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.
Interested in Studying Biology?
Biologists work on a broad spectrum of questions related to living organisms and life processes. They investigate the physical and chemical bases of life, the structure and function of organisms and their parts, the interaction between organisms and their environments, and the evolution of organisms. The biology major not only offers a thorough introduction to the principal areas of biology, but it also gives students the freedom to specialize.
The bachelor’s degree in biology prepares students for employment in diverse fields related to the life sciences. It is also excellent training for graduate and professional programs leading to degrees in such areas as agriculture, dentistry, environmental science, forestry, medical technology, medicine, optometry, veterinary medicine, and wildlife biology.
Because upper division courses in biology build on prerequisites, students should seek advising as soon as they consider majoring in biology. Early advising is especially important for those planning to go on to graduate or professional schools, and interested students should contact the Student Success Coordinator for STEM.
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.
Want to know more about Chemistry?
The Chemistry Department at Southern Oregon University provides outstanding undergraduate education in chemistry in a supportive, friendly environment. The Department offers American Chemical Society-accredited B.S. or B.A. degrees in Chemistry with Biochemistry emphasis, and B.S. or B.A. degree options in Forensic Science. The Department also offers a B.A. degree specifically tailored for students interested in medical school. Interdisciplinary degrees include B.S. or B.A. degrees in Business-Chemistry. Small class sizes and one-on-one interactions with faculty are hallmarks of a chemistry education at Southern Oregon. SOU chemistry students have access to a wide array of modern chemical instrumentation in both their courses and their research. Students have the opportunity to engage in faculty-directed research in diverse areas ranging from anodic stripping voltammetry to gold nanoparticles to biochemical protein studies to quantum chemistry. Interdisciplinary studies with geology, biology, and physics allow chemistry students to make contributions to related areas of science. Internship opportunities with local companies, as well as the U.S Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory, allow chemistry students to expand their education beyond the classroom and laboratory. A chemistry or biochemistry degree from Southern Oregon University puts students on the fast track to entering graduate/professional programs or exciting careers in one of many chemically related disciplines.
Students are strongly encouraged to make this decision as early as possible to ensure their degree may be completed in four years. It is generally not possible to complete the degree in four years without taking chemistry courses every year. It is also necessary to begin taking mathematics courses in the first year. Freshmen considering a chemistry major should talk to a chemistry professor immediately.
To a large extent, the degree program you choose is determined by your future plans. If you are unsure about what you want to do after leaving SOU, please talk to a chemistry faculty member.
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.
Computer Science Major
Interested in Computer Science?
The BA/BS in Computer Science is a software-oriented program providing a solid foundation in the breadth of core computer science knowledge and skills, such as software engineering, networks, and data structures. Upper division electives build upon this foundation and allow students to explore advanced topics of interest. The program culminates in our year-long Capstone Sequence. Students work in teams to design and implement software solutions for real-world clients, providing them with important resume-building experience.
If you enjoy computing and wish to develop your logical thinking and problem solving skills, you are a perfect fit for this program. Lower division math classes and our introductory Computer Science sequence provide students a firm foundation in complex problem solving and computer programming. Upper division core courses explore the range of computing theory and practice. Electives allow students to focus on advanced topics of interest.In their final year, students complete the Capstone Sequence. Student teams are paired with real-world clients in need of a software solution. Our students design and implement software to solve the client’s problem.
Below are some degree templates for propsective Computer Science students
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.
"Mathematician" may not be a common job title, but looking at the technologically based careers available today, it becomes apparent that math skills underlie many opportunities in the modern job market. Equally important, mathematics provides career flexibility, timelessly spanning numerous fields. Career changes are readily achievable to those whose core training encompasses solid mathematical skills.
All mathematics courses are designed to improve students’ abilities to think, analyze, and communicate, and, in particular, to use mathematics to express, define, and answer questions about the world. The bachelor’s degree program nurtures these abilities while building a solid base in mathematics-a combination highly valued by business, government, industry, and graduate programs in a variety of fields. The department’s primary focus is the development of each student’s confidence in using mathematical ideas, approaches, and methods of exposition. Key coursework hones the learner’s abilities to critically understand and use mathematics.