Students who have the most success obtaining a position in our lab are those who:

  1. have performed well during their undergraduate and graduate careers;
  2. have taken and scored well in the Graduate Record Exams;
  3. express themselves well (both writing and speaking);
  4. have gained practical hands-on experience with research;
  5. (depending on the project) have experience on large research vessels or are experienced, qualified SCUBA divers
  6. enjoy long hours of fieldwork in both sunny AND inclement weather;
  7. are meticulous and attentive to detail;
  8. can tolerate long hours at the microscope; and
  9. are enthusiastic and willing to function as a team-player.

If you think you meet many of these criteria, take some time to read a few of the publications from our lab. If you are interested in the type of research we conduct, feel free to contact Su Sponaugle to discuss details. Admission to Department of Integrative Biology (IB) at Oregon State University is a multi-step process: Completed applications (due December 15) are first considered by the IB Graduate Program Committee and then the larger IB faculty. Qualified applicants who meet the requirements for admission need to "match" with a suitable faculty member who is willing to serve as their advisor and provide essential financial support. This is typically is related to whether a faculty member has received any new research grants. However, the department also provides some teaching assistantships to help support graduate students. If you are offered admission, it is likely that at least some of your graduate study will involve serving as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate course. This not only contributes substantially to your financial support, but is also a valuable opportunity to gain teaching experience. OSU provides a TA Training workshop for new TAs to help hone their teaching skills.

New graduate students will likely spend their first year on the Corvallis campus taking classes and getting started on developing their research project. Future years would involve increasing time in the lab at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Students in our lab typically work on a topic related to the major avenues of ongoing research in the lab, with flexibility in the specific direction of their research and opportunities to develop new lines of inquiry. We strongly encourage prospective students to seek external sources of funding to enhance the likelihood of admission. Note that once onboard, in addition to their own research, students are expected to be team players and assist with broader lab projects including those of other graduate students. For more information on the application process see the IB Dept webpage for Prospective Graduate Students: