Apply to the Institute of Molecular Biology
The goal of the graduate program is to train students to think independently, creatively, and critically about problems in contemporary molecular, cellular, developmental, and structural biology. To help new graduate students choose a research laboratory all first year students rotate through three laboratories of their choice. The purpose of lab rotations is to introduce students to the wide variety of research in Molecular Biology labs, and to familiarize students with the intellectual environment in each laboratory and the various experimental techniques and philosophies. First-year students work with an interim advisory committee to design their own path down the various tracks within the Institute (see Graduate Programs in Molecular Biology).
Students choose a lab for their thesis research according to their interests, independent of the Departmental association of that faculty member. Because only academic departments (and not Institutes) at the University of Oregon can confer degrees, students should apply for admission to either the Biology Department, the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, or the Physics Department. All admitted students are free to do laboratory rotations and choose a dissertation adviser in any department or research institute. In addition, the training and coursework for graduate students largely follows the Molecular Biology program regardless of home department. However, because teaching is done within the admitting department, students should apply through the department that they feel best matches their background and interests.