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

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get in contact with a professor?

Click here for a directory of all Biology Faculty and Staff and their current quarter office hours. You may contact Faculty and Staff by phone, email, or visit during their office hours.

How do I know a professor's office hours?

Each professor will have their own office hours during the academic year. Please consult the syllabus for the course they are teaching for office hours or the directory posted outside of SC 258 each quarter. The Directory also has a link to current office hours.

During the summer, if a professor is not teaching, they will periodically be in. Please check with the department secretary for more information.

How do I get in contact with a TA?

You can also leave the TA a message in their box. Please familiarize yourself with their procedures as to how they can be contacted and their box location.

I can't make it for a test, who do I notify?

Notify your professor well in advance if you can not attend an exam. Most professors will work with you and make arrangements as long as you follow the policies of the class.

If you have an emergency, call the professor to leave a voicemail and call the department secretary at 359-6977 to leave a message as well. If at all possible, email a message to both the professor and the secretary describing your emergency and where you can be contacted if their are any questions.

Where is Turnbull?

Turnbull is located just south of Cheney. For complete directions, click here.

What is Turnbull?

Turnbull is a National Wildlife Refuge that was established in 1937 to provide productive breeding and nesting grounds for migratory birds and other wildlife.

What is the Academic Integrity Policy (Academic Honesty)?

EWU expects the highest standards of academic integrity of its students. Academic honesty is the foundation of a fair and supportive learning environment for all students. Personal responsibility for academic performance is essential for equitable assessment of student accomplishments. The university supports the faculty in setting and maintaining standards of academic integrity. Charges of academic dishonesty are reviewed through a process that allows for student learning and impartial review.

Click here for the complete policy

How do I declare biology as my major?

If you are a freshman admitted to Eastern Washington University after Fall 2003, come to the Department of Biology, SC 258. You will fill out a Major Declaration Card. You will take the hard copy of the card to Academic Advising, Sutton Hall 3rd floor to become officially declared.

If you are a freshman admitted to Eastern Washington University before Fall 2003, go to General Academic Advising, Sutton Hall 3rd floor to retrieve your student file. Bring your file to the Department of Biology, SC 258. You will fill out a Major Declaration Card. Take the hard copy back to Academic Advising to become officially declared.

If you are a transfer student admitted to Eastern Washington University, go to General Academic Advising, Sutton Hall 3rd floor to retrieve your student file. If you have not had your transcripts evaluated yet, please bring an unofficial transcript of your course work to the Biology office, SC 258. You will fill out a Major Declaration Card and be set up with a "General Biology Advisor" to have your Biology course work evaluated. You will need to take the hard copy of the declaration card to Academic Advising to become officially declared.

Please know the following in all cases:

How do I know what degrees or options are available from the Biology Department?

You can view our current degrees and options here or in the University Catalog.

How do I get information on the Master's Program in Biology?

Click on our Masters of Science option for information and application forms or email the department at

Where do I go to get information on Forensic Science?

The Forensic Science department is within the Chemistry Department. Click here for the Forensic Science homepage.

I want to major in Zoology but I see you don't have a zoology program.

Although we don't have an option in zoology, it can be an area of emphasis. To accommodate our zoology students, we customize the general biology curriculum to make wildlife/zoology an area of emphasis. Contact Dr. Peggy O'Connell for more information regarding this emphasis.

Where do I get Independent Study/Directed Study forms for BIOL 399, 499, or 600 credits?

Forms are found in the Biology office, SC 258. Independent Studies/Directed Studies are by professor permission only. Once you have permission, fill out the form completely. You will need the professor that you will work with and the department chair's signature (see department secretary.) Take one e copy to the registrar's office to register for the course and leave another copy with the department secretary in SC 258.

Who is my advisor?

You advisor is assigned by area of emphasis or general interest. Click here for a list of advisor by subject. If you are still unsure, email the Biology Department and ask who you have been assigned to and someone will get back to you.

How do I make an advising appointment?

When you declare Biology as your major, you will be assigned an advisor. Please contact your advisor directly unless your advisor is Dr. Gibson. Please call 359-6977 to make an appointment with Dr. Gibson.

How do I find out what courses from other colleges and universities are equivalent to Eastern's?

Make an appointment with a General Biology Advisor to determine course equivalences. Please have any syllabi available for better assessment of the courses you took at another University.


What are the best courses to start out taking in Biology?

If you are freshman or a transfer student without having taken any Biology courses it is best to first see an advisor. Generally speaking, Fall quarter you should start with the BIOL 170 series, CHEM 150 series and the MATH course you test into.

How do I get a hold lifted?

Contact the Biology Department Office at 509.359.6977 if you have a prerequisite or advising hold. For other types of holds, you will need to contact Records and Registration at 509.359.2321 to discuss the hold status.

I took Biology courses at another college but I can't register because of a pre-requisite block, what do I do?

If you have transferred from another college or University and your biology courses have been evaluated by the Biology Chair, Dr. Flash Gibson or another general biology advisor, call the Biology Office at 509.359.6977 to discuss.

I want to take a class, but I don't have all of the pre-requisites or I want to take the pre-requisite concurrently, can I still take the class?

You will need to speak with professor of the class requiring the pre-requisite. Pre-requisites are important because they prepare a student for the material that will be covered. We promote the success of our students and consider pre-requisites serious. If the professor is willing to make an exception for you, have them call the department secretary with your name, EWU ID#, and the Biology course and section # they are authorizing you for.

Please understand, you are responsible for all material covered in the course. If you need help, see your professor immediately. There are resources available that can assist you with certain subjects.

Does the Biology department have job listings?

Yes we do! Between September and June, a list is compiled from different sources and posted in the hallway across from SC 254. This does not include any jobs that may be available in the Department of Biology. This compilation is a courtesy and is updated as regularly as help is available.

How do I get a Biology internship?

An internship is a job and will take just as much leg work. Another resource for internships is Career Services located in SHW 114. Once you have an internship lined up, please see Sue Murphy, the departments internship coordinator for all of the necessary paperwork.

How do I become a TA for a Biology Course?

We look for people who have either taken the course they are interested in being an assistant for or who has demonstrated ability. If you are interested in being an assistant, please see John Shields.

How do I become employed by the Biology Department?

If you have a genuine interest in working for the Biology Department, please see John Shields. Hard working, knowledgeable, dedicated students are sought out for various positions in the department. There are not many positions, but when one is available, feel free to contact.

I'm trying to plan my courses for the next year, are the schedules available?

Tentative schedules are available and are updated as needed. This means that they can change based on enrollment, demand, or available faculty. We will make our best effort to give as much notice as possible in the event of changes.
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