Biology Department

We emphasize hands-on learning in laboratory and field settings in a wide variety of specialty areas including ecology, molecular biology, microbiology, physiology, evolution, developmental biology, cell biology, and systematics.

At SOU, all courses and labs for biology majors are taught by fully accredited faculty members, in contrast to some schools that rely heavily on teaching assistants. As a biology major, you will have the opportunity to interact with all our faculty members, beginning in the introductory sequence. Students find faculty to be readily accessible and approachable.

We also make all of our research facilities available to undergraduates, including the new state-of-the-art Biotechnology Center, the second-largest insect collection in Oregon, a four-room greenhouse, a herbarium, a Vertebrate Natural History Museum, and a cadaver lab. Many of our faculty also involve undergraduates in field research in ecology and environmental science.

SOU is located in one of the most interesting biologic regions in North America, at the junction of the Siskiyou and Cascade Mountain ranges, where plants and animals from several distinctive bioregions come together. Many Biology courses incorporate field trips to study the unique natural and biological resources in this area. Close to home, we venture to the Rogue River, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and Mount Ashland. Farther afield, we roam as far as the Pacific Ocean, Crater Lake, the Klamath-Tule marshes, the redwood forests, and the Oregon high desert.

Department of Biology Mission, Vision and Goals


Chemistry Department

Students majoring in chemistry typically enter positions in private, academic, or government laboratories, or they enroll in graduate or professional schools. There are outstanding opportunities for graduate study in chemistry. A bachelor’s degree in chemistry is also excellent preparation for graduate study in a number of other fields, including business, dentistry, engineering, environmental studies, forensic science, law, medical technology, medicine, oceanography, pharmacology, teaching, and veterinary medicine.

The Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has approved the chemistry program’s curricular offerings, faculty, and facilities. Students who complete the approved program are certified by the American Chemical Society and become eligible for full membership in the society upon graduation. The ACS certified degree options are strongly encouraged for students planning to attend graduate school or seeking employment in industrial or research positions.

The degree option in forensic chemistry is designed on the recommendations of the National Institute of Justice and is excellent preparation for students seeking employment as a forensic laboratory technician. The bachelor of arts in chemistry is specifically designed for students with career aspirations related to health care, including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physician’s assistant, and veterinary medicine. The required courses are based on the recommendations of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the top health care graduate programs in the United States.



Computer Science Department

At SOU our primary focus is undergraduate education, rather than research. Class sizes are small. Even in our introductory Computer Science classes, you will never sit in an auditorium. Every one of our classes is taught by a dedicated team of faculty members, never teaching assistants. Our diverse real-world backgrounds enrich the classroom experience. Our faculty members pride themselves on being approachable and accessible to our students outside of class.

The SOU Computer Science program prepares students for careers in the rapidly-changing world of computing. Our software-oriented program emphasizes the applied aspects of computer science. Intensive coursework provides students with a firm foundation in the full range of computer science core knowledge and skills, as well as opportunities to apply that foundation and explore advanced topics of interest.


Mathematics Department

Mathematics, one of the most challenging academic subjects, is also unarguably one of the most rewarding -- not just for intellectual growth but also for the competitive advantage needed in today's technical workplace. Mathematics challenges you to think critically, analytically, abstractly and innovatively. Applied to life skills -- both personal and professional -- mathematics can provide the needed edge, not just on your resume but for self enrichment as well.

Take a moment and think about the environment around you, and imagine how much mathematical knowledge was required to bring it into fruition. Although, being a math teacher or mathematician come to mind as being simple career fields for students who study mathematics, keep this in mind: since mathematics is everywhere, so are its job opportunities.