View a series of welcome videos for students considering the Integrative Physiology major. Incoming freshmen and sophomores should consider participating in the Health Professions Residential Academic Program in Kittredge West Hall; this is a decision you need to make at the time you select your housing on campus.
See the Biology Advising page for information about seeing an advisor and declaring the IPHY major, and for answers to frequently-asked questions.
Several undergraduate majors and other programs at CU-Boulder provide opportunities to demonstrate academic achievement in physiology, health sciences, and related fields.
Overview of the Major
- Physiology is the science of function in living organisms. The curriculum in integrative physiology integrates knowledge
from such life-science disciplines as anatomy, biochemistry,
mathematics, physics, physiology, and statistics to study how humans and other animals function at the level of genes, cells, tissues, organs, and systems. The program of study emphasizes both the role of physical activity in human health and function across the lifespan and the responses of different organisms to various forms of stress.
- The major in integrative physiology leads to a bachelor of arts (B.A.)
- Students may seek honors in integrative physiology which results in the designation of cum laude,
magna cum laude, or summa cum laude at graduation. The minimum requirements for honors are a 3.3 overall GPA, a successful defense and a senior honors
research project. See the Information Videos page for more information about the honors program. For details about what's involved in an honors project, including deadlines and formatting requirements, see the 2016-17 Student Guide for Honors.
- There is an opportunity to study, live, and travel in
a foreign country for a period ranging from a few weeks
to an academic year. The University offers international
education at several institutions of higher education
in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia,
- The integrative physiology program provides students with knowledge,
skills, and expertise required for advanced training in
many areas such as physical therapy, medicine, osteopathic
medicine, physician assistant, exercise management, and
physical education. A degree in integrative physiology also qualifies
an individual for other career possibilities in cardiac
rehabilitation, sports medicine, chiropractic, athletic
training, geriatrics, physical fitness programming (industrial
and corporate), and further scientific training in graduate
- The IPHY Student Club is located in Clare 111. The Student Board promotes professional development in all aspects of integrative physiology through interactions among students, faculty, and professionals in the community.
- The IPHY major packet (revised July 3, 2017) is the essential reference for details of the major.
- Click here for suggested 4-year plans.
- The following image shows an overview of the Integrative Physiology major. Click here for a PDF version.
- Applicants who graduated from high school in 1988 or
later are required to meet certain minimum academic preparation
standards (MAPS). Applicants who are admitted to CU-Boulder
with MAPS deficiencies are required to complete at least
one MAPS course each term.
- The entrance requirements for the College of Arts and
Sciences include (1 unit = 1 year of high school study or
1 semester of college course work):
- English - 4 units (including 2 in composition)
- Mathematics - 3 units
- Natural science - 3 units (including 2 in laboratory
science with 1 in chemistry or physics)
- Social science - 3 units (including 1 in U.S. or world
history and 1 of geography. U.S. history may comprise
1/2 year of world history and 1/2 year of geography.)
- Foreign language - 3 units (all must be in the same
language and the last year must be level III.)
The undergraduate courses page contains course descriptions and links to instructor-maintained course web pages, if available.
Resources for academic success
- Tutoring is available through the Student Academic Skills Center and other campus units.
- Library - Merinda McLure, Health and Human Sciences Librarian, is the faculty librarian supporting the IPHY Department. She is available to help students by phone or email, or through
in-person research consultations, and welcomes your requests for help. You can find Merinda’s contact information and book a consultation through her online Integrative Physiology guide http://libguides.colorado.edu/physiology, or reach out to her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org / 303-735-6968. Find additional contacts for Libraries help at http://www.colorado.edu/libraries/ask-librarian or visit the Norlin Library Research Desk in person.
Research, volunteering, teaching, and independent study
The major offers several opportunities for more active participation than what is usually encountered in standard coursework. The student can experience settings relating to his or her career interests while developing advanced skills and responsibilities. Usually credit toward the major may be earned while participating in these activities, and some activities can be tailored to the specific needs of the student and/or mentor. See below for links to more information about:
- Participating in research in one of the department's laboratories.
- Performing volunteer work in a clinic or other setting relevant to the degree.
- Teaching in Integrative Physiology, in other departments on campus, or at the high school or middle school level.
- Independent study, involving research or other activities.
Dr. David Sherwood holds periodic information sessions with undergraduates explaining various advanced options available to IPHY majors. Some of these presentations can be viewed on the Undergraduate Information Videos page.
For More Information
For more information, contact:
Department of Integrative Physiology
University of Colorado at Boulder
Clare Small 114
Boulder, CO 80309-0354