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Online Anatomy and Physiology Courses

Classes in anatomy and physiology are essential in the health or science field; they can be completed through distance education. Learn more about how to complete these classes online and what prerequisites you may need.

What Online Anatomy and Physiology Courses Are Available?

Often, anatomy and physiology coursework is available as part of a healthcare or nursing degree program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. These course topics may be offered separately or together, and they can span two semesters or more of study. They may be part of a wholly online program, or online classes available through a hybrid program with on-campus lab components which can be up to three days in length. Noncredit courses are also available for free through various accredited universities. You may come across courses such as:

Anatomy and Physiology I

This course is part 1 of a two-part course that usually includes a lecture and a lab. This course involves studying the human body and learning about the body systems at a cellular, tissue, organ, and system level. The lab includes experiments, dissections, and hands-on experience with the systems studied in the course.

Anatomy and Physiology II

This is the second course in the sequence following Anatomy and Physiology I. This course provides further study of the structure and function of the human body, including the specific body systems. The lab component includes dissections in order to give students the opportunity to see the concepts presented in the lectures.

Survey of Anatomy and Physiology

This course is a survey of the structures and functions of the human body. Students will study the basic principles of both the anatomy and physiology of the human body. This course is usually an elective intended for non-science majors.

Human Anatomy

In a human anatomy course, students study the human body structures and systems. Students learn how the various systems within the entire body work together. The course may make use of diagnostic imaging such as X-rays and MRIs while exploring anatomy.

Human Physiology

A course in human physiology examines how the human body is organized and how the different body systems relate to each other. The lab covers the fundamental techniques needed for the study of life processes.

Pathophysiology

Courses in pathophysiology focus on the changes in normal anatomy and physiology of the human body. Disease processes and the correlation between the pathology and symptoms of the disease are taught.

What Prior Education Do I Need?

Depending on your prospective undergraduate program, minimum requirements are a high school diploma or GED certificate with appropriate grade point average (GPA). Some schools may require you to produce qualifying ACT or SAT scores. High school coursework in biology, chemistry, and computer literacy can be useful. To enroll in a master's degree program, you need to possess an undergraduate degree. Some schools require applicants to have a specific GPA, and many require a letter of reference and a personal statement.

What Technical Requirements Will I Need?

Schools recommend that participants own an up-to-date computer and may state minimal processor speed, memory, and hard drive requirements. A broadband internet connection of at least 1.5 mbps is required because you deal with video, animation, large files, and graphics. Necessary hardware may include a sound card, speakers, and headphones. You must provide a valid e-mail address, have an up-to-date operating system, and have a reliable web browser, like Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox. Finally, you will need a word processing program, virus protection, and malware protection.

Most assignments for these courses are submitted entirely online. You may also be required to participate in online discussions through a forum. Exams are taken online or, if proctoring is required, they may be taken on campus or at a local testing center.