Skip to main content

Integrative Biology Academics

Learning Assistants helping students in IB lecture in LinC 100.

Our teaching philosophy

Integrative biology courses are student-centered, with student learning and success placed at the forefront of everything that we do. We aim to create inclusive classrooms where all students feel valued as individuals, are free to think critically and can make mistakes during their learning process.

Generally, we believe that biology should be fun and interesting! Our faculty perform research on wide array of biological sub-fields and hope to share some of the diversity of biological fields and expertise with you over the course of your time at Oregon State University. Our ultimate goal is to provide students with the confidence and skills to learn about the natural world for themselves for the rest of their lives. We hope that you learn to make decisions based on evidence, know what good evidence is, and understand ethical implications of your decisions.

Finally, biology is a science and part of learning biology is learning how science works. We hope to teach you that biology is not just the memorization of facts but is about making connections between topics, testing hypotheses and learning more about life on earth through on-going research and making connections between science and society.


The Department of Integrative Biology teaches hands-on and student-centered courses for biology and zoology majors, as well as some non-majors and general education courses. Our courses are driven by learning outcomes that are aligned to modern biology education standard and often incorporate active and inclusive pedagogies into the classrooms. Cost to students in always considered in selecting our course materials and many courses use free or low-cost options for textbooks when possible.

Integrative biology courses 

Hatfield Experience

At Hatfield, you can gain experience directly related to marine and estuarine issues. Our academic programs engage students through research, teaching and experiential learning. Our courses explore coastal and ocean environments, fieldwork techniques, natural resource conservation and management issues. Take a deep dive into classes on coastal ecology, fisheries, marine mammals and birds, sharks, public policy, education, outreach and much more.

Learn more about studying at Hatfield 

Biology Help Center

The Vole Hole, named after a family of small rodents, offers support and tutoring for students enrolled in the BI22x Principles of Biology series (BI221, BI222 and BI223). The center is located in 115 Weniger Hall and is generally staffed between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm by knowledgeable graduate students who are teaching in the series. More specific details regarding hours of operation and staffing are posted on the Vole Hole door and on Canvas sites for the BI22x series.

Additional academic resources

Biology and zoology students incorporate a variety of other math and science coursework into their curriculum. Additional support resources for other disciplines include:

Peer learning support

First developed in integrative biology and now available in lecture halls around campus, the OSU Learning Assistant (LA) program aims to improve education and success of all STEM students and to promote use of evidence-based instructional strategies. Undergraduate peer learning assistants facilitate discussions and collaborative learning in the classroom, promoting student learning skills and higher-order cognition that are important for success in science and mathematics majors. Learning assistants also provide targeted feedback and useful interactions during class that improve student problem solving skills and help them master foundational concepts. Overall, courses transformed with the help of LAs have shown significant increase in student success rates. We welcome ambitious, motivated science majors desirous of making a difference in the classroom to apply to be a part of the LA program.

Prepare for graduate or professional school with an honors degree

The University Honors College (UHC) provides challenging curricula and enhanced learning experiences in general education, as well as biology, zoology and other sciences. The UHC offers smaller courses taught by OSU's finest faculty and students completing the program conduct research as part of their Honors Thesis. Biology has more UHC students than any other major on campus, and the coupling of Honors with either major is an excellent preparation for graduate or professional schools.