Biological Sciences

David Lindsey, Chair; Joan Redd (Director of the Biology Graduate Program), Cecilia Brothers, David Cowles, Scott Ligman, Jim Nestler, Kirt Onthank

In addition to fulfilling the mission of Walla Walla University, the objectives of the Department of Biological Sciences are:

  1. To prepare students for careers in research and teaching positions in institutions of higher education by giving them a firm foundation for work toward a doctoral degree.
  2. To provide an educational background for careers in industry.
  3. To increase the competence of secondary school teachers.

The School of Biological Sciences offers a Master of Science degree in Biology for students who wish to prepare for careers in research and teaching or continue their education through a Ph.D., subsequently entering careers in research or college and university teaching. The program of course work and research developed for each graduate student takes into account the academic background, present interests, and future goals of the student.


Applicants must meet the general admission requirements as outlined earlier in the Graduate Bulletin. New students may start at the beginning of any academic quarter.  A complete application must be received at least 30 calendar days before the first day of the quarter in which the prospective student wishes to enroll.  Any application completed after this date will be considered for the following quarter. A complete application consists of:

  1. The application form
  2. Three professional references (unless the applicant is a WWU biology major)
  3. All transcripts from accredited colleges or universities previously attended
  4. A personal statement of objectives and goals (usually less than 3 pages)
  5. Teaching assistant application (if a TA is desired)
  6. GRE scores from a test taken in the last five years
    1. An applicant with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above must submit scores from the GRE general test only.
    2. An applicant with a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0 must submit scores from both the GRE general and GRE Biology subject tests.


Students must complete all requirements as listed in this bulletin and in the "General Procedures for the Completion of the M.S. Degree in Biology" (available from the department). A Program of Study prepared on an official form must be approved by the program director and submitted to Graduate Council by the third quarter of enrollment.  Official approval of this program will be acknowledged by a letter from the Dean of Graduate Studies. Any changes in the study program must be documented on a Program Change Form and require the signatures of the advisor, program director and the Dean of Graduate Studies. Because of the variety of biological and interdisciplinary opportunities available at the Walla Walla University Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory, all graduate students are encouraged to attend one summer term. *Students will take Graduate Comprehensive Exams during the first spring break after enrollment in the graduate program.

Prerequisite background:

Undergraduate background should include a B.S. or B.A. in Biology from an accredited institution.  Students with degrees in other science areas should contact the department before applying.  Specific cognate courses required include: General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, General Physics, and Pre-calculus.