Biology and Marine Science Distinguished Scholars


You have been selected to apply to the Biology and Marine Science Distinguished Scholars programs based on information in your application for admission to Western. These selective programs are reserved for students who have demonstrated academic excellence and and interest in marine science, biology, environmental science, pre-med (pre-health), or geology.

Apply by May 1

Biology Scholars

Apply by April 5

Marine Science Scholars

Biology Distinguished Scholars

The Biology Distinguished Scholars program offers guaranteed access to highly-sought-after courses starting your first quarter at Western, and immediate connection with a small cohort of students and Biology faculty. A select group of 24 incoming first-year students are selected each year to participate in the program based on academic excellence and an interest in Biology or Pre-Med (Pre-Health).


  • Guaranteed enrollment in the following courses during your first year at Western*:
    •  Fall quarter: CHEM 161
    •  Winter quarter: CHEM 162
    •  Spring quarter: CHEM 163 and BIOL 204
  • Guaranteed enrollment in the following courses during your sophomore year at Western:
    •  Fall quarter: BIOL 205
    •  Winter quarter: BIOL 206
  • One-on-one advising with a Biology faculty member to help chart your coursework, advise you on research and internship opportunities, and plan your future after graduation.
  • Immediate connection with a small cohort of students with a broad array of interests in biology.

* Fall and winter of your first year: Depending upon your Math Placement Exam and/or AP Calculus scores, you will have a seat in the appropriate math class. Minimum math placement and enrollment in MATH 118 or higher is required to remain in the Biology Distinguished Scholars program.

Marine Science Distinguished Scholars

Western’s Marine Science Distinguished Scholars Program is a distinctive experience for 21 first-year students. Before fall quarter, Scholars spend two weeks at the Shannon Point Marine Center (SPMC), Western’s marine research station, taking a course that continues into fall quarter on campus. You'll have a unique opportunity to connect early with a small cohort of students and faculty at the SPMC, while learning about contemporary environmental issues facing our marine and coastal environments, and gaining exposure to scientific research and data collection.

There is a cost of $550 for this program to cover food and housing for two weeks at the SPMC. 


  • Live and learn at the Shannon Point Marine Center for two weeks. Participate in hands-on course work (MACS 110) prior to the start of your first quarter at Western that continues through fall quarter.

  • Get exclusive access to a special series of 1-credit seminars addressing issues such as pollution, climate change, and sustainable fisheries.  

  • Develop lasting ties with a small cohort of peers.

  • Work closely with program faculty.

  • Connect with professionals from a variety of marine science career tracks.

  • Learn how to get involved in relevant internships and research.

  • For those interested in pursuing Western’s newly created Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) undergraduate degree program, this Scholars program is a valuable step in that direction (the 9 credits earned in the Scholars program can be applied to the MACS major).