Experiment and Explore

Experiment and Explore
The University of Oregon is a launch pad for students interested in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), applying fresh and innovative ideas to real-world issues.

At the UO, you'll meet researchers, teachers, and mentors who share in your thirst for knowledge and discovery. Our degree programs give you a fim foundation and open doors to undergraduate research, funded fellowships, and internships.

As a Duck, you'll be part of a community of scholars who ask questions—and find answers. Experience the excitement of the sciences at the UO.

Instructional and research faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences degree programs
"Being a part of a lab at the UO exposes undergraduate students to all aspects of research, from the experimental design to technical experience in collecting and analyzing data–some of them even get published."
–Mike Hahn

Director of the Bowerman Sports Science Clinic and Associate Professor, Human Physiology

Foundations in Research
Participation in research is a vital part of the undergraduate experience at the UO. Research experiences allow our students to explore and clarify their academic and professional goals while developing critical thinking and important workforce skills.

The Center for Undergraduate Research and Engagement (CURE) further supports the UO's culture of inquiry, with a focus on faculty-mentored projects. CURE works closely with the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, helps to infuse research into curricula, and works to showcase undergraduate research across campus and around the state.

Right now, UO undergrads are working on hundreds of research projects, including:

  • measuring muscle activity to control robotic prosthetic feet
  • unearthing stone tools in eastern Oregon and analyzing the 7,500-year-old projectile points to chart the movement of ancient peoples
  • creating algorithms to help researchers at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva sift through the trillions of "interactions" that happen in a proton collision
  • exploring the effects of the gut microbiome on cancer and other health risks
  • retooling software to take advantage of the next wave of high-performance data processing
  • installing seismographs that monitor the Cascadia subduction zone
  • mapping the floor of the Aegean Sea to reveal faults and landslides to help predict geological activity
of UO seniors have done or are currently doing research with a faculty member
of UO students have done a research project or paper as part of their course work
What's next?

If you envision graduate school in your future, four of our science programs—biology, geography, physics, and psychology—are ranked within the top 16 percent in the nation, based on the most recent National Research Council's Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs. We also lead the state in chemistry, geology, and math.

Science Meets Sustainability
Do you care about the environment and want to make a difference? We offer a number of programs that build on the UO's long tradition of research and activism.

Environmental studies

Our environmental studies program offers an environmental science degree that emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach. It's designed for students who want to focus on scientific careers in fields such as pollution abatement, water resources, ecosystem protection, environmental restoration, and environmental management.


How do physical and national boundaries affect power and inequality? Why is water central to global politics, culture, and economics? Geography isn't just about knowing your way around a map; it's about knowing your way around our changing world. We feature faculty members and students researching and teaching about important societal issues such as environmental racism, climate change, water resources, economic development, land use, conflict, migration, spatial data science, cartography, and more.

Michelle Hernandez

Major: Biology and Human Physiology

Michelle has always been intrigued by the internal functions of the human body. As a Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholar, she started working with mentor Kelly Hyland, a research engineer in the Guldberg Lab. With Kelly's guidance, she continues to study cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritis, as well as potential regenerative therapies. Next? Maybe patient care, maybe further research. Either way, Michelle's experience in the Guldberg Lab has set her up for a future in advancing medicine.

Ready for Impact
The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, an ambitious vision to shape the scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

The Knight Campus brings new opportunities in bioengineering, neuroengineering, and precision medicine, as well as fast-track master's programs centered around well-paid, hands-on experiences that seamlessly translate into careers. Each year, Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholars are immersed in the labs of some of the UO's finest researchers, priming them for a future defined by scientific impact.

Knight Campus

The Great Beyond
At the UO, we've learned that some of the greatest discoveries can happen when we're outside of our comfort zone.

It could be in the mountains of Oregon or on the coast of Panama. When you're in a different environment, you gain a fresh perspective. That's why we'll encourage you to take advantage of off-campus research opportunities.

Pine Mountain Observatory

Located at an elevation of 6,300 feet in central Oregon, Pine Mountain Observatory is operated by the UO Department of Physics. The facility is home to four telescopes, including a small-but-mighty 14-inch Robbins telescope that is outfitted with a sophisticated camera, filters, and tracking system. While this telescope can be operated remotely from the UO campus, astrophysics students venture across the state to scan the skies from the observatory, one of only a few in the US still operated by a university.

Oregon Institute of Marine Biology

The UO is one of only a handful of schools on the West Coast that offers a bachelor's degree in marine biology. You'll take your basic course requirements in Eugene, then spend at least three terms at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) in Charleston, Oregon. Applied study is the norm, from the beach and tide pools to the deep ocean.

The OIMB includes residence halls, a dining hall, seawater tanks, and seven saltwater research labs where undergraduates work side-by-side with faculty. Our rigorous program is the perfect place to get your hands dirty and your feet wet.

Every year
People visit the Pine Mountain Observatory
UO Marine Biology research began on the oregon coast in
Global Discoveries
Information technology in Ho Chi Minh City, public health in Ecuador, Arctic scientific studies in Svalbard–no matter your interests, Global Education Oregon (GEO) has a program to fit.

GEO offers more than 300 programs in 70 countries spanning from more teaditional classroom experiences to research, internships, and service learning. And with numerous scholarships available, the world is within reach. Explore the wide range of options and search by cost, location, length, subjects, and program types on the GEO website.

STEM Study Abroad Programs

STEM Scholarships
In addition to general university scholarships, the UO Scholarships for Oregon Scientists program provides awards to incoming students majoring in chemistry, biochemistry, or physics. The College of Arts and Sciences also offers many major-specific scholarships.

Why UO

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