Biology at OSU

May 1st, 2006

(This posting is the third of a series of articles highlighting different programs at Oregon State.)

Many students aren’t sure what science area they want to pursue, but most recall their high school biology courses as being interesting and fun. Oregon State offers many majors in the sciences with the biology major being one of the most popular. In fact, biology majors are the 4th largest undergraduate group at OSU, and The University Honors College enrolls more biology majors than any other program at OSU.

What do OSU students do with biology degrees? Here are some of the many career paths for those with biology degrees:
Medical Doctor
Health care industry
Zoo or Aquarium work
Marine Biology
Scientific writer/journalist
Technical writer
Genetics/genetic research
Environmental Science
Conservation work
Fisheries work
Government agency work
• National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
• National Institute of Health (NIH)
• National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
• US Department of Agriculture (USDA); Forest Service
• U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI); Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, National Park Service
• U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
• Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (Oregon DEQ)
• Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)

Below are descriptions of programs that feed some of the health career fields:
Biology major/Biology minor
Biologists study all living organisms, from their beginnings, to their development, function, and environment. Upper division courses include Genetics, Ecology, Biochemistry, Statistics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Evolution, Microbiology, Physiology, History of Science, etc.

Microbiologists study a large and diverse group of microorganisms- bacteria, viruses, protozoa, algae, and fungi. Upper division courses include Immunology, Bacterial Molecular Genetics, Pathogenic Microbiology, Virology, Plasmid Biology, Food Microbiology, etc.

Zoologists study the biology of animals, from individual cells and molecules to entire ecosystems. Upper division coursework includes Genetics, Ecology, Vertebrate and Invertebrate Biology, Physiology, Embryology, Animal Behavior, etc.
Some of the biology minor or option tracks include marine biology, genetics, biotechnology, and pre-education.

Click this link to be mailed information about the biology program, biology major/biology minor, and biology degrees at OSU.

22 responses to “Biology at OSU”

  1. Elijah Garcia says:

    Can i take a biology course online

  2. Blake says:

    Online courses at Oregon State are offered by our Extended Campus department (known as Ecampus).

    Their web address is

  3. Mandi says:

    im mandi
    and i need to know what the education requirment is for a biologist

  4. Blake says:

    I’m not totally sure what your question is, but if it is admission requirements to study biology, check this website:

    If this doesn’t answer your question, please comment again or send your question to

  5. Carrington says:

    Do you have any science degree’s in botany?

  6. Blake says:

    Yes, OSU has a degree program called Botany and Plant Pathology. The department website is located at

  7. chris says:

    i am in 10th grade and want to be a biochemit. what classes do i have to complete in high school and what classes for an associate degree in college do i need? also are there any post graduate training exams certifications or special skills i need. can you also tell me how long it will take and where can i work. This will help me much in making future plan s. thank you chris

  8. Cherie says:

    Hello My name is Cherie and i am 13 i would love to be a marian biologist someday and i would lovet o come to your collage

  9. april says:

    hi i am in 9th grade and is osu a good collage for wildlife biology?

  10. Nick Mills says:

    All right, i am going to attend Southwestern for a year possibley two, what courses will transer as credits to OSU. I am wanting to obtain a major in Marine Biology, and minor in Zoology.

  11. Blake says:


    Be sure to check out our partnership with Southwestern at


  12. Anomyous says:

    How much education in biology would you imagine is needed for each line of work

  13. Blake says:

    At minimum, a bachelors degree (4 years). If going into field or research work, add a masters degree and/or a doctoral degree. It really depends upon the career path.


  14. Sam says:

    what is the burnout factor of a career in the biology field? i keep reading about how competitive it is, but is there any room for me in it?

  15. James says:

    That’s a great question, Sam!

    As you might imagine, there is some attrition involved in any science field of study as students realize that this area may not be the right on for them. However, as with any field, if you approach it with passion there will always be a place for you. I think that the best way to establish yourself early would be to get involved in undergraduate research at OSU. We offer a number of ways for you to get that hands on experience that employers crave:

    Check out the Biology Department’s undergrad research page:

  16. paul says:

    is it possible for a 49 year old person to get a degree in bioligy.would like to work for fish and wildlife dept

  17. Matt says:

    Paul: It’s never to late to get your degree. Last school year, I believe there was someone in their 80’s who graduated from the university. In addition to Biology, OSU offers a Fisheries and Wildlife program that you might look into.

  18. Prior Notice says:

    That’s fantastic to hear about an 80 yr old continuing their education. I am in my late 30’s and plan on returning to the university as well. It really is never too late.

  19. cindy says:

    i need help with biology this is the question …one important thing about experiments is they must be repeatable by other people .why is this necessary?…………….do u guys now

  20. I have wanted to go to college here for a long time and i still got five years before you get to consider me at your college.I’m comming to be a doctor thats been my dream my whole life so maybe ill tslk to you soon.Bye

  21. Della says:

    I want to study animals, and I was wondering what specific majors osu had under zoology or biology??

  22. Ishmael says:

    ya im in 10th grade and i want to know which corse in school i should take as an extra ciriculum so that it would help me in the field of biology, because im thinking of being a doctor.

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