Human Anatomy Degree Programs and Classes

While courses in anatomy are common in undergraduate pre-medical and professional medical programs, degree programs focused specifically on human anatomy are usually offered at the graduate level. Continue reading for information about classes offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Schools offering Anatomy & Physiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Human anatomy degree programs and classes give students a deeper knowledge of the human body and the function of organs. These programs and classes can prepare students for various careers in the medical field, and graduate degrees in human anatomy can enhance career opportunities.

Degrees Master of Science in Anatomy, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Anatomy and Cell Biology
Courses Gross anatomy, cellular structure, chemistry, cell and tissue biology, embryo and fetal anatomy, cell and systems biology, systemic energy metabolism and others
Online Anatomy degrees are not offered online; however, students can find online introductory anatomy courses that may transfer to an undergraduate program.

What Undergraduate Degree Programs Are Available to Me?

Human anatomy training at the associate's level is most often found in nursing or pre-nursing degree programs. Bachelor's degrees with human anatomy classes include pre-med programs and physician assistant, health science and biological sciences majors. Options include an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics or Health Science, among many other programs.

What Graduate Programs Are Offered?

Standalone degrees in anatomy generally start at the graduate level. A Master of Science (M.S.) in Anatomy program can qualify you to teach at community colleges or conduct research, according to some schools. A specialization in Human Anatomical Sciences might be offered with an M.S. degree. Other choices may include a Master of Science in Applied Anatomy or Anatomy and Cell Biology. A Master of Clinical Anatomy is another program option.

In a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Anatomy and Cell Biology program, you will build on what you have learned in a master's degree program. These programs are designed to train you for biomedical research and teaching careers.

What Will I Learn in Undergraduate Classes?

Anatomy and physiology classes in an associate's degree program cover topics in gross anatomy, which is the large-scale study of the body's structure. You will examine the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Human body functions, cellular structure, chemistry and physiology may also be discussed. Classes for a bachelor's degree program include additional topics in the body's digestive, cardiovascular and reproductive systems. Tissue studies and dissections are performed.

What Kind of Graduate Classes Can I Take?

Classes for a Master of Science in Anatomy give you the opportunity to study four major areas of anatomy, which are cell and tissue biology, embryo and fetal anatomy, gross anatomy and neuroanatomy. You can study the brain and spinal cord or diagnostic techniques for identifying bacterial infection. You can also study microscopic cell anatomy, otherwise known as histology. Anatomy programs also include classes on surgical skills, immunology and molecular genetics. These courses might also be included in a master's degree program:

  • Methods of teaching human anatomy
  • General biological chemistry
  • Biostatistical analysis
  • Developmental biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Comparative physiology

Formal coursework in an anatomy Ph.D. program is completed in the first two years. During this time, you can study advanced topics in cell and systems biology and systemic energy metabolism. You may also find yourself interpreting anatomy in computed tomography (CT) scans or examining how disease affects anatomical structures. Students can also learn how to perform microscopic analyses of tissues and organs.

What About Continuing Education Classes?

Continuing education classes in anatomy are available to health care professionals such as occupational therapists, athletic trainers and nurse practitioners. You may find course offerings that focus on basic anatomy, neuroanatomy or the upper extremity. These courses may include a lab component, and dissection of the spinal cord, brain, shoulder, forearm and hand is often done on embalmed human cadavers. In these courses, you can study surface anatomy, ventricular systems, cranial nerves, the brain and limbic systems, arm flexors or fascial planes.

Are Programs Offered Online?

You won't find any online anatomy degree programs. However, there are some online introductory anatomy courses that can be taken for credit towards an undergraduate degree. These courses often use Animated Dissection of Anatomy for Medicine (ADAM) software. ADAM's multimedia content allows you to dissect a virtual representation of the human body. As a result, most coursework can be completed online, but you may still need to attend on-campus lab sessions.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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