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 the UW’s largest undergraduate degree program and the largest STEM degree program in Washington state. 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.

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Multi-story modern glass building in overcast weather.
One student pipes purple liquid into test tube.
19 Guggenheim Fellows

Careers

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
Person in lab coat smiles while looking into a 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

Ishira Parikh on campus

Inclusive Biology Lessons with a Global Reach

UW senior Ishira Parikh helped create an award-winning curriculum using what she'd learned through UW courses and volunteer activities. 

Photo of Anna Sulc holding a penguin.

From Paris to Penguins

French and oceanography major Anna Sulc has traveled the world for her humanities and biology research. 

Close up of underside of octopus, showing suckers on limbs

A Sucker for Octopuses

After spending nearly two years studying octopuses, UW senior Joey Ullmann hopes to study them for decades more. "They're so damn cool," he says.