A healthy planet depends on scientists and natural resource specialists like you.

Our world faces big challenges — climate change, pollution, the endangering of plants and wildlife. All you need is the drive and the skills to tackle them.

With nationally recognized science and natural resources programs, Oregon State University can prepare you to shape environmental progress. You’ll study with world renowned faculty, participate in groundbreaking research and get real-world experience.  Our science and natural resources curriculum grapples with the complex balance between how to providing what society needs and sustaining the ecosystems that are essential to all life. You’ll work on projects that have real impacts on food safety, environmental protection, alternative energy sources, sustainable forest and ocean ecosystems and others. You’ll learn how to relate scientific research to important public policy issues.

Because these fields are complex, Oregon State programs take an interdisciplinary approach by combining instruction from two or more departments or colleges to give you the comprehensive skills to make our world better. We’ll give you the tools to solve the Earth’s puzzles.

Get ready for what’s next.

To prepare for study in science and natural resources, you should have a strong academic background. You’ll benefit from four years of high school mathematics, including the most advanced courses available, along with coursework in biology, chemistry and physics. You should also pursue a well-balanced background in the social sciences, arts and humanities, including English. And as with most fields today, it’s important to have solid computer skills.

If you have questions about preparing for university-level study in these fields, contact the advising staff in the program you’re considering.

Careers: Think outside the office.

There’s a great need for people with deep knowledge in science and natural resources. That means multiple career opportunities in just about any field. Plus, many of those careers will get you away from a desk and into a lab or the great outdoors. With your Oregon State education, you’ll be well-prepared for graduate or professional school or ready to move directly into your career.


  • A fisheries or wildlife biologist protecting endangered animal species.
  • A forensics expert using the latest scientific knowledge to investigate and solve crimes.
  • A specialist in writing, enforcing or interpreting natural resource and environmental policy.
  • The manager of an agribusiness or ranch operation.
  • A designer of environmentally friendly processes in construction and other fields.
  • A research scientist seeking a cure for cancer or other diseases that affect humans or animals.
  • An environmental scientist studying the influences of climate change on marine organisms.
  • A researcher or professor in a college or university.

Your 1st Year

Off we go. Getting started at Oregon State.

Robust growth requires strong roots. During your first year, you’ll focus on developing your critical-thinking, communication and problem-solving skills through courses from Oregon State’s Baccalaureate Core — the physical and biological sciences, arts and humanities, mathematics, writing, fitness, cultural diversity and freshman orientation — along with some beginning courses in your major.

To make sure you get off to a good start and stay on course for graduation, you should meet with an advisor as you plan your first-year program — and at regular intervals after that.

Internships give your career a head start.

Many programs require or encourage on-the-job experience to prepare you for what’s next. Increasingly, graduate and professional schools prefer students who have experience working in the field. Your professors, department and college, as well as The Oregon State Career Development Center, can help you apply for an internship. Depending on your internship, you can choose to take a term or two off from classes, take classes while completing your internship or do one over the summer.

Put yourself out there.

Oregon State offers a resource-rich environment that encourages you to combine your studies in science and natural resources with opportunities like the Honors College and study abroad programs. You’ll find challenging, unique experiences that support your academic, professional and personal growth — and have fun, too.

Research lets you discover, test, solve.

Each year, more than 2,000 undergraduates participate in research with professors and graduate students, examining real issues that confront society today. Research projects are especially valuable if you plan to attend graduate school or if your career will involve laboratory work. Check with your major professors about available research opportunities.

Science and Natural Resources

We offer 200+ degree programs.  Find where you fit.

The following colleges offer programs in this area:

College of Agricultural Sciences

Agricultural Business Management

  • Resource Economics
  • Natural Resource and Environmental Law and Policy

Agricultural Sciences

Animal BIo Health

  • Pre-Veterinary Medicine/Science
  • Animal Behavior
  • Animal Management

Bioresource Research

  • Animal Reproduction and Development
  • Applied Genetics
  • Bioenergy
  • Biotechnology
  • Climate and Biosystems Modeling
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Food Quality
  • Genomics/Bioinformatics
  • Pest Biology and Management
  • Plant Growth and Development
  • Sustainable Ecosystems
  • Toxicology
  • Water Resources

Biological Data Sciences


  • Botanical Research
  • Fungal Biology
  • Plant Ecology and Systematics
  • Plant Molecular Genetics and biotechnology

Crop and Soil Science

  • Agronomy
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics

Environmental Economics and Policy

Fisheries and Wildlife Science

Food Science and Technology

  • Enology and Viticulture
  • Fermentation Science
  • Food Science


  • Ecological and Sustainable Horticultural Production
  • Ecological Landscapes and Urban Forestry
  • Horticultural Research
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics
  • Therapeutic Horticulture
  • Turf Managment
  • Viticulture and Enology

Rangeland Sciences

Sustainability (Double Degree)

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Earth Sciences

  • Climate Science
  • Geology
  • Ocean Science

Environmental Sciences

Geography and Geospatial Science

College of Engineering


Energy Systems Engineering (OSU-Cascades)

Chemical Engineering

Ecological Engineering

Environmental Engineering

College of Forestry


  • Forest Management
  • Forest Operations Management
  • Forest Restoration & Fire

Forest Engineering

Forest Engineering-Civil Engineering

Natural Resources

  • Conservation Law Enforcement
  • Ecological Restoration
  • Fish and Wildlife Conservation
  • Forest Ecosystems
  • Human Dimensions in Natural Resources
  • Integrated Conservation Analysis
  • Landscape Analysis
  • Natural Resources Education - Policy and Management
  • Urban Forest Landscapes
  • Wildland Fire Ecology
  • Individualized Specialty Option

Renewable Materials

  • Art and Design
  • Marketing and Management
  • Science and Engineering
  • Advanced Wood Manufacturing

Tourism, Recreation and Adventure Leadership

  • Outdoor Recreation Management
  • Sustainable Tourism Management
  • Nature, Eco and Adventure Tourism (OSU-Cascades)
  • Adventure Leadership Education (OSU-Cascades)

College of Science

Biochemistry and Biophysics

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

BioHealth Sciences

  • (includes pre-med, pre-dentistry and other health field preparation)


  • Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Marine Biology
  • Pre-Veterinary Medicine


  • Forensic Science


  • Actuarial Science
  • Applied and Computational Mathematics
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Statistics


  • Pre-Pharmacy


  • Applied Physics
  • Biological Physics
  • Chemical Physics
  • Geophysics


Multiple scholarships are available. Be sure to apply.

Scholarships to help you pay for college are available at the university level, as well as from individual colleges and departments. Most scholarships are awarded based on information in the Oregon State scholarship application submitted with your application for admission, but others require separate applications. The deadline for applying for university scholarships is Feb. 1. Be sure to check with your college and department on the deadlines for other scholarships.