Biology

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 
45
Research labs across the department
85%
of graduates secure a job within 6 months of graduation
22%
of students are first-generation
 BI valedictorians 2022

Congratulations 2022 Biology & Marine Biology Graduates!

Haley Lotus Rice Biology Valedictorian Address

Sebastian Michael Bergen Marine Biology Valedictorian Address

Aleena Garner

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. 

 

Diana Libuda looks at a glass dish
Learn from Experts in the Field

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.

OIMB students at the beach on a field trip
Get Real-world Experience

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.

Scholarships & Funding

The Department of Biology offers students multiple undergraduate scholarships to fund their studies. 

Funding is provided for doctoral students through a combination of the Department of Biology and associated research institute resources.

Biology Scholarships

Graduate Funding

Academic Support

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

Biology News and Events

November 7, 2022
Ever since the first human-controlled spacecraft escaped Earth’s gravity, people have been pushing toward permanent human life inhabiting planets beyond Earth. Some might say it's brand-new territory, but UO professor and Museum of Natural and Cultural History associate director Scott Fitzpatrick argues that humans have already faced similar great unknowns.
November 7, 2022
Gut microbes encourage specialized cells to prune back extra connections in brain circuits that control social behavior, new UO research in zebrafish shows. The pruning is essential for the development of normal social behavior.
November 7, 2022
A new gene editing technique developed by UO researchers compresses what previously would have been years of work into just a few days, making new kinds of research possible in animal models.

All news »


Let's Talk - Tuesday noon-2PM
Nov29
Let's Talk - Tuesday noon-2PM Nov 29 Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence
Native Studies Research Colloquium—Allies, Not Subjects: Teaching Native Thinkers in Political Science
Nov29
Native Studies Research Colloquium—Allies, Not Subjects: Teaching Native Thinkers in Political Science Nov 29 Many Nations Longhouse
Let's Talk - Wednesday 2-4PM
Nov30
Let's Talk - Wednesday 2-4PM Nov 30 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Let's Talk - Wednesday 3-5PM
Nov30
Let's Talk - Wednesday 3-5PM Nov 30 Peterson Hall
Advance Screening: "Women Talking" (2022)
Nov30
Advance Screening: "Women Talking" (2022) Nov 30 Regal Valley River Center
Master of Science in Finance Information Session
Dec1
Master of Science in Finance Information Session Dec 1
Let's Talk - Thursday 2-4PM
Dec1
Let's Talk - Thursday 2-4PM Dec 1 Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
"Understanding the Microbial History of the Pacific Islands: Insights on Human Adaptations to New Environments"
Dec1
"Understanding the Microbial History of the Pacific Islands: Insights on Human Adaptations to New Environments" Dec 1 Museum of Natural and Cultural History
Celebrate Undergraduate Research Excellence Award Winners!
Dec1
Celebrate Undergraduate Research Excellence Award Winners! Dec 1 Knight Library Browsing Room
6th Annual UO ©ritical A®t Show
Dec1
6th Annual UO ©ritical A®t Show Dec 1 Global Scholars Hall

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