The biology program at USC Upstate prepares students to attain careers in biology, health care and related fields. It accomplishes this by providing in-depth coursework with small class sizes, hands-on laboratories, and many opportunities for research or internship experiences. The biology program has impressive facilities and cutting-edge equipment, with six teaching labs, multiple research labs, and an herbarium where students can take their classroom skills to the next level.

Degree Requirements
A Bachelor of Science in Biology involves the successful completion of 120 credit hours, including completion of supporting courses in chemistry and mathematics. More information is available below regarding specific biology major and minor degree requirements. Students may track their progress toward graduation in the biology major and each pre-professional program using the Degree Completion Worksheets.

Student Learning Outcomes
1. Students that complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology will have an understanding of the design and conduct of scientific experiments.

1.1 Students will be able to apply the scientific method when testing hypotheses, designing and conducting experiments.

1.2 Students will be able to apply the scientific method when analyzing scientific literature for writing a review paper.

1.3 Students will demonstrate that they have engaged in independent thinking in multiple steps in the research cycle.

 2. Students graduating with the Bachelor of Science in Biology at USC Upstate will demonstrate an understanding of important concepts and methods in the biological sciences, as well as knowledge of and skill utilizing appropriate laboratory techniques in the biological sciences. 2.1 The student will demonstrate certain laboratory techniques (such as light microscopy, gel electrophoresis, population sampling, aseptic techniques, micro and macro pipetting).

2.2 The student will demonstrate knowledge across a range of topics in biology, including cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, organismal biology, and ecology and evolutionary biology.

3. Students graduating with the Bachelor of Science in Biology at USC Upstate will demonstrate an ability to critically analyze, evaluate and interpret scientific information.

 3.1 The student will be able to access, recognize, summarize and critically analyze primary

3.2 The student will be able to apply and interpret descriptive and inferential statistics.

4. Students graduating with the Bachelor of Science in Biology at USC Upstate will demonstrate effective communication skills.

4.1 The student will prepare oral reports in a standard scientific format.

4.2 The student will prepare written reports in a standard scientific format.


The Biology curriculum at USC Upstate includes introductory and upper level courses such as comparative anatomy and physiology, invertebrate zoology, botany, microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, immunology, plant taxonomy, animal behavior, ecology, developmental biology and senior seminar. Support courses are taken in chemistry, physics, mathematics, foreign language, arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences and computer science. Opportunities also exist for undergraduate research with faculty.


With further training, Biology students find rewarding careers in health-related fields such as medicine, physician assisting, optometry, dentistry or veterinary medicine. Other students may elect to continue their education in graduate programs in preparation for research, public service or education careers.

Clubs and organizations

The Biology department supports several activities for students, including the Science Club and the Health Professionals Club. These clubs take trips, carry out service projects and conduct social events.


Biology students entering their first year of college may apply for scholarships through the NSF-funded CRISPR scholarship program. This program supports high-achieving, financially needy students with support of up to $8,100 per year for four years (up to $32,400 in total). Biology students may also apply for additional university scholarships, including the David B. Dedmon, DMD Scholarship and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Scholarship.

Research experiences

For biology students, there are multiple paths to develop career-relevant skills through research experiences. Students may apply to participate in the NIH-funded SC-INBRE ER(Up)T program, which provides students with stipends to complete health-related research alongside a faculty mentor on campus over the summer. Students in the CRISPR scholarship program may also qualify for a stipend to pursue research or internships. Additionally, students may compete for Magellan Scholarships, which support undergraduate research across the USC system. Other students win research awards from the USC Upstate Research Office or pursue research for credit through independent studies.