Bachelor of Science in Ecology Major

BS Ecology
When you receive a bachelor of science in Ecology at SPU, you will be ready to work in ecology or biological subdisciplines such as marine biology, forestry, fisheries, agriculture, behavioral ecology, and wildlife management. This major prepares you for graduate studies or a professional ecology/biology career.

About the Ecology Major

As an Ecology major, you will focus on principles that enhance environmental quality and make efficient use of nonrenewable resources. You will also learn to apply this knowledge to help address agricultural and environmental challenges.

Career Opportunities

After graduation, you'll be on your way to serving in a position such as:

  • Marine biologist
  • Agricultural economist
  • Crop scientist
  • Biological photographer
  • Conservation scientist
  • Environmental ecologist
  • Soil conservationist
  • Science writer
  • Plant physiologist
  • Wildlife ecologist

Courses and Requirements

For a BS in Ecology, you are required to take a minimum of 105 credits, including at least 40 upper-division biology credits. Review all of the BS in Ecology courses and requirements, as well as a suggested course sequence.

Elective courses should be discussed with your biology faculty advisor.

If you are interested in graduate school, consult with your advisor as to whether coursework beyond degree requirements (e.g., physics, cell biology, MAT 1235) is appropriate.

This major has a special emphasis on undergraduate research, and you are required to complete an Undergraduate Research Project for graduation. You will collaborate with a faculty member on an investigation that requires a formal proposal (BIO 4978 “Biological Research Proposal”), and original research and presentation of results (BIO 4979).

BIO 4950 “Special Topics in Biology” may be used to meet certain stated requirements if the topic is determined to be appropriate by the Biology Department in advance.

As a part of either core requirements or electives, you are required to take a minimum of three credits of field biology, taught primarily in the field and emphasizing field methods.

No more than six credits of courses numbered from BIO 4900 through 4999 may be applied to this major.

To apply to the BS in Ecology major, you must make a formal application through your Degree Status Check page in Banner.

Faculty Contact

Cara Wall-Scheffler

Professor and Co-Chair of Biology
PhD, University of Cambridge

Phone: 206-281-2201
Office: Eaton 107

Jenny Tenlen

Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Biology
PhD, University of Washington

Phone: 206-281-2007
Office: Eaton 113
First Generation student

See how Michaela Rubenstein ‘17 went from studying ecology at SPU to working in the Monteverde Cloud Forest region of Costa Rica.

Biology | Why I Teach

Eric Long, Professor of Biology

“Teaching biology at SPU provides me a unique opportunity to convey my love of creation and my love of the Creator. I get to teach in the lab, in the field, and on remote islands in the San Juans, Belize, and Galapagos. The SPU field station on Blakely Island, where I teach summer courses and research black-tailed deer alongside undergraduate students, is my home away from home. I have the best job in the world!”