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Zoology Major

Explore the diversity, ecology and organismal biology of animals

Zoology Major

Explore the diversity, ecology and organismal biology of animals

frog sitting in creek

Do you love animals and aspire to engage with coursework, laboratory and field research relating to diverse animal species, habitats and ecosystems? Then zoology is the right major for you. The zoology major — the only one in the state of Oregon— is housed in the nationally ranked Department of Integrative Biology in the School of Life Sciences. As a zoology major, you will study a broad range of core courses providing a solid foundation in biological sciences as well as elective courses in the diversity, organismal biology, ecology and evolution of animals to match your specific interests in animal biology. Zoology students are actively engaged in laboratory and field research, working alongside faculty in a variety of projects, including amphibian declines in the Cascade Mountains, the disease ecology of African ungulates and discoveries of new beetle species in Oregon. The zoology program will prepare you well for jobs in a variety of fields, such as animal care and husbandry, curatorial and museum management, laboratory animal research, field biology and conservation, and environmental management and policy, as well as graduate programs related to the biology of animals.

Recent graduates: What are they up to

Veterinary Radiation Therapy Technician at Portland Veterinary Oncology Center

Program Assistant at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, UC-Berkeley

Veterinarian at Pleasant Hill Animal Hospital

Veterinary/Health Research Technician at OHSU
Wildlife Biologist at Catalina Island Conservancy
PhD Candidate and Interim Lab Manager at Nordic Sea Winery
Zookeeper at Utah’s Hogle Zoo
Operations Coordinator at Cascades Raptor Center
Registered Nurse at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center
Laboratory Technician at Portland VA Research Foundation

Sample courses

Marine and Estuarine Invertebrate Zoology

Monster Biology

Vertebrate Biology

Animal Behavior

Karianna Crowder holding a white-cheeked gibbon in enclosure
"In six days, we treated 767 dogs, cats, pigs, cattle, and horses. I was given the freedom to do the physical exams myself, listening to heart and lung sounds and palpitating lymph nodes.”
Karianna Crowder ( Zoology '17) worked at a pet clinic in Nicaragua during one of several study abroad programs that she embarked on at OSU.

Meet our students and alumni

Meet a Science Grad: Kaelie Spencer

Meet alumna Kaelie Spencer, 2016 Zoology major and aquarist at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Fighting for a habitable future: Science scholarship enables zoology senior to prepare

A recipient of the SURE Science award, zoology senior Chantelle MacAdams' research confirmed the role small predators could play after the loss of a keystone species.

From Free Willy to blue whale necroscopy

Alex Carbaugh-Rutland ('16), a graduating senior in zoology from Sacramento, Calif., has been fascinated by killer whales since he was a small boy.

Next steps

Download Zoology Brochure 2020 (PDF)