The Biology Department at Pacific encourages learning through discovery in both the laboratory and classroom. The undergraduate biology major is among the most popular at Pacific University and prepares students to pursue a variety of careers in research, medicine, health professions, conservation and teaching. Biology majors at Pacific University learn about biology by working side-by side with faculty doing biology.

Program Highlights

  • Extensive laboratory and field experiences
  • Opportunity to work with respected faculty on nationally-recognized research
  • Opportunities to do internships in the health professions


Fall 2014 Special Topics Courses

The program features a hands-on approach with a curriculum that emphasizes learning about life processes by making original observations, asking biological questions, and testing hypothesis through experimentation. Courses provide in-depth knowledge in three areas of biology.

  • Cellular/molecular/genetics
  • Structure/function/systematics
  • Ecology/evolution/behavior

Students increase their ability to think critically, synthesize information, and communicate effectively. Independent investigations are emphasized throughout the curriculum starting with freshman General Biology and ending with a senior research capstone experience.

Research and Internships

Our students learn to become biologists by working side-by-side with faculty doing biology. In addition to interaction with Pacific faculty, students have a variety of opportunities to broaden their experience and explore different fields in biology through internships and outside research programs. Examples include work at Oregon Health Science University, local hospitals and healthcare clinics, the Oregon Zoo in Portland and local veterinary institutions.

Opportunities Available


Pacific graduates are currently working as doctors, optometrists, pharmacists, physical therapists, environmental consultants, teachers, lawyers, microbiologists, geneticists and in several healthcare professions


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Fact Sheet

Heather Ritenour, Hops, the perennial herbaceous vine Humulus lupulus, whose flowers add flavor and aroma to beer and ale, are also known for their sedative and anti-bacterial effects. Less clear is the plant’s role in cancer, with some studies showing an anti-cancer effect and others that show an increase in cancer cells.

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