Undergraduate Program Biology

PSU biology student at work in a lab

Biology Bachelor's Degree and Minor Overview

A bachelor's degree in biology prepares students for a variety of careers in biological research, development, teaching, health sciences, biotechnology, conservation and wildlife, forestry, and other applied science fields. It also provides the necessary background and foundation for advanced study leading to specialized graduate degrees, professional programs, and entry into the workforce.

We offer:

  • A strong foundation in the biological sciences with opportunities for hands-on learning extensions.
  • Expert faculty who bring the best research and real-life perspectives into the classroom.
  • Student-driven curriculum and freedom to choose area(s) of specialization.
  • Departmental support from the biology student success coordinator, faculty, and graduate students.
  • State of the art research labs and multiple field sites where students can apply their knowledge.
  • Opportunities to participate in internships, leadership, science education, community outreach, and as active researchers.

Our alumni are accepted to top graduate, healthcare and other professional programs.

Degree Details

  • BA
    Bachelor of Arts
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term
  • BS
    Bachelor of Science
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term
  • m
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Biology Bachelor's Degree or Minor: Why PSU?

PSU's biology program is distinguished by the active incorporation of research discoveries into teaching programs and by the opportunity to pursue undergraduate research with leading faculty scientists, providing students with a world-class education. The biology major is student-driven and allows you to choose your own area of specialization while receiving advice and support on the best pathway to reach your academic, research, and career goals by departmental faculty and advisors.

Our department is committed to your success—our diverse and knowledgeable faculty, graduate students, and staff are dedicated to helping students achieve their educational and career goals. The biology curriculum is defined by hands-on learning experiences in teaching and research laboratories and by innovative approaches to teaching and learning, including flipped classrooms, special-option courses such as internships, fieldwork, career exploration, and tutoring.

Portland State University's position in the heart of Oregon's economic and cultural center provides a dynamic and exciting environment in which to study science.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree or Minor in Biology?

Biology students are prepared for a wide range of careers in conservation and wildlife; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and policy; scientific communication; research; health sciences and studies and related fields. Trained biologists may work in a variety of fields, or extend their studies to the graduate level. Biologists who enjoy working with people and encouraging them to learn about scientific principles and emerging issues find employment in schools, universities, museums, and other organizations. Science policymakers and advisors directly develop STEM education policy or work with lawmakers to create legislation. Biologists with excellent writing and communication skills can be employed by scientific journals, textbook publishers, online magazines and science blogs or print/media networks, or by universities, government labs or non-profit organizations, trade journals, or other entities in positions that require educating the public about relevant and emerging biology issues.

Featured Courses

  • BI 334 Molecular Biology
  • Bi 336 Cellular Biology
  • BI 341 Introduction to Genetics
  • BI 330 Introduction to Plant Biology
  • BI 320 Introduction to Organismal Physiology
  • BI 387 Vertebrate Zoology
  • BI 357 General Ecology
  • BI 380 Microbiology
  • BI 358 Evolution


  • BI 301 Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • BI 462 Neurophysiology
  • BI 552 Cancer Biology
  • BI 410/510 Museum Curation
  • BI 412 Animal Behavior
  • BI 530 Theory of Recombinant DNA Techniques
  • BI 416 Marine Mammals
  • BI 471 Plant Ecology


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).