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Biology Major

Will my AP credits apply to the biology major?

In most cases, we strongly prefer that students take the introductory BIO courses at UP because we find that the breadth and depth of AP biology courses vary greatly.  For more information on how AP credits will apply to your course requirements at UP, please contact the associate dean for students office and speak to one of the program counselors.

As a student, I want to major in biology but have interests in other disciplines. Is it possible for me to major in biology and another subject? Can I major in biology and complete a minor in another subject?

Yes, it is possible to major in biology and another subject (double-major), but you will need to plan for this early so that you can take the appropriate course work to complete both sets of requirements.  Minoring in another subject as well as securing another degree are both possible, as well, but, similarly, require planning in advance to achieve.

However, the biology department strongly recommends that you consider a second major/degree and/or minor only when you feel you can excel in the additional course work while focusing on your biology studies.  For more information on additional majors, degrees, and/or minors, please contact the associate dean for students office.

What is a capstone course and why are biology majors required to take this course during their senior year?

The purpose of a capstone course is to provide a shared experience among students in the same major.  In this course, students are given the opportunity to synthesize and reflect on what they have learned in the various biology courses that they have taken.  Having this course be required of students in their senior year provides students with more course material to reflect upon.  The biology department chose the Evolution course as the capstone due to the unifying theme of evolution for all the sub-disciplines of biology.

Internships, Research, Biology Club and Tri-Beta

Does UP set up internships in field biology or in specific health care areas and how do I go about finding/completing one?

Yes, there are many internship opportunities available locally within the Portland metro area as well as nationally through research experience for undergraduates.  Some internships can even be completed for course credit.  If a student has a question about internships, they should contact Elizabeth Jones, internship coordinator, in the College's Advising Suite for more information and advising.

I think I would like to work in a research lab at UP. How does that work?

After the completion of upper-division coursework, students are able to pursue opportunities of working in a research lab.  Many faculty members incorporate their own research into their upper-division laboratory courses, allowing students to become familiar with some of the questions and techniques used in the research lab.  Students may then discuss enrolling in an independent research course with a specific faculty member.  Some research positions are available as full-time paid positions in the summer.  For more information on working in a research lab, please be in contact with the biology department specific faculty member.

What is "Tri-Beta"? How is it different from the Biology Club? How do I become a member?

The Biology Club is the student organization that organizes social and service-oriented events throughout the year including BBQs, friendly competitions against the Chemistry Club, and the annual pancreatic cancer walk (Purple Stride) at the Oregon Zoo.  Membership is open to all UP students, so long as they attend the meetings.  For more information on joining the Biology club, please contact Tara Maginnis.

Tri-Beta is the UP chapter of the National Biological Society and is restricted to students who are majoring or minoring in biology and requires specific biology course completion.  For more information on membership in Tri-Beta, please contact Tara Maginnis.

Pre-Health Professions

I intend to be a pre-medical student. Is there a pre-med major? Do I have to be a biology major?

No, at UP there is no separate major for pre-medical studies, and being a biology major is not a requirement for pursuing a future in the health/medical field after graduation. For more information on preparing for a career in the health/medical field, please see the Pre-Professional Student Resources page.

I intend to be a pre-med student, what courses should I take to prepare for medical school?

There are a variety of elements, in addition to desired coursework, that medical schools consider when admitting students.  Depending on the field of interest, the requirements and recommended coursework can vary.  Our Pre-Health advisors have compiled a reference worksheet for general pre-requisite courses.  You can find them on the Pre-Professional Student Resources page.