- Offered as:
- Graduate program
Biology is the science of life. The study of biology encompasses molecular, cellular, and physiological processes, evolutionary diversity, ecological relationships, and global systems. Biologists study life from prehistoric times to organisms alive today and model how life may change in the future.
Specialization tracks available
- Strengths of the program
- Build a strong foundation in the sciences.
- Focus options let you go deeper into topics that interest you.
- Courses cover a wide range of subjects in biology, including molecular and cell biology, physiology and development of animals and plants, conservation biology, disease biology, genetics and genomics, taxonomy and systematics, ecology, and evolutionary biology.
- Small class sizes in advanced courses.
- Opportunities for one-on-one research with biology faculty, including field and laboratory experiences.
- Gain skills in research design, data analysis, DNA and cell biological techniques, physiological diagnostics, ecological and environmental assessment, phylogenetic and evolutionary analysis, global complex systems analysis, computer modeling and simulations, scientific writing, and professional communications.
- Prepare for graduate and professional schools.
- Math, science, and engineering community residence halls with other entering students in shared classes provide opportunities for group study, free tutoring, and computer lab access.
- Conner Museum of Natural History and Marion Ownbey Herbarium offer specimens of animals and plants for research and study.
- Requirements and core courses
24 completed semester credits
2.0 minimum grade point average
Suggested Classes for First-Year Students
Two science classes
One science and one math
Two non-science classes each semester
Suggested Classes for Transfer Students
Core biology, physical sciences, mathematics, and statistics requirements and electives
Math 140: Calculus for Life Scientists
Math 171: Calculus I
Biology 106: Introductory Biology: Organismal Biology
Biology 107: Introductory Biology: Cell Biology and Genetics
Biology 301: General Genetics
Biology 372: General Ecology
Biology 405: Principles of Organic Evolution
Chemistry 105: Principles of Chemistry I
Chemistry 106: Principles of Chemistry II
Chemistry 345: Organic Chemistry I
Math 140: Calculus for Life Scientists
Physics 101 and 102: General Physics
Statistics 212: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Statistics 412: Statistical Methods in Research
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.
- Suggested strengths, interests, and preparation
Good high school preparation in science and math; at least three years of science course work in high school recommended, including biology, chemistry, and physics
Good high school preparation in communication, including keen skills in reading, writing, and reasoning skills
- 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.
A number of special scholarships are available to students invarious areas of biological science: The Herbert Eastlick, Fraser, Peacock, and Van Fleet scholarships; the Outstanding Biology Junior Award; the Biology Undergraduate Research Award; and Zoology and Biology Merit Awards.The College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Biological Sciences also offer scholarships reserved only for biology majors, including scholarships in the pre-health sciences.
- Biology facilities
As a biology major, you have access to exceptional library resources and research labs:
- Owen Science and Engineering Library, the largest science and engineering library in the Northwest
- Conner Museum of Natural History, which contains more than 56,000 specimens in research and display collections
- 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, auto-tutorial programs, and other media-assisted learning programs
- The Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center, a state-of-the-art facility where students learn electron microscopy
- The 800-acre Hudson Biological Preserve at Smoot Hill (15 miles from Pullman), which serves as a biological field station for students and faculty
- The James Entomological Collection, comprised of more than a million specimens of insects
- Mycological Herbarium, which contains more than 65,000 specimens of fungi
- Careers in biology
What you can do with a degree in Biology:
• Medicine, dentistry, and health fields
• Physical and occupational therapy
• Pharmacology, nutrition, and dietetics
• Veterinary medicine and animal care
• Fisheries and wildlife ecology
• Plant biology, agriculture, and horticulture
• Conservation and resource management
• Environmental assessment
• Ecological restoration
• Biotechnology and genetic engineering
• Forensics and pathology
• Public policy
• Science education
• Science writing and journalism
Skills you can market with a degree in Biology
• Individual curiosity and scientific creativity
• Research design and data analysis
• DNA and cell biological techniques
• Physiological diagnostics
• Ecological and environmental assessment
• Phylogenetic and evolutionary analysis
• Global complex systems analysis
• Computer modeling and simulations
• Scientific writing and professional communication