About the Department

The Biology Department offers a breadth of courses in modern biology for science majors and courses on contemporary topics in biology for non-majors. Science education for non-majors is provided through a number of courses that meet first-year seminar, Natural Scientific Approaches and Connections core requirements. The curriculum for majors covers modern biology from molecules and cells through organisms, populations, and ecosystems, and emphasizes the conceptual, historical, and technical progression of biological science. Specialization in specific areas of biology is made possible by offering a variety of advanced elective courses. The Biology majors can be used as preparation for graduate school or professional careers in technical fields, the health sciences and education.

The Biology Department promotes close contact between faculty and students through faculty-taught laboratories and a highly organized student/faculty research program. The department has well-equipped programs for faculty-directed student research in areas such as cell and molecular biology, physiology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. A unique program for the undergraduate is instruction in the techniques of electron and confocal microscopy and their application to biological problems. For marine and other animal studies, the department maintains a cooperative agreement with Pt. Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. The James R. Slater Museum of Natural History serves not only the students, faculty, and staff at the University of Puget Sound but also the entire Northwest region as a resource for teaching and research.

The curriculum offered in the Biology Department enables students to

  1. Acquire introductory and in-depth learning in the field of biology through classroom and laboratory exercises;
  2. Develop intellectually through the practice of the following skills:
    • Learning from oral presentations and reading;
    • Communicating clearly and well both orally and in writing;
    • Locating and analyzing scientific literature;
    • Analyzing and solving problems;
    • Engaging in scientific observation and experimentation;
    • Engaging in quantitative analysis, graphing of data and the use of statistics in data evaluation;
  3. Work comfortably, safely, and in an environmentally responsible manner with an extensive array of techniques and instrumentation used in biological research;
  4. Collect, interpret, and present scientific data in written reports;
  5. Understand the relevance of biology to contemporary issues and problems in society;
  6. Acquire a broad background in biology to provide a basis for sustained professional development.