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
Biology 2023 graduate valedictorians

Congratulations 2023 Biology & Marine Biology Graduates!

Emma Freedman Biology Valedictorian Address

Jenna Travers Marine Biology Valedictorian Address

Julia Lo  College of Arts & Sciences Undergraduate 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

January 10, 2024
BIOLOGY - Marine biology students searched the Atlantic Ocean for rare organisms that thrive without sunlight. An upcoming IMAX film will document their journey—and, they hope, inspire a new generation of women scientists. Read more in the CAS Connection newsletter.
December 6, 2023
BIOLOGY - A UO study, recently published in the American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, applies the latest molecular and genetic tools to construct a step-by-step map of how colon tissue builds itself, using mice as a model organism.
December 4, 2023
BIOLOGY - University of Oregon postdoctoral fellow Caitlin Kowalski is one of five women to win the 2023 L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship for her work on the fungi genus Malassezia. Kowalski is a mentor for two UO undergraduate students.

All news »


Physical Chemistry Seminar
Feb26
Physical Chemistry Seminar Feb 26 Willie and Donald Tykeson Hall
Tony Chambers Seminar: "Toward a Culture of Student Flourishing and Belonging"
Feb26
Tony Chambers Seminar: "Toward a Culture of Student Flourishing and Belonging" Feb 26 Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact
A Cinematic Exploration Black Community and Poverty
Feb27
A Cinematic Exploration Black Community and Poverty Feb 27 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Pierson Lecture: "God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion in American History"
Feb27
Pierson Lecture: "God's Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion in American History" Feb 27 McKenzie Hall
Propaganda: Fascism and Neo-Fascism Lecture Series: "Where Monsters are Born"
Feb27
Propaganda: Fascism and Neo-Fascism Lecture Series: "Where Monsters are Born" Feb 27 Knight Library
African American Workshop and Lecture Series: Ramanita Hairston
Feb27
African American Workshop and Lecture Series: Ramanita Hairston Feb 27 Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
Black Joy Sessions: Finding Joy Within
Feb28
Black Joy Sessions: Finding Joy Within Feb 28 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Let's Talk Drop-In - Wednesdays 2-4PM @ BCC
Feb28
Let's Talk Drop-In - Wednesdays 2-4PM @ BCC Feb 28 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Book Launch & Discussion - "Coloring into Existence: Queer of Color Worldmaking in Children’s Literature"
Feb29
Book Launch & Discussion - "Coloring into Existence: Queer of Color Worldmaking in Children’s Literature" Feb 29 Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
¡Juntos! Latinx Support Group
Feb29
¡Juntos! Latinx Support Group Feb 29 Carson Hall, Ramey Room

All events »