HAPS Learning Outcomes

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Guidelines - The guidelines are meant to be used for overall course and curriculum development.  See Target Audience, Clarification of Intent, and History of this Document.

Goals - The goals form the unifying foundation for all topics in anatomy and physiology (A&P) and are to be emphasized throughout Anatomy and Physiology I and II.  These overarching goals have given rise to the detailed and measurable learning outcomes.

Learning Outcomes (LOs) - The LOs document contains over 800 statements about the specific course content (organized by module, ex. body system) that can be used to measure student mastery of that content.  Instructors will not be able to incorporate all of these into a two-semester A&P series of courses, but should make attempts to include as many as possible.  Some LOs may be covered in other courses (Chemistry, Cell Biology, etc.) within a particular curriculum.  The LOs are found on the society’s webpage.


The HAPS Learning Outcomes are the most comprehensive and widely adopted set of student outcomes available for Human A&P and for Human Anatomy.  Both of these sets of Learning Outcomes were substantially revised in Fall 2019 and are not expected to be revised again before 2029. Physiology learning outcomes are under development and will be released in 2021.  

The HAPS A&P Learning Outcomes reflect the content expected in a typical two-semester Human A&P curriculum at the undergraduate level.  The majority of first semester A&P courses (A&P 1) cover modules A through J, and second semester A&P courses (A&P 2) cover the remaining modules.  There is flexibility in how the first semester and second semester content is divided, and HAPS does not take a position on the order of modules in a curriculum; many different curricular formats can be effective when taught well.

The HAPS Anatomy Learning Outcomes reflect the content expected from a typical one-semester Human Anatomy course at the undergraduate level.  The language, modules, and action verbs are closely aligned with the A&P learning outcomes to make integration across courses easier.

All HAPS Learning Outcomes are available to members in three formats: PDF, Word, and Excel.  We suggest the PDF format for printing, as its formatting should be retained regardless of computing platform.  The Word and Excel formats are made available for HAPS members who wish to use a subset of the Learning Outcomes. 

HAPS Exams for A&P and Anatomy have been created to measure student success in learning the material detailed in the HAPS Learning Outcomes.  HAPS exams are available in two online delivery methods - one delivery method is proctored by faculty at their host institution, while the other exam delivery method is proctored online using the ProctorU service.

HAPS grants members license to use these Learning Outcomes for educational purposes, as long as the licensee is a HAPS member in good standing.  Licensees must properly cite the HAPS Learning Outcomes. Licensing arrangements are available for publishers and other institutions, and most major publishers currently use them. Please contact the HAPS business office for details.


The full list of modules (not all are included in the Anatomy Learning Outcomes):


A: Body Plan & Organization

B: Homeostasis

C: Chemistry & Cell Biology

D: Histology

E: Integumentary System

F: Skeletal System & Articulations

G: Muscular System

H: Nervous System

I: General and Special Senses

J: Endocrine System

K: Cardiovascular System

L: Lymphatic system and immunity

M: Respiratory System

N: Digestive system

O: Nutrients & Metabolism

P: Urinary System

Q: Fluid/Electrolytes & Acid-Base Balance

R: Reproductive System

S: Introduction to Heredity

T: Embryology


Preferred references for the HAPS Learning Outcomes


Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (2019) HAPS Anatomy and Physiology Learning Outcomes [online resource].  URL: https://www.hapsweb.org/page/Learning_Outcomes .


 Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (2019) HAPS Anatomy Learning Outcomes [online resource].  URL: https://www.hapsweb.org/page/Learning_Outcomes .


A&P Learning Outcomes (Fall 2019 revision)

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Anatomy Learning Outcomes (Fall 2019 revision)

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