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University Catalog
    Western Washington University
   
 
  Dec 16, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Catalog

Biology, BA


Department of Biology, College of Science and Engineering

75-77 credits

Introduction

Biology is the study of living organisms. As scientists, biologists have three goals: (1) understanding the structure and function of organisms, (2) generating and disseminating reliable data pertaining to biological systems, and (3) developing a deep understanding of the natural world that can inform solutions for the serious environmental, medical, and social concerns facing humanity.

Our goal as educators is to maintain intensive academic programs designed to stimulate curiosity, creativity and life-long critical thinking in students who pursue a liberal arts education in Biology.  All of the B.S. programs in Biology are designed for students who plan to pursue post-graduate study or professional careers in biology or teaching. We have designed these programs to enable students to develop an integrated conceptual foundation in biology, as well as critical thinking skills, quantitative problem-solving abilities, leadership and team-building skills, and scientific research skills.

Each B.S. program features a core curriculum at the 200-level and 300-level, plus one 400-level course in evolution. The primary differences between the emphases lie in the choices of additional upper-division lab and lecture courses that a student takes to 1) gain a depth of knowledge in a focal area, 2) have opportunities to integrate and apply that knowledge in various settings including the lab, the field, and discussions with others, and 3) develop skills and abilities that are tailored to particular interests and career paths.

Why Consider a Biology Major?

Perhaps you are interested in Biology but are not planning on a career in as a post-graduate researcher in the biological sciences. Are you fascinated by the variation in the natural world, all the aspects that you see, hear, touch, taste and smell, and how life impacts every area of human endeavor? Do you have interests in other scholastic areas that you would love to combine with a study of biology? Consider a Bachelors of Arts in Biology!

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Merrill Peterson
Biology 315
360-650-3636
Merrill.Peterson@wwu.edu

Program Coordinators for Advising
Maren Brinson and Alexis Donnelly
Biology 315
360-650-6165
biologyadvising@wwu.edu

 Sample Careers

Research Scientist | Educator | Scientific Illustrator | Science Writer | Public Outreach | Nursing | Physician Assistant | Dental Assistant | Pathology Assistant | Biological Photographer | Laboratory Technician

 Major/Career Resources

www.wwu.edu/careers/students_choosingamajor.shtml

How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

The Biology Department has a two-step process for admission into our degree programs. Phase I students are students who have declared their intent to major in biology and are in the process of completing the introductory biology (BIOL 204, 205, 206) and general chemistry (CHEM 121, 122, 123) series. Admission to Phase II is based on academic performance in the introductory courses. Students must achieve an average grade of 2.9 or higher in their introductory biology and general chemistry courses before they can advance to Phase II and begin taking upper-division coursework.

Biology Phase II status required for admission into 300- and 400-level biology courses for biology majors.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major courses.

Requirements