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Prospective Students

For a video introduction to the Department, including the undergraduate program, see the About Us page. 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.

Allied Programs

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.) degree.
  • Students may seek Honors in integrative physiology which results in the designation of cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude at graduation. See the Honors page for more information.
  • 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, and Australia.
  • 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 school.
  • The IPHY Student Club promotes professional development in all aspects of integrative physiology through interactions among students, faculty, and professionals in the community.
  • The IPHY major packet (updated Spring 2023) is the essential reference for details of the major.
  • Suggested 4-year plans.

IPHY courses flow chart

Flow chart of IPHY courses

General Requirements

  • 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 libguide, or reach out to her directly at merinda.mclure@colorado.edu / 303-735-6968. Find additional contacts for Libraries help or visit the Norlin Library Research Desk in person.

Opportunities in Research, Internships, 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. Learn more about these opportunities:

  • Participate in research in one of the department's laboratories.
  • Obtain an internship in a clinic or other setting relevant to the degree.
  • Teach in Integrative Physiology, in other departments on campus, or at the high school or middle school level.
  • Perform independent study, involving research or other activities.

For More Information

Department of Integrative Physiology
University of Colorado Boulder
Clare Small 114
Boulder, CO 80309-0354
phone: 303-492-7333