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 
Research labs across the department
of graduates secure a job within 6 months of graduation
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

February 23, 2023
BIOLOGY - Your average sunflower sea star can munch through almost five purple sea urchins in a week, and they don’t seem to be picky about the quality of their food. A team co-led by Aaron Galloway at the UO’s Oregon Institute of Marine Biology published the findings in Proceedings of the Royal Society B on Feb. 15.
February 3, 2023
BIOLOGY - UO scientists have uncovered new clues to the genetic basis for scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine.
January 9, 2023
BIOLOGY - Marine plankton exist as the base of most ocean food webs that support and sustain valuable fisheries. Planktonic organisms remain understudied: researchers find them difficult to sample given that their sizes span from less than one micron to meters.

All news »

Let's Talk - Wednesday 2-4PM
Let's Talk - Wednesday 2-4PM Mar 22 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Let's Talk - Thursday 2-4PM
Let's Talk - Thursday 2-4PM Mar 23 Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
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
Let's Talk - Tuesday noon-2PM
Let's Talk - Tuesday noon-2PM Apr 11 Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence

All events »