Biology (BA, BS)

Biology (BA)


The BA in Biology provides a broad foundation in biology and is especially appropriate for students planning to teach at the elementary or secondary level.

  • A minimum 81 credits are required for this major, including 30 upper-division credits.
  • If you are preparing for a biology teaching career, you should become familiar with Washington state endorsement requirements prior to selecting core and elective options. Students interested in earning a secondary teaching certificate should contact the Certification Officer in SPU's School of Education to learn more about the process.
  • As part of your core requirements or electives, you are also required to take at least one botany course (generally chosen from BIO 3453, 4415, or 4744).

Biology (BS)


A BS in Biology provides a broader and more in depth preparation than the BA program for students pursuing a wide variety of professional careers in biology including post-graduate training.

  • A minimum 104 credits are required for this major, including 35 upper-division credits.
  • This major emphasizes undergraduate research.
  • Depending upon your interests and professional goals, you may choose the core and elective coursework to emphasize botany, cellular and molecular biology, ecology, marine biology, physiology, or zoology. 
  • As a part of your core requirements or electives, you are required to take a minimum of 3 credits of field biology coursework emphasizing outdoor research and data collection. 
  • As part of your core requirements or electives, you are also required to take at least one botany course (generally chosen from BIO 3453, 4415, or 4744).
  • Students should target a minimum 3.0 GPA in their science coursework if they intend to pursue postgraduate training.

Get information about the Biology Minor.

Entering and completing the major

In order to earn a degree, you must complete at least one academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, so if you change your mind about a major or minor, or want to include an additional program, you are able to do so, as outlined below.

Note that the University encourages you to enter your chosen major(s) and minor(s) by the start of your junior year. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should enter a major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you identified the BA or BS in Biology major as your first choice on your application for admission to the University, you have gained entry to the major.
  • To change to or add a major or minor in this department, follow these instructions
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements that are in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year you enter the major or minor.

Time Schedule:

Course planning: Suggested course sequences