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Human Biology Requirement

All MSW students are required to complete a 3-credit undergraduate human biology or anatomy and physiology course 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. 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 instead of a course at another college. Again, 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 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

For students who cannot take the course as part of their undergraduate degree, we recommend taking the course from a local community college or other 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. Make sure before you enroll that the course title is "Human Biology" or "Anatomy and Physiology." We only require a 3-credit undergraduate course, so if there is a lab that students typically take that would make it more than 3 credits, you do not need to take it. You would only need the 3-credit lecture course.

If you would like to make sure that the course you are planning on taking will count towards this requirement, feel free to email a syllabus to swinfo@buffalo.edu, and we will be happy to verify it for you.

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. Please note that SW 101 is not offered in the spring semesters.

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 think you completed a course that covers the required content, send a full syllabus to swinfo@buffalo.edu with a subject line of "Human Biology Review Request."