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College of Arts and Sciences

Biological Sciences

At the University of South Carolina, biology student explore the fundamentals of life and explore the science behind that. Students have exciting research opportunities on such research projects as cancer biology, global climate change, and environmental microbiology.  The Biological Sciences department also supports the popular ScienceLab outreach program for middle- and high-school science students, who are given a lab experience on campus similar to what they would receive in college.

Biological science students are pursuing careers in academic institutions, research institutes, governmental agencies, health facilities, industry, and public education. New directions in the field are leading to careers in biotechnology, forensic science, policy and politics, environmental pollution prevention, bioinformatics and computational biology, science writing and communication and art. 

Undergraduate: B.S.

A major in biological sciences provides a solid foundation, which is certainly of relevance to students interested in careers in some aspect of medicine, biologically relevant research, and management of natural resources or teaching. But such a foundation empowers any citizen to confront issues of ever increasing complexity of medical care, environmental deterioration, bioethics, agricultural economics, public health or biotechnology. A major in biological sciences provides students with a broad education in the sciences and empowers students with knowledge critical to surviving life in the 21st century.

Graduate: M.S. and Ph.D.

The Department has research strengths in within the areas of ecology, evolution and physiology (integrative biology) including ecology, evolutionary biology, environmental microbiology, physiology, and computational biology (modeling and bioinformatics); molecular, cellular and developmental biology (MCDB) including genetics, cancer biology, cell biology and developmental biology; plant sciences including molecular biology and genetics, developmental biology, cellular/physiological/ecological responses to the environment. Students working within these areas become trained for careers in research, teaching, and scientific leadership. Within these programs, students conduct original research under the direction of a research mentor, and are expected to publish their results in scientific journals and to present their research accomplishments at scientific meetings. Students are strongly encouraged to broaden their experience by attending our frequent seminars given by visiting scientists, by attending national and international meetings, and by participating in workshops and/or visiting laboratories at other universities or research sites.


Department Chair
Johannes Stratmann

Undergraduate Director
Amanda Zeilger

Graduate Director
Jerry Hilbish

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