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 seven 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

Brynna Hansen co-authors conference proceeding

Brynna Hansen, a junior BS Cellular and Molecular Biology student, recently co-authored a peer-reviewed conference proceeding, "Identifying student resources for understanding kinematics", published in Proceedings of the Physics Education Research Conference 2020. Brynna, under the supervision of Dr. Amy Robertson, Research Professor in SPU's Department of Physics, analyzed introductory physics student responses to conceptual questions, and identified some of the productive ideas that emerged from students' responses. Other co-authors include Cheyenne Broadfoot, an undergraduate student at UW-Bothell, and Dr. Lisa Goodhew, who recently joined SPU as Assistant Professor of Physics. Brynna also presented her research at the virtual American Association of Physics Teachers conference this summer. Congratulations to Brynna!

National Voter Registration Day is September 22

In order for our democracy to function properly, it is essential that every citizen exercise their right to vote. This year, National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, September 22. The national website has information how to register to vote in your local elections, and how to get involved in getting out the vote other ways. The SPU Library maintains a guide to Election 2020, with links to resources on registering to vote, general information about the presidential election, and recommended readings on hot topics in this year's election.

Sarah Daman interviewed on local public radio station

Sarah Daman, a senior BS Ecology major, was interviewed by KNKX, a public radio station serving the Seattle - Tacoma region. Sarah spoke about her experience assembling the ribcage of a young gray whale, as a student in Dr. Peter Moe's "Whale Skeleton Articulation" course. The completed whale will be hung in the atrium of Eaton Hall. The complete interview, "How to know a whale: Students articulate skeleton at Seattle Pacific University", is available on the KNKX website.

SPU alum Haylee Yepson is now a Navy flight surgeon

Haylee Yepson, who graduated from SPU with a BS in Physiology in 2012, was featured in a recent Napa Valley Register article. Dr. Yepson, who earned her degree as a Doctor of Osteopathy from Truro University, is also a Lt. in the US Navy and recently completed training at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute to become a flight surgeon. She will be stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, SC. While at SPU, Dr. Yepson was also a member of the Women's Gymnastics team, and a research student in Dr. Janet Bester-Meredith's lab.

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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 39 percent national average.