Skip to main content

Zoology Major

Oregon’s only zoology program prepares you for a career in animal science

Zoology Major

Oregon’s only zoology program prepares you for a career in animal science

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.

The BASICS: Zoology

Department: Integrative Biology
Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science
Online option: Yes

What is zoology?

Zoology is all about the study of animals. If you love animals and want to dedicate your career to diverse animal species, habitats and ecosystems, then this could be the right major for you! At Oregon State, you will gain a solid foundation in biological sciences while exploring the diversity, organismal biology, ecology and evolution of animals to match your specific interests in animal science. Our zoology majors actively engage in lab and field research, working alongside faculty in a variety of projects.

Why get a zoology degree?

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.

Did you know: The zoology major, housed in the nationally ranked Department of Integrative Biology in the School of Life Sciences, is the only one in the state of Oregon!

frog sitting in creek

The PAYOFF: Careers in Zoology

What can you do with a zoology degree?

OSU zoology graduates obtain jobs in varied fields that include animal care and husbandry, curatorial and museum management, laboratory animal research, field biology and conservation and environmental management and policy.

Here are just several examples of career pathways our zoology alumni have followed:

  • Zookeeper |Utah's Hogle Zoo
  • Wildlife Biologist | Catalina Island Conservancy
  • Operations Coordinator | Cascades Raptor Center
  • Nature center education specialist
  • Museum curator
  • Federal wildlife biologist
  • Non-governmental organization policy analyst
  • Environmental consultant
  • Laboratory technician
  • Wildlife rehabilitator
  • Biological illustrator

The PROGRAM: Studying zoology at Oregon State

Your zoology curriculum

What kind of classes will you take?

Check out our list of zoology courses

What could your class schedule look like over four years? Have a look at this sample plan to help guide your way towards graduation:

Zoology major: sample plan

Get your zoology degree online

Did you know: We're home to the country's first online zoology degree, taught by nationally renowned biologists at Oregon State’s Department of Integrative Biology! The program features a wide range of courses on the biology of animals and opens opportunities to jobs in conservation, animal research and more. Online students receive the same OSU diploma and transcripts as OSU's on-campus students.

Get your zoology degree through OSU’s Ecampus

WATCH: Meet a zoology major

Meet Danielle, a zoology major here at Oregon State. Danielle shares the unique factors that helped her choose OSU for her major, the connections she's developed that have led to incredible research opportunities and tips for success as a Team Science student. Danielle's experiences have helped open many doors as she prepares for a future in animal science.

The EXPERIENCE: Hands-on opportunities

What makes a zoology degree from Oregon State better? One big reason: our hands-on learning experiences! Science is often a competitive career field - these experiences give you the real-world skills to support your future goals.

Fun fact: The Department of Integrative Biology is a campus leader in study abroad — our students make up a large portion of total OSU majors studying abroad. Participate in a wide variety of abroad experiences around the world in STEM or other areas of interest.

Undergraduate Research

This is your chance to see up close what it means to be a scientist. Don’t just study science in the classroom — get in a lab and contribute to it, working alongside world-class faculty!

Learn why undergraduate research is better here


Internships serve as your perfect transitional experience into a career field. Gain real-world career experience while exploring the career possibilities your degree opens up.

Learn about amazing internship opportunities

Study Abroad

Our students’ work spans the globe! Immerse yourself in another culture to gain a global perspective in your studies.

Take your science studies around the world


Here’s your chance to discover like-minded communities of peers who share your interests! Come together and engage in meaningful ways.

Connect with a club and more members of Team Science

The SUPPORT: Connect with your advisor

Your science advisor is your all-in-one resource for college success! Our advisors will help you navigate your whole journey at OSU. If you have questions now, you can reach out to one of our amazing peer advisors and they can help you with anything you’d like to know about our programs or being a student at OSU.

And of course, you can always reach out to our Student Peer Advisors at with questions, as well! Our Peer Advisor team is friendly, helpful and can share their first-hand knowledge of the Oregon State experience.

The PROOF: Successful students and alumni

Zoology senior merges cultural identity and scientific curiosity

A graduating senior in zoology at Oregon State University, Devonte Casey has been deeply inspired by the synergy between his academic pursuits and his identity as a Native American.

Presidential scholar and zoology major focuses on what many ignore

A Strawberry Princess who gets excited about roadkill. A valedictorian who doesn’t test well. A photographer who focuses on the unlovely. This is the stuff College of Science presidential scholars are made of.

A passion for wildlife conservation: Zoologist takes care of a little bit of Africa

Zoology graduate Molly Cordell ('16) trained and cared for African hooved animals for four years; now working toward career in wildlife conservation.

Researching intertidal communities ecosystems: Ecology fellowship supports student fieldwork

For Lily Miksell, the Alexei Lubchenco Menge Undergraduate Research Fellowship presented an exciting opportunity to pursue her interests in ecology and conservation.

Meet a Science Grad: Kaelie Spencer

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

Download Zoology brochure 2022 (PDF)