Degree Type
Bachelor of Science
Honors Bachelor of Science
College of Science


Join the next generation of science leaders. Issues and advances in areas such as biotechnology, environmental science, medicine and other fields continually emphasize the importance of biology and biologists in the future of our country and the world. The biology program prepares students for diverse fields through broad, interdisciplinary training in the life sciences. You'll have access to world-class faculty and undergraduate research opportunities. This major is also ideal for students who are looking to continue from undergraduate into professional/medical programs.

Post-baccalaureate students who are interested in biology need to check the Admission Criteria for Post-Bacc Students from OSU's College of Science.


Program Information

Undergraduate Degree Offered

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Degree Requirements

A total of 180 quarter credits are required to graduate, including 60 upper-division credits. Requirements include:

1. Baccalaureate core: 48-52 credits
2. Biology major requirements: 123-126 credits (note: OSU-Cascades does not offer specialty options for biology majors)
3. Electives if need to complete 180 total college credits

Degree Checklist and Guides

Biology Degree Guide OSU-Cascades (PDF)
Biology 4-Year Plan Sample (PDF)

See Transfer Student page for transfer planning and resources.

Biology Resources

Pre-Req and Science Placement Resources

Chemistry Placement and Prep
Biology Pre-req/Requirements Petition

Pre-Medical and Pre-Health Resources

Association of American Medical Colleges Preparing for Medical School
OSU College of Science Pre-Med Resources
How to Prepare for a Healthcare Career in High School

Using the following course forecast information students will plan ahead and work with their advisor to create and update academic plans.

OSU Course Catalog
OSU Class Search
Biology courses by term

As a biology major, you’ll gain a broad, interdisciplinary training in the life sciences, covering important issues such as biotechnology, environmental science and medicine. Take advantage of multiple opportunities to work with world-class faculty in hands-on, real-world research projects. The biology major also offers excellent preparation for further study in professional and medical programs. 

Learning outcomes:

1.  Successful integration into a research university setting: Students will demonstrate understanding of the skill set needed for successful integration into a research university setting.
2.  Professional communication skills used in a health professions related career: Students will communicate professionally both verbally and in writing.
3.  Student Engagement: Students will demonstrate engagement through involvement in research or internship activities, the Pre-Health Clubs (e.g. pre-nursing, pre-pharmacy, pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-physical therapy, etc.) and outreach or mentoring activities specific to their health professional discipline.
4.  Life Sciences Specific Core Knowledge: Students will be able to acquire, articulate, retain and apply specialized language and knowledge relevant to life sciences.
5.  Professional School Acceptance: Students will meet pre-requisite requirements for application to health professions school.

Biology Minor (48-51 credits)

The biology minor includes a required introductory biology sequence with chemistry prerequisite or corequisite. A C- or better in the BI 2xx series is required to complete the minor. A series of general chemistry, through CH 123 or CH 233 and CH 263, is required for some of the listed courses.

Biology Minor Curriculum Checklist (PDF)

Undergraduate research

Your lab classes are just a start. You can engage directly in undergraduate research projects under the supervision of OSU-Cascades' faculty. There are several funding opportunities available for students, research and scholarship fellowships. At OSU-Cascades, our labs open doors to real scenarios where you’ll help find solutions for some of our biggest challenges and participate in hands-on training.

Alumni Spotlight

On to pharmacy school

When Maddie Moss '20 was in high school, she job-shadowed a pharmacist in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Portland. That was it for her. She knew what she wanted to do. Now enrolled in the Oregon State University/Oregon Health & Science University Doctor of Pharmacy program – Maddie is on her way. “The one-to-one, personalized education at OSU-Cascades helped me feel so prepared for the pharmacy program,” she said. In addition to earning a Pharm.D. degree, Maddie is dually enrolled in OSU's Master of Business Administration program. Soon – she’ll have high school students shadowing her.

Alumni Spotlight

The chemistry with ThermoFisher Scientific is real

Biotech in Bend is growing. It’s an industry that needs interns and skilled employees. Numerous OSU-Cascades graduates — many of them biology majors — have found jobs at ThermoFisher Scientific’s Bend site, where experts turn insoluble compounds into soluble compounds that can help improve human health. OSU-Cascades alumni work at ThermoFisher Scientific as formulation scientists, analytical development scientists, quality control scientists, human resources coordinators and biostatistics scientists. In partnership with OSU-Cascades, ThermoFisher Scientific also offers internships for biology students interested in laboratory science.

Sample Courses

  • Introduction to Human Anatomy & Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Disease Ecology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Physics
  • Aquatic Entomology
  • Ecology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Environmental Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Biodiversity: Causes, Consequences, and Conservation
  • Vertebrate Biology

Course Listing

Where do our graduates work?

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Branch of Natural Resources, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
  • California Sea Grant Extension
  • Deschutes River Alliance
  • Fall Creek Internal Medicine
  • Lonza
  • Oregon Health Authority
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • Pharmanex
  • Swedish Medical Group
  • ThermoFisher Scientific
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Wild Fish Conservancy


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Contact Us

We're here to help! Future students can connect with an OSU-Cascades admissions advisor for admission and program questions.