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College of the Sciences
Give to Biology

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Department of Biological Sciences
Science Building, Room 338
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7537
(509) 963-2731

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Vision, Mission, and Philosophy

CWU Biology – Celebrating the Diversity of All Forms of Life



The department will develop lifelong learners via innovative curriculum, active learning and research activities. The Department of Biological Sciences envisions educating students by offering a balance between access and excellence at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, enabling these students to achieve fulfilling careers commensurate with their abilities and to meet the needs of the global society. The Department therefore sees as its community significant numbers of students who will be:

  • Able to directly enter careers as science educators, laboratory/field technicians, or research scientists, 
  • Prepared by our programs for success in graduate school or medical professional schools, 
  • Educated to be critically-thinking citizens in the science-influenced society of the twenty-first century



The mission of the CWU Biological Sciences Department is to provide a supportive and inclusive environment to actively engage students in the biological sciences, and to develop a mindset of lifelong learning and informed earth stewardship in our undergraduate and Master’s students. We provide a high-quality and personalized education that employs high impact practices to develop skills in critical thinking, science communication, and modern laboratory and field techniques. General and specialized knowledge are conveyed by flexible curricula consisting of core biological principles and elective courses in biomedical sciences, cell and molecular biology, and ecology/evolutionary biology. Students who graduate from our program will become lifelong learners in diverse careers, serving the greater good by developing and sustaining an ethical civilization through enlightened medical, biological, and environmental stewardship.

As a part of the scientific community, the Department values faculty scholarship, not only for the creation of new knowledge, but also as a means to better inform our teaching and to provide meaningful opportunities for inclusion of students in the practice of science. We recognize our important role within the University, the region, and in promoting scientific literacy and understanding in the wider community.


Who We Are

In the Department of Biological Sciences, we strive to foster a welcoming environment for all members of our community, regardless of their background or identity. We value diversity and we are committed to creating a place of teaching and learning where people of all identities find confidence in themselves and thrive. We also recognize our responsibility to actively reject behaviors that devalue diversity and inclusion, while maintaining dialogues that represent diverse opinions. As biologists, we understand that diverse groups and ideas bring a wide array of valuable perspectives, which strengthen our teaching, learning, research, and communication of science. Biology as a science provides us with fundamental knowledge that allows us to appreciate the essential aspects of diversity in our lives and prepares us to logically oppose inequality, which is unfortunately still prevalent in academia as well as in our society. We will continuously strive to recognize and confront systemic inequalities, and our own unconscious biases, as we move towards building a truly diverse and inclusive community through engaging in positive and inclusive behaviors and actively incorporating DEI principles in our teaching, research, and service.

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