Housed on the second and third floors of the Horace C. Smith Building at USC Upstate, the Biology program has impressive modern facilities and equipment. Six labs and a large herbarium are available for classes and research activities. Recent acquisitions include a molecular imager, plate reader, a real-time PCR machine and a fluorescent microscope. 

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. An understanding of the design and conduct of scientific experiments. 1.1 The student will be able to apply the scientific method when testing hypotheses, designing and conducting experiments.

 2. An understanding of important concepts and methods in the biological sciences. 2.1 The student will be able to describe the structure and function of cellular components.

2.2 The student will be able to discuss and give examples of macro and micro evolution.

2.3  The student will be able to explain and recognize interrelationships and dependencies between abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems.

3. Knowledge of and skill utilizing appropriate laboratory techniques in the biological sciences.  3.1 The student will demonstrate certain laboratory techniques (such as light microscopy, gel electrophoresis, population sampling, aseptic techniques, micro and macro pipetting).

4. An ability to critically analyze, evaluate and interpret scientific information.

4.1 The student will be able to access, recognize, summarize and critically analyze primary literature.

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

5. Effective communication skills.

5.1 The student will prepare oral and 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.