grade.

Option 2: Take During MSW

As another option, students can take the human biology course alongside other MSW coursework. Note that if you choose this option, the human biology course must be completed by the June before you begin the advanced coursework. 

Register for undergraduate UB course as an MSW student

Consult the list of approved UB courses on this page to select one that works with your schedule. 

The registration process for an undergraduate course is different than your other courses. To successfully enroll in an undergraduate course, you must:

Once you have submitted the form, we will gather the other necessary signatures and submit it to the Registrar. The Registrar will enroll you in the course. You will not get a confirmation, but you will see the course in HUB.

**Please note that even though it is an undergraduate course, you will be charged the GRADUATE tuition rate for it if you are registered in other graduate courses. This will not change your bill if you are a full-time student, but if you a part-time student it means you will be billed for an additional 3 graduate credits. 

Approved UB Courses:

  • SW 101 (online)
  • BIO 129
  • BIO 130

If you are an admitted student that has previously taken a course or combination of courses that you believe cover all the required content outlined above, send a full syllabus for each course to with a subject line of "Human Biology Review Request."