Careers and Emphasis Areas

Figueroa

 

What can you do with a Physiology & Medical Sciences Degree?

Following completion of the Physiology and Medical Sciences degree, students are prepared to pursue careers in fields related to health science, basic research, or health care. While the Physiology and Medical Sciences major is not just for aspiring medical students, the curriculum does include the courses required for application to a multitude of health professional training programs and graduate programs. This brochure, Careers in Health Sciences and Health Care, created by Dr. Betty Atwater, Professor Emerita, describes more 40 careers in health sciences and healthcare.  It provides links to many web resources that will help students gain additional information about how to prepare for these careers.

Strong candidacy for any career, graduate school, or health professional school is based on more than just your coursework and GPA. You will need to demonstrate that you've engaged in a broad range of experiences both in and out of the classroom. The Physiology and Medical Sciences major strategically includes unique opportunities for you to get credit for completing engaged learning experiences that diversify your skillset. This means that being a Physiology and Medical Sciences student not only prepares you for the academic rigor of professional schools, but gives you access to tailored opportunities along your entire undergraduate journey that support your success and increase the diversity of your transferable skills.  Learn more below.

Student Support, Engagement & Career Readiness

  • Physiology Peer Mentor Program

    • The Physiology Peer Mentor Program serves first-year students whose primary major is Physiology and Medical Sciences. The program aims to support the personal and academic growth and success of our first-year students during a critical time in their educational journey and provide Junior and Senior mentors the opportunity to engage in a professionally guided leadership experience that will add in demand transferable skills to their academic and professional portfolios.  

  • Physiology 101

    • Physiology 101 is a course offered to first year Physiology students in their spring semester. The course introduces students to a wide range of physiological topics, explores strategies for being a successful Physiology student, exposes students to the diversity of future careers, and connects students to a wide range of support services and people throughout the college and University. 

  • PhysioConnects
    • PhysioConnects(395A&B) is a unique two-course elective sequence designed to prepare students for and help them reflect on real world experiences including clinical shadowing, research, professional work experience, clubs, volunteering, and leadership opportunities. Students typically complete 395A in the spring of their sophomore year and 395B in the fall of their junior year. 

  • Physiology Honors Academy

    • The Physiology Honors Academy (PHA) Student Advisory Committee is a group of Honors Physiology student advisors who are all at different stages of the Honors program. PHA hosts multiple educational and informational events for students related to Physiology careers, healthcare and graduate programs, education, research, and social and professional networking opportunities

Emphasis Areas

Emphasis areas allow you to specialize in a specific area of interest within Physiology and Medical Sciences and dig deeper into concepts and skills that align with your future career and graduate school plans.  Because our basic curriculum requirements already meet the majority of the pre-requisite requirements for many medical, health professional, and graduate programs, you can utilize your emphasis area and electives to build skills and explore other diverse interests. Currently our emphasis area options include: Physiology, Medical Sciences, Exercise and Extreme Physiology, and Physiological Research and Innovation. Learn more about emphasis areas in our curriculum guide here

Electives

In addition to choosing an emphasis area you will have the ability to further personalize your degree through a broad range of physiology elective and general elective choices. To graduate, a minimum of 42 units of upper-division credits (all courses numbered 300-449) is required. Our major coursework could provide 23 of these credits; however, the remaining 19 credits are up to the student through an optional minor, or other upper division general elective courses. The curated elective course recommendations below are based on the experiences of our faculty and graduates who have pursued these diverse careers. You should always consult with your academic adviser and pre-health professions advisors to be sure you’re developing the best plan to reach your desired professional school and career goals. 

Note: many of the courses listed below can be used to fulfill some of your required emphasis courses, physiology electives and/or to fulfill general university electives. 

Customized Suggested Electives Based on Popular Careers

Medicine - MD or DO

PSIO 431-Physiology of the Immune System
PSIO 467-Endocrine Physiology
PSIO 465-Neurophysiology
CMM 401-Human Gross Anatomy
CMM 410-Human Histology: an introduction to pathology
CMM 425A-Functional Human Histology
ECOL 320-Genetics
ECOL 321-Genetics Lab
ECOL 379-Evidence Based Medicine
PHCL 412-Introduction to Pharmacology
PHCL 422-Introduction to Toxicology
PHCL 430-Pain Neuropharmacology
PHCL 445-Drugs of Abuse
PHCL 460-Designing drugs – from chemistry to cure
PSIO 485-Cardiovascular Physiology
PSIO 450-Respiratory Physiology
PSIO 452-Digestive Physiology
PSIO 469-Reproductive Physiology
PSIO 420-Exercise Physiology
PSIO 427-Metabolism and Disease
PSIO 487-Physiology of Aging

Note: You should always check with your academic advisor and refer to your 4 year plan and curriculum guide to find out where any listed course might count towards your degree program. Some listed courses may fulfill your required emphasis courses, physiology electives and/or may only apply to general university electives. 

PSIO 399/499-Independent Study
PSIO 492-Directed Research
PSIO 431-Physiology of the Immune System
PSIO 452-Digestive Physiology
PSIO 467-Endocrine Physiology
PSIO 485-Cardiovascular Physiology
PSIO 489-Current Topics in Physiology
PSIO 465-Neurophysiology
PSIO 450-Respiratory Physiology
PSIO 487-Physiology of Aging
PSIO 427-Metabolism and Disease

Note: You should always check with your academic advisor and refer to your 4 year plan and curriculum guide to find out where any listed course might count towards your degree program. Some listed courses may fulfill your required emphasis courses, physiology electives and/or may only apply to general university electives. 

PSIO 404-Advanced Cellular Physiology
PSIO 411-Scientific Methods and Professional Ethics
PSIO 472-Quantitative Modeling of Biological Systems
PSIO 489-Current Topics in Physiology
PSIO 399/499-Independent Study
PSIO 492-Directed Research
PSIO 467-Endocrine Physiology
PSIO 465-Neurophysiology
PSIO 431-Physiology of the Immune System
PCHL 460-Designing Drugs – from chemistry to cure
ECOL 320-Genetics
ECOL 321-Genetics Lab

Note: You should always check with your academic advisor and refer to your 4 year plan and curriculum guide to find out where any listed course might count towards your degree program. Some listed courses may fulfill your required emphasis courses, physiology electives and/or may only apply to general university electives. 

CMM 425a-Functional Human Histology
PSIO 431-Physiology of the Immune System
PSIO 465-Neurophysiology
PSIO 485-Cardiovascular Physiology
PSIO 399/499-Independent Study
PSIO 492-Directed Research
PSIO 450-Respiratory Physiology
PSIO 452-Digestive Physiology
PSIO 467-Endocrine Physiology

Note: You should always check with your academic advisor and refer to your 4 year plan and curriculum guide to find out where any listed course might count towards your degree program. Some listed courses may fulfill your required emphasis courses, physiology electives and/or may only apply to general university electives. 

CMM 401-Human Gross Anatomy
PHCL 442-Human Performance Pharmacology
PSIO 420-Exercise Physiology
PSIO 425-Measurement and Evaluation of Physiological Function
PSIO 426-Extreme Physiology
PSIO 465-Neurophysiology
PSIO 495M-Musculoskeletal Physiology
PSIO 467-Endocrine Physiology
PSIO 485-Cardiovascular Physiology
PSIO 450-Respiratory Physiology
PSIO 487-Physiology of Aging

Note: You should always check with your academic advisor and refer to your 4 year plan and curriculum guide to find out where any listed course might count towards your degree program. Some listed courses may fulfill your required emphasis courses, physiology electives and/or may only apply to general university electives. 

CMM 401-Human Gross Anatomy
CMM 425A-Functional Human Histology
PSIO 431-Physiology of the Immune System
PSIO 465-Neurophysiology
PSIO 489-Current Topics in Physiology
PSIO 485-Cardiovascular Physiology
PSIO 469-Reproductive Physiology

Note: You should always check with your academic advisor and refer to your 4 year plan and curriculum guide to find out where any listed course might count towards your degree program. Some listed courses may fulfill your required emphasis courses, physiology electives and/or may only apply to general university electives.