Graduate Programs

Explore our Graduate Programs

The Department of Biology houses four research institutes (Institute of Molecular Biology, Institute of Neuroscience, Institute of Ecology & Evolution, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology) that bring together faculty members from the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Anthropology, Human Physiology, Physics, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Geography, Mathematics, and Computer Science.

Biology: Master's Degree Requirements

Doctoral Degree

The primary graduate degree offered by the department of Biology is the doctor of philosophy. Students will find programs both challenging and rewarding, with ample opportunities for individual training in their chosen field. 

Biology: PhD Requirements

Master’s Degree

The Department of Biology offers a formal program leading to a master's degree in the areas of Ecology and Evolution and Marine Biology. The degree is offered in both “course-only” and “thesis” program options, however nearly all students are admitted to the thesis program. The Oregon Institute of Marine Biology may rarely admit an exceptional student into the “course-only” program.

Keats Conley

Preparing You for a Successful Career

"The Department of Biology equipped me with technical expertise in biology, but more importantly, it prepared me to work on diverse teams. Working on international research projects alongside marine biologists, oceanographers, microbiologists, and bioinformaticians, I learned the value of cross-disciplinary collaboration. I now work as a federal biologist where I routinely participate on interdisciplinary teams to inform forest land management."

—Keats Conley, PhD from the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, ‘17


Funding Graduate Studies

Funding is provided for doctoral students through a combination of Department of Biology and associated research institute resources. Students typically earn financial support through teaching assistantships (first year), and research assistantships and federally supported training grants in subsequent years.

Funding and Research Support

Prepare for the Professional World

Our program prepares students for careers in academia, government, and the private sector. Some of our recent graduates have taken postdoctoral positions at:

  • Max-Plank Institute for Biological Cybernetics
  • Harvard Medical School
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Career and Professional Development

Michael Shavlik

Finding Community in Biology

“Of the pieces that make our program whole in the Department of Biology, one of the most invaluable is the emphasis on science communication training. As scientists, it's critical that we not only understand how to do science, but how to disseminate the findings of our science to any kind of audience. In the department, we are given a plethora of opportunities to present, discuss, and communicate our research with friends and faculty alike, which I think has had profound benefits on my ability to educate others about my field (even my grandma!)”

—Michael Shavlik, PhD in Biology, Institute of Molecular Biology, ‘23

marine biology student group shot on rocky shore

Our Graduate Students

Students will find strong support from faculty during their time in our program. The department is small enough to feel like a community, and large enough to offer state-of-the-art research facilities for genomic analysis, super-resolution imaging, and live imaging. Students can pursue their own novel work and, in addition to academics, many students find time to enjoy the cultural and recreational activities that help make the Eugene area an attractive place to live.

Resources for the Graduate Community


Let's Talk - Tuesday noon-2PM
Let's Talk - Tuesday noon-2PM Apr 4 Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence
Native Studies Research Colloquium—Deepening Place Relationship: A Request for Feedback
Native Studies Research Colloquium—Deepening Place Relationship: A Request for Feedback Apr 4 Many Nations Longhouse
Let's Talk - Wednesday 2-4PM
Let's Talk - Wednesday 2-4PM Apr 5 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
LT 199 - Self Study Language Program Orientation Meeting
LT 199 - Self Study Language Program Orientation Meeting Apr 5 Yamada Language Center
Let's Talk - Thursday 2-4PM
Let's Talk - Thursday 2-4PM Apr 6 Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
UO for Humanity: Earthquake in Turkey & Syria
UO for Humanity: Earthquake in Turkey & Syria Apr 6 Ford Alumni Center
Ukrainian weaving with Tetyana Bondarchuk-Horner
Ukrainian weaving with Tetyana Bondarchuk-Horner Apr 8 Museum of Natural and Cultural History
Colloquium - Anne Schilling (UC Davis)
Colloquium - Anne Schilling (UC Davis) Apr 10
Let's Talk - Tuesday noon-2PM
Let's Talk - Tuesday noon-2PM Apr 11 Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence
Linguistics Spring Colloquium
Linguistics Spring Colloquium Apr 11 Straub Hall