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.

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

BioCORE Scholars present their research at symposium

The 2nd annual BioCORE Scholars Research Symposium was held at SPU on Friday, June 16, to a packed crowd of family and friends, faculty, staff and administrators (including CAS-Sciences Dean Bruce Congdon and SPU President Dan Martin).  Seven BioCORE Scholars presented research they conducted in collaboration with Biology department faculty during the week of June 12 - 16.  Topics ranged from animal physiology, to human locomotion and behavior, to molecular biology.  The Scholars demonstrated a strong grasp of the research questions and results, particularly impressive given the short time-frame of the research experience.  Congratulations to all of our scholars on a job well-done!

Michaela Rubenstein wins University Scholars honor

Michaela Rubenstein (BS Ecology '17) was presented with the Wesley E. Lindgren Award at the University Scholars Program ceremony on June 6, 2017.  The Lindgren Award recognizes "the graduating senior who best exemplifies he academic excellence and high standards of service associated with the University Scholars Program."  Michaela's research was titled  "Effects of ZooTunes Concert Decibel Levels on the Behavior of Five Species at Woodland Park Zoo."  She was advised by Dr. Janet Bester-Meredith, Associate Professor of Biology.

Dr. Long addresses graduates at Ivy Cutting 2017

Professor of Biology Eric Long presented the Faculty Address at Ivy Cutting 2017. His address, titled "Seven Percent" reminded students that they are in a small minority of people worldwide who have a college degree. Today's graduates have access to a vast scope of knowledge, but through their SPU education, they have learned how to critically assess and apply this knowledge. Dr. Long exhorted graduates to not take their degrees for granted, but to apply their degrees to becoming agents of change.

Dr. Bester-Meredith's Animal Behavior students present research to Woodland Park Zoo staff

Students in Dr. Janet Bester-Meredith's Animal Behavior (BIO 3434) course spent the quarter conducting research at the Woodland Park Zoo, working with exhibit keepers to answer questions about the behavior of animals in their care.  As part of their culminating course project, students presented their findings to Woodland Park Zoo staff on June 7, 2017.

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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 90 percent — far exceeding the 50 percent national average.

Video callout


Faith, science, and mentorship came together for SPU biochemistry student Dylan Marashi and Dr. Max Hunter. 

 View the video