- Offered as:
- Graduate program
Zoology is the science of animals. The zoology major at WSU is built around core studies in anatomy, physiology, behavior, and animal diversity in the context of broad perspective in genetics, evolution, and ecology. Our students learn modern scientific and analytical skills in classroom, field, and research settings.
- Strengths of the program
- Build a strong foundation in the sciences.
- Use options to focus on depth and breadth of interest areas.
- 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.
- Coursework and experiences designed to prepare students for graduate and professional schools.
- Math, science, and engineering community residence halls provide opportunities for group study, tutoring, and computer lab access,.
- Conner Museum of Natural History has animal skins, skeletons, and taxidermy mounts for research and study.
- Requirements and core courses
Courses cover zoology development, comparative physiology, human physiology, comparative anatomy, human anatomy, human nutrition, organismal biology (fishes, reptiles, amphibians), birds, and mammals, conservation biology, disease biology, genetics and genomics, ecology, and evolutionary biology.
24 completed semester credits
2.0 minimum grade point average
Suggested classes for first-year students
Two science classes -or- 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 -or- 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 -or- Statistics 412: Statistical Methods in Research
See the WSU Catalog and speak to an advisor before planning your courses. All students must meet degree requirements as outlined in the WSU Catalog in order to graduate.
- Pre-veterinary zoology
The zoology pre-veterinary track includes the prerequisites for the WSU School of Veterinary Medicine D.V.M. program.
Some veterinary schools have different or additional requirements. Be sure to get specific information about any school you're considering applying to. (The pre-health advisors at WSU can help.)
As a zoology major, you can also take courses like these that will give you a head start in veterinary school:
Principles of Animal Development
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
Rights and Welfare of Animals
Adaptive Strategies of Animals
Career Experience Internship
- Pre-medical zoology
The zoology pre-med track includes the basic prerequisites for most medical schools.
A few professional schools have different or additional requirements. Be sure to get specific information about any school you're considering applying to. (The pre-health advisors at WSU can help.)
Introductory Genetics and Cell Biology
Microbiology Lecture and Lab
In addition to the science prerequisites, most medical schools recommend a series of electives. You don't have to take all of them, or even any of them, but they can be very helpful in preparing you for the rigors of professional school.
The zoology major's core courses include several of the recommended electives. And there's room to pursue more of them if you want to.
These science electives are especially recommended:
These non-science electives are especially recommended:
Contemporary Social Problems
Psychology of Aging
History of Medicine
Professional and Technical Writing
The Biology of Women
- Zoology facilities
Zoology students have access to outstanding lab facilities:
- Owen Science and Engineering Library, the largest of its kind in the Northwest
- The highly regarded Conner Museum of Natural History, which has more than 56,000 specimens in research and display collections
- The Science Learning and Instruction Center (SLIC), 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
- Grizzly bear research unit—the only university facility in the world to house adult grizzlies for research
- Prominent laboratories researching fish genetics, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and animal behavior
- 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 zoology majors
In addition to general university scholarships and other financial aid, WSU offers scholarships specifically for students in zoology.
Zoology 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.
- Student clubs
Raptor Club and Rehabilitation Program
- Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS)
- Pre-Dental Club
- Pre-Health Club
- Pre-Nursing Club: Rho Nu
- Pre-Pharmacy Club
- Pre-Physician Assistant Club
- Pre-PT/OT Club
- Pre-Vet Club (AKA Organization of Future Veterinarians)
- Careers in zoology
What you can do with a degree in zoology
• Medicine, dentistry, and health fields
• Physical and occupational therapy
• Veterinary medicine
• Animal care and rehabilitation
• Zoo and marine park administration
• Fisheries and wildlife biology
• Conservation and resource management
• Environmental assessment
• Biotechnology and genetic engineering
• Forensics and pathology
• Public policy
• Science education
• Science writing and journalism
Skills you can market with a degree in zoology
• Intellectual 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 communications