Jul 15, 2024  
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog 
    
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog

Biology — Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology (EEO) Emphasis, BS

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

Department of Biology, College of Science and Engineering

97 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 an Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology Emphasis in the Biology Major?

This degree program focuses on the structure, function, ecology and evolution of organisms, with an emphasis on understanding the breadth of biodiversity. A diploma granted under this major will indicate “Bachelor of Science”; official transcripts will indicate Biology – Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Emphasis.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Lynn Pillitteri
Biology 407
360-650-6599
pillitl@wwu.edu

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

 Sample Careers

Botanist | Conservation Biologist | Educator | Ecologist | Environmental Consultant | Evolutionary Biologist | Field Biologist | Laboratory Technician

 Major/Career Resources

careercenter.wwu.edu/connectmajorcareer

How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Admission to the Biology Major is selective and is based upon an application procedure that considers prior academic performance (specifically GPA in prerequisite courses) and student responses to focused prompts. 

Pre-major Declaration

Students who have begun the introductory biology (BIOL 204, BIOL 205, BIOL 206) series and/or the introductory chemistry series (CHEM 161/175, CHEM 162/176, and CHEM 163/225), but have not yet completed CHEM 163/225 and BIOL 206 are granted pre-major status. Students who have been formally admitted into Western may declare a biology pre-major by filling out the Student Academic Declaration and Change Form. Pre-majors are assigned biology faculty advisors and receive helpful announcements regarding registration and other information of use to pre-majors.

Application to the Major

Students may apply to Biology Major status when theyhave completed BIOL 204, BIOL 205, CHEM 161/175, and CHEM 162/176 with grades of C- or higher. Application involves submitting a completed application form, including responding to prompts about the applicant’s experience, motivation, and goals. See the Biology Department’s website at cse.wwu.edu/biology for more details, including information about application prompts, application deadlines and review timeline, and reapplication limits. The Biology Department’s website at cse.wwu.edu/biology also has information specific to transfer students interested in applying for admission to the Biology Major, such as application eligibility and transfer equivalencies.  

Students are strongly encouraged to apply to the major prior to having completed BIOL 206 and/or CHEM 163/225 to ensure timely progress towards graduation. Admission to the major following a successful application is contingent on completing both BIOL 206 and CHEM 163/225 with a grade of C- or higher.

Grade Requirements

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

Requirements


Depth Requirements:


Electives:


0-3 credits to make 97 total. No more than 3 credit hours combined in BIOL 395, 496 and 498 can be applied to this category. Additional biology elective credits can be taken to fulfill University graduation requirements:

      ❑ Any 300 or 400-level biology course under advisement, including BIOL 300, 397, 400, 444 and 497.

      ❑ ESCI courses under advisement.

Note: BIOL 245 and BIOL 348 may not be counted toward this major.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study