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Bachelor of Science in Physiology




What will I learn?

Physiology, the study of organismal function, represents the convergence of various disciplines, approaches, and perspectives in modern biology. Physiologists seek an understanding of functional mechanisms and their regulation, the adaptive significance of these mechanisms, the ecological factors that influence organismal function, and the evolutionary processes that have shaped them. In pursuing this understanding, concepts and approaches from a wide variety of scientific fields, covering levels of biological organization ranging from individual molecules, organelles, cells, tissues, organs to whole organisms are used. The tools and techniques of physics, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and various other areas in biology are brought to bear on physiological investigations that might range from the effects of light on visual systems at the level of cell membranes, breathing in ants, metabolism during running in lizards, to the hormonal control of reproduction in fishes.

The Major

All students interested in any area of the biological sciences, including Physiology, enter UCSB as pre-biological sciences majors. Pre-biology majors share a common core curriculum, typically completed during the freshman and sophomore years, consisting of introductory biology with laboratory, general chemistry with laboratory, mathematics, physics with laboratory, and for many of the majors, including the Physiology major, organic chemistry with laboratory. After completion of key preparatory coursework, students may petition to declare the full major. The B. S. in Physiology requires completion of 48 upper-division quarter units including three courses in endocrinology and regulatory biology, two terms of biochemistry, one course in the areas of genetics, cell biology, and neurobiology. In addition to these major requirements, students choose electives in consultation with faculty advisors.

Careers in Physiology

The undergraduate major in Physiology is excellent preparation for graduate study and professional programs in a variety of areas in the biological, biomedical, and health sciences, as well as veterinary and human medicine. Research, industrial supervisory, and academic careers require advanced training beyond the bachelor’s degree. Those who seek immediate career entry after finishing a B. S. degree in Physiology can seek employment with:

  • State or federal agencies
  • Private industries
  • Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology companies
  • University and hospital research laboratories
  • Teaching institutions at the community college level

Admission to this major is contingent upon successful completion of all courses in preparation for the major with the designated grade-point average. Students who are completing these preparatory requirements will have "pre-major" status.

Which department am I in?

College of Letters and Science

Study options

Full Time (Minimum of 180 quarter units)

Tuition fees
US$31,026.00 per year
Start date

3 April 2023


College of Letters and Science

2217 Cheadle Hall, MC 2080,

University of California, Santa Barbara,



93106, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

You are considered a freshman applicant if you have completed secondary school and have not enrolled at any college or university.

For international students

You are considered a freshman applicant if you have completed secondary school and have not enrolled at any college or university.

English Language Proficiency

The minimum accepted score for admission consideration for the TOEFL is 80 or better on the Internet-based test and 550 or better on the paper-based test.

The minimum accepted score for the IELTS is 6.5 or better band score (academic modules).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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