The Department of Human Physiology


Human physiology is the science of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of humans, their organ systems, organs, and the cells of which they are composed. The basic principle that provides the foundation for the study of human physiology is the maintenance of homeostasis through the operation of complex control systems encompassing all levels of the hierarchy of human structure and function (i.e., cells, tissues, organs, and organs systems).  Therefore, each course in the curriculum emphasizes an integrated study of humans across this hierarchy of structure and function. Consequently, a reductionist approach of separating the curriculum into specific courses such as "molecular physiology," "cell physiology," "histology," or "organ physiology," has been purposely avoided. Topics covered across the revised degree include:

  • General Physiological Concepts: body organization, homeostasis, control systems, biochemistry, cell structure, cell function, histology, metabolism, membranes, and cellular communication.
  • Systems Physiology: neurophysiology, muscular physiology, cardiovascular physiology, respiratory physiology, renal physiology, fluid and acid-base physiology, digestive physiology, endocrinology, immunology, and reproductive physiology.
  • Integrative Physiology: exercise physiology, environmental physiology, physiology of aging, biomechanics, and nutrition.
Click here for information about careers in physiology, in general, and human physiology in particular.

A degree in Human Physiology from Gonzaga requires students develop analytical thinking skills, knowledge of scientific principles and the research process, and an ability to communicate their knowledge to others. Gonzaga's Department of Human Physiology seeks to develop critical thinkers and scientists who are capable of graduate study in disciplines grounded in the study of human anatomy and physiology and form the foundation for careers in health science, allied health sciences, research, teaching and private industry.

Most Gonzaga students that have graduated from our program pursue graduate study and/or training necessary for a variety of careers. These possible careers are represented by the graduate and professional schools listed below that have accepted our graduates. Another representation of who are students are exists in their current career aspirations. As of Fall 2012, our 145 of our 175 majors responded to our survey on career goals indicating their interest in pursuing the following careers: Physical Therapist - 52 %, Physician - 17 %, Physician's Assistant - 14 %, Other - 17 % (including Occupational Therapist, Sports Medicine, Pharmacist and others).

Graduate and professional programs and institutions that have accepted our graduates include:
  • Alternative Medicine
    • Western Washington University
  • Biomedical Sciences
    • Creighton University
  • Biomechanics
    • University of Alberta-Calgary
    • University of Oregon
    • University of Western Australia
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
    • University of Oregon
  • Chiropractic Medicine
    • Life Chiropractic College West
    • Palmer College of Chiropractic
  • Dental School
    • Oregon Health & Science University
    • University of British Columbia
  • Medical School
    • Creighton University
    • Georgetown University
    • Loma Linda University
    • Medical College of Wisconsin
    • Northwest Osteopathic Medical School
    • Oregon Health and Science University
    • Tulane
    • University of Colorada
    • University of Nevada
    • University of Southern California
    • University of Vermont
    • University of Washington
    • Virginia Commonwealth
    • Wake Forest
  • Physical Therapy
    • Chapman University
    • St. Catherine University
    • Columbia
    • Creighton University
    • Duke University
    • Eastern Washington University
    • Emory
    • George Washington University
    • Massachusetts General Institute of Health Professions
    • Midwestern University
    • Northwestern
    • Old Dominion University
    • Pacific University
    • Regis University
    • Sacred Heart University
    • Samuel Merrett College
    • University of California-Stockton
    • University of Colorada
    • University of Illinois
    • University of Maryland
    • University of Minnesota
    • University of Montana
    • University of New England
    • University of Pittsburgh
    • University of Puget Sound
    • University of Southern California
    • University of St. Augustine
    • University of Utah
    • University of Washington
    • Washington University, St. Louis
  • Exercise Physiology
    • Baylor University
    • Boise State University
    • Central Washington University
    • Long Beach State University
    • Montana State University
    • Oregon State University
    • Northern Colorado University
    • San Diego State University
    • San Jose State University
    • Springfield College
    • University of Denver
    • University of Oregon
    • University of Utah
    • Western Washington University
  • Massage Therapy
    • Inland Massage Institute
    • Western Washington University
  • Molecular Physiology
    • University of Vermont
  • Neurophysiology
    • University of California, Davis
  • Nuclear Medicine
    • Swedish Hospital, Seattle, WA
  • Nursing
    • Linfield College
    • Seattle University
    • University of Utah
  • Nutrition
    • Bastyr University
    • Washington State University
  • Occupational Therapy
    • Belmont University
    • Colorado State University Public Health
    • Creighton University
    • Eastern Washington University
    • George Washington University
    • Idaho State University
    • Midwestern Universuty
    • Nova Southeastern University
    • Oregon State University
    • Tufts University
    • Tulane
    • University of Puget Sound
    • University of Southern California
    • University of Washington
  • Optometry
    • Ferris State University
    • Midwestern University
    • Pacific University
    • University of Michigan
    • University of Southern California
    • Western University of Health Sciences
  • Physician's Assistant
    • Midwestern University, Phoenix
    • University of New Mexico School of Medicine
  • Public Health
    • George Washington University
    • Oregon State University
    • University of Washington

* Our graduates have also been employed in a variety of fields and organizations, including Coeur d'Alene Physical Therapy (Coeur d'Alene, ID); In Motion Physical Therapy, Performance Physical Therapy, and Holy Family Hospital Rehabilitation Services (Spokane, WA); the US Army Institute of Environmental Medicine (Natick, MA); and the Mayo Clinic Hospital (Phoenix, AZ). *
Click to visit School of Physiology Homepage/GUMainWebsite/Academics/Colleges-and-Schools/School-of-Nursing-Human-Physiology/inc/logologocopyright/GUMainWebsite/Academics/Colleges-and-Schools/School-of-Nursing-Human-Physiology/inc/quicklinks-human-physquicklinks-human-physcopyright
502 E. Boone Ave. AD 4
Spokane, WA 99258-2616

Chair and Professor
Dan McCann
(509) 313-3487