Biology Department


Biology Courses Satisfy Multiple Purposes

Curriculum & Scheduling
Facilities & Academic Support 
Research & Integrated Studies

North’s Biology department fulfills AA degree requirements for non-majors, prepares future majors for successful transfer to 4-year degree programs, provides coursework to fulfill requirements for entry into pharmacy or medical school, and satisfies prerequisites for career training programs like nanotechnology and pharmacy technology. Whatever your goal, the study of biology will enrich your understanding of the living world and your role within it.

Curriculum & Scheduling Advantages

Various biology courses are offered in traditional format, online, and as hybrids (with lecture component online/ labs and seminars on campus), with daytime, evening and Saturday scheduling. You can start the biology major sequence in any quarter — daytime or evening — allowing you to continue through the course series with a cohort of friends and study partners. Two 300-level transfer classes (Microbiology and Genetics) are taught on campus — giving bachelor degree candidates access to flexible scheduling and smaller classes than available at their 4-year schools.

Excellent Facilities & Academic Support

Experienced biology faculty have a broad range of scientific expertise and a passion for teaching. Spacious lab facilities provide quality microscopes, an excellent collection of models and a broad range of modern instrumentation. Field trips and other hands-on learning opportunities are incorporated into courses, and a strong tutoring program supports your learning process.

Research Opportunities & Integrated Studies Options

North’s science department offer a variety of opportunities to conduct authentic undergraduate research and present it at North’s annual symposium, “Making Learning Visible.”

There are also innovative integrated studies classes like “Atoms to Ecosystems” – the only year-long integrated studies program for science majors, allowing students to complete both their chemistry and biology series in an integrated, hands-on, research-based learning community. “Atoms to Ecosystems” students distinguished themselves nationally in 2007, as the first community college students selected by the prestigious Council for Undergraduate Research in Washington, DC, to present their undergraduate research project to Congress as part of “Posters on the Hill.” A second group of research students presented again in 2010 as the only community college represented among a group of elite 4-year schools.

Additional integrated studies programs are available for non-majors each year, allowing you to learn biology through the lenses of a diverse array of other disciplines including history, women’s studies, psychology and drama.



Retraining from an engineer to neurobiologist was a challenging proposition, but the personal environment with professors who truly cared about my education made the transition fun and exciting. I completed prerequisites for most neuroscience graduate programs at NSC including biology and chemistry, which set an excellent foundation for everything that came next. After NSC I took the remaining prerequisites at UW while volunteering in a lab studying the neurobiology of birdsong. This lead me to apply and be accepted to UC San Francisco, one of the top neuroscience programs world-wide. There I have been able to explore the neural basis of locomotion, the original inspiration for this journey, which recently resulted in my first publication in the journal Cell.

Former biology student


The most life-changing course I have ever taken — including all of the work I did to earn my bachelor’s degree at a 4-year institution — was “Atoms to Ecosystems,” taught by Kayln Owens and Ann Murkowski. Why did it change my life? Simply put, it gave me a foundation in science. With the goal of pursuing graduate work in nutritional science, I was working on fairly daunting science and math prereqs. I proceeded tentatively — I didn’t fully believe, after a lifetime of earning my keep in marketing communications, that I would necessarily gain any sort of fluency in science. All of that changed [with this course]. Kayln and Ann showed me that science is not something people are born knowing how to do, but something that can be taught. They also supplied me with the skills I needed not only to excel in their class, but also in the rest of the courses I will need to reach my goal.

—Patti Burke
Biology and Chemistry Graduate

Biology Department

General Biology Advising
Jose Elizalde
(206) 934-7793
Biology Coordinator
Brian Saunders
(206) 934-3737

Math & Science Division

IB 2429
Division Contacts
(206) 934-3746
(206) 934-3748 (fax)
Mailing Address
NSC Math & Science Division
9600 College Way N
Seattle, WA 98103
Alissa Agnello

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