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Transfers & Postbacs

Transfer students are an important part of our Biology community, making up ~20% of our undergrad student population and we are here to support you as you plan for your transfer to UW.

We strongly encourage prospective transfer students to meet with the academic adviser for the major they want to enroll in as early as possible to plan courses and prepare for a smooth transfer. Learn more about UW Admissions!

In order to be a strong candidate, we recommend that any potential transfer student have the full year of intro biology and chemistry to facilitate their progress to degree attainment and meeting the University satisfactory progress policy.

Transfer students can apply to the major during their first quarter at the university.

Introductory Series Course Equivalencies

Washington state community college courses: Most Washington state community colleges offer general biology sequences for science majors that are equivalent to the UW Biology introductory series. The full sequence of the intro series is required in almost all cases for equivalency, otherwise they will only receive 2XX credits and will need to take the full series at UW.

Please use the Equivalency Guide to check the course equivalencies for your community college. 

Four-year colleges: Courses from four-year colleges, both in and out of state, are not guaranteed to transfer in as the UW Biology introductory series and will need to be reviewed by the department. Please email the course syllabus (with a lecture and lab weekly content schedule) to to request an equivalency review.

Except for designated covid quarters, will not accept online classes as equivalent to our introductory series, in particular for the lab portions. 

Non-Matriculated Students

Non-matriculated students must wait until the start of the quarter to register for courses. Students will need the Registration Approval form signed by the course faculty member first and then an academic adviser. Please note: Most faculty members may not sign the form until the third day of the quarter. As a non-matriculated student, you will only have the option to take undergraduate courses in the Biology Department. 

Learn more about registering as a non-matriculated student at the University of Washington. 

Postbaccalaureate Students

The Biology Department does accept postbaccalaureate students; however, you must be a matriculated student at the University of Washington as a postbac and meet the minimum admission requirements to apply to the Biology major. If you have not been accepted to UW, you will need to register as a non-matriculated student in the interim.

Postbaccalaureate students must meet with an adviser, preferably prior to applying to the major, to discuss previous coursework equivalency and a plan for upcoming quarters. We recommend that postbac students have completed the Introductory Biology Series (or its equivalent) and a full year of General Chemistry before applying to the major.

Currently, Post Bacs make up less than 1% of our population in the major.

Please note: We do not write letters of support for students who are wishing to enter the Biology major as postbacs. Postbac students must follow the same departmental admissions policy as undergraduate students. 


Date last changed Jul 17th, 2024 @ 15:05:38 PDT