The Department of Biological Sciences offers a focused program of courses for students seeking an undergraduate degree in biology, as well as courses for students needing to satisfy specific requirements for other majors including nursing, pharmacy and public health, and courses with broad impact for students seeking to satisfy a science requirement for other programs. We offer a large number and variety of courses; around 5,000 university students take a course in our department at some point in their careers here.
Courses for both our undergraduate and graduate program are taught by a faculty of some 40 professors with exceptional academic backgrounds and expertise ranging from molecular and cell biology to organismal and environmental biology, from bacteria to plants and animals, from neuroscience and behavior to developmental biology and cancer.
Progression and Class Size
Courses are progressive in that introductory courses provide broad surveys of biological issues, and more advanced courses are increasingly focused and detailed. Although class sizes can be fairly large for introductory courses, they are often quite small for more advanced courses (8-20 students). Small class sizes, practical laboratory components of many courses and undergraduate research offer many opportunities to students to develop close relationships with their professors. We're part of a large university, but you'll get the personal attention and small class sizes you'd find in a smaller institution.
Our Research and Funding Advantage
The Carnegie Foundation has designated the University of South Carolina as an institution of very high research activity, its highest rating. One of the biggest advantages of being part of a large university is the opportunity students have to participate in their professors' research projects.
Professors of Biological Sciences maintain dual lives as educators and researchers; and many research labs include undergraduate researchers. Typically, students become familiar with professors through their classes and through the descriptions of professor research on the department web site. You can join laboratories as early as your freshman year. You may be able to receive course credit and funding for your research, even as an undergraduate.