Biology undergraduate students share a table reading the labels on food containers in a service learning class


Undergraduates in the Department of Biological Sciences explore the complex structure of the living world, from biomolecules to ecosystems, and from anatomy to zoology. Beyond the walls of GW’s labs, our backyard of Washington, D.C. offers community service opportunities and research collaborations with the National Institutes of Health and the Smithsonian Institution.

Our faculty are awarded millions of dollars in research grants every year, offering collaborative research opportunities in a wide range of topics. Through these collaborative activities, our students gain powerful research experience during their undergraduate years.


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From Classroom to Career

Biology students can participate in special Engaged Learning Opportunities, which are unique to Columbian College. These programs leverage the university's resources and location to offer students exclusive seminars, scholarships and professional development.

Biology undergraduates have taken advantage of Dean's Seminars, received Luther Rice Fellowships and worked in the lab with researchers during summer Harlan Undergraduate Research Fellowships.


Biology students discussing in a service learning class




Undergraduate Spotlight

Senior biology major Alison Pagalilauan (left) and senior physics major Ujwal Kumar

Getting Creative: Biology Student Continues Research From Home

Rising senior biology major Alison Pagalilauan was engrossed in her research on analyzing meta-genomic data from steam vent samples collected in Hawaii’s Kilauea East Rift Zone when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down campus. Since then, Pagalilauan has used an online interface to continue her research from her home in New Jersey.
Ichosia Biotechnology

Biology Student Working on a Potential Replacement for Blood in the Transfusion System

Ichosia, a startup developed by sophomore microbiology major Lucas Vining-Recklitis with the help of three other students, is developing a genetically engineered red blood cell product for blood transfusions treatments.
An identified pollinator on campus (wasp).

Pollinators Find a Home at GW

Students are studying what kind of insects spend their days feeding off Foggy Bottom flowers to better understand how to support the local ecosystem. The CCAS research team aims to identify pollinators, such as this wasp, that frequent flower beds on the Foggy Bottom campus.
Phoebe Elizaga, BS ’20

On the Roof of Africa

Phoebe Elizaga, BS ’20, embarked on a six-day trek with fellow students to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and raise money for childhood cancer research. The biology major hiked through five different ecosystems, from rainforest to alpine desert to arctic snowcap, along the journey to scale the 19,341-foot mountain.