Human Biology for Social Workers

Student working on laptop at a table

NOTE: This course does not award Texas State University credit but does meet the admission requirements for most MSW Programs. 

Administered in partnership with the School of Social Work, this course provides the basics of human biology and its connection to social practice for students who want to practice social work. Biology is an important part of understanding social work clients, and often there is tremendous overlap among presenting problems and a client or client system’s physical illness, substance abuse, or health condition.

This course has 14 units divided into four major sections.
    Part 1: Human Biology
    Part 2: Evolution, Genetics, and Inheritance
    Part 3: Human Problems, Issues, and Biology
    Part 4: Emerging Issues in Human Biology

Students complete and submit essay questions for each of the 14 units within the 15-week time limit specified at the time of enrollment.

Students can enroll at any time.

Course Variations

Course:    Human Biology for Social Workers (standard completion certificate)
Cost:        $200.00
Hours:     15 total hours

Course:   Human Biology for Social Workers (CEU certificate)
Cost:        $225.00
Hours:     15 total hours

Course:    Human Biology for Social Workers with Ethics Component (standard completion certificate)
Cost:        $225.00
Hours:      12 hours + 3 hours Ethics (total 15 hours)

Course:    Human Biology for Social Workers with Ethics Component (CEU certificate)
Cost:        $250.00
Hours:     12 hours + 3 hours Ethics (total 15 hours)

Allowable Resources & Suggested Textbook Information

In lieu of a textbook, please see the Additional or Alternative Allowable Resources below, which can be used to complete the course:

Additional or Alternative Allowable Resources:

  • Organization websites (e.g.; Department of State Health Services, U.S. Health & Human Services, etc.)

  • Empirical / Scientific Research articles
  • Alternative Human Biology textbooks
  • Google or Bing Search Engines

Unacceptable Resources:

  • Opinion-based websites
  • Social Media sources
  • Wikipedia
  • Magazine or Newspaper articles

Suggested Texts (cost not included in course fee):

  • Goodenough, J. & McGuire, B. (2016). Biology of Humans: Concepts, Applications, and Issues. Boston: Pearson. ISBN-10: 0134045440.
  • Leon Ginsberg, Larry Nackerud, & Christopher R. Larrison. Human Biology for Social Workers: Development, Ecology, Genetics, and Health. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2004. ISBN: 0-205-34405-4

Textbook cost varies by distributor. Used copies can sometimes be purchased for less from or a university bookstore.

Additional Course Information

Eligibility to Enroll

Any student who has already completed an undergraduate degree in any field is eligible. Preference will be given to students applying for admission to MSW programs who need content in human biology. There may be limitations on the number of students who can be enrolled in any given time period. Apply early!

Time Limit 

You have 15 weeks to complete this course. Do not enroll until you are sure you have the time to complete the course. We recommend you complete two units a week and finish the course in seven weeks.

Submitting Assignments

  • Submit all assignments at the same time at the end of the course.
  • Each assignment should have the student’s code number on every page.
  • Pages and questions should be numbered.
  • Students should restate the question at the top of the page and then provide a 300-500 word response following the question.
  • Responses longer than 600 words or shorter than 300 words will not be graded. Standard fonts such as Arial, Times, or Courier are preferred.


  • Assignments are graded on a pass/fail basis.
  • In order to obtain a “pass”, each response must be clear, concise, accurate, and supported by content in the texts or other sources used as well as contain examples to further support each response.
  • All assignments should be typed and double-spaced.
  • The essays should reflect appropriate writing and spelling conventions and avoid using sexist, racist, biased, and non-inclusive language.
  • A student must receive a pass on 12 of the 14 essays in order to pass.
  • If the student’s time has not elapsed, the student will have one opportunity to resubmit essays that did not receive a “pass.” If the student completes and passes those essays within the time period, there are no additional costs. If a student’s time has elapsed, the student must re-enroll in the course and submit all the essays again. It is to the student’s benefit to submit the essays early enough to allow time for revision.

Registration Confirmation

After your registration is processed, you will be sent an email within five working days welcoming you to the course and giving you important information. If you do not receive this email in a timely manner, contact the Office of Distance and Extended Learning.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

All cancellation requests must be submitted by email to the Office of Distance and Extended Learning at Students that submit a cancellation request within the first 14 days of their registration/payment date will only incur a $25.00 cancellation fee. There are no refunds after 14 days.

Information and Assistance

For questions regarding the content of this course, please contact the Texas State School of Social Work at 512-245-2592 or

For assistance with the registration or payment processes, please contact the Office of Distance and Extended Learning at 512-245-2507 or

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