Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
Biology—Cell Emphasis, BS
What Is the Study of Biology?
Biology is the study of living things, an academic endeavor with a basic research focus on seeking answers to questions rather than on applying biological knowledge to solve problems. As scientists, biologists have two prime motivations: (1) intellectual curiosity about biological systems, and (2) the philosophy that creating and disseminating reliable knowledge has intrinsic worth. Thus, we intend for our intensive academic program to stimulate our students’ curiosity and appetite for life-long learning about biology.
The B.S Biology – Cell Emphasis degree is a well-rounded biology degree augmented by in-depth courses on cell and molecular biology. The curriculum provides an effective combination of knowledge in areas that students can apply to many careers. Supporting courses in math, physics, and chemistry, along with the core biology curriculum at the 200-level and 300-levels fulfill the goals of a liberal arts education. Students select 300-level and 400-level specialty courses that focus on cellular and subcellular processes. In these courses students not only pursue their interests more specifically, but begin to integrate and apply knowledge, and develop the skills and abilities to pursue careers of their choosing.
Hence, the integrated conceptual foundation in biology, the critical thinking skills, quantitative problem-solving abilities, leadership with team-building skills, and scientific research skills students obtain from lecture and laboratory courses in the B.S. Biology curriculum ultimately are critical for post-baccalaureate studies and future job performance. We expect that students who graduate with a B.S. or B.A. in Biology can apply their education to a variety of jobs across careers.
Why Should I Consider this Major?
Cell biology is the study of the structure of cells, the organelles they contain, physiological functions, life cycle, division and death, often studied at the biochemical or molecular level. This degree provides students with a solid foundation in all of the major sub-disciplines of biology with emphasis on the biology of cells. A diploma under this major will indicate “Bachelors of Science”; official transcripts will indicate Biology – Cell Emphasis.
How to Declare:
Declare your Biology major as soon as you discover you are interested. Contact Kim Kolb Ayre in the Biology Department Office, BI 315 for details. Freshmen, your first quarter is not too soon!
Biology Major Declaration is a two-phase process. In Phase I, majors complete CHEM 121, 122, 123 and BIOL 204, 205, 206. Entrance to Phase II is competitive and is based on performance in Phase I chemistry and biology classes. Students may repeat only one course in Phase I in order to remain eligible for Phase II.
Students intending to complete a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology within four years should complete the following courses by the start of their junior year. Students are expected to follow all prerequisite requirements for courses and seek early departmental advisement.
CHEM 121, 122, 123; BIOL 204, 205, 206; MATH 124
Mid-Program Checkpoint Activities:
Attend Biology Seminars.
- CHEM 351 Organic Chemistry (4)
- CHEM 352 Organic Chemistry (4)
- CHEM 353 Organic Chemistry (3)
- One course from:
MATH 124 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
MATH 134 Calculus I Honors
- MATH 240 Introduction to Statistics
- Choose either:
- PHYS 114 Principles of Physics I (5)
- PHYS 115 Principles of Physics II (0 or 5)
- PHYS 116 Principles of Physics III (recommended) (0 or 5)
- PHYS 121 Physics With Calculus I (5)
- PHYS 122 Physics With Calculus II (5)
- PHYS 123 Electricity and Magnetism (5) (or PHYS 223 Waves and Optics, under advisement)
Depth Requirements: 13-14 credits
BIOL 324 - Methods in Molecular Biology
BIOL 345 - Fundamentals of Microbiology
BIOL 471 - Biochemistry I
One course from:
BIOL 451 - Plant Growth and Development
BIOL 482 - Developmental Biology of Animals
Choose two of the following:
BIOL 322 - Genetics Lab
BIOL 346 - Microbiology Lab
BIOL 484 - Cell Biology Lab
1-3 credits to make 97-99 total (76-78 credits of basic requirements plus 21 upper-division biology depth and elective credits). Additional Biology elective credits can be taken to fulfill University graduation requirements:
- Any 300 or 400-level biology course under advisement, including BIOL 300, 499, and 497.
These courses are offered within this major and may be used to satisfy GUR or Writing Proficiency Requirements.
- QSR: MATH 124 or 134
- LSCI: CHEM 121, 122, 123; BIOL 204, 205, 206;
- PHYS 115, 116 or 121, 122, 123
- WP: Three Writing Proficiency points are required for graduation (they are noted as WP1, 2, and 3). Check Classfinder or Online Timetable for departmental offerings each quarter.