The Department of Biology’s teaching and research specialize in cellular and molecular biology, developmental biology, ecology and evolution, human biology, marine biology, neuroscience and behavior, and bioinformatics. Our students learn and work alongside scientists making important contributions in their field of expertise.
What you can do with a degree in Biology
The University fosters collaboration among students, staff and faculty across the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Human Physiology, Physics and Psychology. The interdisciplinary nature of our department opens opportunities for students post-graduation. Our alumni have secured jobs in the following fields:
- Biotechnology companies
- Clinics and hospitals
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Public health departments
- Colleges and universities
- Industry and laboratories
- Inspection agencies and control boards
- Private research institutions
- State and federal government agencies
- Zoos and aquariums
How Biology Broadens Your Career
“I learned two valuable lessons at the UO: The first was that contrary to what I previously thought, I was really good at science. The second was that pursuing basic research is an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable way to spend one’s life. The latter was absolutely due to my time in the biology and chemistry departments and participation in undergraduate research. The latter is also what made me resilient through all the challenges I faced during my graduate and postdoctoral training. It's why I was able to persist and find the opportunity to start my own research lab at Harvard. I couldn’t have made a better choice than joining the UO Department of Biology, and I would not be where I am today without doing so.”
—Aleena Garner, undergraduate researcher in Bowerman Lab, BS Biochemistry, BS Psychology, '07,
Our Degree Programs
The Department of Biology prides itself on spanning a wide range of biology disciplines. Students can explore career opportunities and state-of-the-art research in many areas of life sciences, including cell and developmental biology, computational biology, ecology and evolution, marine biology, and neuroscience. This rich disciplinary mix provides for a diverse and collaborative educational experience that is the hallmark of our department.
Our department is home to numerous and diverse research opportunities:
- Cutting edge cell and molecular biology at the laboratory bench
- State-of-the-art microscopy and imaging facilities and workshops
- Marine biology and ecology fieldwork throughout Oregon and the western US
- New computational and theoretical approaches to the study of evolution and neuroscience
We offer short and long term research projects, with dozens of students actively participating in laboratory and field research at any time.
In addition to numerous research opportunities available in faculty labs, our general biology course sequence includes extensive laboratory sections, as do many of our more specialized upper-level courses. Other courses include major field components, including options for quarter-long residency at our Oregon Institute of Marine Biology on the Oregon coast. Many UO undergraduates also participate in, or serve as student mentors for, our Summer Program for Undergraduate Research, which serves to promote diversity in biology research.
The Department of Biology offers extensive academic support services for our students. In addition to Tykeson Hall, our department has two faculty advisors who meet regularly with Biology majors to help them navigate their degree requirements and educational explorations.
We also have a popular peer advising program in which undergraduate students offer help on courses and degree progress.Undergraduate Advising
Support for Graduate Students
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