Undergraduate Major & Minor College of Natural Sciences

Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts

Video Transcription

Biology at PLU Transcription

(piano music)

[video: An introductory slideshow of different videos plays as Dr. Michael Behrens begins speaking. The first video shows students walking around campus during a common passing period. The second shows students in vests navigating through the brush of a wooded area. The final clip shows a class in progress, with the lecturer speaking at the front of the classroom.]

Dr. Michael Behrens, Professor of Biology: Our biology major is best suited for students with a wide range of interests. That could be pre-professional health, conservation biology or ecology, even wanting to teach at various levels.

[video: Dr. Behrens sits in a Biology classroom speaking to the camera.]

Dr. Behrens: It’s really a broad based background or education that will allow you to do multiple things.

[video: Dr. Behrens’ voice continues over a video clip of him talking to students outside by a large body of water. The camera pulls close on a starfish in his hand, as he shows students its different parts.]

Dr. Behrens: Our faculty are really committed to working with our students, and doing that face to face, one-on-one.

[video: Emma Janousek sits in a Biology classroom, speaking to the camera.]

Emma Janousek, Former Biology Student, Class of 2020: The faculty at PLU really set an example for me as a future educator, in terms of how to both challenge your students, and then also just invest in them as people.

[video: Emma’s voice continues over the video of Dr. Behren’s showing starfish to students along the waterfront.]

Emma: And I think that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere, besides PLU, given the small class sizes.

[video: Return to Emma sitting in the Biology classroom talking to the camera]

Emma: Like that really allows for that teacher-student connection that’s really awesome, and really gives students confidence moving forward in their future.

[video: Fade to black]


[video: Return to Dr. Behrens sitting in the Biology classroom talking to the camera]

Dr. Behrens: Biology students at PLU have the opportunity to continue their biology education through study abroad opportunities.

[video: As Dr. Behrens describes study abroad opportunities, his voice continues over a montage of clips from the different locations he’s describing. The first clip is of the University of Namibia, displaying the outside, and then students working in the lab inside the building. Then, a video of the school in Norway with similar clips. Lastly, the outside of the school in Trinidad and Tobago and a clip of a lecturer inside.]

Dr. Behrens: You have opportunities to go places like Namibia, or Norway and the University of Southeast Norway. Also the University of West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. And those all give students opportunities to develop their upper division courses, while studying abroad and living abroad.

[video: Dr. Behren’s voice continues over a montage of different classrooms in sessions, lecturers speaking and fostering class discussion, and clips of students working in labs.]

Dr. Behrens: The major also provides flexibility for students to take a range of different classes, to satisfy their requirements, which really allows them to take classes that they’re interested in, and still prepare them as a broad based biologist.

[video: Hayden Cross-Schroder sits in a Biology classroom, speaking to the camera.]

Hayden Cross-Schroder, Biology Student, Class of 2021: I think I was really narrow-minded with what biology was when I came in.

[video: Hayden’s voice continues over clips of plants outside: sprouts and tree branches in the sun.]

Hayden: They really prepare you to look at the world around you. There’s biology in almost everything, and there’s definitely science in everything. And so I’ve been able to apply a lot of the concepts that I learn in class to my everyday life, and I get to see them in action, and that’s really exciting, and one of the things that I love about science and biology.

[video: Emma’s voice over more video of classes being taught.]

Emma: I found interdisciplinary connections between biology and philosophy, or the music class I had to take. There’s so many connections there. I really feel like the liberal arts education has kind of broadened my perspective, and that’s really gonna help me serve students in the future. It really helps me view biology through an equity lens as well.

[video: Fade to black]


[video: Emma and Hayden’s voices over a montage of students in the lab, then outside in nature investigating samples they collected. Then, another clip of Dr. Behrens, this time in a forest by a waterway, talking to a student. After that, a slow pan of building with the words Pacific Lutheran University on the front.]

Emma: I have always wanted to be a teacher. I didn’t necessarily like science growing up, but I was like, “Oh, let me just try out science. You know, that will be a good way to get a teaching job”. And then I ended up loving it, like beyond just, “Oh, I’m going to teach this”. I really kind of found a passion for biology.
Hayden: They’ve made me feel like a really integral part of the community. PLU has really come to feel like home, in especially the biology department. I have a lot of connections with professors, because of my jobs to TAing, and I’m also a biology tutor, and I’ve done research, and I’ve been a lab assistant and a prep worker. So I really got to work closely with the faculty in the biology department. And it’s been really nice getting to see them as people, you know, and hear about their lives and their stories.

(gentle music)


Studying biology at PLU is more than just learning facts. It’s learning how to answer questions, how to develop strategies to obtain answers and how to recognize the answers as they emerge. You’ll be encouraged to independently question, probe, experiment and experience the natural world around us as well as life under a microscope.

As a biology student, you’ll learn by making observations, asking questions, and designing and testing hypotheses. You’ll read and evaluate primary research articles, write laboratory reports, have opportunities to participate in research, academic internships and even study abroad experiences. Class sizes are small and many have weekly laboratories taught by professors (never teaching assistants!).

Graduates from the last 5 years: Their jobs

  • Microbiologist, Tree Top Foods
  • Conservation Education Specialist, Pierce Conservation District
  • Molecular Biologist, US Department of Defense
  • Biology Technician, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Laboratory Genetic Counselor, Seattle Children’s
  • Neurology Clinical Research Coordinator, University of Washington
  • Forestry Ecology and Research Intern, University of Washington Harvey Labs
  • Medical Scribe, NeoSpine

Graduates from the last last 5 years: Their graduate programs

  • Master of Science in Bioinformatics at Georgia Tech
  • PhD in Plant Science, University of Arizona
  • PhD in Evolutionary Development, University of Idaho
  • PhD in Toxicology, North Carolina State University
  • Dental School, University of Washington
  • Pharmacy School, Washington State University
  • Medical School, Boston University
  • Master of Science in Genetic Counseling/Counselor, University of Minnesota
  • PhD in Chemistry, University of Southern California
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