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Human Biology program

Mark Waters, associate professor of biology, and Eastern Campus Dean Paul Abraham are excited about the new bachelor of arts in human biology program now offered at the Eastern Campus in St. Clairsville.

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Eastern Campus now offering bachelor of arts in human biology

Degree provides well-rounded background for array of career options


Ohio University Eastern has added the bachelor of arts in human biology degree to its growing list of Ohio University bachelor’s degrees available to students at the St. Clairsville-based campus.

The bachelor of arts in human biology program is designed for students who wish to pursue careers in allied health care professions, such as occupational therapy, genetic counseling, and with the careful selection of electives, physician assistant and physical therapy programs. This curriculum is also suitable for students who wish to enter law, public health, and health policy fields with a strong science background.

“The BA in human biology offers students a strong grounding in topics such as genetics, microbiology, human anatomy and physiology within the major, and psychology, sociology, and geography courses outside the department,” said Dr. Mark Waters, associate professor of biology. “Students in this track might want to consider a minor in a social science discipline, such as psychology, sociology or anthropology.”

The program is a joint effort between OUE and the Ohio University Zanesville Campus. According to Waters, students will take some classes, including the microbiology lab, at OUZ. Most of the other classes will either be offered at the Eastern Campus in St. Clairsville or via the Ohio University Learning Network (OULN).

“OUE and OUZ are located less than one hour from each other, making the commute between the two campuses a viable option for many students,” said Waters. “Judicious use of OULN and the addition of the new Cambridge Center will further limit the amount of student travel between the campuses.”

Ohio University Eastern Campus Dean Paul Abraham believes the timing is perfect and is predicting that the program is destined for great heights. “Offering the BA in human biology degree allows Ohio University Eastern to better serve students and the local community by providing a degree program that is especially applicable in today’s changing and competitive workplace. Science-based degrees are useful in a number of careers.”

Abraham’s prediction is backed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. According to the ODJFS, there will be a 19.1 percent increase in employment in healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, and a 28.8 percent increase in employment in healthcare support opportunities between now and 2020. The state of Ohio will therefore see an increase in demand for graduates qualified to enter these fields.

“Students earning the BA in human biology will be able seek employment in a number of growing health related occupations, such as medical and clinical laboratory technician, medical assistant, occupational therapy assistant, physical therapy assistant, medical records and health information technician and sales representative for medical and health companies,” continued Abraham. “Furthermore, with the addition of a few additional courses like organic chemistry, graduates will have the prerequisites necessary for postgraduate physician’s assistant and occupational therapy degree programs.”

Waters, who is spearheading the program, shares Abraham’s enthusiasm for the new academic opportunity. “The BA in human biology is a wonderful program for OUE and the local community,” he said. “I envision a program that will enable our graduates to move into positions of responsibility, positively impacting the region’s economy and ultimately, becoming a source of pride for Ohio University and the Eastern Campus.”

For more information on the bachelor of arts in human biology program, contact Waters at watersr1@ohio.edu or (740) 699-2511. To make an application, please contact the Students Services Office at nickerso@ohio.edu or (740) 699-2536.