Hands-on learning is central to the Biology Department. While also valuable, a classroom experience can never match the feel of seaweed in your hand or the satisfaction of successfully completing a laboratory experiment. Our students gain valuable training in laboratory skills that directly translate into health profession and industry careers in addition to preparing them for graduate studies.

Field research projects can connect you with local efforts in sustainable agriculture and climate change remediation. Participation in theoretical and modeling research offers opportunities to gain valuable computational skills that are in large part the future of Biology. Students who join faculty to work on research projects gain valuable experience in teamwork, publish research articles, and have opportunities to share their research with other scientists at conferences both on and off campus.

Internships, Research and Summer Programs

There are multiple ways to make the most of your time in the Biology Department. Opportunities include:

Learning assistants provide an opportunity for students to reinforce their own learning by teaching others and students get the opportunity to learn about teaching.

A common sentiment among teachers is that the best way to learn a subject is to be involved in teaching it to others. We offer two teaching opportunities in Biology. These opportunities also provide undergraduate students in biology courses with a chance to learn from peers who have recently been through the course:

  • Biology Tutor Undergraduate (BTU): BTUs hold regular tutoring hours in the Biology Peer Tutoring Center, located in PSC B009, and Exam Review Sessions for our General Biology courses (Bi 211, 212, 213, 214, 281H, 282H, 283H). Tutoring is a paid position or volunteer.
  • Biology Undergraduate Lab Assistant (BULA): BULAs assist teaching in the lab alongside the instructor and GE. Students can receive credit (Bi 402, supervised College Teaching) or volunteer.

One of the educational objectives for BULAs and BTUs is that they will learn subject matter content at a much deeper level than they did as students in the class. A second objective is for these students to learn about teaching. Having to explain a concept to someone else sometimes means having to distill it to its essence, or having to get inside someone else’s head to understand the difficulty they are having in learning. These are valuable skills that are best acquired by doing. Some students may discover that teaching is a profession they wish to pursue; others may decide they don’t like teaching: either discovery is an important lesson. A third objective is for students to enhance their skills and abilities as learners and students through seeing the educational process from the perspective of a teacher.

If you are interested in being considered for a BULA or BTU position, please visit the Biology Office in 77 Klamath Hall for an application form. In selecting BULAs and BTUs, consideration will be given both to the educational need of the student applying, and of that person’s ability to assist other students in learning.

Peer Advisors assist biology majors during drop-in advising hours. Advisors gain a deep understanding of the department undergraduate degree program and gain problem solving and analytical skills while working with their peers.

Lab prep assistants provide support for our teaching labs where over 1000 students perform scientific experiments each week. Lab prep assistants gain scientific skills such as proper safety guidelines, preparing media and reagents, pipetting and sterile techniques.

External opportunities: Biology offers practicum and volunteer opportunities with outside institutions such as Eugene Pediatrics, Sacred Heart Medical Center, and Buford Park. These internships and volunteer opportunities go beyond the classroom where students gain hands on skills with professionals, allowing exploration of career options, improving communication skills, and building students resumes.

Steps for a Biology Internship

Available Opportunities Across Biology

For any overseas program or internship, contact:

Roger Adkins, Overseas Program Coordinator for Western Europe
Office of International Programs
330 Oregon Hall, 5209 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-5209 USA
Phone: (541) 346-1204
Fax: (541) 346-1232 

Additional Opportunities