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Pursuing a Biology degree from CWI will give you the opportunity to choose from a number of distinct focus areas that can prepare you for a variety of careers and advanced science degrees. With associate degrees offered in Biology, Biology—Healthcare, and Biology—Natural Resources, you can focus your studies on an area of the discipline that interests you the most. While being introduced to life sciences like cellular and molecular processes, organism physiology, biochemistry, botany, and genetics, you can also study more-specialized subjects like medical terminology, nutrition, anthropology, ecology, chemistry, and geology. Whether it is biochemistry, zoology, pre-med, radiology, or another life science, start with a CWI Biology program and customize a degree to meet your goals.


Our mission is to provide an outstanding and supportive educational environment that encourages student and faculty growth and promotes the discovery and broad communication of knowledge about the biology of organisms.

Why This Program

This program will prepare students to go into a number of professional careers. The broad focus provides a base that will allow the student to specialize within their four-year degree without narrowing their focus at the beginning of their academic plan when they may not have specifically decided what they want to do when they graduate.

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Gain a robust foundation that will support the growth of your comprehensive knowledge of the biology and evolution of organisms
  • Become a critical thinker that utilizes scientific approaches and knowledge to address questions regarding the natural world
  • Gain the ability to employ appropriate experimental design and methodology to solve problems in biology
  • Recognize the importance of the biological sciences as a resource of information to society and the ability to appropriately communicate and apply underlying biological principles to current issues
  • Healthcare Emphasis—Gain an in-depth understanding of the functional aspects of human biology. This will allow you to ask meaningful questions, solve complex problems, and succeed in your chosen occupation or program
  • Healthcare Emphasis—Gain the ability to use the language of human biology necessary to be competitive in your chosen career path or program
  • Healthcare Emphasis—Gain experience using the methods, tests, and techniques applicable to the study of human biology
  • Healthcare Emphasis—Develop and use critical-thinking skills to expand your content comprehension via linking academic courses and subsequent transfer of knowledge to the work force


The purpose of Biology Club is to promote awareness of the various disciplines in Biological and Health Sciences, examine ways of helping students succeed, while focusing and mapping out strategies to help them. We also collaborate with various... more

Additional Opportunities

IDoTeach A great opportunity for STEM majors to explore the world of teaching and earn a STEM degree and teacher certificationtogether!

Requirements and Costs

Degrees and Certificates

Associate of Science in Biology



Delivery Formats:
Traditional, Hybrid, Online

Associate of Science in Biology—Healthcare Emphasis



Delivery Formats:
Traditional, Hybrid, Online

Associate of Science in Biology—Natural Resources Emphasis



Delivery Formats:
Traditional, Hybrid, Online

Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts—IDoTeach Biology Focus



Delivery Formats:
Traditional, Hybrid, Online

Important Dates for Credit Programs

  Summer 2015 Fall 2015 Spring 2016
Registration Open April 13 April 13 November 9
Financial Aid Priority Date May 11 July 13 November 23
Admission Deadline May 15 August 7 December 21
Last Day to Register May 29 August 21 January 8
Tuition and Fees Due May 29 August 21 January 8
Classes Begin June 1* August 24 January 11
*Some classes begin before this date. See class schedule for more information.


Navigating your way through college can be confusing, especially if you try to go it alone. CWI One Stop Student Services offers advising assistance, to help in deciding which courses you need to take to complete your educational goals. Visit Advising for more information or contact One Stop Student Services to schedule an appointment.

Recommended Degree Course Progressions are available at the links below for additional information.

Additional Information:

  • Biol 202 is best taken within a semester of completing Biol 201 for greater success.
  • Students interested in natural resources should consider taking BIOL 209, while students interested in pre-professional programs (Pre-Med, Pre-Vet, etc) should consider taking BIOL 250.
  • Math 253 and ENGL 202 are highly recommended program electives. Students may select from any program electives listed in the catalog. Students should consult transfer institutions as well in selecting electives for transfer.
  • Remaining program electives maybe selected from those listed in the catalog. Of those listed CHEM 298, CHEM 299, and Math 160 are highly encouraged. Students should consult transfer institution programs as well.

Connecting With Ideas

Connecting With Ideas (CWID 101) is the first semester student success course designed to help CWI students become engaged members of the academic community and cultivate habits for lifelong achievement and success. Each semester, students can select from a variety of themes. More information about next semesters CWID 101 themes


Look beyond your degree at CWI and plan for continuing your education by working closely with CWI advising and representatives of your intended transfer school. Planning before you transfer can save you time and money. Visit Transfer Information for more information or contact One Stop Student Services.

Financial Aid Available

Did you know that as a student in this program you may be eligible for financial aid? Through grants, scholarships, and loans, more than 60 percent of first-time, full-time CWI students receive some form of financial assistance. To learn more about financial aid options and whether you may be eligible, visit Financial Aid.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for a full-time CWI student averages half the cost of a state university and a third of the cost of a private college. Tuition and fees vary based on program and residence. Visit Tuition and Fees for more information.

Career Info


  • Physician (MD)
  • Physician's Assistant (PA)
  • Dentist
  • Nurse
  • Researcher (medical, biochemical, environmental, etc.)
  • Medical Lab Scientist (MLS)
  • Factory Quality Control / Quality Assurance (QC/QA)
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Forestry Biologist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Conservation Biologist
  • Rangeland Ecologist and Manager


Nampa Campus Academic Building

5500 E. Opportunity Dr. Nampa, ID 83687

Canyon County Center

2407 Caldwell Blvd., Nampa, ID 83651



News and Blogs

CWI Student Laura Grout, Biology-Healthcare
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 10:30am
For Laura Grout, going to college was always an option. Although it took her almost 20 years to enroll in the Biology-Healthcare program at the College of Western Idaho, she has never lost sight of becoming a formally-trained midwife. After years of supporting her husband’s military career, raising what she calls a herd of children, and operating a number of home businesses, Grout set out to finish what she started years ago. “It was a leap of...
CWI Alumni Davianne Astley, Biology-Healthcare, 2015
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - 4:00pm
Davianne Astley is proof that scholarships work. The College of Western Idaho (CWI) alumna says if it weren’t for a scholarship she received from the CWI Foundation, she would not be where she is today. It took her six years and a lot of hard work and encouragement to complete her associate degree in Biology Healthcare. She finally did it in May 2015. Although it was anything but easy, the...
Blog by Nicole Frank
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - 2:30pm
“Take two aspirin and call me in the morning” is saying that has been around for as long as we know, but let’s pause for a moment and consider what it would mean if we didn’t have access to drugs such as aspirin.  Aspirin is used to treat pain, fever, inflammation, and to treat or prevent heart attacks and strokes. (There has even been preliminary data that suggests regular aspirin use can help treat/prevent cancer [1].) Prior to the 1950s there weren’t many alternatives to aspirin.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 1:15pm
Students are benefitting from a valuable undergraduate research opportunity made possible thanks to the efforts of CWI’s Biology Club.


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