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Anatomy and Physiology Courses

Anatomy and physiology courses cover the organization and function of the human body and its systems. Find out more details about anatomy and physiology undergraduate and graduate course options, both online and on-campus.

What Do Anatomy and Physiology Courses Cover?

Anatomy and physiology courses teach you about the structure of the human body and how it functions. Introductory courses frequently cover the basics of both anatomy and physiology, while more advanced classes will often focus on one or the other. Courses are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Here are some topics to consider for all levels of study:

Biostatistics

This course explores the practices of biostatistical reasoning and the methods that are used in data analysis and hypothesis testing. Additional topics include study design and evaluations of variance, correlation and statistical processes.

Gross Anatomy

A gross anatomy course studies the main systems in the human body, including the musculoskeletal system and parts of the nervous system. Exploration of both human cadavers and living anatomical systems will also be included.

Cellular Biology

Students will learn about proteins and enzymes of the human body and their cellular makeup. The behavior of cells will be studied in addition to genetics, DNA and cellular synthesis.

Neuroanatomy

This course will explore the peripheral and central nervous system via its internal composition, normal functioning and pathological dysfunctions. The relationship between the brain and spinal column will also be discussed.

Biomechanics

This course will provide an overview of human movement in both healthy and injured persons. Areas of study include athletic injuries, aging, robotics and the basic functioning of human tissues and cells as a whole system.

What Classes Can I Take at the Undergraduate Level?

Anatomy and physiology course credits earned at community colleges may often be transferred to bachelor's degree programs in various fields, including nursing, exercise science and physical therapy. Prerequisites at the associate degree level often include high school biology and chemistry classes.

At the bachelor's degree level, you'll learn about hormone functions, muscle stimulation, bone composition and various physiological processes, including reproduction and digestion. Courses often focus on one body region at a time, such as the upper or lower extremities, or one system, such as the nervous or skeletal system.

What Will I Learn at the Graduate Degree Level?

You'll take graduate-level anatomy and physiology courses if you enroll in a professional degree program offered by a medical, veterinarian or dental school. Courses can be part of a Master of Science in Applied Anatomy and Physiology program. At this level, a course may focus on a single issue related to a particular system, such as the pathophysiology, or irregular function of the cardiopulmonary system.

Electives cover public health issues, illnesses related to nutrition and ways in which neurobiology affect learning and memory. Doctoral programs leading to research careers include graduate-level coursework and completion of a research dissertation. They may take 4-7 years to complete.

What Classes Can I Take Online?

A variety of undergraduate, graduate and continuing education anatomy and physiology courses are available online. Online courses are offered as part of degree programs and as individual classes. Individual courses may focus on anatomy and physiology related to a particular field of study, such as pharmacology or speech and hearing, and can often fulfill prerequisite requirements for related degree programs.

Technical requirements vary by class, but you'll typically need a computer with Internet access, the ability to use the school's online course delivery system and a school-based e-mail account. You may also need a CD-ROM drive or various media players to view lectures and videos of demonstrations and dissections. Additional requirements may include textbooks and materials, such as Animated Dissection of Anatomy for Medicine, or ADAM, software.