premed students viewing musculator system on a digital cadaver table

College of Arts & Sciences

Human Biology


Main Program Contact

Andrea Howell

Department Assistant

Biology & Chemistry

Office : Boyd Science Center 327

Health, Behavior, and Communication


The human body is fascinating and our health is affected by a variety of factors beyond strictly physical concerns. This major takes an interdisciplinary approach to biology.

Students complete a natural science core complemented by courses that address personal and group behavior, the role community can play in an individual’s health, and how to communicate health information to a variety of stakeholders. Students are prepared for careers in patient care and engagement, health care management, and health care administration.

“We saw a growing number of students who showed interest in biology and the social sciences, so we designed a major that allows students to take courses in multiple disciplines in preparation for a career in health care. This major is a good choice for students considering a job in health care and for students applying to nursing school or pharmacy school after earning a bachelor’s degree.”

—Dr. Erin Morris, Chair of the Department of Biology & Chemistry

Two exercise science students working on a project for class

Perfect First Step

The study of human biology is excellent preparation for graduate study in patient care and public health.

Interdisciplinary Tracks

Students complete two of the following tracks.

Communication (9 credit hours)

Students will learn communication strategies, methods, and principles in order to disseminate health information effectively, influence audiences, and bring about change in the health field.

Psychology (9 credit hours)

Students will gain an understanding of psychological principles and human behavior. They will then be able to evaluate research and health policy and improve the physical, mental, and emotional health of themselves and those they serve.

Sociology (9 credit hours)

Students will gain an understanding of the interaction between individuals, groups, and institutions and learn how to apply this to the health field.

Health Science (9 credit hours)

Students will gain an understanding of community-based programs that focus on the overall health behaviors and risk factors of the community and be able to evaluate and apply these programs.

Dr. Erin Morris demonstrating an experiment to two students in a laboratory
Communications professor holding class outside
Male student giving a presentation

Exceptional Experience


Be Part Of The Conversation

Small class sizes and extensive interaction with instructors and fellow students promote a vibrant learning community where you’ll be challenged every day.

Beyond Biology

Human biology majors complete a core of biology courses, then choose two of these four tracks to round out their science education: communication, psychology, sociology, and health science.

Internships & Summer Shadows

Baker’s faculty excels at placing students in full-time summer internships and facilitating opportunities for job shadowing.


  • Human biology majors are prepared for these pursuits:
  • Graduate study in a variety of health-related fields
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy
  • Health-care administration
  • Public health
  • Medical and pharmaceutical sales
Two female students working with stethoscopes


The Department of Biology and Chemistry gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following year’s tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Biology
  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Chemistry
  • Howard T. Bonnett Scholarship and Mrs. Ivan L. Boyd Memorial Scholarship
  • Margaret E. Scanlon Endowed Memorial Scholarship
  • J. Cragoe Scholarship
  • Chemical Rubber Company Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award
  • Sonia Browning Endowed Scholarship
  • Doris Cink and Kathryn Zimney Endowed Scholarship
Male student in classroom
Academic Recognition
  • Outstanding Senior in Biology
  • Outstanding Junior in Biology
  • Outstanding Sophomore in Biology
  • Outstanding Freshman in Biology
Female student giving a presentation with notecards in hand

Course of Study

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Tim Buzzell
Professor of Sociology
B.A., M.P.A. Drake University; Ph.D. Iowa State University
Expertise: computer crime and Internet deviance, sociology of ritual and holidays, political sociology and extremist groups
Office: Parmenter Hall 16

Dr. Sarah Crump
Associate Professor of Psychology
B.S. University of Washington, Ph.D. University of California at Santa Barbara
Office: Mabee Hall 204

Dr. Susan Emel
Professor of Communication Studies, Ernestine Susannah Buckley Chair, Director of BU Speech Choir, Chair of the Dept. of History, Culture, and Society
B.S. Kansas State University, M. Div. St. Paul School of Theology, Ph.D. University of Kansas
Expertise: interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, communication theory, rhetorical studies
Office: Parmenter Hall 15

Dr. Erin Holt
Assistant Professor of Exercise Science
B.A. Park University, M.A. Southeast Missouri State, Ed.D. Delta State University
Office: Mabee Hall 404

Dr. Robyn Long
Associate Professor of Psychology, Director of Study Abroad
B.S. Baker University; M.Ed., Ph.D. University of Georgia
Office: Mabee Hall 206

Dr. Christa Hughes
Assistant Professor of Biology
B.S. Truman State University, Ph.D. University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Expertise: molecular and cellular biology
Office: Boyd Science Center 227

Dr. Darcy Russell
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Biology
B.S. Baker University, Ph.D. Kansas State University
Expertise: microbiology
Office: Constant Hall, Academic Affairs Suite

Dr. Kimberly Schaefer
Associate Professor of Communication Studies
B.A. University of Richmond; M.A., Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin
Expertise: interpersonal communication, communication technology, personal relationships
Office: Parmenter Hall 18

Parmenter and long student center

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