Collecting shrimp at the beach Collecting specimens at the beach Mary Jo Hartman's biology class Study at the beach Filtering the water Examining the specimen

Biology Program (Major, minor)

Department overviewBiology (M., m.)Chemistry (M., m.) Physics (m.)

What is the Biology Program?

Biology is the science of living things: what they are, how they work, how they interact and how they change or evolve. Now, more than ever, biology is among the most exciting, intellectually stimulating and promising disciplines in the sciences.

Why study biology at Saint Martin's?

The Bachelor of Science in biology at Saint Martin’s is designed to prepare tomorrow's scientists, who will teach, study, explore, care for and enlighten our world and its inhabitants. The degree can be tailored to prepare students for allied-health professional graduate programs. To achieve this, our students receive individualized attention in both the lecture and the laboratory. They get to know their professors and spend time with them as mentors, advisors, instructors, and fellow researchers. With a faculty experienced in a broad spectrum of biological specialties, students develop a breadth that prepares them for a future of service to their communities and the world.

Additional benefits include:

  • Personal attention: A senior research project is completed with a faculty member and presented via oral presentation to peers
  • A required seminar course designed to develop critical thinking and writing skills through peer-reviewed scientific papers
  • Upper division course labs that are taught by the professor who teaches the lecture
  • Field experiences, internships and other learning opportunities outside the classroom
  • Professors with expertise in different disciplines including bioinformatics, cell biology, field biology, microbiology, plant molecular biology, marine ecology, and evolution
  • Entire faculty attend workshops in life sciences education to continually improve teaching methods and curriculum
  • New courses in bioinformatics, medical botany and evolution

For a complete list of program goals, objectives and outcomes, please visit our biology outcomes website.

What is required?


  • 39 semester hours of lower-division courses
  • 30 semester hours of upper-division courses
  • Senior research project


  • Eight semester hours of lower-division courses
  • 14 semester hours of upper-division courses

Note: Some biology majors may add substantial coursework in a discipline other than biology. Such students often qualify for a minor in that area. Minors can be earned in many areas including chemistry, mathematics, psychology and English.

For a complete breakdown of biology courses requirements, visit the undergraduate academic catalog.

Note: All Saint Martin's students must complete the University's general education requirements.

What types of projects are available?

Students work directly with faculty on a wide range of projects. For example:

  • Algae biofuel production
  • Biofilm formation
  • Ecology research
  • Gene transduction with bacteriophages
  • Oral microbiology
  • Microbial fuel-cells
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Water quality

Student-led projects have included:

  • Paramecium growth in local water sources
  • How English Ivy alters soil characteristics
  • Microbial competition
  • And much more!

What can I do with this major?

Students from Saint Martin’s have gone on to graduate programs in biology and chemistry; been accepted to professional programs in physical therapy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing, teaching, physicians’ assistant (P.A.), Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) and medical doctor (M.D.) programs.

Graduates of the University's biology program will be prepared for:

  • A variety of careers in the biological sciences including:
    • Research and development
    • Biotechnology and bioinformatics
    • State and federal government
    • Botany
    • Marine biology
    • Genetics
    • Agriculture
    • Environmental protection
  • Specialized investigation leading to graduate degrees in biology
  • Admission into professional healthcare graduate programs including:
    • Medical
    • Dental
    • Pharmacy
    • Physical therapy
    • Chiropractic schools

For a complete list of professional applications, visit For additional information about how Saint Martin’s can help you find the career for you, visit our Career Center.

Where do Saint Martin's biology graduates go for advanced degrees?

Graduates of the Saint Martin's Biology Program have gone on to graduate and professional programs at:

  • University of Washington
  • Washington State University
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • University of Virginia, Biomedical Program
  • Central Washington University
  • Eastern Washington University, Physical Therapy doctoral program
  • Ohio State University veterinary school
  • Many more...

In addition, our graduates are accepted at medical schools across the U.S.

Research / internship opportunities

In addition to Biology majors have the opportunity to participate in internship programs with a variety of local businesses and organizations including:

  • Boeing
  • The Cascadia Collective (Marine Animals)
  • Dental and Medical Offices
  • Department of Agriculture (Microbiology Lab)
  • Department of Ecology, Fish and Wildlife
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Department of Revenue
  • Microsoft
  • Saint Peter's Hospital
  • Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction at Oregon Health and Science University
  • Fred Hutchinson
  • Physical Therapy Practices
  • Regional Fish Hatcheries
  • Weyerhaeuser
  • Wolf Haven International

Related fields of study

Chemistry (M., m.) | Physics

College of Arts and Sciences