Western Washington University · Bellingham, Washington
Biology—Marine 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 – Marine Emphasis provides a thorough introduction to the basic areas of biology and supporting sciences while allowing specialization in marine biology. The supporting courses for the major in math, physics, and chemistry, along with the biology core curriculum at the 200-level and 300-level, plus one 400-level course in evolution, fulfill the goals of a liberal arts education. Students select 300-level and 400-level specialty courses that focus on marine biology. 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?
Marine biology is the study of the structure and function of marine organisms and their relationship with the environment. This degree provides students with a solid foundation in all of the major sub-disciplines of biology with emphasis on the biology of marine organisms and their environments. A diploma granted under this major will indicate “Bachelor of Science”; official transcripts will indicate Biology – Marine Emphasis.
How to Declare:
Declare your Biology, Phase I major as soon as you discover you are interested. Contact Maren Brinson in the Biology Department Office, BI 315 for details. Freshmen, your first quarter is not too soon!
The Biology Department has a two-step process for admission into our degree programs:
Phase I: Students declare 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.
Phase II: Admissions is based on academic performance in the Phase I introductory courses. Students must have achieved 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. Students may repeat only one course in Phase I in order to remain eligible for Phase II.
- BIOL 204 Introduction to Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity (4)
- BIOL 205 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology (5)
- BIOL 206 Introduction to Organismal Biology(5)
- BIOL 321 Genetics (4)
- BIOL 323 Cell and Molecular Biology (4)
- BIOL 325 Ecology (3)
- BIOL 340 Biometrics (5)
- BIOL 432 Evolutionary Biology (4)
Choose one of the following series:CHEM 121 - General Chemistry ICHEM 122 - General Chemistry IICHEM 123 - General Chemistry IIIorCHEM 125 - General Chemistry I, HonorsCHEM 126 - General Chemistry II, HonorsCHEM 225 - General Chemistry III, Honors
CHEM 351 - Organic Chemistry
CHEM 352 - Organic Chemistry
GEOL 211 - Physical Geology
One course from:MATH 124 - Calculus and Analytic Geometry IMATH 134 - Calculus I Honors
Choose one of the following series:PHYS 114 - Principles of Physics IPHYS 115 - Principles of Physics IIPHYS 116 - Principles of Physics IIIorPHYS 121 - Physics with Calculus IPHYS 122 - Physics with Calculus IIPHYS 123 - Electricity and Magnetism (or PHYS 223 - Waves andOptics under advisement)
Depth Requirements: 13-14 credits
- Three upper-division lab classes:
- BIOL 326 - Ecology Laboratory
- One lecture and lab course from the list of courses below
- One additional 300- or 400-level lab (or lecture and lab) course
- 13-15 credits from the following courses (includes the required lecture and lab courses chosen from this category):
- BIOL 403 - Physiological Ecology of Animals
- BIOL 405 - Microbial Ecology
- BIOL 407 - Marine Ecology
- BIOL 437A - Tropical Marine Organismal Biology
- BIOL 437B - Tropical Marine Ecology
- BIOL 456 - Algae
- BIOL 460 - Invertebrate Zoology
- BIOL 464 - Biology of Marine Mammals
- ESCI 321 - Oceanography
- 1-3 credits to make 100-101 total (81-82 credits of basic requirements plus 19 upper-division biology depth and elective credits).
- No more than 3 credit hours combined in BIOL 395, 496 and 498 and no more than 4 credit hours combined in BIOL 494 and 494 can be applied to this category. Additional biology elective credits can be taken to fulfill University graduation requirements.
These courses are offered within this major and may be used to satisfy GUR or Writing Proficiency Requirements.
- QSR: MATH 124, 134
- LSCI: BIOL 204, 205, 206; CHEM 121, 122, 123, 125, 126, 225;
- GEOL 211; PHYS 115, 116, 161, 162, 163
- SCI: PHYS 114