Biological Sciences

Welcome to OCCC’s Biology Department! We provide students with classes that enrich their understanding of the natural world and engage them in scientific investigations, both in and out of the classroom. Our classes support students pursuing degrees in aquarium science, nursing, and various transfer degrees. We offer many 100-level courses designed for students who are not pursuing a science degree, in addition to several 200-level courses for students seeking degrees in biology, environmental science, nursing, pre-med/pre-dental, and other scientific fields.

When you take biology classes at OCCC, you benefit from small class size, affordable tuition, and access to faculty that are skilled scientists and educators.

Discover the Difference

Situated between the ocean and the coastal mountains, OCCC is the perfect location to study marine biology, forest ecology, and much more. Our biology courses provide students with opportunities to learn and conduct research in tidepools, coastal streams, temperate rainforests, and more.

We also provide students with enriching laboratory activities and real-world research experiences that prepare students for degrees in genetics, microbiology, and zoology, to name a few. For example, students in the introductory biology courses (BI 211 – 213) are involved in the SEA-PHAGES research project, where they discover new types of viruses called bacteriophages and sequence their DNA.

In OCCC’s first year of the SEA-PHAGES project, students discovered two new strains of viruses, which are likely the first bacteriophages from the Oregon Coast to ever be described. The results of this research will soon be published in a scientific journal, with students listed as authors. The students that discovered the new viruses gets to name them. The names: Gingerbug and HerculesXL. Click the hyperlinks to learn more about them.

What will you discover as a student at OCCC?