Pacific University’s biology program prepares students for entrance into some of the top graduate and medical schools in the country, including Pacific’s nationally respected programs in the health sciences. Students also may complete a certification to teach at the elementary, middle or high school levels.

Program Highlights

  • Build knowledge and awareness of the basic principles and learn through a diverse set of biology courses and research opportunities
  • Gain extensive laboratory and field experiences in most courses
  • Access a respected and caring faculty
  • Develop professional and personal friendships through the Biology Club, the Beta Beta Beta biology honor society and informal gatherings
  • Secure internships in locations such as the Oregon Zoo, the Alaska Division of Natural Resources, Washington State University’s Center for Multiphase Environmental Research or local healthcare and veterinarian clinics


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.

Biology Special Topics Courses (pdf)


Our students learn to become biologists by working side-by-side with faculty doing biology. In addition to interaction with Pacific faculty members, 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.

Pacific’s biology graduates are prepared to do anything or go anywhere. Our biology graduates work as lab technicians, environmental consultants, teachers, lawyers, microbiologists, geneticists, ecologists, veterinarians, zoologists and, of course, in a wide range of health and medical professions. Our students are recruited by the top graduate programs, medical schools and professional schools in the country. Many recent graduates work in the high-tech industry because of their strong backgrounds in biology, chemistry, math, computer science and physics.