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College of the Sciences

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Biological Sciences
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(509) 963-2731

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Degree Options

Biological Sciences B.A. and B.S. Options 

Students majoring in Biological Sciences at CWU can earn a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or a Biology Minor.  Students must consult with a Biology Major Advisor when applying to the major or minor, and for approval of their program and electives.  It is recommended that students meet with an advisor as soon as they are interested in applying to the program, and frequently throughout their time at CWU.

List of Advisors and Office Hours


Biology Major Course Requirements  

Biology Minor Course Requirements 

Undergraduate Course Catalog (lists pre-reqs)


Bachelor of Science Degree

The B.S. Biology major offers undergraduate students a degree program with depth of training in the biological sciences and supporting fields. This program prepares students for immediate entrance into careers in biological sciences or for graduate work.  Students may earn a B.S. General Biology degree (no specialization), or a B.S. degree with a specialization in one of four areas:  Biomedical Science, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Biology Teaching.  The selected specialization will be indicated on a student's transcript.


B.S., Biomedical Science Specialization   

The Biomedical Science Specialization serves students that are interested in pursuing careers in human health (medicine, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, pharmacy) and veterinary medicine. This specialization allows for the study of human biology, together with a core of fundamental physical science principals (chemistry and physics). This specialization allows students to apply these physical principals to the study of biological systems, which is an essential requirement of professional health programs in medicine, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, pre-pharmacy and physician assistant programs. The biomedical science specialization offers individualized academic plans to help each student achieve his or her goals in the biomedical field.

Course Requirements

Course of Study Worksheet (Excel Download) 

**Email Completed Form to Advisor for Approval**


B.S., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Specialization   

Ecology is the study of how organisms interact with their physical and biological environment. Evolution considers how populations change over time to generate the rich diversity of life on earth, and is the unifying theory of biology. The Ecology and Evolution Specialization is designed for students broadly interested in basic and applied biology, natural resource management, agriculture, ecological restoration, conservation biology, disease dynamics, animal behavior, and biological research. Students following this specialization will gain experience in natural history, field research, and experimental design. Potential careers may be found in federal, state, and tribal agencies, private environmental consulting firms, research laboratories, and natural history museums. Students interested in graduate study should work closely with their advisor to tailor this specialization to their particular field of interest.

Course Requirements  

Course of Study Worksheet (Excel Download)

**Email Completed Form to Advisor for Approval**


B.S., General Specialization  

The BS Biology major offers undergraduate students a degree program with depth of training in the biological sciences and supporting fields. This program prepares students for immediate entrance into careers in biological sciences or for graduate work.

Course Requirements 

Course of Study Worksheet (Excel Download)

**Email Completed Form to Advisor for Approval**


B.S., Molecular and Cell Biology Specialization   

Molecular and Cell Biology is the study of fundamental processes that form the basis of biological life and the techniques used to study these processes. The study of molecular and cell biology facilitates understanding of a wide variety of disciplines, including genetics, developmental biology, physiology, and evolution of organisms. The goal of the MCB emphasis is to prepare graduates to be competitive in applications for entry into graduate degree programs, professional programs in the biomedical fields, or jobs in biomedical/agricultural research labs in government and industry.

With guidance from their advisor students following the Molecular and Cell Biology Specialization will be eligible to become registered microbiologists (National Registry of Microbiologists, American Academy of Microbiology) upon completing the following requirements:

1. A minimum of a baccalaureate degree in biological science with 30 quarter credits in microbiology courses.

2. Acceptable experience equivalent to one year of full-time work in a microbiology laboratory related to the specialty area in which certification is sought. Experience must have been gained within the immediate past three years. Certification as a conditional registrant is offered to individuals who possess the academic qualifications for registered microbiologist, but who lack the required year of full-time laboratory experience.

Course Requirements

Course of Study Worksheet (Excel Download)

**Email Completed Form to Advisor for Approval**


Bachelor of Arts Degree

The BA degree program is designed for students preparing to incorporate biology into broader careers such as teaching, health sciences (PA, nursing, pre-PT), business, or law. It is also the appropriate major for students seeking endorsement in teaching high school biology.

Students seeking a BA degree must complete one year of college/university study or two years of high school study of a single world language.

A BS is recommended for students who anticipate pursuing a graduate degree in biology, health programs (MD, DO, DVM, DDS, Pharm D.) or biology careers that might require training in a greater depth of biological subdisciplines. See a faculty advisor in the Biology Department as soon as possible to develop a course of study and to determine which degree program to pursue.

Teaching Endorsement:

The BA in Biology partially satisfies the criteria for a teaching endorsement in Biology (5-12), qualifying students to teach biology at the high school, middle, or junior high levels. Students who successfully complete the Biology BA and STEM Teaching Program Minor (an alternative to the Professional Education Program) are eligible to apply for Washington State teacher certification. Teacher certification candidates must receive a C grade or higher in all major and STEM Teaching Program courses, have a GPA of at least 3.0 for either the last 45 graded quarter credits or overall CWU/transfer cumulative, and meet all Washington State teacher certification requirements. See the biology teaching advisor as soon as possible to develop a course of study.


B.A., Biology

Course Requirements 

The course requirements to this major were updated Fall Quarter 2017.  Current students who began this major prior to Fall 2017 have the option of choosing from the former BA or the current BA.  


Prior to Fall 2017: Course of Study Worksheet (Excel Download)

Fall 2017 - present: Course of Study Worksheet (Excel Download) *current BA*

**Email Completed Course of Study to Advisor for Approval**


Biology Minor

We offer a Biology Minor program for students majoring in other fields.  Also, students in approved teaching endorsement programs may take this minor with certain approved electives to add a supporting endorsement in biology.  Please see a biology advisor for more information.

Biology Minor Requirements

Required Course                                                                  

BIOL 181, 182, 183: General Biology I, II, and III
CHEM 181, 181Lab, 182, 182Lab, 183, 183Lab: General Chemistry
BIOL 213: Introductory Biostatistics
Electives in Biological Sciences






Biology Minor Course Requirements and Application

Biology Advising Schedule


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