Transfer Students

Contact the Department

Transfer students considering Western are encouraged to reach out to the Biology Department as soon as possible to discuss transfer equivalencies and the process of applying to the Biology Major or Biology Minor. We are available at biologyadvising@wwu.edu or (360) 650-6165.

Plan Ahead and Apply Early

Transfer students hoping to enroll in upper-division Biology courses in their first quarter at WWU need to plan ahead, particularly if they are going to start in Fall quarter. Transfer students initially enrolling in Fall quarter must apply for admission to the major or minor at the start of the previous Spring quarter to have a chance at registering for upper-division Biology courses during their orientation session. Transfer students starting at Western in Winter, Spring, or Summer quarters must submit their application at the start of the quarter prior to their first enrollment at WWU to have a chance at registering for upper-division Biology courses in their first quarter. Transfer students must take the knowledge assessment prior to submitting their application and should consult the “Application Requirements” section of this website for more information.

Ensuring Eligibility to Apply

Transfer students must be proactive in checking their eligibility to apply if they are interested in registering for upper-division BIOL courses in their first quarter, because almost all upper-division BIOL courses are only accessible to students with Biology Major or Biology Minor status, and extra time may be required to assess the eligibility of transfer students for application to the Biology Major or Biology Minor. Such communication about eligibility to apply should take place at least three quarters prior to the student’s initial enrollment at Western to minimize the likelihood of delayed access to the major.

Understanding Transfer Equivalencies

It is important to understand the transfer equivalencies between your current institution and WWU. If you are transferring from a Washington State community college or university, we recommend that you review the Transfer Equivalency Guide.  Below are guidelines for common situations:

1) If the TEG does not show that your courses are equivalent to the required prerequisite biology and chemistry courses needed to be eligible to apply for admission to full major status, you should contact the Biology Department well in advance of submitting your application.

2) You should also contact the Biology Department if your courses only count as equivalent as an entire series (rather than as course-for-course equivalencies), particularly if you will not have completed the series at the time of applying for admission to the Biology Major or Biology Minor.

3) If you are transferring from outside of Washington State or if your transfer school is not listed on the TEG, you must contact the Biology Department to determine any equivalencies on a case-by-case basis. If further review is needed, you will be asked to complete a Transfer Equivalency Request Form so that the Department may review the course(s) and determine if an equivalent course exists at Western. Be sure to submit any transfer equivalency requests more than two weeks prior to the deadline for application for full major or minor status. Failure to do so may mean having to wait until the next deadline before you can apply.

When completing a Transfer Equivalency Request, you must attach a full course syllabus that includes an outline of lecture and/or laboratory topics. Syllabi that do not include this information cannot be reviewed. Please allow yourself ample time to gather the required materials prior to submitting your request to prevent delay.

Transfer Equivalency Request Form

If you are transferring from outside of Washington State or if your in-state transfer school is not listed on the TEG, please contact the WWU Admissions Office to verify that a direct equivalency does not already exist. If no up-to-date equivalencies exist, we will ask you to complete and submit a Biology Transfer Equivalency Request Form. Instructions for how to complete this form are stated within the form itself. Please read the directions carefully and make sure that you attach all required materials.

When completing a Transfer Equivalency Request, you must attach a full course syllabus that includes an outline of lecture and/or laboratory topics. Syllabi that do not include this information cannot be reviewed. Please allow yourself ample time to gather this information prior to submitting your request to prevent delay.