You are here

Course registration

How to Register for Classes

  1. Login to MyUW
  2. In the QuickLinks section, click on "Register using SLN codes."
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions regarding various additional fees, address information, etc.
  4. Enter the SLN (schedule line number) for the classes you would like to take. (SLNs can be found in the time schedule,
  5. When you get a green check and the message “Schedule Updated,” you are done!

Required Courses

To hold a TA or RA appointment, as well as for most grants and fellowships, you must be a full-time student.  Full-time students must be registered for at least 10 credits in the Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters.  While you must register for the minimum, you may register for up to 18 credits without additional fees, during the regular academic year (Autumn-Spring only).  The department will not pay for credit overage fees.
During the Summer quarter, you only need to register for 2 credits to be eligible for TA or RA positions.  However, to continue to defer student loans, meet visa requirements, etc., you may still need to register for 10.

During each quarter you are taking courses on-campus, you will want to register for the following:

  • BIOL 520:  Departmental Seminar
    • The seminar meets Mondays from 12:30PM-1:15PM (with additional Wednesday meetings at the same time) in Hitchcock 132
    • IF this meeting time conflicts with your schedule, no worries! Register when possible, and you may view the recorded seminars at your convenience, which are posted to the Biology Department's website, here (must log-in to Biology website):​. If the registration portal is blocking you from scheduling, you may go ahead and register for extra credit of BIOL 600 if needed.
  • BIOL 600:  Independent Research
    • To register, use the faculty code for your temporary Advisor (assigned and noted on your offer letter).
    • Independent research credits represent your progress toward developing your research proposal and gaining skills in preparation for your project. 
    • You may register for as many credits of BIOL 600 as you need to ensure that your schedule meets the full-time equivalency.
    • After your general exam is completed in the 2nd year, you will replace BIOL 600 with BIOL 800, which represents your progress on the implementation of your approved research proposal and writing your dissertation.

​  During your first year, you are also required to register for

  • BIOL 500: Topics in Biology/Grad-Professional Life (1 credit, Autumn)
    • ​This course serves as an extended orientation to the Ph.D. program and to the Department of Biology.
  • BIOL 504: Mentored Reading (3-4 required)
    • Rotation: 10 weeks/4 credits
    • Tutorial: 5 weeks/2 credits
    • To register, use the faculty code for the faculty who will be leading your rotation or tutorial. If the faculty member is not located in the Biology Department, please contact the Graduate Program Chair, Takato Imaizumi ( Dr. Imaizumi may act as your rotation/tutorial advisor to assign the grade for your BIOL 504 credit. It is important to receive BIOL 504 credit for ALL rotations and tutorials. If you have any questions about your specific rotation/tutorial, please feel free to contact the Graduate Program Manager, Andrea Pardo (

There are no additional required classes for your degree.  However, below are courses that are strongly suggested:

  • BIOL 502:  Grant Writing (Spring 2024/Autumn 2024)
    • This course is offered as two 5-week courses, beginning in Spring 2023 and concluding in Autumn 2023.
    • The BIOL 502 section for Autumn 2023 is the 2nd course from the following year. We highly recommend beginning the series during Spring quarter, 2024.
    • Will cover the basics of grant writing, and prepare you to submit a National Science Foundation grant. 
  • BIOL 505: Teaching for Equity (Evidence-Based Teaching) (Winter 2024)
  • Lab Meeting:  Your lab’s seminar/meeting section (see the time schedule)

For more classes, please see the University of Washington Time Schedule.

BIOL 600: Independent Research

You will want to register for at least one credit of BIOL 600 each quarter through the quarter you take your general exam.  You may register for up to 10 credits of BIOL 600 in any given quarter, though we suggest only registering for the number of credits you need to boost your overall credit load to 10 credits.
You will want to talk with your advisor about their requirements for BIOL 600.  Some faculty require a certain number of hours in the lab per credit, others focus more on research accomplishments rather than hours.
Beginning the quarter after you take your General Exam, you will begin registering for BIOL 800 credits – Dissertation Research, rather than BIOL 600.  It is very important you make this switch, as you are required to have at least 27 credits of BIOL 800 to get your PhD.
Registration Tips
  • Register Early!! If you fail to register for your classes by the first week of classes, you will be charged a late fee (the department does not pay this fee!).  For registration dates and deadlines, see the Academic Calendar.
  • You may register for any 400 or 500 or above level course in any department.  Classes at the 300-level or below do not count toward your degree.​
  • Stay on track with your credits!  To take your General Exam, you will need 18 graded credits, and 60 total credits.  Plan your courses ahead of time to ensure you can take your General Exam during your second year.

Date last changed Jun 12th, 2024 @ 14:53:31 PDT