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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

What will you do as a zoology major?

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.

Careers of our recent zoology graduates

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

Oregon State Ph.D. candidate sheds light on better way to study reputedly secretive toad

Research by an Integrative Biology Ph.D. candidate Anne Devan-Song in Oregon State University’s College of Science has upended the conventional wisdom that for a century has incorrectly guided the study of the eastern spadefoot toad, which is considered endangered in part of its range.

Meet a Science Grad: Samantha Lewis

Meet Samantha Lewis, 2008 zoology graduate and assistant professor of cell and developmental biology at the University of California - Berkeley.

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.

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.

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.

Next steps

Download Zoology Brochure 2020 (PDF)