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College of the Sciences

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Biological Sciences
Science Building 338
(509) 963-2731

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Graduate Program

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Welcome to the Department of Biological Sciences Graduate Program at CWU!

A Master of Science degree in the biological sciences provides an expanded opportunity for students to prepare themselves for biological careers not normally open to students with only an undergraduate major in biological sciences, or to prepare for PhD programs or professional schools. Our graduate program in the Biological Sciences offers opportunities for gaining research experience and expertise through a diverse complement of academic courses. Faculty in our department are active in research using multidisciplinary approaches to answer questions across the Biological Sciences. These research areas include:

  • Ecology: behavioral, population, community and ecosystem ecology, road ecology
  • Evolution: molecular and morphological systematics, evolutionary development
  • Genetics: conservation, population and quantitative genetics, ecological genomics
  • Infectious disease: bacterial, fungal, helminth, protozoan
  • Immunology: cellular, parasitology
  • Microbiology: environmental, extremophiles, wine bacteria
  • Neuroscience: molecular and cellular, nervous system development
  • Physiology: cellular, environmental
  • Science Education: assessment, critical-thinking

We have well-equipped labs (fluorescent microscopy, PCR including real-time PCR, respirometry, cell culture, animals facilities and a greenhouse). Our location in Central Washington provides easy access to many field sites in the shrub-steppe, forest, alpine biomes and Yakima River watershed. In addition, several of the faculty in biology collaborate with faculty in several departments such as Chemistry, Geology, Geography, Anthropology, and Psychology.


Why Pursue a Graduate Degree at CWU?

  • Program designed especially for masters students
  • Individualized faculty mentoring
  • Small class sizes
  • Interdisciplinary research opportunities
  • Collaborative atmosphere
  • Ready access to diverse natural areas
  • Expanded career opportunities

Where Do Our Graduates Go?


  • Biomedical researchers in academic, government and industrial labs
  • Technicians in research labs
  • Regional field biologists in government agencies
  • Biologists with environmental consulting firms
  • Continued studies to obtain doctorates in the sciences (Ph.D)
  • Doctorates in professional fields (DVM, MD, DDS, etc.)
  • Educators at K-12 schools and community colleges




Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.