Group of five people in lab coats discussing an experiment. One is looking into a microscope.

Investigate the origins, organization and functions of living systems

The Department of Biology is among the largest undergraduate degree programs at the University of Washington and a vital STEM pipeline for the state of Washington. Our discoveries contribute to a fundamental understanding of the natural world and have applications in fields ranging from the biomedical sciences to wildlife conservation. As a student in our department, you’ll receive close mentorship from faculty and work to solve problems as part of an interdisciplinary, collaborative team. You’ll also study in one of the UW’s newest and most cutting-edge scientific buildings.

Visit Department Site View Factsheet
Life Sciences Building at dusk
Male student pipetting in lab
19 Guggenheim Fellows


Through coursework, research and internships, our majors develop skills for careers in basic and applied research, education, health sciences, environmental sciences, science policy, government, business and the nonprofit sector. Alumni of our graduate programs assume leading positions in academia, government and private industry.

Career Paths

Possible career paths for biology majors include: 

  • Physician 
  • Biochemist
  • Wetlands biologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Fishery observer
  • Health communications specialist
  • Laboratory researcher 
  • Science writer 
  • Educator
Female student in lab coat looking at microscope

Our outreach and partnerships

Our partnerships — across the UW and beyond — provide our students with internship opportunities with medical facilities, biotech companies, environmental organizations, and local, state, and federal government agencies. These collaborations connect the natural and social sciences with engineering, medicine, law and business. Recent internships include placements at the Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

More About Our Partnerships

Find Yourself in Biology

Contribute to our fundamental understanding of the natural world from the molecular to the ecosystem level.

Department of Biology Stories

Students surround an Anatomage table, looking at a digitized image.

The Impact of Anatomy Lessons

Anatomy for Change, a program for students underrepresented in healthcare careers, provides opportunities to spend time in an anatomy lab.

Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West on the UW campus.

How's Your BS Detector?

Frustrated to see misleading information published as fact, professors Carl Bergstrom (Biology) and Jevin West (Information School) created a wildly popular UW course and book, "Calling Bullshit." 

Two women looking at plants in the greenhouse

A Green Oasis on Campus

The new UW Biology Greenhouse is a place for research, for classes, and for anyone who enjoys spending time with plants.