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. The application to Department of Biology graduate programs is currently closed and will reopen around September 1, 2023.

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


Human Physiology Seminar Series with Dr. Amanda LeBlanc
Human Physiology Seminar Series with Dr. Amanda LeBlanc Jun 9 Lawrence Hall
"Who Knew?"
"Who Knew?" Jun 10 Miller Theatre Complex
"Who Knew?"
"Who Knew?" Jun 11 Miller Theatre Complex
Clue: On Stage AUDITIONS by University Theatre
Clue: On Stage AUDITIONS by University Theatre Jun 11 Hope Theatre at the Miller Theatre Complex
Let's Talk - Wednesday 2-4PM
Let's Talk - Wednesday 2-4PM Jun 14 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Disability Studies Graduation Celebration
Disability Studies Graduation Celebration Jun 16 Living-Learning Center South
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Natural Sciences
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Natural Sciences Jun 20 Autzen Stadium
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Humanities
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Humanities Jun 20 East Campus Green- Located West of Global Scholars Hall
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Social Sciences
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Social Sciences Jun 20 Autzen Stadium
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Global Studies and Languages
CAS Commencement Ceremony - Global Studies and Languages Jun 20 Memorial Quad Lawn