College of Arts and Sciences

Through coursework in the classroom, lab and field, as well as research opportunities, internships and study abroad, Biology undergraduates gain the knowledge and skills for careers in basic and applied research, education, health sciences, environmental sciences, science policy, government, business and the nonprofit sector. Biology offers one BA and five BS degree options. The General Biology option, offered as both BA and BS degrees, is the most flexible option, enabling students choose from a wide range of electives through several departments. The Ecology, Evolution and Conservation option provides a strong quantitative background and serves to develop skills in data collection, analysis and communication that are useful for careers in natural resources and conservation. Students choosing this option may explore courses through the College of Environment as well as Arts and Sciences. The Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology option explores the complex biological processes that underlie cellular function, disease processes and embryonic development. The Physiology option emphasizes physiological processes of both animals and plants, from cellular to organismal levels. The Plant Biology option provides a strong and broad training in plant biology, ranging from the cellular, physiological and systematic levels to an ecological, horticultural and restoration perspective on a macro level.

Major category: Capacity-constrained

Curricular options: B.A. General Biology, B.S. Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology, B.S. General Biology, B.S. Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, B.S. Physiology, B.S. Plant Biology

Topic: Health, Natural sciences, Engineering-option

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline:
  • You must enroll at the UW before applying to this major. Please contact the department for additional details.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Career outcomes