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Department of Biology
258 Science Building
Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.2339

General Student Information

If you are a Biology Major we strongly encourage you to join our canvas course.  This course site is a communication tool that will provide you with information about curriculum, course schedules, research seminars, internship and scholarship announcements, procedures and deadlines.  Please see Lisa Williams, the department secretary for information on joining this site.  

The links below provide information and instructions that will help streamline some processes for biology majors and students taking biology courses.

Admision and Graduation Requirements to the Department of Biology
Declare Your Major
Assigned Biology Advisor
Biology Quarterly Schedules
Registering for Biology Courses
Prerequisite Overrides
Releasing Holds
Maximum Class Size Met
Special Course Approval
Applying for Graduation

Admission and Graduation Requirements to the Department of Biology

1.      Complete the following courses
            a.      MATH 141 with >2.0
            b.      BIOL 171 with >1.7
            c.      BIOL 172BIOL 270 with >2.0.
2.      Pay nonrefundable fee to cover costs of assessment testing.
3.      Complete Major Declaration form and be assigned to Biology faculty advisor.
4.      Meet with Biology faculty advisor.

Major Requirements for Biology

Upon declaring biology as a major each student should meet with an advisor as soon as possible. Students should plan to complete BIOL 171BIOL 172BIOL 173 and BIOL 270CHEM 151CHEM 152CHEM 153 and the university English and departmental mathematics requirements in the first two years of study. Required 300-level coursework should be completed by the end of the third year. Capstone and advanced elective courses are ordinarily taken in the senior year. A minimum of 50 credits of upper biology courses are required. Only 5 credits of BIOL 399 or BIOL 499 and 5 credits of BIOL 395 or BIOL 495 will be allowed toward the electives for the BS in Biology, General Option. The following biology courses will not fulfill elective requirements: BIOL 100BIOL 232BIOL 233BIOL 234BIOL 235BIOL 390.

Those students planning graduate study are encouraged to take courses in physics, organic chemistry, calculus, statistics and a directed study (research) course in biology.

Graduation Requirements

1.      Have a cumulative GPA ≥2.0 for all courses in student's curriculum in Biology. 

2.      Complete the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Major Field Test for Biology.

Declare Biology As Your Major:

Come to SCI 258 and speak with Secretary Senior, Lisa Williams who will help you complete a Major Declaration Form and identify an appropriate faculty advisor. Your assigned advisor may need to meet with you prior to signing the form. Once signed and returned to the department secretary (who will forward to Records & Registration), you are officially a biology major.

Your student file will be kept in the Biology Office. You may come to the office and check your file out at any time. Please return your file when you are done in case a professor or your advisor needs to review it.

If you have an advising appointment, please pick up your file prior to your meeting to assist your advisor. After your appointment please return the file as soon as possible.

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Biology Professors are advisors in their specialty. (Click for the list of advisors based on subject/specialty.) Each advisor schedules their own appointments. Please see our directory for professors' contact information. You may contact them by email, telephone, or wait for office hours. 

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Registering for Biology Courses:

Students can register for most Biology courses on Eaglenet. Exceptions that may prevent Eaglenet registration are for prerequisite deficiencies, advising and other holds, major declaration, maximum class size is reached (class is full), or special permission is required. Here is some information that may help overcome registration problems.

Prerequisite Deficiencies (Registration Hold):

Prerequisites are courses you are required to take prior to registering for a class (although, some prerequisites may be taken concurrently). Prerequisites are identified on Eaglenet and in the quarterly bulletin. If you have not satisfied the course prerequisites, Eaglenet will not permit you to register for that course. If you are a transfer student and have completed equivalent prerequisites at another institution, Eaglenet may not recognize equivalency and indicate that prerequisites have not been met. In either case:

  • Obtain a Biology Registration Clearance form from the Biology office, SCI 258. 
  • Complete the form, including the 5-digit CRN # of the course and section for which you want to register.
  • Take to the course instructor to approve/sign. In some cases, the department Chair may sign the form.
  • Return the completed, signed form to the Biology secretary to override the prerequisite hold. PLEASE ALLOW AT LEAST ONE HOUR FOR THE HOLD TO BE RELEASED.
  • Log onto Eaglenet and register for the course. Check with the department secretary if a problem still exists.

Note: The Biology secretary may only override prerequisite holds for Biology courses only. For courses in other departments, students will need to go to that department to have the hold released. 

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Advising Holds:

Eaglenet may not allow some students to register for any courses until they have an advising hold released. Generally, this applies to undeclared freshmen and transfer students and requires that you declare Biology as your major and see your assigned advisor. In addition, the secretary will need a completed and signed Biology Registration Clearance form (see above section).

Other holds may prevents students from registering. Check with your advisor or the Biology secretary for information on how to get the hold released.

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Class Maximum Met (Unable to Register):

Eaglenet will not allow anyone to add a course if the class is full. Class size is based on several factors and often cannot be overridden. If you need a particular course for graduation or other extreme circumstance, in some cases the instructor MAY authorize course size overload. You will need to contact the instructor.   If the instructor will not allow course size overload, your next option is to regularly check Eaglenet to see if someone drops, then immediately register for the course. 

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Independent/Directed Study (Permit Required to Register):

Students may not use Eaglenet to register for special permission courses: Independent/directed study, internships, thesis, and other by-permission only courses.

  • Obtain a Special Course Approval/Registration Form from the Biology office, SCI 258 or online.
  • Complete the bottom part of the form, including the 5-digit CRN # of the course and section for which you want to register.
  • If registering for an independent study or internship, enter a brief (concise) description in the "Course Title" and "Course Content" boxes -- this information will appear on your transcript, so enter text that reflects what your independent study or internship will cover.
  • Take to the course instructor to sign.
  • Return the completed, signed form to the Biology secretary to obtain the Chair's signature and forward to the dean's office (they will forward to Records & Registration to be registered). PLEASE ALLOW AT LEAST ONE WEEK FOR THE COURSE TO APPEAR ON YOUR EAGLENET SCHEDULE.
  • Check with the department secretary if your registration does not come through in a timely manner.

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Applying for Graduation

Two quarters before graduation you must complete the Graduation Application/ Major-Minor Requirements Approval Form.

This form is available: in the Biology Main Office, SC 258, and on the Canvas site module, on the EWU website ( 

General information about the graduation application process and due dates for applications can be found at:

All other University requirements will be listed on the checklist form which will be sent (email) to you after the major minor form has been evaluated.

Completing and submitting the Form:

Follow the directions that accompany this form. Fill out the top completely. The email that is listed is the email where you will receive the evaluation from the graduation office. Anything that still needs to be completed or any issues will be sent to the email listed on the Graduation Check Sheet.  To be able to address any issues in time it is essential you receive the Check Sheet.

The address is where you want the diploma mailed once you have graduated. If you don't know where you are going to be, put your parent's or other permanent address so it doesn't have to be forwarded.

List the courses in the sequence that they appear in the curriculum information (catalog, advising guide, course check sheet) and NOT in order that you took them [this makes it much easier for your advisor to check your application for completeness.].Put all courses for the major on the form with the number of credits for the course and the grade received. If you plan to take the course in either of the next two quarters instead of a grade put the quarter it will be taken.

If you took an approved equivalent course at a different institution, list the Eastern course, then put an = and on the next line list the course number from the other institution and the initials of the institution, the number of credits at the other institution and  the grade received. This information allows the graduation office to check your transcripts.

Once you have completed the form:

  • Review the form with you advisor and have your advisor initial and date the form.
  • Once your advisor has approved the form, take the form to the Chair of the Department of Biology for final departmental approval. If Chair is not in office hours, you can leave form approved by your advisor in the Chair's mailbox in SC 258. If you do this, please provide a phone number where you can be reached. Once the form it reviewed, it will be placed in a folder marked "for Student Pick up" on the secretary's desk. It is your responsibility to pick up the form and submit it. It is a good idea to make a copy of the signed form for your records.  
  • If you are also completing a minor or a second major, the form must also be signed off by the other department.
  • The completed form and a copy of your receipt of payment should be submitted to the Records and Registration office on the 2nd floor of Sutton Hall. The fee for the undergraduate graduation application is $42.43.  Please make payment online through EagleNet.  Click on the Student tab, Student Account, Pay My Bill, select the current term, Make a Payment, Undergraduate Graduation Application Fee.   Please attach a copy of your receipt of payment to your graduation application. If you do not graduate the quarter you applied for, a reapplication fee of $24.63will be charged.

What to do if you have to change a course once you have submitted your Application for Graduation or if you change your date of graduation.

If you need to change one of your courses after you have submitted your Application for Graduation or need to change your date of graduation:  1) have the proposed change approved by your advisor, 2) have your advisor send an email to the Chair of the Department of Biology that includes your name, student ID #, course number that had been listed on your application, and course number that will be substituted or change of graduation date. Make sure that your advisor cc's you on this email. If the Chair approves, this email will be forwarded to the Graduation Evaluator. You will be cc'd on this email, provided you had been cc'd on the email to the Chair.

Things to be aware of when you receive your graduation check list back from the Graduation Evaluator.

  • Remember that the Graduation Application/ Major-Minor Requirements Approval Form covers ONLY the requirements for your major and NOT all university requirements. Just because the department has signed off on the requirements for your major does not mean that you have satisfied all university requirements. Therefore, it is important to pay close attention to the graduation checklist.
  • ALL areas are important, not just what you have left for the major.
  • Evaluation of cumulative credits - All three numbers are essential for graduation - 180 total credits, 6o of upper division, and 45 in residence. When you have taken equivalent courses at a community college they will only be designated as lower division even when the EWU course equivalent is an upper division course.  [These numbers are also shown in SOAR. If there is a red X next to the section in SOAR you will not graduate even if you have completed all requirements for the major.]
  • There is also an issue when a course is repeated. You can only count the credits once. If your grade for the last time you take a class does not meet the required cut off, you will not graduate.
  • The next section - Evaluation of Course Requirements includes both University requirements - the general education, common core that everyone takes or the university requirements that we have designated as cultural and gender diversity and international studies as well as a capstone course. Our program has a capstone that is a program requirement so that would be impossible to miss and graduate.
  • The last section is the remaining major requirements - that is the section most students look at even when they skip others. As mentioned above some students make the mistake of assuming all the other requirements will be taken care of simply by completing the major requirements. That is not true.  

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