- Offered as:
- Specialization track in Biology
Ecology and evolutionary biology, a specialization area in the biology major, provides a broad ecological understanding that can be applied to fields such as environmental and wildlife biology.
The biology major provides a strong background in the chemical and cellular basis of life and its many levels of organization, from molecular to ecosystem.
A specialization in ecology and evolutionary biology focuses your biology degree and gives you flexibility to study the topics that interest you the most. Inheritance, molecular genetics, the biology of populations, behavior, the flow of energy in living systems, and evolutionary and ecological relationships are among the topics you could study in depth.
- Strengths of the program
- Learn from experts in such areas as cell biology, molecular evolution, plant evolution and population genetics, physiological ecology, photosynthesis, electron microscopy, and crop engineering.
- You can join a math, science, and engineering community residence hall at WSU Pullman—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall’s computer lab.
- Study in small classes that provide one-on-one interactions with your instructors.
- Take both traditional and modern science courses.
- Learn research techniques and operate advanced equipment.
- Undertake a research project of your own under a noted faculty researcher.
- Featured courses
Here's a quick look at some of the featured courses in the biology major's ecology and evolutionary specialization.
The ecology and evolutionary biology specialization starts with the core courses for the biology major:
Introductory Biology I and II
Principles of Chemistry I and II
Math for Life Sciences -or- Calculus
Organic Chemistry and Lab
Principles of Organic Evolution
Introductory Statistics -or- Biometry
Ecology and evolution specialization
Choose at least seven courses that fit your interests: one course from each of the four emphasis areas, and the rest in any area you want to explore further.
Marine Invertebrate Communities
Principles of Conservation
Animal evolution and ecology
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
Biology of Reptiles and Amphibians
Biology and Management of Fishes
Plant evolution and ecology
Seminar in Plant Sciences
See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Biology facilities
Biology students have access to the following outstanding lab facilities:
- Conner Museum of Natural History, which has more than 56,000 specimens in research and display collections
- Owen Science and Engineering Library, the largest of its kind in the Northwest
- The Ownbey Herbarium, which contains 277,000 specimens of preserved plants
- The Science Learning and Instruction Center, a resource center for science majors that provides computer access, science software and videos, old tests, and other study aids
- The 800-acre Hudson Biological Preserve at Smoot Hill, 15 miles from Pullman, that serves as a biological field station
- The James Entomological Collection, comprising more than a million specimens of insects
- Mycological Herbarium, which contains more than 65,000 specimens of fungi
- Prominent laboratories researching invasive species, global climate change, and maintenance of natural plant/animal communities
- Scholarships and financial aid
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.
For all students at WSU
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
To get all the financial help WSU can provide, start by doing these two things:
- Complete the University's scholarship application when you apply for admission so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need.
For biology majors
In addition to general university scholarships and other financial aid, WSU offers scholarships specifically for students in biology.
Biology majors are eligible for scholarships offered by the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Biological Sciences, including scholarships in the pre-health sciences.
Biology majors with an emphasis in ecology/evolutionary biology have wide and diverse career opportunities.
Employment possibilities with a bachelor’s degree include the following: technician, work in testing and inspection for government agencies, agriculture, or industry, and sales or service representatives for companies that manufacture chemicals or technical products. Other options include work as teachers, technical writers, and scientific illustrators.
An advanced degree can lead to work teaching at the college level or conducting research for government agencies, colleges and universities, or private industry. Additional possibilities include consulting, management, and administration.