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Biology Department

Biology — the science of life — is dynamic and diverse. Each living thing is an amazingly complex system. From our bodies to the viruses that infect us, from vast oceans to minute bacteria, each interacts with other living things in complex ways.

Biology majors at Seattle Pacific University graduate with a broad understanding of living organisms. Through immersion in scientific inquiry and problem solving, you’ll develop fundamental skills and knowledge for entering a wide range of careers, including those in medicine, environmental science, research, and teaching.


We offer six undergraduate Biology majors. Whichever one you choose, you’ll benefit from a robust program emphasizing hands-on research.


We offer a Biology minor, which gives you a scientific frame of reference to complement just about any major the University offers.

Opportunities for Students

Our urban location near Seattle’s biotechnology hub offers you opportunities for mentors and internships. You can also perform research through our Summer Research Program and present your research findings at local conferences.

Biology News

Ari Diamant (BS Biology, 2010) publishes research paper in the journal Science

Ari Diamant, who graduated from SPU in 2010 with a BS in Biology, is a co-first author on a research paper published in the top-tier journal, Science. In this paper, Ari and his colleagues report the crystal structure of the dynactin protein complex. Dynactin is an important cofactor in dynein-mediated transport of cargo along microtubules within a cell. This paper provides new insight into how dynactin and dynein interact with each other, and with other proteins that facilitate microtubule-mediated transport. Ari is completing doctoral research in Andrew Carter's lab at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, and will start medical school this July. Congratulations, Ari!

Michael Macarulay is co-author on malaria parasite transmission paper

Michael Macarulay, a senior majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology, is a co-author on a research paper published on March 17 in the journal, mBio, titled "Cyclic GMP Balance Is Critical for Malaria Parasite Transmission from the Mosquito to the Mammalian Host." Michael has been working as a lab assistant in the lab of Dr. Stefan Kappe at Seattle BioMed, under the supervision of Senior Scientist, Dr. Ashley Vaughan. Congratulations, Michael!

Blakely Island Field Stations - Summer 2015 Courses

Registration for Blakely Island Field Station summer courses is now open. Information on courses, fees and a link to a tuition reduction grant application, are available on the BIFS website. The tuition reduction grant application is due to Dr. Nelson by May 1, 2015.

SPU Bone Marrow Drive and Diabetes Awareness Event will be May 7 - 8, 2015

The SPU Biology Club will once again host its annual Bone Marrow Drive and Diabetes Awareness Event, May 7 - 8, 2015. This has truly been a life-saving event. From the 2014 drive, there have been 14 matches and 2 donations. Be sure to mark your calendars!

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Global Health

Global Health Is Our Health

When a confirmed infectious disease pandemic breaks out, Seattle Pacific’s emergency team swings into action, even if the outbreak is 7,000 miles away in Hong Kong.

Med School Acceptance Rates

Over the last five years, SPU premed students have achieved an average acceptance rate into medical school of 85 percent — far exceeding the 50 percent national average.