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.

Biology Commencement Ceremony

Monday, June 17th, 2024
1 p.m.
Memorial Quadrangle

More Commencement information

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

May 17, 2024
BIOLOGY - Judith Eisen, a biology professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the prestigious International Zebrafish Society George Streisinger Award for 2024, which recognizes senior investigators in zebrafish research who have made critical contributions to the advancement of the field.
May 15, 2024
BIOLOGY, OREGON INSTITUTE OF MARINE BIOLOGY - Scientists at the University of Oregon have discovered that colonies of gelatinous sea animals swim through the ocean in giant corkscrew shapes using coordinated jet propulsion, an unusual kind of locomotion that could inspire new designs for efficient underwater vehicles.
May 2, 2024
BIOLOGY, NEUROSCIENCE - University of Oregon neuroscientist Judith Eisen has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences for her work on neuron development and how the enteric nervous system in the gut regulates and interacts with microbes in the intestine. Eisen is head of the Department of Biology and a member of the Institute of Neuroscience.

All news »


Black Joy Sessions: Finding Joy Within
May22
Black Joy Sessions: Finding Joy Within May 22 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Let's Talk Drop-In - Wednesdays 2-4PM @ BCC
May22
Let's Talk Drop-In - Wednesdays 2-4PM @ BCC May 22 Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center
Moira Fradinger. Speaker Series: Mafia, The Cultures of Narcotraffic.
May22
Moira Fradinger. Speaker Series: Mafia, The Cultures of Narcotraffic. May 22 Fenton Hall
Speaker Series: Mafias and the Cultures of Narcotraffic
May22
Speaker Series: Mafias and the Cultures of Narcotraffic May 22 Fenton Hall
Cintia Martínez Velasco. Speaker Series. Mafia: The Cultures of Narcotraffic.
May22
Cintia Martínez Velasco. Speaker Series. Mafia: The Cultures of Narcotraffic. May 22 Fenton Hall
Reading Series - Maurice Ruffin
May22
Reading Series - Maurice Ruffin May 22 Knight Library
Undergraduate Research Symposium
May23
Undergraduate Research Symposium May 23
¡Juntos! Latinx Support Group
May23
¡Juntos! Latinx Support Group May 23 Carson Hall, Ramey Room
"Jobs and Universities: A Tale of Two Futures"
May23
"Jobs and Universities: A Tale of Two Futures" May 23 Knight Library
Cinema Studies Presents: Screening of "Race to Survive: New Zealand” and Q&A with Emmy Award-winning Television Series Producer Jeff Conroy
May23
Cinema Studies Presents: Screening of "Race to Survive: New Zealand” and Q&A with Emmy Award-winning Television Series Producer Jeff Conroy May 23 Lawrence Hall

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