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Biological Sciences, M.S.

College of Arts and Sciences

Master research skills to answer fundamental questions and advance discoveries in all aspects of biology, including a specialty aligned with your interests and career goals.

Join a cutting-edge research program committed to studying biology from the cellular and genetic levels to the organismal and environmental levels. Our eight areas of specialization allow you to focus on your interests. All M.S. students receive financial support and graduate prepared to design, conduct and interpret research experiments.

Program Highlights

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    Research Focus

    Hone valuable research skills in our advanced programs with opportunities to teach, present and publish.

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    Supportive Environment

    Join the Graduate Association of Biological Sciences, which seeks to enrich the student experience with a variety of ongoing activities.

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    Interdisciplinary Approach

    Benefit from the engaged faculty and staff members who work endlessly to foster a collaborative program.

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    Awards Available

    Enhance your college experience with travel awards to attend professional conferences in your areas of interest.

What You’ll Study

Choose a specialization from stem cell and developmental biology, neurobiology, cancer biology, biology of cellular stress, plant biology, ecology, evolution and marine biology. Acquire in-depth knowledge of the literature in the field and how to use appropriate methodology to carry out research. Write and orally defend a research-based thesis.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Laboratory Research

    Conducting experiments and analyzing data to gain new knowledge and insights in a scientific field


    Gathering and analyzing information to increase knowledge or solve problems

    Scientific Writing

    Communicating scientific research and findings in a clear, accurate and compelling manner

  • Presentation Skills

    Preparing and delivering effective and engaging presentations to inform, persuade or inspire

    Analytical Reasoning

    Breaking down complex problems or situations to identify patterns, connections and solutions

    Critical Thinking

    Analyzing and evaluating information to make informed decisions or judgments

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Medical Researcher
  • Academic Researcher
  • Biotechnology Developer
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Pharmaceutical Researcher
  • Teacher

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Senior Research Associate
  • Lab Supervisor
  • Research Associate
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Research Specialist
  • Senior Data Scientist

Workplace Settings

  • Biotechnology or Pharmaceutical Laboratories
  • Universities
  • Hospital Laboratories
  • State and National Parks
  • Water Management Sites
  • Military Laboratories

Employers of Alumni

  • BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
  • University of South Carolina
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • Nephron Pharmaceuticals
  • Greenville Health System
  • CRISPR Therapeutics

I love my work and am passionate about cancer biology. My mentor has encouraged me every step of the way. The faculty in our department consistently push students to succeed by providing guidance for not only our research but also our general education, careers, and lives.

Savannah Keating
Portrait of Savannah Keating

Is USC Right For You?

There are many reasons we could be your ideal university. There's the award-winning academics, the globally modeled student life, and abundance of study abroad and experiential learning options. Take a closer look at what USC could mean for you.

Degree content is provided for informational purposes only. The Academic Bulletin is the source of record for all degree information.