Physiology Undergraduate Major

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below is a list of frequently asked questions from students interested in the Physiology pre-major and major. If you don't find the answer to your question, please consult an advisor.


Physiology Advising
  1. Who provides academic advising for undergraduates majoring in Physiology?

 


Physiology Pre-Major
  1. What should I declare as my major before I am accepted to the Physiology major?
  2. Is it easy to advance from the pre-major to the major in Physiology?
  3. Do I need to complete all of the pre-major requirements before I can apply for admission to the major?

 


Physiology Major
  1. What is required for a Physiology major?
  2. What is the difference between the Physiology major and the Physiology minor?
  3. What courses count towards my major grade point average (GPA)?
  4. I need a college dean signature, where do I go?

 


Minor
  1. Do I need a minor if I am a Physiology major?
  2. I've heard that I can get a chemistry minor by just taking a one unit chemistry course beyond my regular Physiology coursework. Is that true?
  3. How do I officially declare a minor?

 


Registration for Classes
  1. When do I register for classes?
  2. I want to take a Physiology class next semester, how do I get in?
  3. I'm trying to get into MCB 181R and MCB 181L, and also ECOL/MCB 182. However, these classes are full. Who can I contact to get into these courses?
  4. How can I register for more than the maximum units allowed per semester?

 


Physiology Research Opportunities
  1. How can I become involved in research in Physiology?

 


Graduation with a Physiology Major
  1. Can I complete the Physiology major in 4 years?
  2. What are upper division units and how many do I need for my degree?
  3. How many units do I need in order to graduate with a BS in Health Sciences degree and a major in Physiology?
  4. Do I have to maintain a minimum GPA to graduate from the University of Arizona with a major in Physiology?

 


Plans following graduation
  1. What can I do with a major in Physiology and a BS in Health Sciences degree?
  2. I am hoping to go to medical school (physician assistant school, physical therapy school). Is this the correct major for pre-health students?
  3. If I am in the Physiology major, will have a better chance of getting into medical school?
  4. I want to go to graduate school. How do I begin the process?

 


University Policies
  1. What is a GRO?
  2. Where do I send transcripts from other colleges?
  3. How do I know which catalog I should use?
  4. How do I officially change my major?
  5. Can I take community college credits and transfer them to count towards my degree?
  6. What is the Mid-Career Writing Assessment (MCWA)?

 


Physiology Advising
  1. Who provides academic advising for undergraduates majoring in Physiology?

Kristin Eaton, Bill Lesho and Joe Lindley are the academic advisors for undergraduates majoring in Physiology. Their offices are located in the Ina Gittings Building, East Wing. Appointments can be scheduled on the Physiology WiseAdvising website.

Back to top

 


Physiology Pre-Major
  1. What should I declare as my major before I am accepted to the Physiology major?

You cannot declare Physiology (PSIO) as your major until you have completed the courses specified for admission to the major, made application to the department, and been accepted into the program. Until these requirements are complete, you may register with the College of Medicine as a pre-physiology major (PRP). The requirements for admission to the major and the process to follow in making application for admission to the major are described in detail on the Physiology Undergraduate website.

Back to top

 

  1. Is it easy to advance from the pre-major to the major in Physiology?

Students begin at the university as pre-physiology majors until they have completed prerequisite courses and earned a cumulative GPA of at least 2.250. Enrollment as a Physiology pre-major student does NOT guarantee admission to the major or to advanced standing. Admission to the Physiology major requires completion of a formal application once the criteria for admission (described on the Physiology Undergraduate website) have been fulfilled. The Physiology Undergraduate Program Admissions Committee reviews each student's application and notifies the student of its decision.

Back to top

 

  1. Do I need to complete all of the pre-major requirements before I can apply for admission to the major?

To apply for admission to the major, you must complete some, but not all, of the courses listed in the Physiology Major Curriculum Guide Check Sheet as Physiology Pre-Major required courses. The specific courses that must be completed before you can make formal application to change your status from pre-major to major are listed on the Physiology Undergraduate website.

Back to top

 

Physiology Major
  1. What is required for a Physiology major?

Students wishing to earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree with a major in Physiology, including transfer students, must be admitted to the Physiology (PSIO) major.  After completing the specified pre-requisite courses and earning a cumulative GPA or at least 2.250, you must make formal application for admission to the major.

The Physiology Undergraduate website describes in detail the requirements of the Physiology pre-major, the process for applying for admission to the major, the major curriculum, and the requirements for completion of the BS degree in Health Sciences with a major in Physiology.

Back to top

 

  1. What is the difference between the Physiology major and the Physiology minor?

The Physiology major requires completion of a 30-unit curriculum.  The Physiology minor requires completion of 21 Physiology units.  Only those students who have fulfilled the specified prerequisites may take Upper Division PSIO courses. 

Back to top

 

  1. What courses count towards my major grade point average (GPA)?

All Physiology (PSIO) courses you take (even if they are above and beyond the 30-unit minimum number of Physiology units required) will be counted in your major GPA. Keep in mind that BIOC 460 also is part of your Physiology major 30-unit requirement and does count in your major GPA. Your major GPA does NOT include any pre-major course work (e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Math, or Physics).

Back to top

 

  1. I need a college dean signature, where do I go?

Several University of Arizona forms require the signature of a college dean (e.g., "Change of Schedule" or "Drop-Add" form, University General Petition, Leave of Absence form, etc.) before they are turned in to the Office of the Registrar. Physiology pre-major and major students should obtain the signature of the College of Medicine dean's representative by bring the pertinent form to the Physiology Undergraduate Program Office, Gittings Bldg., Room 102. A "college stamp" and the signature and date of the college representative will be applied to the form IF the student's request is approved. The student must then pick up the form and personally deliver to the Office of the Registrar in the Administration Building.

Back to top

 


Minor
  1. Do I need a minor if I am a Physiology major?

Students pursuing a Physiology undergraduate major in the College of Medicine are not required to complete a minor. However, any student may declare a minor, even though one is not required for completion of the BS in Health Sciences degree requirements. Minors are discipline-based and the department that offers the minor defines its content. See the "Minors" section of the General Catalog for a list of approved minors with links to their respective requirements.

Back to top

 

  1. I've heard that I can get a chemistry minor by just taking a one unit chemistry course beyond my regular Physiology coursework. Is that true?

No, this is no longer true. BIOC 460 is now part of the 30-unit Physiology major curriculum. Therefore, it cannot be counted in both the Physiology major and in the Chemistry minor. Physiology students wishing to complete a minor in Chemistry must complete 20 units. The Physiology pre-major curriculum requires 16 Chemistry units or 8 courses: CHEM 151, 152, 241a, 243a, 241b, and 243b. After completing these Chemistry courses, a student wishing to earn a minor in Chemistry must take 4 more upper division Chemistry units.

Back to top

 

  1. How do I officially declare a minor?

To discuss adding a minor to your academic program, make an appointment to see your Physiology major advisor. Please be aware that some minors may not be currently available.

Several departments require you to add their minor by contacting that department's major advisor. These departments include: computer science, general biology, ecology & evolutionary biology, planetary sciences, speech & hearing sciences, information resources & library science, Judaic studies, linguistics, Mexican-American studies, Near Eastern studies, women's studies, any fine arts minors, special education & rehabilitation, nutritional sciences, architecture, and environmental hydrology & water resources.

Back to top

 


Registration for Classes
  1. When do I register for classes?

Students who have been admitted to the UA may participate in Priority Registration during the semester prior to the term in which their classes begin. The priority registration schedule, using UAccess, is based on the student's current class standing or classification (not including the units for which they are currently registered).  Information about the registration process is included on the UA website under the heading – "Schedule of Classes."

Back to top

 

  1. I want to take a Physiology class next semester, how do I get in?

Approximately 1-2 weeks before the beginning of the Priority Registration Period, you will receive notification via the Physiology Listserv about the Physiology classes offered for the upcoming semester.

Physiology classes fill up fast, so it is essential for you to register for classes during your registration period.  You will be responsible for verifying that you have completed the required prerequisites for the PSIO courses in which you enroll. Waiting lists will be established for full classes and students on the lists will be added to these classes if openings occur.

Student who wish to take PSIO courses who are not pre-physiology or physiology majors must contact Bertha Corrales, 621.2785, to gain enrollment in these courses.

Back to top

 

  1. I'm trying to get into MCB 181R and MCB 181L, and also ECOL/MCB 182. However, these classes are full. Who can I contact to get into these courses?

The course coordinator for these courses is Kathryn Johansen. You can contact her at (520) 621-3058 or millerk@email.arizona.edu or visit her in Biological Sciences East, Room 109 to inquire about your chances of enrolling in one or more of these courses.

Back to top

 

  1. How can I register for more than the maximum units allowed per semester?

To register for more than the maximum number of units allowed per semester (19 units for undergraduate students), you must submit a Change of Schedule form to the Office of the Register signed by both the instructor and the college dean.

Back to top

 


Physiology Research Opportunities
  1. How can I become involved in research in Physiology?

There are many ways that Physiology undergraduate majors can get involved in research. You can sign up for independent study or directed research, take part in an established research program, volunteer in a lab, or find employment in a lab. Check out these and other options by reading the "Research Opportunities" section in the menu to your left.

Back to top

 


Graduation with a Physiology Major
  1. Can I complete the Physiology major in 4 years?

It is definitely possible to complete the Physiology major in 4 years. However, students who transfer into the Physiology pre-major as sophomores or juniors sometimes take longer than four years to complete the required science prerequisite courses and the sequence of Physiology major courses.

Those Physiology pre-major students who enter the UA with a good background in mathematics which qualifies them to take first- or second-semester calculus are usually more successful at completing the Physiology major in 4 years than are students who must first take college algebra and trigonometry.

Sample four-year plans for completing the Physiology major are presented on the Physiology Undergraduate website.

Back to top

 

  1. What are upper division units and how many do I need for my degree?

Upper-division units are earned by completing courses numbered 300 or higher.  For example, taking PSIO 420 or MUS 337 will earn you 3 upper-division units. The UA requires all students to complete a minimum of 42 units of upper-division course work for graduation.

Back to top

 

  1. How many units do I need in order to graduate with a BS in Health Sciences degree and a major in Physiology?

You need at least 120 units to graduate with a BS in Health Sciences. The UA also requires all students to complete a minimum of 42 upper-division units in order to graduate. The Physiology major requires 30 units of which 18 units are in required courses and 12 are in elective courses.

Back to top

 

  1. Do I have to maintain a minimum GPA to graduate from the University of Arizona with a major in Physiology?

Although a cumulative GPA of 2.250 is required in order for students to be admitted to the Physiology major, the University of Arizona academic policy states that BOTH your cumulative GPA and your major GPA must be at least 2.000 for you to obtain your degree.

Back to top

 

Plans following graduation
  1. What can I do with a major in Physiology and a BS in Health Sciences degree?

The majority of graduates from the Physiology major plan to continue their studies, following completion of the BS in Health Sciences degree, in graduate school or in a professional school preparing for a career in health care (e.g., medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, etc.). However, a wide variety of career options are open to Physiology graduates, including research, teaching, law, and business. Examples of some of the jobs that our graduates have accepted are: pharmaceutical sales representative, personal trainer, research lab manager, teacher in the "Teach for America" program, lab technician, and manager of a health club.

Students can explore their career interests at the UA Career Services website or office (SUMC, Suite 411) and on the "Careers in Biology" website.

Back to top

 

  1. I am hoping to go to medical school (physician assistant school, physical therapy school). Is this the correct major for pre-health students?

There is no single "correct major" for students hoping to go to medical school or to a post-graduate school for one of the other health professions. Instead, you should select a major that is of greatest interest to you and that would allow you to follow your "Plan B" should you not get accepted into your desired program immediately after graduation. As long as you take the required/recommended courses that are prerequisites for medical school or for another health profession, you will be prepared to apply to a graduate school offering training for the health career of your choice. The Physiology Major curriculum does include all the prerequisite courses for most medical schools and for many other health profession schools.

The best place to get information about medical school and other health professions is the Pre-Health Professions Advising Center, located in the ILC, Room 103 (Phone: 520-626-7241).

Back to top

 

  1. If I am in the Physiology major, will I have a better chance of getting into medical school?

The Physiology major is just one of several UA undergraduate majors that can prepare you to continue your studies at the graduate level in health professions such as medicine, physical therapy, dentistry, physician assistant, pharmacy, or in academic and research programs. Although Physiology is the only undergraduate major located in the prestigious UA College of Medicine, this fact does NOT give you favored application status or automatic admission to the UA Medical School.

Back to top

 

  1. I want to go to graduate school. How do I begin the process?

First, you should think carefully about the discipline you wish to study in graduate school. For example, if you wish to study Physiology or Physiological Sciences at the master's or doctoral degree level, you could search the database of the American Physiological Society for school whose programs interest you. The Directory of Graduate Schools and Peterson's Guide also list Physiology graduate programs in the USA. Peterson's Guide also serves as a resource for you to explore graduate programs in other disciplines.

Back to top

 


University Policies
  1. What is a GRO?

GRO stands for Grade Replacement Opportunity. Under the GRO Policy, students are allowed to repeat no more than 10 units or a total of 3 courses in which grades of C, D, or E were earned. The repeated course must be identical to the course originally attempted. The grade received in the repeated attempt under GRO is the grade used in the calculation of the student's GPA, even if the grade is lower than that earned in the first attempt. Students wishing to repeat a course under GRO must file a "GRO Request Form" with the Office of the Registrar during a specified GRO filing period early in the term when the course is repeated.

You should be aware that repeating a course under GRO will NOT remove a low or failing grade from your college transcript. Also, medical and other health profession post-graduate schools will use all grades (including GRO courses) when they calculate your GPA.

Back to top

 

  1. Where do I send transcripts from other colleges?

The UA Office of the Registrar handles all transcript requests and the processing of transcripts from other institutions. The address to which transcripts should be sent is listed on the Office of the Registrar web page.

Back to top

 

  1. How do I know which catalog I should use?

Students who maintain continuous enrollment may select any catalog in use between their first fall or spring term at the University of Arizona (or an Arizona community college) and the term during which they graduate from the University. To establish continuous enrollment, a student must register for and complete a minimum of one course during a regular semester or term. Failure to meet this minimum enrollment standard for three consecutive semesters (and the intervening summer terms) requires that the student meet requirements of the university catalog in effect at the time of re-enrollment. Consult with your Physiology academic advisor or the UA General Catalog to learn more about policies affecting your choice of catalog.

Back to top

 

  1. How do I officially change my major?

If you wish to change your major to Physiology, make an appointment to see a Physiology academic advisor. Our academic advisors are located in the Ina Gittings Building at the east end of the UA Mall.

If you would like to change your major from Physiology to another major, make an appointment to see the advisor in the department of the major you hope to join. Academic advisors for all undergraduate majors are listed on the Advising Resource Center website.

Back to top

 

  1. Can I take community college credits and transfer them to count towards my degree?

The maximum number of community college units that you can transfer toward your UA degree is 64. Keep in mind that all credits taken at a community college may not be transferable to the UA, and even some community college credits transferred to the UA may not be applicable to your Physiology major requirements.

While you are a registered UA student, if you plan on taking a community college course during the academic year or summer, you should meet first with your Physiology academic advisor to determine if the course will transfer to the UA and will apply toward your degree. Transfer credit is not given for courses in which you earn a grade lower than a "C". The grades for courses transferred from other institutions are not included in the calculation of your UA GPA.

Back to top

 

  1. What is the Mid-Career Writing Assessment (MCWA)?

The MCWA is a university-wide assessment of your proficiency in college level writing. A grade of A or B in one of the following courses will satisfy this University writing proficiency requirement: English 102, English 108 (for ESL students), English 104H (for Honors students), or English 109H (for students earning a 4 or 5 on the AP exam).

If you receive a grade of C or lower, you must meet with your Physiology academic advisor to determine the course of action needed to satisfy your MCWA requirement. Remember that completion of the MCWA is required in order to apply for admission to the Physiology major. Therefore, Physiology pre-major students should try to fulfill the MCWA before registering for Physiology upper-division courses.

Back to top