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 and 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

July 3, 2024
Three College of Arts and Sciences researchers have received the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious honor for early-career faculty members in the past year: Luca Mazzucato (biology, mathematics and physics), Brittany Erickson (computer science and earth sciences) and Julia Widom (chemistry). Known as the CAREER Awards, the organization recognizes and fosters rising stars by funding innovative research.
July 3, 2024
BIOLOGY - People are living longer, but that comes with age-related health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, osteoarthritis and dementia. Biology Professor Patrick Phillips is spearheading a new research initiative focused on age-related diseases. The effort employs technology that will accelerate discovery and fuel new approaches to research, launched with a major gift from longtime UO donors Kenda and Kenneth Singer.
June 27, 2024
BIOLOGY - New research from Judith Eisen, a neuroscientist in the College of Arts and Sciences, describes how nerve cells and muscle cells communicate through electrical signals during development—a phenomenon known as bioelectricity. Research by Eisen and her colleagues was published in Current Biology.

All news »


Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group
Jul22
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group Jul 22
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group - evening session
Jul22
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group - evening session Jul 22
University of Oregon Night at the San Francisco Giants
Jul30
University of Oregon Night at the San Francisco Giants Jul 30 Oracle Park
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group
Aug19
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group Aug 19
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group - evening session
Aug19
Coming to Oregon Graduate Student Group - evening session Aug 19
UO Cinema Studies Alumni Gathering: Los Angeles
Aug25
UO Cinema Studies Alumni Gathering: Los Angeles Aug 25 Everson Royce Bar
Graduate Employee Day of Teaching
Sep25
Graduate Employee Day of Teaching Sep 25 100 Willamette Hall
The BIG 10+ Academia Career Fair
Oct16
The BIG 10+ Academia Career Fair Oct 16
Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture
Apr24
Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture Apr 24 William W. Knight Law Center

All events »